SPOOKERS

2017; directed by Florian Habicht; 90 mins

With Pecking Order and McLaren, 2017 has shaped up to be a bloody fine vintage for Kiwi docos and this wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, heart-warming, homegrown shock-doc caps it all off and could very well be my film of the year! Continue reading

Advertisements

NZIFF ’17/06: RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD

2017; directed by Catherine Bainbridge; co-directed by Alfonso Maiorana; 99 mins

The rock doc: One of the 20th century’s greatest inventions! More than any musical or even gig do I love Glastonbury, Woodstock, Punk: Attitude, The Future is Unwritten, Gimme Shelter and so many others. A great rock doc can take music you don’t even like and have you wanting more and realising the artistic integrity of musos who you previously thought were crap. Not only that, it can open you up to a whole vast tract of music that you were completely unaware of and this one kinda does a little bit of both: Continue reading

NZIFF ’17/02: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

2016; directed by Raoul Peck; written by James Baldwin; 93 mins

The very act of my writing this review is a betrayal of everything this documentary has sent me away with. The world does not need another white voice yet here I am, filling up 750 words of space that should rather be given to someone from a culture that has none. Make no mistake: if you are a white person going to see this documentary, this has a lot to say to you. Continue reading

NZIFF ’17/01: FACES PLACES

2017; directed by JR and Agnès Varda; 89 mins

Back again! Let’s start the fest with a documentary and one by a woman who is amongst the most important figures in film history! French Cinema’s pint-sized titan, Agnès Varda, teams with photographer and mural artist, JR,to create one of the most gently, endearingly oddball road movies I’ve ever seen. Teaming up through a mutual admiration of each others’ work, they tour the villages of France to photograph and celebrate the people they meet by pasting huge photo murals in the heart of their respective environments. Continue reading

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION

2015; written and directed by Stanley Nelson; 115 mins

Black Power was like so many half-heard-about groups when I was a kid. Always represented as an anomalous, uncouth, violent, disruptive group to be lumped in with the IRA, unions and other peoples’ kids in supermarkets. When and how my opinions were opened up on the Panthers, I’m not sure but certainly Göran Hugo Olsson‘s hugely underrated found footage documentary, Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 was a major catalyst. There is a rich and vibrant cinematic history on the subject of the Civil Rights movement, going way back to Agnès Varda‘s short doco, Black Panthers, from 1968 (beautiful footage from which which is used a lot and very well here). Here is a really solidly put together addition to the canon, succeeding at being an overall history of the equally fiery rise and fall of this truly revolutionary group. Continue reading

MAN OF IRON

1981; directed by Andrzej Wajda; written by Aleksander Scibor-Rylski; 147 mins

With the passing, late last year, of director Andrzej Wajda, and with Cannes 2017 well underway, I thought it time to check out Palme d’Or winner Man of Iron – interestingly, the only sequel ever to win the prize. Previously, I had only seen Wajda’s 1958 masterpiece, Ashes and Diamonds and beyond that, my knowledge of Polish cinema is pretty poor, so let’s delve in… Continue reading