NZIFF: Ten Films I Eagerly Anticipate

The New Zealand International Film Festival is consistently one of my annual highlights (except when I’m broke). Coming soon this July!

Here is a list of the ten films I look forward to the most (in some particular order):

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1. Boyhood
Dir. Richard Linklater
This film is the one I’ve been anticipating long before it had even finished shooting. This 164-minute film shot over the course of 12 years has the makings of what may be Linklater’s opus. It has a lot of expectations to live up to, but my fingers are optimistically crossed.

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2. Winter Sleep
Dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Described as Bergman meets Chekhov, and winner of the Palme d’Or this year at Cannes. I don’t even care what the plot details are.


3. Why Don’t You Play in Hell?
Dir. Sion Sono
The film about filmmaking is a rite of passage for nearly all great directors. And Sion Sono is certainly a great filmmaker, albeit rough as guts.

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4. Beauty and the Beast
Dir. Jean Cocteau
This has been on my to-watch list since forever. Now’s the perfect opportunity for me to see it on the big screen, baby!

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5. Under the Skin
Dir. Jonathan Glazer
Birth is one of my favorite films by one of the least prolific directors I can think of. This third feature has been a long time coming but I am definitely excited for it. Scarlett Johansenn playing a sexy alien. What more do you need to know?

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6. Jodorowsky’s Dune
Dir. Frank Pavich
I’ve never read Dune, but I’ve always been interested in the legacy surrounding it and the legacy surrounding the films of it – or, more specifically, the film that never came to be. Oh, and Jodorowsky is one awesome dude too.

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7. It Follows
Dir. Robert Mitchell
Sex and death are two of my favourite topics. So, a horror film that explores sexual anxiety through a metaphysical STI seems like the perfect treat for me.

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8. Two Days, One Night
Dir. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
The Dardenne brothers are always welcome.

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9. Love Is Strange
Dir. Ira Sachs
What romantic pairing could be more peculiar than Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor? Why John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, of course!
I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of Ira Sachs previous film, Keep the Lights On, but it had its virtues and I think the  casting is too good to pass up.

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10. At Berkeley
Dir. Frederick Wiseman
When I first heard about this film I was intrigued. When I found out its running time (244-minutes) I was ambivalent. But, as a young person who never had a formal university education, the basic idea of capturing a year at UC Berkeley fills me with too much curiousity. Maybe I hope to live vicariously through these students – to find out what I missed.

Honourable Mentions:
52 Tuesdays, Housebound, Map to the Stars, Lilting, The Reunion, Pulp, Everything We Love, Our Sunhi, Hard to be a God, We Are the Best!