Wednesday, July 9, 2014

NZIFF '14: Picks of the Fest

It's now just over week away before the New Zealand International Film Festival kicks off in Auckland, and as per tradition, time to share a few picks from the programme -- which I might add, is really solid this year. I've done some picks over at Flicks, but here are five more you might not want to miss...

Bong Joon-ho's sci-fi thriller, set on a moving train in a post-apocalyptic future, has been garnering rave reviews and fervent social media support since its recent release in the States. Equally at home doing a monster movie (The Host) or a crime drama (Memories of Murder), Bong is one of South Korea's finest, most effortlessly genre-jumpin' filmmaker, and everything points towards Snowpiercer being another winner.

When was the last time we had a Kiwi horror film worth celebrating? It appears Housebound might be one for the ages. This debut by writer/director Gerard Johnstone was the sensation of SXSW when it played back in March, and the programme notes suggest at it "could easily be the most energising fun you've ever had at a New Zealand movie." Johnstone will be present to introduce the film.

One of those textbook must-see classics that somehow I've never got around to seeing, and I imagine this 4K digital restoration of Cocteau's 1946 film will look exceptionally beautiful at the Civic and be the ideal way to see it for the first time.

Alejandro Jodorowsky -- the visionary Chilean madman behind '70s cult mind-melters El Topo and The Holy Mountain -- once came very close to making his version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune. So what happened? Documentarian Frank Pavich tells the story behind Jod's unrealised vision, and it's kinda heartbreaking for anyone who loves movies.

Wow, this sounds insane. Fans of bizarre true crime tales will get a kick out of this doco, a fascinating whodunit involving "utopian ideals, sexual intrigue and murderous jealousy" on the tiny island of Floreana in the Galapagos. Say no more, I'm there!

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