The NZ International Film Festival draws near, and there are a load of literary-inspired works on show this year! Some are adaptations of novels and short stories, some are inspired by literary figureheads, and some are based on fascinating non-fiction titles. Hopefully there’s something here for everyone, and don’t forget to check out the full programme over at the NZFF website!
Going Clear directed by Alex Gibney
“Alex Gibney’s documentary sensation, based on Lawrence Wright’s best-selling history of Scientology and its apostates, gets the big screen treatment it deserves.”
Going clear : Scientology, Hollywood, and the prison of belief / Lawrence Wright.
“Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists–both famous and less well known–and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.” (Syndetics summary)
Inherent Vice directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
“Paul Thomas Anderson has taken Thomas Pynchon’s novel about the death of the hippie counterculture and turned it, reasonably faithfully, into a surreally funny, anxious and beautiful film noir.” — The Telegraph
Inherent vice / Thomas Pynchon.
“Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon – private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog.” (Syndetics summary)
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland
“Present-day art world stars pay tribute in a lavishly illustrated profile of the arts patron extraordinaire who transformed a modest fortune and adventurous taste into one of the premier collections of 20th-century art.”
Out of this century : confessions of an art addict / Peggy Guggenheim ; foreword by Gore Vidal ; introd. by Alfred H. Barr.
“In this autobiography, noted art collector Guggenheim offers outspoken, tart, somewhat embarrassing personal reminiscences.” (Publisher Weekly)
Wrinkles directed by Ignacio Ferreras
“The subject of old age gets the kind of attention it deserves but is too rarely afforded in this funny, affecting and sugar-free animated tale of the survival strategies devised by two old men in a nursing home.”
“Admitted to a home for the elderly because he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, for Ernest community life feels like an ordeal. But soon he accepts his new environment and decides to fight to escape from giving in to his awful destiny.” (Syndetics summary)
Merchants of Doubt directed by Robert Kenner
“Scoring its points through clearly stated arguments and pithy humour, Merchants of Doubt examines the methods corporations use to stymie political actions that would be good for public health, but bad for their bottom lines.”
Merchants of doubt : how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming / Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway.
“Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades that link smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole.” (Syndetics summary)
The 50 Year Argument directed by Martin Scorsese, David Tedeschi
“Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s doco celebrates 50 years of cultural and political debate in the pages of The New York Review of Books with octogenarian editor Robert Silvers, its tireless champion of intellectual freedom.”
New York review of books.
(WCL magazine collection)
The New York review of books [electronic resource].
(WCL eMagazine collection on Zinio)
When Marnie Was There directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
“A shy girl makes a mysterious new friend while convalescing in a sleepy seaside village in this gorgeous Studio Ghibli adaptation of the children’s novel by Joan G. Robinson. Animated by Yonebayashi Hiromasa (Arrietty).”
When Marnie was there / Joan G. Robinson ; illustrated by Peggy Fortnum.
“Sent away from her foster home one long, hot summer to a sleepy Norfolk village by the sea, Anna dreams her days away among the sandhills and marshes. She never expected to meet a friend like Marnie, someone who doesn’t judge Anna for being ordinary and not-even-trying. But no sooner has Anna learned the loveliness of friendship than Marnie vanishes…” (Syndetics summary)
Holding The Man directed by Neil Armfield
“The memoir of a gay love affair that began at school when the author fell for the captain of the football team and ended in tragedy 15 years later is already a classic of Australian literature, and now an inspiring, heartbreaking film.”
Holding the man / Timothy Conigrave.
“At an all-boys Catholic school in Melbourne in the mid-seventies, Timothy Conigrave fell wildly and sweetly in love with the captain of the football team. So began a relationship that was to last for 15 years, a love affair that weathered disapproval, separation and, ultimately death. This is a book as refreshing and uplifting as it is moving; a funny and sad and celebratory account of growing up gay.” (Syndetics summary)
End of the Tour directed by James Ponsoldt
“This charming and sensitive film about a five-day encounter between acclaimed late author David Foster Wallace and a Rolling Stone journalist is a transfixing human drama.” — Anthony Kaufman, Screendaily
The work of David Foster Wallace
Rolling stone (WCL print magazine)
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry directed by Mary Dore
“All the anger, joy and turmoil of the 60s–70s feminist explosion comes alive in a vivid documentary, blending the recollections of key US campaigners with archival action likely to astound anyone who wasn’t there.”
References many classic works, including:
Our bodies, ourselves / The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective.
“Hailed by The New York Times as a “feminist classic,” and “America’s bestselling book on women’s health,” the comprehensive guide to all aspects of women’s health and sexuality, including menopause, birth control, childbirth, sexual health, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health and general well-being.” (Syndetics summary)
Very Semi-Serious directed by Leah Wolchok
“New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff introduces his stable of oddball artists and guides us through the processes and philosophies that have kept publication in the magazine so highly prized for decades.”
Featuring New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff:
The complete cartoons of the New Yorker / edited by Robert Mankoff ; foreword by David Remnick.
“Organized by decade, with commentary by some of the magazine’s finest writers, this landmark collection showcases the work of the hundreds of talented artists who have contributed cartoons over the course of The New Yorker’s eighty-two-year history. ” (Syndetics summary)
The New Yorker. (WCL print magazine)
45 Years directed by Andrew Haigh
“Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are deeply affecting in award-winning roles as a retired Norfolk couple preparing for their 45th-anniversary party, when a ghost from the past raises awkward, long-buried questions.”
Based on: a short story by David Constantine
Tea at the Midland / by David Constantine.
“Filled with characters that are often delicately caught in moments of defiance, disregarding their age, their family, or the prevailing political winds, this collection finds a space for resistance and taking an honest delight in it.” (Syndetics summary)
Prophet’s Prey directed by Amy Berg
“This unsettling look into indoctrination within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is another essential work from one of the world’s finest documentary filmmakers. Music and narration by Nick Cave.”
Under the banner of heaven : a story of violent faith / Jon Krakauer.
“This text provides an account of Taliban-like theocracies in the American heartland controlled by renegade Mormon prophets. At the core of the book is a double murder committed by a pair of brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they were commanded to kill by God. Krakauer constructs a multi-layered narrative of polygamy, savage violence and unyielding faith.” (Syndetics summary)
Far From Men directed by David Oelhoffen
“This gripping existential Western – North African style – sees Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb play two men battling to survive in 50s Algeria. Based on a story by Albert Camus and scored by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.”
Based on: Albert Camus‘ short story The Guest.
The outsider / Albert Camus ; translated from the French by Joseph Laredo.
“Meursault will not pretend. After the death of his mother, everyone is shocked when he shows no sadness. And when he commits a random act of violence in Algiers, society is baffled. Why would this seemingly law-abiding bachelor do such a thing? And why does he show no remorse even when it could save his life?” (Syndetics summary)