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Jackass Forever (2022)

Directed by  Jeff Tremaine

Cast : Johnny Knoxville, Steve O, Chris Pontius,

Wee Man, Dave England, Preston Lacy

Producers : Jeff Tremaine, Spike Jonze,

Johnny Knoxville

Country : USA

Running Time : 96 Minutes

Rating : R13 (Language & Nudity)


Synopsis : Celebrating the joy of being back together with your best friends and a perfectly executed shot to the dingdong, the original jackass crew return for another round of hilarious, wildly absurd, and often dangerous displays of comedy with a little help from some exciting new cast.  Johnny and the team push the envelope even further in jackass forever.

Reviews : This is the NZ Premiere. The film hasn't been shown to media anywhere yet.

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The Card Counter (2021)

Directed by  Paul Schrader

Cast :Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan

Producers : Lauren MannBraxton Pope

David M. Wulf

Country : USA

Running Time : 112 Minutes

Rating : R16 (Violence, cruelty &

offensive language)


Synopsis : Presented by Martin Scorcese and from the director of First Reformed the film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. William Tell is a gambler and former serviceman who sets out to reform a young man seeking revenge on a mutual enemy from their past. Tell just wants to play cards. His spartan existence on the casino trail is shattered when he is approached by Cirk, a vulnerable and angry young man seeking help to execute his plan for revenge on a military colonel. Tell sees a chance at redemption through his relationship with Cirk.

 

Reviews : 

"Isaac gives a finely judged performance. His Tell is a tightly controlled but outwardly affable character who behaves as if he's given up all ambition beyond the desire to stay out of trouble." - Sydney Morning Herald

"The movie has real moral terror at its center. It gets ugly: It gives that word fresh resonance. This is where it gets things ri“The motif is specific, but the filmmaker deploys it to great effect: slowly drawing the audience into the psyche of a man who grows more frightening -- and more compelling -- the more you learn about him.” David Sims, The Atlantic

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A Hero (2021)

Directed by Asghar Farhadi 

Cast : Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh,

Fereshteh Sadrorafaii, Sadre Orafaiy,

Sahar Goldoust

Producers : Alexandre Mallet-Guy,

Asghar Farhadi

Country : Iran

Running Time : 127 Minutes

Rating : M (Suicide References)

 

Synopsis : In this Cannes Grand Prix winning and 2022 Oscar shortlisted film, Rahim is in prison because of a debt he was unable to repay. During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint against the payment of part of the sum. But things don't go as planned.

 

Reviews : 

 

“Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi returns to his native Iran with this story about truth-telling, honor and the price of freedom.”  Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

 

“In Mr. Farhadi's hands it's a deliciously ironic, exquisitely complex and mysteriously stirring tale of a man, his son and family, and the staining of multiple reputations by what seems, at the outset, to be a fairly minor lie”  Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal


“So much here rides on pride and dignity: the appearance of respectability is all. Status is key. Perhaps that’s why Ramin digs a grave for himself into which we see him slipping deeper... It’s tense and thought-provoking throughout. Especially smart is the mist of ambiguity around Ramin’s character that Farhadi never fully allows to clear... It’s a superb morality play that immerses us deeply in a society’s values and rituals and keeps us guessing right to its powerful final shot.”  Dave Calhoun, Time Out

 
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Ablaze (2021)

Directed by Alec Morgan & Tiriki Onus

Cast : Tiriki Onus

Producers : Tom Zubrycki

Country : Australia

Running Time : 85 Minutes

Rating : Exempt

 

Synopsis :  Australian opera singer Tiriki Onus finds a 70-year-old silent film believed to be made by his grandfather, Aboriginal leader and filmmaker Bill Onus. As Tiriki travels across the continent and pieces together clues to the film’s origins, he discovers more about Bill, his fight for Aboriginal rights and the price he paid for speaking out.

 

Reviews : 

 

 “a vital slice of Australian film and cultural history is proudly displayed in the expansive documentary Ablaze.”   Andrew F. Peirce, The Curb.


“Ablaze utilises incredible archival footage to redress the gaps of the Australian artistic industry’s shameful and largely un-interrogated past.”   Glenn Dunks, ScreenHub

 

After Love (2020)

Directed by Aleem Khan

Cast : Joanna Scanlan, Nathalie Richard,

Talid Ariss, Nasser Memarzia

Producers : Matthieu de Braconier

Country : United Kingdom

Running Time : 89 Minutes

Rating : M (Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : Mary Hussain, who converted to Islam when she married and is now in her early 60s, lives quietly with her husband Ahmed. Following his unexpected death, she suddenly finds herself a widow. A day after the burial, she discovers that he had a secret life just twenty-one miles away from their Dover home, across the channel in Calais. The shocking discovery compels her to go there to find out more. 

After Love premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and received of six British Independent Film Awards, including Best British Independent Film.

 

Reviews: 

 

 “[Joanna] Scanlan again fully inhabits a complex role. It takes an actress of a high calibre to express so much, and there’s a tangible pleasure to be taken in observing her performance.”   Pamela Hutchinson, Sight and Sound.

“After Love has the agony of a domestic tragedy and the tension of a Hitchcock thriller. Mary herself is the suspense; she is the ticking bomb who could explode at any time. Scanlan shows how she has suffered a triple mortification. Ahmed is dead. So is the Ahmed she knew. And so, perhaps, is Mary herself. She is humiliated and horrified by what she is uncovering on a moment-by-moment basis.”  Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

 

Annette (2021)

Directed by Leos Carax

Cast : Marion Cotillard, Adam Driver,

Simon Helberg 

Producers : Charles Gillibert, Paul-Dominique

Win Vacharasinthu, Adam Driver

Country :  France, USA, Germany

Running Time : 140 Minutes

Rating : R16 (Contain Violence, Nudity,

Sex Scenes & Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : This Cannes Opening Night film where Leos Carax won Best Director, is set in Los Angeles, nowadays. Henry is a stand-up comedian with a fierce sense of humour, Ann a singer of international renown. In the spotlight, they are the perfect couple, healthy, happy, and glamourous. The birth of their first child, Annette, a mysterious girl with an exceptional gift, will change their lives.

 

Reviews :

 

“The most original film of 2021, Annette is a ride like no other, a spellbinding waltz in a storm. See it for truly hypnotic filmmaking, a clutch of great songs and Adam Driver at his most magnetic.” Ian Freer, Empire.

 

“File Annette under the category, ‘Too weird not to admire.’ It seems to exist at once outside the musical mode and within it, commenting on the very genre it dissects and it's absurdities, even while singing its praises. Every sequence, every scene inhabits a self-contained world that invites examination.” Brain Eggert, Deep Focus Review.


“adventurous, anarchic and unexpectedly heartfelt.” Mark Kermode, The Guardian.

 

All Light, Everywhere (2021)

Directed by Theo Anthony

Producers :  Jonna McKone, Sebastian Pardo,

Riel Roch-Decter

Country : USA

Running Time : 110 Minutes

Rating : Exempt

 

Synopsis : All Light, Everywhere is an exploration of the shared histories of cameras, weapons, policing and justice. As surveillance technologies become a fixture in everyday life, the film interrogates the complexity of an objective point of view, probing the biases inherent in both human perception and the lens.

Winner of U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival.

Reviews : 

“All Light, Everywhere... uses the framework of surveillance technology to reveal the blind spots in our perception of the world, and the power structures that exploit them for their own agenda.”  Josh Kupecki, Austin Chronicle

“All Light, Everywhere is a tremendous work that anyone merely curious about the various relationships the government has to both private industry and an enormous public ought to see.”   Cassie Da Costa, Vanity Fair.

 

“All Light, Everywhere, asks dozens of questions but offers only one conclusion, which is really better described as a nugget of advice: We should proceed with caution in interpreting anything we see, particularly when it’s an image filtered through a lens.”  Stephanie Zacharek, Time.

 

Apples (2020)

Directed by Christos Nikou

Cast : Aris Servetalis, Sofia Georgovassili,

Anna Kalaitzidou,

Argyris Bakirtzis

Producers : Aris Dagios, Iraklis Mavroeidis,

Christos Nikou,

Angelos Venetis, Mariusz Włodarski

Country : Greece

Running Time : 90 Minutes

Rating : M (Sexualised Imagery)

 

Synopsis : Amidst a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia, middle-aged Aris finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities. Prescribed daily tasks on cassette tapes so he can create new memories and document them on camera, Aris slides back into ordinary life, meeting Anna, a woman who is also in recovery.

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2021, where it won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Nonfiction Experimentation

 

Reviews :

Christos Nikou’s elegant, wry and ultimately moving puzzle of a film is an inventive meditation on memory, identity and grief. It lands firmly in the tradition of the high-concept absurdism of his compatriot and one-time collaborator Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster NZIFF 2015, The Favourite), though its low-key look and feel is more reminiscent of Aki Kaurismäki. Dare we say, an unforgettable first feature.  Andrew Langridge, NZIFF

“soulfully relevant as reality aligns with the speculative world Nikou imagined.”  Peter Debruge, Variety.

 

“This is a movie full of lovely and lilting moments that invite you to reflect on the value of your own painful memories, and yet precious little of it is specific enough in a way that makes it hard to forget”  David Ehrlich, IndieWire.

“Simultaneously deadpan and dour, somber and surreal, this is a haunting meditation on the manipulation of memory to anesthetize pain, crafted with a meticulous attention to visual and aural composition that makes for arresting viewing.”  David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter.

 

Benedetta (2021)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven

Cast : Virginie Efira, Lambert Wilson,

Daphne Patakia, Charlotte Rampling,

Olivier Rambourdin

Producers : Saïd Ben Saïd,  Michel Merkt,

Jérôme Seydoux

Country : France

Running Time : 127 Minutes

Rating :  R18 (Violence, Sexual Violence,

Sex Scenes & Content That May Disturb) 

 

Synopsis : Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century nun in Tuscany who's religious and erotic visions have shaken the  community becomes entangled in a forbidden love affair. Based on a true story, this Cannes Palme d'Or nominee is the latest from the iconic and bold director who brought us Basic Instinct, Elle and Black Book.

 

Reviews :

 

""Benedetta" is a gloriously excessive entry from the cinema's master of excess, Paul Verhoeven, and it's an enjoyable, provocative experience." - Mick LaSalle SF Chronicle 

"Dec 2, 2021Verhoeven brings more vitality to his work than many filmmakers half his age, and his screenplay (with David Birke) is a tasteless hoot, gleefully cramming the frame with blood, fornication and flagellations galore." - NY Times

“Verhoeven and co-writer David Birke refuse to vindicate or validate the intentions of historical figures by today’s secular standards, confronting hierarchies that exist outside of the neat categories of ‘good’ and ‘evil.’”   Natalia Keogan, Paste.


“Benedetta is a substantial, sophisticated, yet briskly paced and always highly entertaining drama”   Nicholas Barber, BBC

 
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Bergman Island (2021)

Directed by Junta Yamaguchi

Cast : Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska, Vicky Krieps

Anders Danielsen Lie, Melinda Kinnaman

Producers : Charles Gillibert, Erik Hemmendorff, Rodrigo Teixeira

 Lisa Widén

Country :  France/ Sweden

Running Time : 113 Minutes

Rating : M (Sex scenes, offensive lang, nudity)

 

Synopsis : Nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, it follows a filmmaking couple living in America, Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth) who retreat to the mythical Fårö island for the Summer. In this wild, breathtaking landscape where Bergman lived and shot his most celebrated pieces, they hope to find inspiration for their upcoming films. As days spent separately pass by, the fascination for the island operates on Chris and souvenirs of her first love resurface. Lines between reality and fiction will then progressively blur and tear our couple even more apart.

Reviews :

“"Bergman Island" is a compelling, enchanting film that works both as a relationship drama and as a conversation between one generation of directors and another." - Pat Padua, Washington Post

"The early scenes feel like they could almost be Hansen-Løve’s variation on Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy: a two-hander that navigates the mysteries of love and distance, connection and time." - Owen Gleiberman, Variety

"You don't actually have to love Ingmar Bergman, or even have seen a Bergman movie, to find Bergman Island terrific. Thoughtful, layered, deceptively light, it's among Hansen-Løve's best work." - Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

 

Beyond The Infinite

Two Minutes (2020)

Directed by Junta Yamaguchi

Cast : Kazunari Tosa, Riko Fujitani, Gota Ishida,

Masashi Suwa, Aki Asakura, Yoshifumi Sakai

Producers : Takahiro Otsuki, Kazuchika Yoshida

Country :  Japan

Running Time : 70 Minutes

Rating : PG (Violence)

 

Synopsis : A cafe owner discovers that the TV in his cafe suddenly shows images from the future, but only two minutes into the future.

Reviews : 

 

"Time travel movies have a history of bringing out some of the most inspired low-fi filmmaking, and “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes” is the latest example. It’s one of the most clever time travel movies in years, and it was created with an iPhone, a spare cast, a handful of Apple TVs, and a slick editing strategy that makes it all look like it takes place in one shot." - RogerEbert.com

“Read nothing else about the film, and seek this one out. It’s seventy minutes of your life you won’t look back on with regret. . . [T]his intricate and immensely satisfying film is even more brilliant than it needs to be.”   Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects.

 

Catch The Fair One (2021)

Directed by Josef Kubota Wladyka

Cast : Kali Reis, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Chu,

Michael Drayer, Kimberly Guerrero, Lisa Emery

Producers : Mollye Asher, Kimberly Parker,

Josef Kubota Wladyka

Country : USA

Running Time : 85 Minutes

Rating : R16 (Violence, Offensive Language,

Sexual Materials & Content That May Disturb)

 

Synopsis :  Kaylee’s younger sister disappeared two years ago and is possibly alive and circulating in a trafficking network. Kaylee sets  off  on  a  dark  and  treacherous  journey.  Her  strength  and determination are tested as she fights the real fight of her life — to find Weeta and make her family whole again.

 

Reviews :

“Propelled by a commanding performance from WBA Super lightweight champion Kali ‘K.O. Mequinonoag’ Reis, the first Native American fighter to win the International Boxing Association middleweight crown, Catch the Fair One is a dark powerhouse of a film. Pulverizing with fury and grief, it’s the scorching culmination of a four-year collaboration with director Josef Kubota Wladyka, who co-wrote with his star. As much a revenge thriller as it is a personal interpretation of factual crimes, the film addresses North America’s horrific crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women with urgency, coming at a time when it couldn’t be more needed.”  Mitch Davis, Fantasia International Film Festival 2021

 

“Wladyka has assuredly provided a distinct vision that pulses to potent degrees.” Robert Daniels, The Playlist

 

“boxer Kali Reis deserves to add another title belt to her collection” David Ehrlich, IndieWire


“The visions of this director and this leading character are both clear-eyed, decisive, and forward-focused. A dark, cloudy-looking film, Catch the Fair One utilizes the strength and build of Reis, a former world-class athlete that slips into this role with seeming ease.” Michael Frank, The Film Stage

 
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Censor (2021)

Directed by Prano Bailey-Bond

Cast : Niamh Algar, Nicolas Burns, Vincent Franklin,

Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller, Michael Smiley

Producers : Helen Jones

Country : United Kingdom

Running Time : 84 Minutes

Rating : R16 (Horror, Graphic Violence &

Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of Video Nasties. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past.

 

Reviews 

 

“Censor conjures a serpentine tale of trauma, repression and liberation, all mediated through the deliciously tactile medium of illicit videotapes and pre-internet media panics.” - Mark Kermode , The Guardian

 

“A psychedelic rabbit-hole-drop of a movie from one of the most exciting new directors working in horror today.” Terri White, Empire

 

“Censor is an articulate, layered art-horror classic-in-the-making that excels in all departments.” - Mark Anthony Ayling, Horrified

 

Chopper - 20th Anniversary

Restoration (2000)

Directed by Andrew Dominik

Cast : Mark "Chopper" Read, Eric Bana,

Vince Colosimo,  Simon Lyndon, Kate Beahan,

David Field

Producers : Michele Bennett

Country : Australia

Running Time : 94 Minutes

Rating : R18 (Graphic Violence, Drug Use

& Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : The legendary Aussie film inspired by the books of Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read, arguably Australia's most infamous former criminal, is back in a brand new restored version supervised by director Andrew Dominik.  Chopper draws on police records, court transcripts, news coverage and interviews with people who knew Chopper. It delivers a shocking and hilarious tale of the Aussie criminal underworld - once seen, never forgotten. 

 

Reviews :

 

“Bana's performance makes the character believable--in fact, unforgettable.”  Roger Ebert, RogerEbert


“The film is not detached, moralising or overly analytical. Its approach is more visceral than political. It boldly seeks to involve us emotionally in Chopper's drive, energy and rough wit – so that we can experience the queasiness of complicity with such a man, and truly feel a recoil of revulsion as the story progresses”  Adrian Martin, Film Critic

 

CLOSING NIGHT MOVIE

C’mon C’mon (2021)

Directed by Mike Mills

Cast : Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann,

Woody Norman, Scoot McNairy, Molly Webster

Producers : Chelsea Barnard, Lila Yacoub,

Andrea Longacre-White 

Country : USA

Running Time : 108 Minutes

Rating : TBC

 

NEW ZEALAND PREMIERE

SPECIAL NIGHT: Join us in the festival Garden Bar before the film, where Scapegrace will be serving up delightful cocktails. The Garden Bar will stay open after the films conclusion.

Synopsis : Johnny and his young nephew forge a tenuous but transformational relationship when they are unexpectedly thrown together in this delicate and deeply moving story about the connections between adults, children, the past, and the future.
 

Reviews  :

 

“A story about love and the eternal tug of war between self-interest and caring for others”  Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Going into C’mon C’mon, you may think you know exactly what it’s going to be. Coming out, you’ll probably see that you were mostly right, but that you also got a million little firefly flashes of feeling you weren’t expecting. And that right there is the Mike Mills touch. - Time Magazine

 

“effortlessly charming”   Monica Castillo, RogerEbert

 

“Writer-director Mike Mills makes films about family — how they fall apart, how they come back together — and his latest may be his loveliest yet.”  Tim Grierson, ScreenDaily


“Mike Mills delivers a naturalistic and unconventional homage to the bond between children and adults”  Zach Long, TimeOut

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Cryptozoo (2021)

Directed by Dash Shaw

Cast : Michael Cera, Zoe Kazan, Lake Bell,

Peter Stormare, Emily Davis

Producers : Tyler Davidson, Kyle Martin,

Jane Samborski, Bill Way

Country : USA

Running Time : 95 Minutes

Rating : R16 (Violence, Sex Scenes, Nudity,

Offensive Language & Content That May Disturb)

 

Synopsis : Visionary comic book writer/artist/filmmaker Dash Shaw's vibrant, fantastical animated feature follows cryptozookeepers through a richly-drawn hallucinatory world as they struggle to capture a baku (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature) and begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts in the confines of a zoo, or if these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown. Featuring the voice talents of Lake Bell, Zoe Kazan, Michael Cera, Louisa Krause, Peter Stormare, Thomas Jay Ryan, Grace Zabriskie and Angeliki Papoulia, CRYPTOZOO is written and directed by Shaw, with Jane Samborski directing the stunning animation.

 

Reviews :

"Cryptozoo” has, in more than one sense, the horniest opening scene of any movie this year: It begins with a star-gazing hippie couple making love in a forest and ends with one of them getting gored by a unicorn. Like the rest of Dash Shaw’s eccentric and imaginative animated feature, the sex and violence are rendered in pencil-sketch lines and vibrant colors, which doesn’t blunt so much as heighten their strange, fleshy intensity. It’s the ’60s, man, or at least some super-psychedelic alternative version of it, populated by hand-drawn Krakens, Pegasi, hydras, giant worms and various other fantastical creatures collectively known as “cryptids” — a mind-boggling bestiary to rival Noah’s Ark in scope if not in number."- LA Times

 

“A hypnotically trippy love letter to underground comics and cult animated cinema of the sixties and seventies.” Amelia Berry, Flicks.


“Utterly bizarre in the best possible way, this lovingly handmade animated feature by writer-director Dash Shaw (originally a comic book/graphic novelist) isn’t like anything you’ve seen before.”  Leslie Felperin, The Guardian

 

Drive My Car (2021)

Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Cast : Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tōko Miura,

Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima, Park Yurim,

Jin Daeyeon

Producers : Teruhisa Yamamoto

Country : Japan

Running Time : 179 Minutes

Rating : M (Nudity & Sex Scenes)

 

Synopsis : Based on the work of Murakami Haruki, Drive My Car follows an aging, widowed actor who seeks a chauffeur. The actor turns to his go-to mechanic who recommends a 20-year-old girl. Despite their initial misgivings, a very special relationship develops between the two.

 

Reviews :

"What it is can be summed up in a word that's often used loosely but fits the case here-a masterpiece, a mysteriously enthralling creation that keeps you guessing about where it's going, then reveals its essence with astonishing clarity." - Wall St Journal

“Hamaguchi’s filmmaking, always accomplished, reaches new heights of refinement and sensory richness here”  Guy Lodge, Variety


“Drive My Car is certain of nothing beyond that uncertainty, but it knows every inch of what it can’t ever hope to know, and encourages us to find our own solace in the silence beyond words.”  David Ehrlich, IndieWire

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Fiona Clark: Unafraid (2021)

Directed by Lula Cucchiara

With : Fiona Clark, Tertius, Tina Del Malmanche

Producers : Siobhan Price, Matt Noonan, Lula Cucchiara

Country : Aotearoa

Running Time : 82 Minutes

Rating : Exempt

SPECIAL GUESTS AND Q&A for the screening on the 28th. 

Join us for the Auckland Premiere

 

Synopsis : Fiona Clark is one of Aotearoa’s most notable photographers but, thanks to the repressive environment of 1970s New Zealand, her career was almost stubbed out before it began.

Reviews:

 

“Fiona Clark’s endearing personality shines through in this documentary portrait—rivalling her exemplary photography when it comes to the most memorable aspects of this wonderful film.”   Steve Newall, Flicks.

 

“Cucchiara navigates the perfect balance between showing Clark’s images, home and personality in a way that is unobtrusive but still gives an intimate sense of the woman behind the work.”   Kiran Dass, The Guardian

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EXTRA SHOW

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Flee (2020)

Directed by  Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Cast : Daniel Karimyar, Fardin Mijdzadeh,

Milad Eskandari, Belal Faiz, Elaha Faiz,

Zahra Mehrwarz

Producers : Signe Byrge Sørensen,

Michelle Hellerström,

Country : Denmark

Running Time : 83 Minutes

Rating : M (Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : Told mostly through animation, Flee weaves together a stunning tapestry of images and memories to tell the deeply affecting story of a man grappling with his traumatic past in order to find his true self and the real meaning of home.

 

Reviews :

 

“Flee is an astonishing animated portrait of a young refugee”   Alex Davidson, Sound and Sight

 

“Flee is a remarkably humanising and complex film, expanding and expounding the kind of story that’s too easily simplified.”  Benjamin Lee, The Guardian


“The most emotionally significant use of animation I’ve seen in years. Masking his identity without sacrificing intimacy, the filmmaking allows Amin to comfortably tell his gripping and heart-choking story of growing up as a refugee on the run, reaching deep into his psyche to express the fears and anguish he’s bottled up for decades.”  Liam Maguren, Flicks

 

Gagarine (2020)

Directed by Fanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh

Cast : Alseni Bathily, Lyna Khoudri, Denis Lavant,

Jamil McCraven, Finnegan Oldfield,

Farida Rahouadj

Producers : Julie Billy, Carole Scotta

Country : France

Running Time : 99 Minutes

Rating : M (Drug Use & Offence Language)

 

Synopsis : Youri, 16, has lived all his life in Gagarin Towers, a vast red-brick housing project on the outskirts of Paris. He dreams of becoming an astronaut. When plans to demolish Gagarin Towers leak out, Youri joins the resistance. With his friends Diana and Houssam, he embarks on a mission to save their home, which has become his "starship."

 

Reviews :

"Filled with imaginative, vibrant visuals and an (inter) stellar lead performance, despite some flourishes that miss their landing, Gagarine's voyage is one well worth joining." - Empire Magazine

"Cité Gagarine was demolished in 2020, but it's central to this unusual blend of realist drama and sci-fi fantasia, where life and dreams mix in strange and soulful ways." - TImeOut UK

“Inventive visuals and captivating performances help debut directors Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh resurrect real-life housing project Cité Gagarine for this sci-fi infused social drama.”   Trevor Johnston, Sight and Sound

 

“Gagarine is dream built from debris, a rocketship made from rubble, and a touching tribute to stratospheric aspirations thriving against the odds in even the most maligned and marginalized communities. “  Jessica Kiang, Variety

 

“Alseni Bathily brings a gentle physicality and quiet enthusiasm to the role of Youri.”   Jake Cunningham, Empire

 

Great Freedom (2021)

Directed by Sebastian Meise

Cast : Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich,

Anton von Lucke, Thomas Prenn

Producers : Benny Drechsel, Sabine Moser,

Oliver Neumann

Country : Austria

Running Time : 117 Minutes

Rating : R18 (Explicit Sexual Material, Drug Use

& Content That May Disturb)

 

Synopsis : In postwar Germany, Hans is imprisoned again and again for being homosexual. Due to paragraph 175, his desire for freedom is systematically destroyed. The one steady relationship in his life becomes his long time cellmate, Viktor, a convicted murderer.

 

Reviews :

 

“Meise’s film is an exquisite marriage of personal, political and sensual storytelling, its narrative and temporal drift tightened by another performance of quietly piercing vulnerability from Franz Rogowski.”   Guy Lodge, Variety

 

“It’s a harsh story of inhumane violation as punishment for a victimless crime, but the drama also shimmers with desolate beauty.”  David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

 

“The screenplay, co-written by Meise and Thomas Reider, is a work of great finesse. Though there is a tragic love story at its center, this is not your typical gay weepie.”  Zhuo-Ning Su, The Film Stage

 

John And The Hole (2020)

Directed by Pascual Sisto

Cast : Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall,

Jennifer Ehle, Taissa Farmiga

Producers : Elika Portnoy, Alex Orlovsky,

Michael Bowes

Country : USA

Running Time : 103 Minutes

Rating : R16 (Offensive Language &

Content That May Disturb)

 

Synopsis : A desperate game of survival unfolds after 13-year-old John traps his family in a hole in the ground.

 

Reviews :

 

“Sisto and Giacobone build such a meticulous, crafty, and well-paced film of undidactic morals around John’s symbolic act that you surrender to it at once.”  Tomris Laffly, Roger Ebert

"In its way, it pokes at the very delicate membrane between horror and comedy" - Wall St Journal


“John and the Hole combines riffs from dime-a-dozen entrapment horrors with the absurdist unease of European art-house cinema and a strong thread of fairytale yarn-spinning.”  Mark Kermode, The Guardian

 

Lamb (2021)

Directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson

Cast : Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason,

Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson

Producers :  Hrönn Kristinsdóttir, Sara Nassim,

Piodor Gustafsson, Erik Rydell,

Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, Jan Naszewski

Country : Iceland

Running Time : 106 Minutes

Rating : M (Violence, Offensive Language,

Sex Scenes & Nudity)

 

Synopsis : Icelandic couple, María and Ingvar live with their herd of sheep on a beautiful but remote farm. When they discover a mysterious newborn on their farmland, they decide to keep it and raise it as their own. This unexpected prospect of a new family brings them much joy, before ultimately destroying them. - Iceland's Academy Awards Entry.

 

Reviews :

 

“a meditation on loss, love, grief, and parenthood, told through long silences and carefully constructed tableaux.”  Travis Johnson, Flicks

 

“a fierce sense of originality”  Tomris Laffly, Roger Ebert


“a tale of hypnotic beauty”  Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal

 

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Cast : Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman,

Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper,

Benny Safdie, Maya Rudolph

Producers : Sara Murphy, Paul Thomas Anderson,

Adam Somner

Country : USA

Running Time : 133 Minutes

Rating : TBC

NEW ZEALAND PREMIERE

SPECIAL NIGHT: For Friday 21 January, join us in the festival Garden Bar before the film where Scapegrace will be serving up delightful cocktails. The Garden Bar will stay open after the films conclusion.

 

Synopsis: Alana Kane and Gary Valentine grow up, run around and fall in love in California's San Fernando Valley in the 1970s.

 

Reviews :

“Licorice Pizza,” a shaggy, fitfully brilliant romp from Paul Thomas Anderson, takes place in a 1973 dream of bared midriffs and swinging hair, failures and pretenders. It’s set in Encino, a Los Angeles outpost in the shadow of Hollywood and the birthplace of such films as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Boogie Nights,” Anderson’s 1997 breakout about a striver’s passage into pornographic stardom. There’s DNA from both old and New Hollywood in “Licorice Pizza,” a coming-of-age romance in which no one grows up". New York Times

"If it isn't able to offer a perfectly offbeat romance on the level of Punch-Drunk Love and Phantom Thread, it's not discardable, either".  Vulture

 

“this hypnotically gorgeous, funny, romantic movie freewheels its way around from scene to scene, from character to character, from set-piece to set-piece, with absolute mastery.”  Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


“a piping-hot, jumbo slice-of-life look at how it felt to grow up on the fringes of the film industry circa 1973”  Peter Debruge, Variety

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Limbo (2020)

Directed by Ben Sharrock

Cast : Amir El-Masry, Sidse Babett Knudsen,

Kenneth Collard, Vikash Bhai

Producers : Irune Gurtubai, Angus Lamont

Country : United Kingdom

Running Time : 104 Minutes

Rating : M (Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : Recently nominated for two BAFTA® awards for Best British Film and Best Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, LIMBO is a wry and poignant observation of the refugee experience, set on a fictional remote Scottish island where a group of new arrivals await the results of their asylum claims. It centers on Omar, a young Syrian musician who is burdened by his grandfather's oud, which he has carried all the way from his homeland. Reflecting the complexity of the movement of people across borders has been a long-held passion for director and writer Ben Sharrock, who spent time working for an NGO in refugee camps.

 

Reviews :

 

“reminiscent of existential masterpiece Waiting For Godot, this is a wee gem of a tale, rewarding the patient viewer with its thoughtful, slow-build, charm.” Adam Fresco, Flicks

 

“Sharrock’s tale feels almost like a small miracle with its defiant stance against exploitative hopelessness.”

Tomris Laffly, RogerEbert


“witty, poignant, marvellously composed and shot, moving and even weirdly gripping. Despite an elegant deadpan style established from the outset, Sharrock soon gets you to invest in the characters and care deeply about what happens to them.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

 

Mandibles (2020)

Directed by Quentin Dupieux

Cast : Grégoire Ludig, David Marsais,

Adèle Exarchopoulos, India Hair

Producers : Hugo Selignac, Vincent Mazel

Country : France

Running Time : 77 Minutes

Rating : M (Offensive Language & Sexual References)

 

Synopsis : French absurdist Quentin Dupieux has formed a formidable body of work since his breakout, the sentient killer-tyre movie 'Rubber'. Mandibles, the follow-up to his obsessed-jacket movie 'Deerskin' is his most accessible and amiable excursion yet. Manu and Jean-Gab are two amateur criminals who while on an errand discover inside the boot of their stolen car is a gigantic housefly. They decide the best way to capitalise on this remarkable discovery is to train the fly to perform and make them a fortune. Things don't exactly pan out as planned.

Reviews :

"What works so well in Mandibles is how it's set up as a basic heist movie, using very familiar elements, so familiar they're almost tired cliches, before going completely off the rails into random demented territory." RogerEbert.com

 

“an immediately lovable dimwit duo who deserve to carry at least as many adventures as their spiritual transatlantic cousins Bill and Ted.”  Guy Lodge, Variety

 

“a rollicking, rambunctious tequila-dream of a movie”  Xan Brooks, The Guardian

 

“a well thought-out, polished production, a fine example of controlled mayhem”  Marta Balaga, Cineuropa

 

Murina (2021)

Directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović

Cast : Gracija Filipović, Danica Čurčić,

Leon Lučev, Cliff Curtis

Producers : Danijel Pek, Rodrigo Teixeira

Country : Croatia

Running Time : 92 Minutes

Rating : M (Offensive Language

& Domestic Abuse Themes)

 

Synopsis : Tensions rise between restless teenager Julija and her oppressive father Ante when an old family friend arrives during a weekend trip to the Adriatic Sea. As Ante attempts to broker a life-changing deal, their tranquil yet isolated existence leaves Julija wanting more from this influential visitor, who provides a taste of liberation over a weekend laid bare to desire and violence.

 

Reviews :

 

“Murina is a superb study in sustained subliminal menace, with Gracija Filipovic especially skilled playing a young woman learning how to utilise her sensuality to secure her freedom” Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

 

“One of the hottest under-the-radar titles to emerge out of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.”   Ryan Lattanzio, IndieWire.


“Murina is rife with symbolism, but it’s a mark of Kusijanović’s command — an astonishing quality for a first-time feature director — that the recurring motifs and metaphors are worn so lightly and feel so organic to the film’s microcosmic universe.”    Jessica Kiang, Variety

 

Mass (2021)

Directed by Fran Kranz

Cast : Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton,

Ann Dowd, Reed Birney

Producers : Fran Kranz, Dylan Matlock,

Casey Wilder Mott, JP Ouellette

Country : USA

Running Time : 110 Minutes

Rating : M (Suicide References

& Content That May Disturb)

 

Synopsis :Years after an unspeakable tragedy tore their lives apart, two sets of parents agree to talk privately in an attempt to move forward. In Fran Kranz' writing and directing debut, he thoughtfully examines their journey of grief, anger and acceptance by coming face-to-face with the ones who have been left behind.


 

Reviews :

 

“Kranz delivers a delicately paced study not of a school shooting and its aftermath, but of the way people communicate grief.”  Shirley Li, The Atlantic

 

“Mass exerts the power of ritual at its most reflective and galvanizing, reveling in human connection at its most arduous, persistent and sublime.”  Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post


“an impressively bracing debut devoid of sentimentality, a film of difficult questions that avoids easy answers.”  Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

 

Memoria (2021)

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Cast : Tilda Swinton, Elkin Díaz,

Jeanne Balibar, Juan Pablo Urrego,

Daniel Giménez Cacho

Producers : Diana Bustamante,

Julio Chavezmontes, Charles de Meaux,

Simon Field

Country : Colombia / Thailand

Running Time : 136 Minutes

Rating : PG

 

Synopsis : Ever since being startled by a loud 'bang' at daybreak, Jessica is unable to sleep. In Bogotá to visit her sister, she befriends Agnes, an archaeologist studying human remains discovered within a tunnel under construction. Jessica travels to see Agnes at the excavation site. In a small town nearby, she encounters a fish scaler, Hernan. They share memories by the river. As the day comes to a close, Jessica is awakened to a sense of clarity.

 

Reviews :

 

"In his own precise, abstract manner, Apichatpong has made an ecological disaster movie about the danger involved in ignoring the natural state of things and the people who respect it."    IndieWire

"It's an exercise in mindfulness that asks you to give yourself over to it lock, stock and barrel. If you're willing to do that, you can cancel that meditation course." TimeOut UK

“the film’s sound design possesses such extraordinary intricacy that it functions like an invitation to the viewer to listen and feel along with its protagonist in a way that’s still so rare in cinema”  James Lattimer, Sound and Sight

 

“Memoria casts a spell like nothing else I’ve seen from Cannes this year” Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

 

“Like a stone dropped in a well to listen for the splash, Memoria echoes in the mind long after it ends.” Imogen Sara Smith, Film Comment

 

“Tilda 4 eva!”  Mathew Crawley, Flicks.

 

OPENING NIGHT MOVIE

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Nightmare Alley (2021)

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Cast : Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette,

Willem Defoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara,

Ron Perlman, David Strathairn

Producers : J. Miles Dal, Guillermo del Toro,

Bradley Cooper

Country : USA

Running Time : 139 Minutes 

Rating : TBC

SPECIAL NIGHT: Join us in the festival Garden Bar before the film, where Scapegrace will be serving up delightful cocktails. The Garden Bar will stay open after the films conclusion.

 

Synopsis : From the brilliant mind of Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro comes his highly anticipated remake of the 40s classic Nightmare Alley. When charismatic but down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena and her has-been mentalist husband Pete at a traveling carnival, he crafts a golden ticket to success, using this newly acquired knowledge to grift the wealthy elite of 1940s New York society. With the virtuous Molly loyally by his side, Stanton plots to con a dangerous tycoon with the aid of a mysterious psychiatrist who might be his most formidable opponent yet.

 

Reviews :

"Dark as del Toro's vision may be, it's a glorious homage to an American experience all but lost to time."   Variety

 

"Nightmare Alley pays tribute to noir. But it's also its own dark snow globe, luminous and finely faceted, and one of del Toro's most fluent features." - Hollywood Reporter 

"A wickedly enjoyable tale of freak shows, dark and stormy nights, innocent dames, morally bankrupt schemers, and a femme fatale to die for." - Slash Film


“This movie is not what you might think it is.”  Anthony Breznican, Vanity Fair

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Nine Days (2020)

Directed by Edson Oda

Cast : Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong,

Tony Hale, Jeffrey Hanson, David Rysdahl,

Bill Skarsgård

Producers : Jason Michael Berman,

Mette-Marie Kongsved, Matthew Lindner,

Laura Tunstall, Datari Turner

Country : USA

Running Time : 110 Minutes 

Rating : M (Violence & Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis: Will spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View on TV’s of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — arrive at Will's to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma, a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will...

 

Reviews :

 

“It's heavy, heady stuff, coming at you via a delivery system of catalog-worthy set design, magic-hour cinematography, and often tamped-down, deadpan performances. And somehow, it all works in harmony.“  David Fear, Rolling Stone


“Oda's touch is extremely controlled, and the actors are so connected to what they are doing, that the film doesn't feel manipulative. The catharsis, when it comes, is exhilarating.” Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert

 

Nitram (2021)

Directed by Justin Kurzel

Cast : Caleb Landry Jones, Judy Davis,

Essie Davis, Anthony LaPaglia

Producers : Nick Batzias, Justin Kurzel,

Shaun Grant, Virginia Whitwell

Country : Australia

Running Time : 112 Minutes

Rating : M (Violence, Offensive Language,

Drug Use & Content That May Disturb)

 

Synopsis : Nitram lives with his mother and father in suburban Australia in the Mid 1990s. He lives a life of isolation and frustration at never being able to fit in. That is until he unexpectedly finds a close friend in a reclusive heiress, Helen. However when that friendship meets its tragic end, and Nitram’s loneliness and anger grow, he begins a slow descent into a nightmare that culminates in the most nihilistic and heinous of acts.

 

Reviews :

 

“The intense discomfort of this nitroglycerine meditation on what makes a mass murderer is exactly that of watching a lit firework burn down in your hand toward its gunpowder base, unable to let go of it, transfixed by its snapping sparks.” Jessica Kiang Variety

 

another extraordinary achievement from Kurzel, who has a penchant for evoking gut-sinking emotional atmosphere.” Luke Buckmaster,  The Guardian


“Nitram, directed by Justin Kurzel from a screenplay by Shaun Grant, doesn’t offer up an excuse or a psychological profile for the gunman’s acts, but it does – to an extent – contextualise them within a family and social structure that is very real, very human and very flawed.” Wenlei Ma, News.com.au

 

Notturno (2020)

Directed by Gianfranco Rosi

With : Naian González Norvind,

Fernando Cuautle, Diego Boneta

Producers : Paolo Del Brocco,

Camille Laemlé, Donatella Palermo,

Eva-Maria Weerts, Gianfranco Rosi,

Serge Lalou, Orwa Nyrabia

Country : Italy

Running Time : 101 Minutes

Rating : Exempt

 

Synopsis : Filmed over three years on the borders between Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, and Lebanon, this documentary captures everyday life in the aftermath of tyranny, invasions and terrorism.

 

Reviews :

"Rosi's method of patient observation allows him to make poetic connections across borders..." Observer

""You may feel unease at the perfect tableaux of grief-broken mothers in the abandoned cells of their dead sons. Fortunately Rosi is not without self-awareness."  Financial Times

"It's about the steps towards healing, challenging Western viewers to allow images of beauty and normalcy to play a part in that journey."  Little White Lies

“Rosi setting his camera down and letting action play out in front of it with little to no interference, and he has collected moments that span the gamut of human emotion.” Roxana Hadadi, RogerEbert


“an intensely considered curation of scenes: glimpses, perhaps, into a collective mind or soul.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

 

Paris, 13th District (2021)

Directed by Jacques Audiard

Cast :  Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba,

Jehnny Beth, Noémie Merlant

Producers : Jacques Audiard, Valérie Schermann

Country : France

Running Time : 104 Minutes

Rating : R16 (Sex Scenes, Nudity, Drug Use

& Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : Emilie works at a call center and is attracted to her new roommate Camille. But he is more interested in Nora, whom he joins on the staff of a real estate company. For her part, Nora spends her evenings video chatting with cam girl Amber… 

Jacques Audiard’s energetically shot black-and-white film takes a fresh look at today’s thirtysomethings as they fumble through life and seek out sexual flings instead of more serious relationships.

 

Reviews :

"Paris, 13th District is definitely a film that speaks to the moment."  TimeOut

"These characters all radiate a classic French cinema glamour - they're as swoon-worthy here as any nouvelle vague beauty or heartthrob."  Daily Telegraph

 

“The satisfaction comes in seeing how, packed on top of each other in Les Olympiades, these evidently lonely individuals occasionally find themselves occupying the same emotional space as one another.” Peter Debruge, Variety

 

“Stories of young love in Paris have long been two a sou in French cinema. But the genre is always up for reinvention, and Jacques Audiard rises to the occasion triumphantly in Cannes competition title Paris 13th District – exuberantly reinventing his own cinema in the process.” Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily


“a playful reminder that the kids aren’t alright, but they’re feeling their way through.” Hannah Strong, Little White Lies

 
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Patu! 40th Anniversary Restoration 

(1983)

Directed by Merata Mita

Cinematography : Barry Herbet

Additonal Photography : Warrick Attewell,

Alister Barry, Alun Bollinger, Roger Donaldson,

Euan Frizzell, Leon Narbey

Editor : Annie Collins

Co-Ordinators : Gaylene Preston, Gerd Pohlmann,

Martyn Sanderson

Country : Aotearoa

Running Time : 112 Minutes

Rating : PG

Synopsis : From the Fourth Cinema pioneer Merata Mita (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Te Rangi), Patu! is a startling record of the mass civil disobedience that took place throughout New Zealand during the winter of 1981, in protest against a South African rugby tour. Testament to the courage and faith of both the marchers and a large team of filmmakers, the feature-length documentary is a landmark in Aotearoa's film history.

 

Reviews :

40th anniversary restoration film provided by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

“When Television New Zealand, Mita's then-employer, declined her proposal for the film, she made it independently, with the voluntary support of film industry professionals. After completion, mainstream cinema chains refused to screen Patu!, but it won high praise at international film festivals.” Helen Martin, Te Ara

"Many people gave their time, money and equipment to see PATU! completed, and it could never have been done otherwise. I was asked repeatedly if I thought I was the right person to make the film, or why I was making it. The reason I was asked the question was that some people told me they feared that the film would not be accurate because it would have a Maori perspective! The Pākeha bias in all things recorded in Aotearoa was never questioned. The other reason they gave was that my politics extended no further than the Maori and the marae, and was I sure I understood the international ramifications of the tour. Yes, PATU! has a Maori perspective but it does not override the mass mobilisation of New Zealand’s white middle class, neither does it take credit from those who rightly deserve it, everyone who put themselves on the line. My perspective encourages people to look at themselves and examine the ground they stand on, while fighting racial injustice thousands of miles across the sea." Merata Mita, The Soul and The Image.

 

President (2021)

Directed by Camilla Nielsson

With : Nelson Chamisa, Thabani Mpofu,

Nkululeko Sibanda

Producers : Joslyn Barnes, Signe Byrge Sørensen

Country : Denmark

Running Time : 116 Minutes

Rating : Exempt

 

Synopsis : When Robert Mugabe was removed from power, Zimbabwe military leaders promised they would not seize control for themselves but would ensure democracy in a national election. Against a backdrop of economic crisis, food shortages, and political violence, the stakes could not be higher. Working to defeat the ruling party, which has controlled Zimbabwe since independence, is the young and charismatic Nelson Chamisa, who draws comparisons to a young Nelson Mandela in expressing the country's utmost desire to be "led" and not "ruled". After decades of a corrupt group clinging to power using any tool available--legal or not--can a free, fair, and transparent election be truly possible? As the follow-up to her widely acclaimed Democrats, Camilla Nielsson brings viewers into the heart of the struggle for power with stunningly close access and unhesitating courage, in a nation closely monitored by the entire world. President is a riveting and epic reminder that, while individuals and their specific ideals may differ, the fight for democracy is never-ending and of profound significance everywhere.


Reviews

 

"It's the testimony of ordinary folk - the election monitor beaten over the head with an iron bar, for example - that makes Nielsson's film so chilling." Screen International 

“Politics consistently creates its own tragedy and comedy, and this vital, devastating documentary knows when simply to stand in the crowd.”  Guy Lodge, Variety

 

“Camilla Nielsson’s probing look at the passion and uncertainty of working to preserve an ideal when the ruling party can discard it at will.”  Eric Kohn, IndieWire


“It is a thrilling, enraging film, and its intimate access to Chamisa and his advisers is extraordinary.” Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

 
 

Purple Noon (1960) Restored Version

Directed by René Clément

Cast :  Alain Delon, Marie Marie Laforêt, Maurice Ronet,

Erno Crisa, Frank Latimore, Billy Kearns, Ave Ninchi

Producers : Robert Hakim, Raymond Hakim

Country : France / Italy

Running Time : 118 Minutes

Rating : PG (Low Level Violence)

 

 

Synopsis : Tom Ripley travels to Italy to visit his playboy friend Phillippe Greenleaf and Phillippe's new fiancée, Marge Duval. What Phillippe doesn't know is that his father has paid Tom to convince his son to abandon Europe and return to his family responsibilities in San Francisco. But when Phillippe's family cuts off their funding of Tom's extravagant lifestyle during his covert mission, he discovers another way to maintain his newfound standard of living.

 

Reviews :

 

“as beautiful on the surface and strange and sinister below deck as Ripley himself.”  Dave Calhoun, TimeOut


“Delon is a terrifically good in the role: his almost unearthly perfection is creepy itself, as if he is imitating a human being.”  Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

 

River (2021)

Directed by Jennifer Peedom

With : Willem Dafoe 

Producers : Jennifer Peedom, Jo-anne McGowan,

John Smithson

Country : Australia

Running Time : 76 Minutes

Rating : Exempt

 

Synopsis : Throughout history, rivers have shaped our landscapes and our journeys; flowed through our cultures and dreams. River takes its audience on a journey through space and time; spanning six continents, and drawing on extraordinary contemporary cinematography, including satellite filming, the film shows rivers on scales and from perspectives never seen before. Its union of image, music and sparse, poetic script create a film that is both dream-like and powerful, honoring the wildness of rivers but also recognizing their vulnerability.

 

Reviews :

 

 “An endless, free-flowing slide-show of eye-popping, awe-inspiring scenery is occasionally interrupted by the narration of God’s gift to voiceovers, Willem Dafoe, and at one point, a meaningful musical moment from Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead.” Mathew Crawley, Flicks


“a spectacular display of, and tribute to, the rushing waters that feed the planet.” Todd McCarthy, Deadline

 

Stray (2020)

Directed by Elizabeth Lo

Producers : Elizabeth Lo

Country : USA

Running Time : 73 Minutes

Rating : M (Offensive Language)

 

Synopsis : Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security, following three strays as they embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society. Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds companions in the security guards who care for her. The strays' disparate lives intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians with whom they share the streets. Director Elizabeth Lo's award-winning film is a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing.


 

Reviews :

 

“the film is something of a marvel.” Robert Hanks, Sight and Sound

 

“Zeytin steadily lends the film a piece of her incorruptible purity that at once enchants and strengthens spirits.” Tomris Laffly, Variety


“the imagery takes on the poetic, even haunting quality of a world defined by abandonment.” Eric Kohn, IndieWire

 

Sun Children (2020)

Directed by Majid Majidi

Cast : Ali Nasirian, Javad Ezzati,

Tannaz Tabatabaie

Producers : Majid Majidi, Amir Banan

Country : Iran

Running Time : 99 Minutes 

Rating : PG (Violence, Coarse Language

& Drug References) 

 

Synopsis : Sun Children is the story of 12-year-old ALI and his three friends. Together they work hard to survive and support their families, doing small jobs in a garage and committing petty crimes to make fast money. In a turn of events that seems miraculous, Ali is entrusted to find a hidden treasure underground. He recruits his gang, but first, to gain access to the tunnel, the children must enroll at the Sun School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child laborers, close to where the treasure is located.


 

Reviews :

 

“ a tidal wave of compassion and empathy that crests into rage” Roxana Hadadi, AV Club

 

“Energetic and heartfelt, tipping towards tragedy, Sun Children crawls through the mud and emerges all the stronger.” Xan Brooks, The Guardian

 

“Khorshid (or Sun Children) is quite the thrill ride, mixing a Dickensian, social-realist account of children in poverty in Tehran with a kinetic, far-fetched heist movie and a well-meaning drama about a kindly teacher”  Nicholas Barber, IndieWire

 

Ted K (2021)

Directed by Tony Stone

Cast : Sharlto Copley, Drew Powell,

Amber Rose Mason

Producers : Matt Flanders, Tony Stone,

Sharlto Copley

Country : USA

Running Time : 120 Minutes

Rating : M (Violence, Offensive Language,

Nudity & Suicide References)

 

Synopsis : Ted K follows a period in the life of one of the United States’ most complex and eccentric killers, Ted Kaczynski, known by the world as the Unabomber.

 

Reviews :

“Tony Stone’s Ted K is an eerily plausible and unsettlingly mesmeric realisation of the inner world of Ted Kaczynski: that is, the private life of the “Unabomber”, America’s most notorious domestic terrorist who, working largely from his primitive cabin in the Montana wilderness, killed three people and injured 22 more in a mail-bombing campaign lasting from 1978 to 1995... The South African actor Sharlto Copley plays Ted: a fierce, gaunt, angry man, whose sharp and rather distinguished features are mostly blurred by a straggly beard. He is a former brilliant mathematician and college professor who turned away from academia in favour of a radical hermit existence...

Copley and Stone show how Kaczynski is driven by hate and revenge. He spends some of his time in creepy serial-killer home-invader mode, breaking into the luxury cabin of vacationers who wreck the environment with their noisy snowmobiles, on a mission to destroy these devilish means of transport with his axe. But Kaczynski has no desire for face-to-face violence. He just has a monkish vocation for building bombs (as a scientist, he would have had the brainpower for the job, and if he used that notorious instruction manual, The Anarchist’s Cookbook, it isn’t mentioned here.) The movie spends long stretches of time alongside Kaczynski [as] he roams the forests of his mind, or haunts the desolate roadways and back-alleys, smugly awaiting a detonation... It is a riveting, dreamlike evocation of this man’s tortured, unhappy life, whose transient successes bring him no pleasure of any kind.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

 

“a haunting vision of vengeful obsession” David Rooney The Hollywood Reporter


“Ted K reveals itself in sound, mood and texture, akin to the most prickly minimalism of Gus van Sant or Antonio Campos.” Guy Lodge, Variety

 

The Eyes Of Tammy Faye (2021)

Directed by Michael Showalter

Cast :  Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield,

Cherry Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio

Producers : Jessica Chastain, Kelly Carmichael,

Rachel Shane, Gigi Pritzker

Country : USA

Running Time : 126 Minutes 

Rating : M (Drug Use & Sex Scenes)

 

Synopsis : an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world's largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn't long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.

 

Reviews :

 

“a mesmerizing diva-victim who keeps evolving”  Owen Gleiberman, Variety


“Is Chastain great? Yes, and thank God for that.” Kate Erbland, IndieWire