New DVDs for November

New DVDs for November include the latest entry in the action packed ‘John Wick’ series; moody Crime with the return of ‘True Detective’; a brilliant re-imagining of the classic novel ‘The haunting of Hill House’; uplifting music drama with ‘Wild Rose’; and a biopic on the formative years of the renowned creator of Middle Earth.

John Wick. 3, Parabellum
“Super assassin John Wick has a fourteen million dollar price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild. Now excommunicado, and with an army of the world’s most ruthless hit men and women on his trail, John must find a way to survive in this third chapter of the adrenaline-fuelled action series.” (Catalogue)

MIB. International
“The team has always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe, but in this new adventure, they tackle their biggest, most global threat to date: a mole in the organization.” (Catalogue)

Spider-Man. Far from home
“Still in mourning for his mentor, Peter Parker decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation as a way to reset. However, when Nick Fury hunts him down for help defeating Elemental creatures from the future, he has to keep the appearance of being a regular student while fighting alongside a new superhero from the future: Mysterio.” (Catalogue)

Tolkien
“Explores the formative years of the renowned author’s life as he finds friendship, courage, and inspiration among a fellow group of writers and artists at school. Their brotherhood strengthens as they grow up and weather love and loss together, including the author’s tumultuous courtship of his beloved Edith Bratt, until the outbreak of the First World War which threatens to tear their fellowship apart. All of these experiences would later inspire him to write his famous Middle-earth novels.” (Catalogue)

True detective. The complete third season
“In the heart of the Ozarks, the mystery surrounding a chilling crime deepens over three decades. Wayne Hays, a retired detective, who’s been tormented for 35 years by a case involving the 1980 disappearance of two children in West Finger, Arkansas. As the ageing Hays ruminates on the investigation with the producer of a true-crime documentary, details are revealed about the case and Hay’s haunted past.” (Catalogue)

Aladdin
“A street rat frees a genie from a lamp, granting all of his wishes and transforming himself into a charming prince to marry a beautiful princess. But soon, an evil sorcerer becomes fixated on securing the lamp for his own sinister purposes.” (Catalogue)

Kings. The complete series.
“A modern day, alternate-reality drama about a hero who rises to become the King of his nation, based on the biblical story of King David. King Silas Benjamin rules the kingdom of Gilboa with steely determination unmatched by any rival. During a tense battle with the neighbouring nation of Gath, David Shepherd, an idealistic young soldier from the countryside, heroically crosses over dangerous enemy lines and rescues a coveted prisoner of war, the son of the king.” Catalogue)

Wild Rose
“Rose-Lynn Harlan is bursting with raw talent, charisma, and cheek. Fresh out of jail and with two young kids, all she wants is to get out of Glasgow and make it as a country singer in Nashville. Her mum Marion has had a bellyful of Rose-Lynn’s Nashville nonsense. Forced to take responsibility, Rose-Lynn gets a cleaning job, only to find an unlikely champion in the middle-class lady of the house.” (Catalogue)

The haunting of Hill House.
“Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.” (Catalogue)

Vera. Series eight.
“Vera and her team are drawn into four more compelling mysteries, including the body of a police officer discovered in an abattoir incinerator, a mysterious car crash, a suburban back-garden murder and the suspicious death of a teenage boy. Set around Newcastle and the stunning Northumberland countryside, Vera features complex and intriguing cases, atmospherically-shot landscapes and captivating performances, led by BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn as the unorthodox but brilliant DCI Vera Stanhope.” (Catalogue)

Introducing the Kanopy Film Festival!

Welcome to Wellington City Libraries’ Kanopy Film Festival! If you haven’t come across it yet, Kanopy is our recently-launched film streaming platform, with a fantastic range of free-to-borrow films to suit every taste and member of the family–it even has its own kids section! To get started with Kanopy, check out our handy guide, or click here to jump straight in!

To celebrate Kanopy’s launch, and highlight its range and diversity, we’re running our first ever free film festival in libraries throughout Wellington! We’ve handpicked the movies, including modern Kiwi classics such as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, vintage Hollywood golden oldies like Charade and family favourites and award-winning animations such as A Cat in Paris. Full details of the screenings are below, and in the weeks leading up to the festival we’ll be running featurettes on individual titles. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Full Programme:


Kilbirnie: Thursday, 14 November

This Beautiful Fantastic (92 Minutes) Comedy
Time: 6pm-7.30pm
A young woman who dreams of being a children’s author makes an unlikely friendship with a cantankerous, rich old widower.


Newtown: Friday, 15 November

Jasper Jones (103 minutes) Family
Time: 6pm-7.45pm
Jasper Jones is a coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14.


Tawa: Thursday, 21 November

A Cat in Paris (62 Minutes) Family
Time: 5.30pm-6.30pm
A family-oriented animated movie about a cat who lives a secret life as a cat burglar’s aide.


Johnsonville: Friday, 22 November

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (102 Minutes) NZ
Time: 5.30pm-7.30pm
In this unmissable modern Kiwi classic a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.


Karori: Thursday, 28 November

Paper Planes (93 Minutes) Family
Time: 6pm-7.30pm
An imaginative children’s film about a young Australian boy’s passion for flight and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.


Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Friday, 29 November

Tracks (112 minutes) Biographical
Time: 10.30am–12.30pm
The tale of a young woman’s treks across the deserts of West Australia with four camels.


Wadestown: Thursday, 5 December

Charade (1h 53min) Classic
Time: 5.45pm-7.45pm
Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau star in this classic Hollywood romantic spy thriller.

From blockbusters to local documentaries: new DVDs

Check out some of these new arrival DVDs, from our favourite film festival documentaries (Yellow is forbidden and Celia) to blockbuster movies such as Rocketman and Avengers: Endgame. New series of some of the beloved TV shows (Outlander, Shetland etc.) have also arrived.

Yellow is forbidden : a film about Guo Pei
“Recognition from Paris’s Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture is considered the apex of the fashion industry, and Chinese designer Guo Pei is determined to reach it. A brave designer chases the dream – to be crowned haute couture. But she comes from China, the land of knock offs and production lines. Will her Cinderella story end at the Met Ball?” (Catalogue)

Celia
“Celia Lashlie was a fearless, impassioned and charismatic advocate for the at-risk and vulnerable. In this documentary, she lays it all out in an honest and heartfelt way that inspires us all to make a difference in our own lives and to the communities that surround us. The film’s director and producer, former TV current affairs journalist Amanda Millar followed Lashlie’s career over 15 years and captured the crusader as she confronted bureaucracy and challenged the establishment. When Lashlie received a terminal cancer diagnosis in late 2014, she invited Millar to film the final year of her life so that her uncompleted work could continue after her death. The end came much sooner than expected. Celia Lashlie’s final interview, filmed just two days before she died, provides the heart of this inspiring portrait.” (Catalogue)

Avengers. Endgame
“The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured their ranks compels the remaining to take one final stand in the grand conclusion to twenty-two films.” (Catalogue)

Godzilla. II, King of the monsters
“The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.” (Catalogue)

Top end wedding.
“Successful Sydney lawyer Lauren and her fiance Ned are engaged and in love, they have just ten days to pull off their dream Top End Wedding. First through, they need to track down Lauren’s mother, who has gone AWOL somewhere in the Northern Territory.” (Catalogue)

Once upon a time in London
“For the first time ever, the violent reign of two of London’s most notorious gangsters, Jack Spot’ Comer and Billy Hill, is grippingly brought to life in ONCE UPON A TIME IN LONDON – charting the epic rise and legendary fall of a criminal empire that lasted for three decades and paved the way for the notorious Kray twins to exert their dominance over the London’s gangland realm.” (Catalogue)

The kindergarten teacher
“Stuck in an unsatisfying marriage and with teenage children who ignore her, 40-year-old Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal) treads water by teaching kindergarten with quiet dispassion. One day everything changes when Lisa discovers that Jimmy, a five-year-old boy in her class, may be a gifted poet and sees him as a ticket out of her mundane life. When Lisa presents some of Jimmy’s work at her poetry class as her own work, and receives praise from her teacher (Gael Garcia Bernal), her desire to mentor the child genius grows. As fascination turns into obsession, Lisa spirals downward on a dangerous and desperate path to channel her unfulfilled creative dreams into the protegee.” (Catalogue)

Brown boys
“”Brown Boys is a comedic coming of age film about six Samoan men in South Auckland. Their world is changing and they must move past the stage of going out, drinking and womanising.This is a story of brotherhood, growing up and love. The Brown Boys spend their weekends drinking, partying and chasing girls. Peter the Player, Kiligi the Bad Influence, Magele the Tough Guy, Luka the Drunken Master, Siaki the Weird Guy and Mickey the Baby – they are family by blood and by choice.When one of the boys expresses a desire to settle down, it causes reactions among the group that could rupture their bonds of friendship and family forever”–https://www.mightyape.com.au.” (Catalogue)

Gloria Bell
“Gloria is a free-spirited divorcee who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around Los Angeles. After meeting Arnold on a night out, she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance, filled with both the joys of budding love and the complications of dating, identity, and family.” (Catalogue)

Outlander. Season four.
“Season Four continues the story of Claire and Jamie Fraser as they try to make a home for themselves in colonial America. The Frasers in North Carolina are at another turning point in history, the edge of the American Revolution. Along the way, the Frasers cross paths with notorious pirate Stephen Bonnet in a fateful meeting that will haunt the family. Meanwhile, Brianna and Roger grow closer in the twentieth century but make a shocking discovery that has them following in Claire’s footsteps.” (Catalogue)

Lost in space. The complete first season.
“Set thirty years in the future, this epic reimagining of the original family space adventure finds the Robinsons torn off course en route to what they hoped would be a fresh start on a distant space colony. Against all odds, but with endless hope and extensive training, the family bands together to survive on a dangerous alien planet.” (Catalogue)

The hummingbird project.
“Cousins from New York, Vincent and Anton, are players in the high-stakes game of High-Frequency Trading, where winning is measured in milliseconds. Their dream? To build a straight fiber-optic cable line between Kansas and New Jersey, making them millions. But nothing is straightforward for this flawed pair. Anton is the brains, Vincent is the hustler, and together they push each other and everyone around them to the breaking point with their quixotic adventure.” (Catalogue)

Westwood : Punk. Icon. Activist.
“With exclusive, unprecedented access, this is the first film to encompass the remarkable story of Vivienne’s life, her fashion, her personality, her activism and her cultural importance. Since igniting the punk movement with ex-partner and Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren, Dame Vivienne Westwood has been redefining British fashion for over 40 years, and is responsible for creating many of the most distinctive looks of our time.” (Catalogue)

American gods. Season 2.
“This is the story of the traditional gods of mythological roots, steadily losing believers to an up start pantheon of gods that reflect modern society’s obsession with money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs.” (Catalogue)

Rocketman
“Discover how a shy, small-town boy becomes one of the most iconic figures in rock and roll-the international superstar Elton John. As he blazes a trail to the top, Elton creates a larger-than-life persona, while battling his own personal demons and the challenges the world throws at him.” (Catalogue)

Shetland. Series 4.
“Follows DI Jimmy Perez and his DS, “Tosh” MacIntosh, as they investigate how the cold case of a teenager’s murder is linked to their current investigation of a journalist’s murder.” (Catalogue)

Wire in the blood. Season one.
“Robson Green and Hermione Norris (‘Cold Feet’) star in this 3 part television drama adapted from 2 best selling novels by Val McDermid. In ‘The Mermaids Singing’, considered quirky and eccentric, Tony Hill (Green) is asked by Carol Jordan (Norris) to help her track down the serial killer of young men in and around Bradford. In ‘Shadows Rising’ another multiple killer is stalking teenage girls. Whilst in ‘Justice Painted Blind’ an 11-year-old girl is abducted and a young woman is strangled. Hill and Jordan investigate all of these crimes.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

New Books on Films/TV Shows

Check out some of these newly catalogued books on Film and TV Shows. They include the amazing looking movie companion book to Elton John’s biopic Rocketman and Game of thrones : the storyboards which definitely impresses all fans of this groundbreaking series.

Rocketman : inside the world of the movie
Rocketman: The Official Movie Companion contains a wealth of amazing photographs from throughout the development and shooting of the movie as well as quotes and interviews from the cast and crew. The book will provide a fascinating insight into how the film was made, including locations, choreography, costumes and – of course – the music. In May 2019, audiences are invited to discover the fantastical story of Sir Elton John’s life, from his yers as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, to global superstar, through his influential and enduring partnership with his songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin.” (Catalogue)

Becoming Superman : my journey from poverty to Hollywood with stops along the way at murder, madness, mayhem, movie stars, cults, slums, sociopaths, and war crimes / Straczynski, J. Michael. (eBook)
“In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, and Marvel’s Thor reveals how the powers of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth in a dysfunctional family haunted by a terrible secret to become one of the most successful writers in Hollywood. For four decades, J. Michael Straczynski has told hundreds of stories and forged multiple careers in movies, television, and comics. Yet there’s one story he’s never told before: his own.” (Catalogue)

Game of thrones : the storyboards / Simpson, Will
“Go behind the scenes of HBO’s global television phenomenon with Game of Thrones: The Storyboards – an official collection featuring striking storyboard art. In this deluxe art collection, Game of Thrones storyboard artist William Simpson shares the brilliant and painstaking work that is an integral part of assembling each episode of the award-winning series. This unique collection is housed in a finely crafted, deluxe slipcase and is a must-have for all fans of this breathtaking show.” (Catalogue)

I like to watch : arguing my way through the TV revolution / Nussbaum, Emily
(eBook)(eAudiobook)
“A collection of new and previously published essays from The New Yorker‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic.” (Catalogue)

The nice and accurate Good omens TV companion / Whyman, Matt
“The ultimate TV companion book to Good Omens, a massive new television launch on Amazon Prime Video and the BBC for 2019, written and show-run by Neil Gaiman and adapted from the internationally beloved novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Based on the cult classic novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens is one of the most hotly anticipated TV shows of 2019.” (Catalogue)

The art of Solo, a Star Wars story / Szostak, Phil
“Examines the development of the fantastic worlds, characters, and creatures of “Solo” through concept art, costume sketches, storyboards, blueprints, and exclusive interviews with the filmmakers.” (Catalogue)

Best.movie.year.ever. : how 1999 blew up the big screen / Raftery, Brian. (eBook)
“From a veteran culture writer and modern movie expert, a celebration and analysis of the movies of 1999–“a terrifically fun snapshot of American film culture on the brink of the Millennium….An absolute must for any movie-lover or pop-culture nut” (Gillian Flynn). In 1999, Hollywood as we know it exploded: Fight Club. The Matrix. Office Space. Election. The Sixth Sense. Being John Malkovich. American Beauty. The Virgin Suicides. Boys Don’t Cry. The Best Man. Three Kings. Magnolia. Those are just some of the landmark titles released in a dizzying movie year. It’s “the complete portrait of what it was like to spend a year inside a movie theater at the best possible moment in time” (Chuck Klosterman).” (Catalogue)

New DVDs for August

New DVDs for August include comedy, foreign drama and mystery, some great female fronted television, and the re-imagining of a classic family story.

Call the midwife. Series eight | Christmas special
“It is now 1964 and it’s evident how the times are changing: from the beacon of the contraceptive pill and the shadow of the 1967 Abortion Act, to the introduction of a new cancer-screening programme. The nuns and nurses continue to face a variety of challenging issues including interracial adoption, cleft palate, sickle cell and cot death. And for one of the team, romance could be on the horizon.” (Catalogue)

Stan & Ollie
“One of the world’s great comedy teams set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As the charm and beauty of their performances shine through, they re-connect with their adoring fans. The tour becomes a hit, but Stan and Ollie can’t quite shake the specter of Laurel and Hardy’s past.” (Catalogue)

Swimming with men
“Faced with a full-blow mid-life crisis, accountant Eric joins an all-male group of synchronised swimmers, discovering that making patterns in a pool can, for a couple of hours at least, smooth out the bumps in his work and marriage. Initially keeping their personal lives in the locker, the ramshackle squad and coach Susan slowly learn to reveal their inner lives, as well as their paunches. But can they get their lives and routines in sync as they embark on an unlikely journey to Milan to compete in the World Championship?” (Catalogue)

Thunder road
“It tells the story of flawed police officer Jim Arnaud, who lives a shambolic life that’s somehow made even worse by his mother’s passing. His only stability comes in the shape of his daughter, Crystal, who he tries to father, amidst messy divorce proceedings with his estranged wife, Roz, as best as he can.” (Catalogue)

The Bletchley circle: San Francisco. Complete series.
“A pair of British female codebreakers formerly at Bletchley Park help American cryptographers solve murders overlooked by the police in San Francisco.” (Catalogue)

Good girls. Season one.
“When three suburban moms get tired of trying to make ends meet, they decide it’s time to stick up for themselves by robbing the local grocery store. But when the manager catches a glimpse of one of them and the loot is far more than they expected, it doesn’t take long for the three best friends to realise the perfect getaway will be harder than they think.” (Catalogue)


Capernaüm
“After fleeing his negligent and abusive parents, a hardened, streetwise twelve-year-old boy sues them to protest the life they’ve given him.” (Catalogue)

Inspector Montalbano. Volume 10.
“The two newest films mark a high point in the journey of Salvo Montalbano. The tales by Andrea Camilleri quite seamlessly blend issues critical to Sicily in 2019 with issues critical during WW2. As Inspector Montalbano and his team face a challenge in tracing historical crimes as well as baffling contemporary ones. Bravo maestro!!” (Catalogue)

If Beale Street could talk
“A timeless love story set in early 1970s Harlem involving newly engaged nineteen-year-old Tish and her fiance Fonny who have a beautiful future ahead. But their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Now the pair and their families must fight for justice in the name of love and the promise of the American dream.” (Catalogue)

Dumbo
“Circus owner Max Medici enlists former star Holt Farrier and his children to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere, who recruits the Dumbo for his newest entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.” (Catalogue)

Staff Pick DVDs: July Part Two

With the closure of the Cemtral Library our AV loving staff haven’t been sitting idly by. Our first pop up at Arapaki has been open a couple of months and we have been digging into the DVD collection there, watching some old favourites and checking out some new releases. There is a bit of everything here, from modern classics to new docos and TV shows, as well as some brand new titles hot off the processing trolley. Our staff have been watching so much that we’ve had to split it into two lists, part one is here!


Shoplifters
One of the most consistent filmmakers of today, Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda has never made a bad film but his latest work is an exceptional work even by his standard. He questions what family really means by gracefully portraying vulnerable people who live in a shabby house in the edge of society. The narrative is gentle and atmospheric but it’s, in fact, almost Ken Loach-like social realism drama. (Shinji)

Kusama : infinity : the life and art of Yayoi Kusama.
The history, evolution and development of Kusama’s core themes, concepts and the ideas behind her work are well covered. While her conservative upbringing and her life story are covered in this documentary, for me this is one of the film’s weaker elements. By end of this well made and highly informative movie we know a lot about Yayoi Kusama’s art and practice and her position in the modern art world but perhaps a little less about the artist herself. (Neil J)

Ngati
Director Barry Barclay theorised a “fourth cinema” that would be made by indigenous film-makers, from an indigenous perspective with the primary intended audience being indigenous peoples. He achieved his goals with the beautiful Ngāti, the story of a young Australian doctor exploring his Māori heritage. The first feature film to have a Māori writer and director is one of the masterpieces of New Zealand cinema. (Joseph)

Bohemian Rhapsody
This is the biographical story of the life of Freddie Mercury from his youth through to Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance (of which this movie contains the entire performance). As a matter of course, this has all the wonderful Queen music that we know and love. Giving a wonderful ‘behind the scenes’ look at how they came to write their songs, Raimi Malek is wonderful as Mercury. (Brigid)

Informer
Tense drama as Raza Shar, a young charismatic second generation Pakistani from East London, is coerced by a Counter-Terrorism officer’s DS Gabe Waters (Paddy Considine) and DC Holly Morten’s into going undercover as an informer. As the stakes get higher Raza’s life slowly spins out of control, while Considine’s new partner begins to probe his undercover past and drag up some secrets he’d prefer to stay buried. (Mark)

Annihilation.
The husband of an ex-soldier now biologist goes missing on a deep secret mission in the Shimmer (a mysterious part of the world where strange things happen). Lena’s husband suddenly returns sick and minus his memory, so she and her team must enter the Shimmer to find out what happened. A good story. and reminiscent of The Fog. (Brigid)

Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde isn’t just set in cold war Berlin. It’s set in the end of days of cold war Berlin. Which is different. Something is about to happen. I can’t remember if this movie actually features the song Atomic by Blondie. But it doesn’t matter because the whole situation oozes Blondie and Atomic and crumbling trust, following crumbs, spies, hair follicles and sun bleached Charlize Theron as the most powerful American spy. (Tim)

Instant family
A great comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, and Rose Byrne, a professional couple who suddenly realise they are missing something in their lives. Children. After a discussion and doing a course they are all set to become foster parents! When matched with a Spanish-speaking rebellious teenager, they find out she has siblings and Pete and Ellie suddenly go from 0 to 3 children overnight. (Brigid)

The little drummer girl.
Adaptation of the novel by John le Carré, set in the ’70s in which Charlie is recruited by charismatic agent Gadi, to play a part in operation to ensnare a serial bomber for Mossad spymaster Kurtz. A Palestinian terror cell has been responsible for the killing of a number of prominent Jews in western Europe, and the aim of the mission is to embed Charlie within the cell so she can draw out its elusive leader. (Mark)

You were never really here
Lynne Ramsay is a poet of the visual cinema with a distinctive vision – You Were Never Really Here is a real departure in some ways from her previous films. In places it feels like a modern day Taxi Driver and as such it is a powerful, brutal, visceral and violent watch not for the faint hearted. Yet Ramsay’s trademark visual style is still there, only this time it’s the harsh neon city or the sheen of light on blood. (Neil J)

American honey
Shot on warm, saturated film, the viewing experience is an absolute pleasure. The soundtrack rattles with dance pop, 21st century hip-hop and country. The narrative rises and falls, resembling life; full of risk, sorrow and joy. Sasha Lane proves her acting chops in the lead role and Shia LaBeouf delivers his best performance. Director Andrea Arnold has bottled the spirit of youth in these economically precarious times. (Joseph)

The old man & the gun
Based on the story of Forrest Tucker, who had a unique leisurely style of bank robbery and escaped from prison 16 times, director David Lowery turned it into a witty laid-back outlaw tale. The centre of the movie is, of course, Redford who plays Tucker, and it is obvious that he loves playing this character. The chemistry between Redford and legend Sissy Spacek, who plays his love interest, is simply wonderful, and lifts the whole thing to another level. A perfect swansong. (Shinji)

The Happytime Murders
Melissa McCarthy stars in this Brian Henson alternative production about a place where puppets and people live and work together. A detective (McCarthy) is teamed with her ex-partner, a puppet, to investigate a series of murders of puppets from the Happytime movie series. Don’t be fooled by the puppets as this movie is very definitely R rated – most definitely NOT Sesame Street. (Brigid)

Bad times at the El Royale
A group of mysterious strangers show up at a once posh but now slightly run down hotel in the late 1960’s, but it soon becomes apparent that not everything or everyone are who or what they seem. There is much to be enjoyed about ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ as it has a twisty, compelling plot, it is very stylishly filmed and sports a stellar cast. (Neil J)

Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen brothers are always a directing duo to watch, and this Oscar Isaac starring feature is one of their finest. Set in the early 60s folk music scene in Greenwich Village, the snow and solemn environments provide the backdrop to the road rambling of a failing folk musician. (Joseph)

Staff Pick DVDs: July Part One

With the closure of the Cemtral Library our AV loving staff haven’t been sitting idly by. Our first pop up at Arapaki has been open a couple of months and we have been digging into the DVD collection there, watching some old favourites and checking out some new releases. There is a bit of everything here, from modern classics to new docos and TV shows, as well as some brand new titles hot off the processing trolley. Our staff have been watching so much that we’ve had to split it into two lists!


Unforgotten. Series 3.
When human remains are found on the central reservation of a motorway near London, DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker), DI Suni Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and their team of detectives are assigned the case. A doctor, a television presenter, a failing salesman, and an artist are a close-knit group of old school friends who hold the key to what happened. (Mark)

First man
First Man is a film centred round the build up to the Apollo moon landings and in particular Neil Armstrong. It is a film that both aims to show simultaneously how we touched the stars through these missions and also be a close examination of Armstrong’s personal life. These two cleverly interwoven threads show that his domestic life and his historic role as first man on the moon are in fact part of the same thing. (Neil J)

Wildlife
“I feel like I need to wake up, but I don’t know what from or to”, a housewife named Jeanette, played by Carey Mulligan who is the anchor of the film, tells her son. The actor Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood) has turned director, and his debut feature ‘Wildlife’ is a quiet portrait of the painful process of an idyllic young family gradually falling apart. (Shinji)

Broken
This is based on an early Maori story from the 1800’s when a young girl was murdered by a marauding tribe. The girl always carried the gospel of Luke with her and the book was stolen by the murderer, who read it and was then filled with remorse. Our story starts in present day New Zealand with an ex-gang leader who has pulled out to raise his daughter after the death of his wife. (Brigid)

Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a marvellously sensitive portrait of teenage-hood, self-discovery, friendship and family. Saoirse Ronan performs excellently in the lead role of a disaffected high-schooler who dreams of going to college in New York. One of the greatest coming of age films to be made, whilst never falling into the traps and tropes of the genre. The dialogue is true; believable, relatable and piercing. (Joseph)

Counterpart. Season one.
Howard Silk is a low-level bureaucrat in a Berlin-based UN agency called the Office of Interchange, where he works exchanging coded call-and-response messages with another agent. However one day all this changes, as he is drafted into an urgent meeting… and finds himself face to face with his double. The ‘other’ Howard now needs this worlds Howard to help with a new mission. (Mark)

The breaker upperers
This is a funny New Zealand movie starring Madeleine Sami and Jackie Van Beek. It is set in Auckland and features many cameos of famous New Zealand actors. The two ladies in question discover they are being two timed by a man, but instead of getting bitter they become friends and set up a company which helps people break up with each other. Great for a laugh. (Brigid)

Vice
If there was ever a movie award for the most perfectly named film then Vice must be a strong candidate to take that prize. It is the story of the unassuming Vice president Dick Cheney and his terrifying and amoral pursuit of power, money and influence ably assisted by his wife Lynne Cheney (the Lady Macbeth of the piece). It is described as a comedy and if you like the darkest type of satire that holds but for many people it will watch as a shocking indictment of American politics. (Neil J)

Summer 1993
Watching the Catalan writer-director Carla Simon’s debut feature ‘Summer 1993’ is like watching the most exquisite home video; very personal yet universal. Based on Simon’s childhood experience, it follows 6-year-old Frida who is moved from Barcelona to Catalan countryside to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother’s death. Avoiding dramatization, it’s a sensitively crafted, beautiful filmic memoir. (Shinji)

Searching
After David Kim’s (John Cho) 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened. 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet…online. A thriller told exclusively via screen shots seems like a total bore, but this hyper-modern thriller utilises character dialogue recorded through webcams, apps, security camera footage, as well as key moments portrayed through YouTube clips to generate as much suspense as a traditional narrative. (Mark)

Finding your feet
Great movie with a superb cast including Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley. When Lady Sandra Abbot discovers that her husband has been having a long term affair with her best friend she leaves and renews her friendship with her sister (Celia Imrie). These two make an unlikely pair and with time, love and lots of laughs Lady Sandra starts to discover herself and life and love again. It is a funny movie but does have some sad and poignant moments in it. (Brigid)

Ryuichi Sakamoto : CODA
How do great artists face their own mortality? These huge questions rather than a career overview is what you get in this poignant documentary about the iconic Japanese musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto. This film is almost a meditation on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s current creativity, a powerful and moving piece delivered in a gentle and sad way. (Neil J)

Lean on Pete
This film is about a 15-year-old boy, Charlie, who lives in poverty and runs away with a racehorse he takes care of to save it from the slaughterhouse. Blending a human-animal special bond story with a road movie and a coming of age tale, the movie shows a harsh slice of America; a dysfunctional family, poverty, placelessness etc., and a lot of events – mostly unfortunate, tormenting ones – unfold. (Shinji)

Sorry to bother you
This is an unusual story set in an alternative reality version of Oakland, where a poor but ambitious salesman starts working as a telemarketer. Cassius Green finds he has a real gift for sales and has a meteoric rise in the company. However, Cassius discovers his workplace is not what he thinks it is when he accidentally enters the wrong door. A very unusual story. (Brigid)

Frances Ha
Greta Gerwig stars as the loveable and exasperating Frances as she rambles through New York, facing technical homelessness and creative frustration. A tale of optimism in the face of adversity. The black and white cinematography is virtuosic and deeply satisfying. (Joseph)

The guilty
Alarm dispatcher and sidelined police officer, Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) answers an emergency call from a woman, that he soon ascertains has been kidnapped. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman, but soon realises that there is more to the situation that first appears. (Mark)

Our most recent DVDs

New DVDs for July include dramatizations of the lives of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and war journalist Marie Colvin, as well as female-fronted Marvel action, a romance told through famous New Zealand songs, and a remake of Norwegian black comedy In order of disappearance.

A private war
“In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin is one of the most admired war correspondents of today. After being hit by a grenade, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Her mission to show the true cost of war leads her, along with war photographer Paul Conroy, to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives.” (Catalogue)

Pick of the litter : a dogumentary.
“Meet Patriot, Potomac, Primrose, Poppet, and Phil – five determined puppies who, from the moment they’re born, begin an incredible journey to become guide dogs for the blind. It’s a rigorous two-year process that will take them from the care of selfless foster volunteers to specialised trainers to, if they make the cut, a lifelong human companion.” (Mightyape.co.nz)

Captain Marvel
“Set in the 1990’s, the film revolves around Carol Danvers, a crack air force pilot. Her membership in the Kree military team puts her in danger when Earth becomes hopelessly stuck in battle between two other alien worlds, forcing Danvers to take on the role of Captain Marvel and use her new powers for the greater good.” (Catalogue)

Cold pursuit
“Nels Coxman is a family man whose quiet life with his wife is upended following the mysterious death of their son. Nels’s search for justice turns into a vengeful hunt for Viking, a drug lord he believes is connected to the death. As one by one Viking’s associates ‘disappear,’ Nels goes from upstanding citizen to ice-cold vigilante, letting nothing, and no one, get in his way. (Catalogue)

On the basis of sex
“Inspired by the powerful true story of a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, On the Basis of Sex depicts a then-struggling attorney and new mother facing adversity in her fight for equal rights. When Ruth takes on a ground-breaking case, she knows the outcome could alter the courts’ view of gender discrimination.” (Catalogue)

Marjorie Prime
“In the near future, a time of artificial intelligence: 86-year-old Marjorie–a jumble of disparate, fading memories–has a handsome new companion who looks like her deceased husband and is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember and what would we forget, if given the chance?” (Catalogue)

Daffodils.
“Leaving her dying father’s bedside, singer Maisie rushes to perform at an indie music gig in town. But as she sings the opening song, it’s hard for her to ignore the heartfelt story she’s just been told – the story of how her dad met and fell in love with her mother, and how it all devastatingly fell apart.” (Catalogue)

Five feet apart
“Life as a teenager is hard. Life gets even harder when you’re a teenager suffering from a life-threatening illness. Compound illness, adolescence, and the fact that you’re spending most of your time in the hospital; life can get very lonely. When two critically ill teens met at a hospital, only time will tell if they will become friends or even fall in love?” (Catalogue)

Wajib : the wedding invitation
“This movie explores the lives of Palestinians living in Israel and stars real-life father and son Mohammad and Saleh Bakri. The title of Wajib translates as duty and it is duty that brings architect Shadi (Saleh Bakri) from Rome back to Nazareth, where his sister Amal (Maria Zriek) is to be married. Local tradition dictates that Shadi and his divorced dad, Abu Shadi (Mohammad Bakri), must drive around town delivering wedding invitations. Friction is in the air even before the duo clamber into Abu Shadi’s beloved and beaten-up old Volvo. Shadi thinks the exercise is outdated and meaningless. For his father, it’s about maintaining important community rituals.” (Catalogue)

First reformed
“From Golden Globe® Nominee Director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, Affliction), FIRST REFORMED is a brooding, thriller-drama centred around Ernst Toller (Academy Award® Nominee Ethan Hawke), a troubled priest of a small, historical church in upstate New York, who starts to spiral out of control after a soul-shaking encounter with Mary (Amanda Seyfried) and her husband Michael, an unstable environmental activist. Consumed by thoughts that the world is in danger and motivated by the church’s lack of action, Toller embarks on a perilous self-assigned undertaking with the hope that he may finally restore the faith and purpose he’s been longing for in his mission to right the wrongs done to so many” (Summary from Amazon.UK)

The Clovehitch killer
“A shocking revelation turns a teenage boy’s world upside down in this chilling look at the evil that can lurk below even the most wholesome surface. Tyler Burnside is a Boy Scout, a volunteer at his local church and the dutiful son of an upstanding community leader. Only one thing troubles the quiet town he lives in – the unsolved murder of ten women who were brutally tortured and killed by a psychopath known as Clovehitch. When Tyler discovers a cache of disturbing images in his father’s possession, he begins to suspect that the man he trusts most in the world might be Clovehitch, and that his deadly rampage may not be over. With unrelenting tension, director Duncan Skiles crafts a picture-perfect vision of the all-American family–and then piece by piece rips it to shreds.” (Catalogue)

The split.
“Hannah Defoe is a brilliant divorce lawyer. With her formidable mother Ruth and headstrong sister Nina she takes on cases for London’s wealthy and well-known. Following a bitter argument, Hannah leaves the family business to begin a new job at a rival firm, where she unexpectedly reconnects with the only other man she could have imagined her life with. And when Hannah’s estranged father returns after 30 years, the toxic feud between her parents is re-ignited. As the Defoe family is forced to confront their fractured past, Hannah begins to question her own marriage. As a lawyer, Hannah always gets what she wants for her clients but can she get what she wants for herself? A powerful series that explores family, love, loyalty and the messy business of divorce.” (Catalogue)

Transit
“In Christian Petzold’s brilliant and haunting modern-day adaptation of Anna Seghers’s 1942 novel, Georg, a German refugee, flees to Marseille assuming the identity of a recently deceased writer whose papers he is carrying. There he delves into the delicate and complex culture of the refugee community, becoming enmeshed in the lives of a young mother and son and falling for a mysterious woman named Marie.” (Catalogue)

Online movie streaming has arrived at Wellington City Libraries

Two streaming platforms — Kanopy and Beamafilm — are now available for you to watch a huge selection of indie and world movies, film festival favourites, award-winning documentaries, classic cinema and kids movies!

On our website, you can access both of these streaming platforms from our eLibrary homepage.

You’ll find some introductory information below, but if you’d like to compare the two services and find out more, we’ve created this handy comparison chart — see how both Kanopy and Beamafilm work and what features they offer. (Plus, both the Kanopy and Beamafilm websites have comprehensive help pages if you need more information.)

About Kanopy

Access Kanopy

What is Kanopy? What kind of movies does it have?

Kanopy is a streaming platform that focuses on thoughtful entertainment, including some of the world’s best cinema.  They offer over 30,000 movies, with new titles added every month.

It will also give you access to Kanopy Kids, for kids’ content, and The Great Courses collection for lectures from top scholars around the world.

Who can access it?

It’s available to Wellington City adult residents, ratepayers and workers — access it with your library membership. Not a member? Find about more about joining.

How many movies can I watch?

You’ll get 6 movie credits per month, which means you’ll be able to watch 6 movies for free, and those credits will reset at the beginning of each month.

(Every movie you start watching with Kanopy counts against your play credits, with the exception of Kanopy Kids content and The Great Courses collection.)

How do I use it?

To watch movies:

  • Visit either wcl.kanopy.com, or go through our eLibrary homepage and choose ‘Kanopy’
  • Create a Kanopy account — you’ll be prompted to select your library (Wellington City Libraries), and confirm your library card details (your PIN/password for your library card is your last name) – then away you go!

Films can be streamed from any internet connected device including computers, phones or tablets and on TV’s via Chromecast, AppleTV or HDMI.  There’s also an app for Android and IOS devices.

Beamafilm

Access Beamafilm

What is Beamafilm? What kind of films does it have?

Beamafilm is a streaming platform that has a curated collection of international movies and documentaries, with a strong Australasian focus.  They have over 500 movies to choose from and new titles are added regularly.

Who can access it?

It’s available to anyone who holds a Wellington City Libraries’ adult membership card (any adult membership card type). Just login using your library card details, then create a Beamafilm account to start watching movies.

Not a member? Find about more about joining

How many movies can I watch?

Unlimited! There are no monthly limits on how many films you can watch.

How do I access it?

Unlike Kanopy, with Beamafilm you’ll need to authenticate that you’re a Wellington City Libraries borrower every time you access the site:

  • Visit our eLibrary home page and click on Beamafilm, or visit wellingtoncitylibraries.beamafilm.com. Enter your library card details
  • Once you’ve authenticated, you’ll be able to either set up your Beamafilm account or log in to your existing Beamafilm account and start watching

Please note, using your Google or Facebook account to log in is currently not available as an option — we’re working on this.

Films can also be streamed from any internet connected device including computers, phones or tablets and on TV’s via Chromecast, AppleTV or HDMI.

From Award Winners to Popular Detectives: New Arrival DVDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued DVDs, including new detective series based on much-loved books such as Grantchester and Agatha Raisin. The award winning movies Green Book (Oscar for the Best Picture) and Shoplifters (The Cannes’ Palme d’Or) have also arrived. They are must-see!


Green book
“When Tony Lip, a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on The Green Book to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger, as well as unexpected humanity and humor, they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime. Inspired by a true friendship.” (Catalogue)

Colette.
“After marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as “Willy”, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel, about a brazen country girl named Claudine that becomes a bestseller and a cultural sensation.” (Catalogue)

The happy prince
“In a cheap Parisian hotel, Oscar Wilde lies on his death bed and recalls his past with wit and irony. Was he once the most famous man in London? He reviews the failed attempt to reconcile with his long suffering wife, the ensuing reprisal of his fatal love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas and the devotion of Robbie Ross, who tried and failed to save him from himself.” (Catalogue)

Shoplifters
“After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets.” (Catalogue)

The little drummer girl.
“This six-part miniseries, based on John le Carré’s best-selling novel of the same name, is a passionate love story set in the late 1970s that weaves a tale of espionage and international intrigue. It follows young, idealistic actress Charlie, whose relationship with the mysterious Becker, an Israeli intelligence officer, leads her into a complex, high-stakes plot devised by spy mastermind Kurtz.” (Catalogue)

Agatha Raisin. Series two.
“Ashley Jensen reprises her role of city PR turned country sleuth in six new episodes of Agatha Raisin. Adapted from the bestselling books by MC Beaton, the first series was an instant hit on Global TV creating a strong fan base around the world.” (Catalogue)

The alienist. [Season 1]
“The Alienist opens when a series of haunting, gruesome murders of boy prostitues grips New York City. Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt calls upon criminal psychologist (aka alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and newspaper illustrator John Moore to conduct the investigation in secret. They are joined by Sarah Howard, a headstrong secretary determined to become the city’s first female police detective.” (Catalogue)

Grantchester. Series 3.
“Still unresolved from last season is Sidney’s love life. Handsome, worldly-wise, and virtuous, he should be an ideal catch. And at least one very promising female companion turns up in the new series. But will Sidney scare her away with his unconventional taste for jazz, blood-splattered crime scenes, and a married woman? The new season’s cases include a shocking charge of sexual assault that turns into a homicide investigation implicating a pillar of the community; an apparent suicide from the college spire that takes on Cold War overtones and more.” (Catalogue)

Better call Saul. Season four.
“His brother’s death catalyses Jimmy McGill’s transformation into “Saul Goodman”. Now Jimmy steps into the criminal world, putting his future as a lawyer–and his relationship with Kim Wexler–in deep jeopardy. Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut’s work for Gustavo Fring throws the cartel into chaos with tragic results.” (Catalogue)