The film festival is here and it’s time to catch some of the best movies around. Make sure you haven’t got much on from 19 July to 6 August because your calendar is about to get PACKED. There’s a massive collection to choose from, 129 full-length films and seven short films hailing from 39 different countries. They’ll be playing across a number of venues across Auckland before spilling out into the rest of the country.
Wes Anderson’s incredible Asteroid City will be on at The Civic on the 22nd and 28th of July. Wes Anderson does Wes Anderson things in a perfectly framed town in the middle of the desert in a small town literally full of space cadets and their accompanying families. Something comes and upturns the entire all star cast including Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, and Adrien Brody among others. If you’ve seen one Wes Anderson you’ve seen em all. But his one thing is awfully good isn’t it. This film is a nesting doll of ideas, with all the actors playing actors playing roles in a production within the film. It makes more sense if you just watch it. Trust me. It won’t disappoint.
Willem Dafoe is getting cerebral in his movie Inside in the first days of August at Rialto in Newmarket and The Civic. Dafoe plays an art thief who suddenly gets locked inside a penthouse he’s robbing. The temperature is rising and nobody is coming to save him. Everybody loves a good “Dafoe goes insane by himself” flick don’t they?
If you’re just looking for some dumb nazi-killin’ fun times then Sisu will definitely be up your alley. That will be playing across the Hollywood Avondale, Academy Cinemas and as usual The Civic. A gold miner in Finland is just trying to get home with his loot when a roving band of Nazis happen across him in the wilds. They want his gold, and he’s not going easy. This movie is straight up bonkers and just cool goofy fun. Sometimes you just need to throw a land mine at a dude ya know.
My last pick to mix things up would have to go to Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott in the psychosexual thriller/romantic comedy Sanctuary. That one is a real wild time.
Margaret Qualley is one of those actors that’s consistently putting out good work, but never quite gets as much attention as they rightfully deserve. She’s done everything from a music video pastiche of Fat Boy Slim’s Weapon Of Choice for Kenzo, to being a primary character in Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding. It wasn’t until her heart wrenching performance in Maid on Netflix that she really caught the mainstream consciousness. But now that she has it, she’s not letting go and not letting go is one thing she won’t be doing in her new movie Sanctuary either.
Qualley and Christopher Abbott (Possessor) play a desperate game of psychological cat and mouse in this uh… I don’t want to call it a rom com… Psychological thriller. It explores the psychology of BDSM and what it brings to both sides, as Abbott’s character tries to break things off as he gains a new role as CEO of his company. Qualley isn’t going to just let him go. It’s an incredible film and a lot of fun.