NZIFF Goes Pop!
This year NZIFF goes pop with seven fantastic titles from seven visionary directors. Including work from Studio Ghibli master Takahata Isao, visual magician Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and the king of arts and crafts aesthetic Michel Gondry, these films are sure to inspire, intrigue and take you on a real trip.
Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata Isao took eight years to finish The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, his first in 14 years, but it has been well worth the wait. The 78-year-old anime master has delivered an ethereal interpretation of an ancient Japanese fable of a bamboo cutter who finds an unearthly princess in a bamboo stalk and takes her into his home. A tale of love, family and magic, Takahata’s final film is must-see material.
Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman returns to NZIFF with The Congress, starring Robin Wright as, well, Robin Wright. Inspired by the sci-fi novel The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem, this beautiful and nightmarish look into the future of Hollywood stardom is “a genius designer on an acid trip” as one character describes it. And to further the head trip experience, we have Michel Gondry’s Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? – a hypnotic, hand-drawn accompaniment to a series of conversations the director had with philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky.
At NZIFF you will also find Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s beautiful 3D family adventure The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, the Incredibly Strange Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, a tale of two worlds in Patema Inverted and Chris Sullivan’s labour of twisted love Consuming Spirits.
This mix of hypnotic, hilarious and visionary films already guarantees that NZIFF in 2014 will be a memorable one.
Israel/Germany 2013 | 122 minutes | Censors rating tbc
Following his Oscar-nominated Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman continues his foray into the world of animation with this audacious sci-fi film that combines live action Hollywood satire with dazzlingly surreal animation.
USA 2012 | 131 minutes | Censors rating tbc
A comic nightmare of three strange characters connected by unsolved crimes and the local newspaper, Christopher Sullivan’s animated slice of small-town Americana is as far from family-friendly as animated features come.
Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?
USA 2013 | 88 minutes | Censors rating tbc
Director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mood Indigo) and philosopher-activist Noam Chomsky talk about life and language in a conversation gorgeously illuminated with Gondry’s hand-drawn animations.
Japan 2013 | 99 minutes | PG medium level violence
In this charming and ingeniously elaborate anime world one tribe’s gravity is another tribe’s anti-gravity. A plucky upside-down girl and a gallant right-way-up boy switch perspectives.
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
Japan 2013 | 137 minutes | Censors rating tbc
Hot on the heels of Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises comes another animated masterpiece. Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata’s rich and astonishing swansong vividly brings an ancient Japanese folktale to life.
Why Don’t You Play In Hell?
Japan 2013 | 129 minutes | Censors rating tbc
The latest from Japanese cult favourite Sono Sion (Suicide Club, Love Exposure) delivers a rousing and hilarious midnight movie pitching two bloodthirsty Yakuza clans against a band of chaotic wannabe filmmakers.
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet 3D
France/Canada 2013 | 105 minutes | Censors rating tbc
The director of Amelie and Delicatessen takes to 3D and delights with his abundant visual wit in this tale of a ten-year-old boy genius’s attempts to understand his weird family and the even weirder wider world.