Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival 2022: eight must-see films

New Zealand’s annual world film festival is back.

While the ongoing pandemic has greatly affected the Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival over the past two years, the 2022 edition will take place in 14 cities and towns across the country over the next five weeks.

A little smaller than before the Covid, this year’s program still includes a selection of the best titles that have been selected at renowned festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and Sundance. As usual, the lineup offers something for everyone, from devastating dramas to offbeat comedies and documentaries on a wide range of topics.

Stuff to Watch has had the opportunity to view a number of titles and come up with this list of eight great widely released movies that we think are worth watching.

The Good Boss and Fire of Love are among the big films screening nationally as part of this year's New Zealand <a class=International Film Festival.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

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The Good Boss and Fire of Love are among the big films screening nationally as part of this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival.

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Adeel Akhtar and Claire Rushbrook are Ali and Ava.

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Adeel Akhtar and Claire Rushbrook are Ali and Ava.

Ali and Ava (M)

Rightly nominated for two Baftas and a double winner at the British Independent Film Awards, Clio Barnard’s heartfelt romantic drama is set in Bradford about a budding relationship between an Irish-British teacher’s assistant and her five-year-old grandmother. occasions and an English-Pakistani owner still coming to terms with the breakdown of his marriage, will remind you of the best works of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.

Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar are both gorgeous, together and apart, bringing a genuine sense of estranged heartache and a combined chemistry that’s both captivating and invigorating, while still rooted in sometimes depressing reality.

The subversiveness of Vicky Krieps as Empress Elizabeth of Austria in Corsage is reminiscent of Elle Fanning as Catherine in the television series The Great.

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The subversiveness of Vicky Krieps as Empress Elizabeth of Austria in Corsage is reminiscent of Elle Fanning as Catherine in the television series The Great.

Bodice (M)

Phantom Thread star Vicky Krieps plays Empress Elisabeth of Austria in this lavish, sensory drama from Austria’s late 19th century period.

Already the subject of intense public scrutiny – especially over her weight – Elizabeth’s 40th birthday is the catalyst for rebellion, as she tries to step back from public life and focus on her desires. This puts her offside, not only with the emperor, but also with other members of the royal house and court.

Its subversive character echoes Marie-Antoinette by Sofia Coppola and Catherine in The Great by Elle Fanning.

You will never be able to look at volcanoes the same way again after seeing Fire of Love.

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You will never be able to look at volcanoes the same way again after seeing Fire of Love.

Love Fire (E)

This year’s answer to Bafta nominee Becoming Costeau (the subjects even have a fondness for the same red caps), Sara Dosa’s rather stunning documentary has enlightened the modern world on the work of French volcanologists Maurice and Katia Kraft.

Through breathtaking and highly entertaining archival footage – both men were filmmakers as much as scientists – you will witness their sometimes dangerous passion for lava lakes, lahars – and one for the ‘other.

Miranda July provides haunting, underused storytelling, but it’s the geologist and chemist couple’s visceral adventures that stay with you long after the credits roll.

Laure Calamy delivers an award-winning full-time trick.

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Laure Calamy delivers an award-winning full-time trick.

Full time (M)

While its examination of the struggle to make ends meet in contemporary France covers similar ground to Juliette Binoche’s recent Between Two Worlds, writer-director Eric Gravel’s tale offers a much more immersive and emotional watch.

That’s thanks in large part to an incredible performance by Laure Calamy (who deservedly won an interpretation award from the Venice Film Festival last year) as Julie Roy, whose life increasingly more complicated is an endless juggling between work and home. Made even more strained by the effect of the transport strikes, she is desperate to return to market research, instead of working shifts in a luxury hotel, but trying to undertake the job interview process by secretly, she quickly exhausts the goodwill of her current co-workers.

Exhausting, heartbreaking and truly captivating viewing.

Javier Bardem is The Good Boss - or is he?

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Javier Bardem is The Good Boss – or is he?

The Good Boss (M)

Javier Bardem is at his charismatic and calculating best in this dark Spanish workplace comedy about a family business of scales having a hell of a week.

In line to win a prestigious civic award, the plant is plagued by mistakes caused by a senior member of staff distracted by marital strife, a recently fired employee waging a one-on-one war against Bardem CEO Julio Blanco, and the boss himself found out the intern he had fun with is actually someone he first met a long time ago.

Perfectly paced and pitched, writer-director Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s tale is an entertaining and engrossing watch – from start to finish.

Hallelujah examines both the life and times of Leonard Cohen and the ongoing cultural impact of a song he originally recorded in June 1984.

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Hallelujah examines both the life and times of Leonard Cohen and the ongoing cultural impact of a song he originally recorded in June 1984.

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a journey, a song (E)

More than a decade and a half after bringing festival audiences around the world one of the best dance documentaries of the 2000s (Ballet Russes), directors Dayna Goldfine and Daniel Geller are back with this look at the soup nuts the life and times of the Canadian troubadour.

While it doesn’t exactly cover unique ground, what sets it apart isn’t just its emphasis on the “minor downfalls and major upswings” of its career, but rather the ongoing cultural impact and interpretations in ever-changing song (both spiritually and sexually charged). , whereby seemingly vast lyrical options are used) he originally recorded in June 1984.

Alexei Navalny is not a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Alexei Navalny is not a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny (E)

The Vladimir Putin movie probably doesn’t want you to see it.

Canadian documentary filmmaker Daniel Roher delves into the world of aspiring Russian leader Alexei Navalny, a charismatic lawyer whose very public opposition from current Kremlin residents was cut short by a near-fatal poisoning in August 2020.

Evacuated to Germany, much of this sometimes stunning story focuses on his recovery in the Black Forest and trying to unravel what he, his family and his followers believed to be an assassination attempt, a search that culminates in one of the most amazing phone calls ever filmed. .

World War II chronicler Anne Frank and her imaginary friend Kitty come to life in Where's Anne Frank?

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World War II chronicler Anne Frank and her imaginary friend Kitty come to life in Where’s Anne Frank?

Where is Anne Frank? (PG)

Bridgerton’s Ruby Stokes voices the World War II chronicler’s imaginary best friend, Kitty, in this poignant and beautifully told animated feature.

As with his Oscar- and Bafta-nominated Waltz with Bashir, writer-director Ari Folman seamlessly combines historical fact with sometimes whimsical, sometimes heartbreaking imagery, as Kitty is first “animated” by love at first sight. , then his memories wake up while reading. famous diary of its creator Anne Frank.

Dedicated to her parents, who arrived at the gates of Auschwitz the same week as the Frank family, Folman makes Anne’s nearly 80-year-old story of urgent relevance, offering modern allegories and lessons for an audience of all ages.

Kicking off in Auckland on Thursday (July 28-August 7), this year’s edition of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival will also travel to Wellington (August 4-14), Christchurch (August 5-14), Dunedin (August 11-21), New Plymouth (August 11-21), Masterton (August 17-31), Matakana (August 18-28), Hamilton (August 18-31), Tauranga (August 18-28), Hawke’s Bay (August 18-28), Palmerston North (August 18-28), Nelson (August 18-28) , Timaru (August 18-28) and Gore (August 18-25).

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