The Wellington NZIFF programme launched a couple of weeks ago and there are so many to choose from – nearly 150 films are in the programme so it is absolutely chocka. Having given it some thought, I’ve picked out some I think will be hits! Check out my list and let me know what you’re excited for in the comments!
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)
From the director of Amelie comes a tale of a prodigious young inventor of completely zany and fascinating products. His perpetual motion machine comes to the attention of the Smithsonian institute and they invite T.S. to Washington, unaware he is just 10 years old. Determined to respond to the invitation, T.S. sets out alone one night on a cross-country adventure to collect his reward for his brilliance.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
The newest film from Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises) and eight years in the making, Princess Kaguya is a retelling of a traditional Japanese folk tale. A humble bamboo-cutter stumbles upon a tiny princess-like doll hidden in a bamboo shoot. He takes it home, and he and his wife are shocked when the doll turns into a wailing baby. When gifts of gold and silks continue to appear, the bamboo-cutter and his wife decide to abandon their humble lifestyle to raise the girl as a proper princess.
We Are The Best!
We Are The Best! is the story of 3 young misfits growing up in Stockholm, Sweden in the 1980s. Klara and Bobo are 13-year-old rebels looking for a cause. Despite having no particular musical talents, they channel their efforts into forming an all-girl punk band and enlist their shy, guitar-playing classmate Hedvig to join them. The story is based on a graphic novel by the director’s wife Coco Moodysson and fully embodies the DIY spirit of the punk movement.
Another exciting anime film, Patema Inverted is the story of young and inquisitive Patema who lives in a post-disaster underground world. While exploring one day she falls into a deep pit, but mysteriously finds herself falling upward to the Earth’s surface. However it is an upside-down surface – surface dwellers live by the opposite gravity to Patema. She is helped by a surface boy called Age, who explains that in his world “inverted” people like Patema are considered unholy sinners and she soon finds herself being pursued by secret police. Together Age and Patema must uncover the dark conspiracy lurking behind their inverted worlds.
This is a documentary about the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and the first proton-smashing experiments conducted there. It also follows closely the thrilling search for the Higgs boson, the particle that gives mass to other particles. It is a fascinating insight into the world of physics and discovering our own universe and looks to be extremely exciting!
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
This documentary follows Hayao Miyazaki and visits Studio Ghibli, which in itself looks like a Miyazaki movie. Miyazaki is working on his allegedly final film The Wind Rises, working by hand in a cluttered workspace filled with old technologies. Meanwhile, Ghibli’s other maestro Takahata Isao is working on Princess Kaguya (see above) across town in a completely different working environment. Ghibli producer and co-founder Suzuki Toshio shuttles between the two, managing their differing approaches with love and appreciation for the different challenges each film faces.