Friday, July 1, 2011

5 films I'm watching over the next 2 weeks to gear up for the NZ International Film Festival 2011

List idea by Danielle (because Tosca was stuck for how to play this idea out), introduction by Tosca

"I've spent several years in Hollywood, and I still think the movie heroes are in the audience."
- Wilson Mizner

Confession: I have never attended an International Film Festival. Not ever. I've always wanted to. But I've never felt that I could go on my own. I've attended gigs by myself, travelled a good chunk of NZ alone, done the Big Day Out solo and even travelled to, and around, New Orleans and Memphis all by my lonesome. And greatly enjoyed it all. But I'm too chicken to go to the film fest on my own. My two BFFs and gazillion siblings have never had the same taste in movies as me. This was never more clear to me than having to see the Star Wars prequels at the picture theatres, in the front row, alone. As a result I have never felt comfortable enough to ask them to come with me. I always hoped that would change. Every year, for the past five years, I have taken a copy of the programme home and faithfully marked every film that caught my interest with a red asterisk. Often I would even take the time to look up alternate films the directors or actors or actresses had been involved with. It became my yearly *wishlist.* Or at least, the wishlist I would fulfill had I the nerve to do so. I have decided, though, that this year is *the* year. I'm going to see Guilty pleasures, which is a documentary that looks at the fantasies that Mills & Boon romance novels promote, and some of the lives of the people who read and produce them. I have to say that I'm quite excited about it all. To maintain this buzz I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks watching/re-watching four of the retro films that'll be screening this year. My fifth, and rather unusual choice, is José Padilha's 2007 prequel to Elite squad 2 which is also screening this month. They're not a top 5 so much as a simple list of 5 :)

Query: Are you attending the NZ International Film Festival 2011? What are you hoping to see?

If you'd like more film-related recommendations make sure to follow us on Twitter! Everyday we'll be tweeting highlights from our DVD collection. Our first two suggestions for today:
  • Once again NZer Florian Habicht's film (this time: NY tale 'Love Story') gets screened at the #NZFF. See his other films:
  • Les Choristes - a teacher changes lives through music. C'est un beau film

  • We'd also be more than happy to share your suggestions, too, so...
  • leave a comment below
  • send me an email
  • drop by our Facebook page
  • or send us a tweet: @Auckland_Libs

    Honourable mention:
  • Taxi driver - which I could not list below as the only two copies left in the system are now both missing. Cue tear :(

  • The gruffalo [DVD videorecording] / Directed by Jakob Schuh & Max Lang
    Featuring the voices of Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, John Hurt and Tom Wilkinson
    A clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake, only to have to outwit that creature as well.

    Tosca's note: First-time watch. Mr. 7 saw the play while in Wellington and loved it so much he wrote about it on my Facebook wall. He hasn't yet seen the animated film so we're going to watch it together. Yay!

    Metropolis [DVD videorecording] / Directed by Fritz Lang
    Starring: Brigitte Helm, Gustav Frohlich, Rudolph Klein-Rogge, Alfred Abel, Theodor Loos, Heinrich George, Fritz Rasp, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbruchen. The story of a 21st century city run by a "super trustee" and his collaborators who live in a paradise-like garden. Workers are totally enslaved by machines and condemned to live underground. In the midst of this misery, a young woman, Maria, arises and attempts to inspire the workers to throw off their oppressors. Based on the novel by Thea von Harbou. Silent with English subtitles. Musical accompaniment. Rating: PG - Parental guidance recommended for younger viewers.

    Tosca's note: First-time watch. Unsure what to expect but more than willing to try it out. "One of the last big-budget exhilarations of the pre-talkie era." (Ed Halter, Village Voice).

    Elite squad [DVD videorecording] / Directed by José Padilha
    Starring: Wagner Moura, André Ramiro, Caio Junqueira, Milhem Cortaz, Maria Ribeiro, Fábio Lago.
    Thunderous gun battles and powerhouse performances anchor the groundbreaking story of the BOPE, a SWAT-like team at war with the drug lords of Rio de Janeiro. Racing against time, its hard-driving captain puts a pair of rookies through hell in an effort to shape a worthy successor and clear out a drug-infested slum before his imminent retirement. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Rating: R18 - Restricted to persons 18 years and over. Note: Contains graphic violence, drug use and offensive language.

    Tosca's note: First-time watch. The sequel to this film - Elite squad: Enemy within as directed by Padilha - is playing this year at the film fest. "From the brilliantly staged opening sequence - a prison riot that turns into a bloodbath - the energy never lets up." (Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter).

    La dolce vita [DVD videorecording] / Directed by Fedrico Fellini
    Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimee, Yvonne Furneaux, Nadia Gray
    A journalist ventures into the decadent society of modern Rome and finds that his values are being destroyed, leaving him totally disillusioned. Rating: PG - parental guidance recommended for younger viewers.

    Tosca's note: Re-watch. This is, I think, possibly Fellini's most critically acclaimed film. With darn good reason. And the Trevi Fountain scene? Cinematically, one of my favs ever ever ever.

    Nosferatu [DVD videorecording] / Directed by Friedrich Wihelm Murnau
    Starring: Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Alexander Granach, Greta Schroeder
    Count Orlock (Nosferatu, the vampire) leaves his castle in the Carpathians and travels by ship to Bremen, bringing coffins filled with dirt and plague rats and with sinister plans for the young couple who are to be his first victims. Rating: M - Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Note: Contains horror scenes.

    Tosca's note: Re-watch. My first horror film ever. I was fearless. Course, nowadays they scare me witless, but as a kid - pure magic. The version that will be screening at the film fest will be a collaborative affair with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Sure to be fantastic!

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