NZIFF 2019 : : What to watch AKL

The 2019 NZIFF trailer.

It's a markedly different experience attending the NZIFF, compared to your run-of-the-mill, $15-plus-popcorn-and-a-sippy -cup movie going. Authenticity leads the way for a more indulgent cultural liaison, whether it be animation, documentary, or film; and this year is no different as the annual festival matures with each iteration.

We took the chance to have a peep at what's coming to our shores, with selections (and missed nuggets) from Cannes, all the way through to the best of New Zealand filmmaking. Don't be the person that says "Oh I wish I got along to more of the film festival" - buy some tickets, find the time, and enjoy what we think are an excellent selection.

1. mid90s

mid90s (2018) - Trailer

[Hill] makes mid90s resonate with universal poignancy and electric energy; his kids are the best, messiest kind of real, and they’re alright.

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Jonah Hill in his directorial debut brings us a charming take on the 1990's Californian skate culture, an affectionate representation of youth, and and an honest interpretation of the time. Jonah; uncomfortable with some of the now culturally rejected tropes of masculinity and race; portrays the life of a 13 year old kid Sunny Suljic and his struggles coming from a single mothered low income home - the period piece his opportunity to offer his reflection on the truths of skating culture and hip hop.

"I wanted to make an elegant film that showed that A Tribe Called Quest to me were what the Beatles were to my parents; and to show it as a true high art form and something that really means something to a generation of people.” Jonah Hill.

Information and viewing times here.

2. La Belle Époque

La Belle Époque (2019) - Trailer

The very up-to-the-minute script pivots on a Westworld-like dramatic conceit ... that’s beautifully served by very adept writing and staging. Everything clicks here, all the time.

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

Harkening back to the gorgeous mainstream 70's and 80's french film, Nicolas Bedos has brought us a wry sexual and romance fueled Truman-esque comedy. Filling cinemas with a charming laughter, including that the Cannes selection committee (of whom some find made an eggregious error in avoiding an Epoque selection), Époque follows the 70-something Victor (Daniel Auteuil), as he travels back in time to his 20's, the moment he first fell in love with his wife. While only participating in a theatrical service, Victor is confronted with the dichotomy of physical and emotional youth, in this handsome modern classic.

Information and viewing times here.

3. Miles Davis: Birth of Cool

Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (2019) - Trailer

A complex portrait of a man who not only redefined American jazz but continues to have a powerful impact on generations of musicians.

Heather Haynes, Hot Docs

For those who hold jazz dear to their hearts will clamour for the chance to experience the tour de force that is Miles Davis, and those who don't know their Bebop from their Hard Bop, should still take this chance to see all facets of the unparalleled and seminal jazz talent.

Birth of Cool, while treading the fine line that all representations of Davis must toe; protagonist, revolutionary, addict, philanderer and auter; puts forward a handsome portrayal of the man who redefined American Jazz. Less lewd than Don Cheadle's portrait but more authentic - Carl Lumby narrates through readings of Davis' autobiography, using his candor to understand craft.

Information and set times here.

4. High Life

High Life (2018) - Trailer

Denis reorients the sci-fi genre around bodies, babies, and black holes in her masterfully mystifying event-horizon nightmare.

Jessica Kiang, Variety

The controversially appointed Batman, Robert Pattinson, proves he is worth his salt in Claire Denis's intoxicating sci-fi epic that casts a hypnotic lens over definitions of what it means to be human. Monte (Pattinson) and his daughter transmit a fatalistic sense of loneliness as they hurtle towards the unknown.

Information and viewing times here.

The NZ International Film Festival opens on the 18th of July and runs for three weeks.

For more films head along to the NZIFF website:
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