NZIFF 2013 is starting in just over two weeks and I am ridiculously excited! I literally squealed in delight when I got an email saying that the full programme had been released. There’s not as many big name movies this year as there was last year (Cabin in the Woods, Moonrise Kingdom, From Up On Poppy Hill, etc.), but there’s a lot more ‘smaller’ movies on my radar this year so I’ve got more movies lined up than usual. Today I’ll be talking about the ones on my must-watch list; tomorrow I’ll do one on movies I’m still not quite sure about but really caught my eye. You can get a PDF copy of the NZIFF programme here.
In no particular order, here are my must-watch films for the NZIFF 2013:
- Behind the Candelabra. It’s the opening night movie. It’s about Liberace. It’s a movie with Matt Damon in it that’s not an action movie. I don’t have fancy reasons to go see it, really, it just seems like a good way to kick off the festival.
- Giselle. I have two confessions to make: 1) I really like watching ballet and 2) I really, really like watching backstage rehearsals. It’s probably thanks to The Royal Ballet’s rehearsal videos, which they have graciously provided free of charge online. (Seriously, we’re ridiculously spoilt. Imagine if TV shows and blockbusters uploaded videos of their rehearsals or script readings!) Although I probably wouldn’t bring someone unfamiliar with ballet to see Giselle as their first ballet, I think the addition of backstage rehearsals and glimpses into the lives of the performers will make this recording/film/documentary accessible to new audiences. Let’s just hope they keep ballet as the focus and not fall into a Secret Lives of Dancers/reality TV trap. This is also a special mention since it’s the first New Zealand film that I’ve actually ever wanted to go to in three years of consistently going to the NZIFF.
- The Act of Killing. Again, maybe it’s just one of those films that most people wouldn’t be interested in but I weirdly am. Ignoring the fact that it’s about an Indonesian mass murderer and I’m Indonesian, I think the concept of the film in itself is very interesting–it’s a documentary, but instead of documenting the fact of an event in a dry, journalistic manner, it does it creatively. They’ve taken a mass murderer who felt no semblance of remorse whatsoever in regards to his crimes and made a film about him re-creating the massacre as if they were scenes from movies of various genres: musicals, gangster films, and so on. Yes, it’s over 2 hours long and it’s about some random country in the Pacific or whatever, but I think the concept itself will sound interesting to the average moviegoer.
- What Maisie Knew. It’s based on the book by Henry James. It’s got Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgård. That is all.
All images are taken from the NZIFF website.