EVENTS: The NZIFF so far

We’re a couple of days in to 2015’s New Zealand International Film Festival.  I’ve only made it to two screenings so far, but they’ve both been incredible.

Saturday was Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson making sense of Thomas Pynchon’s ode to hard boiled detective stories through a psychedelic lens.
Absolutely bat-shit crazy, as one would expect from Pynchon, and lovely to look at, as befits a master craftsman like Anderson. I’ll be posting a review later in the week.
I expect it’ll be the funniest film of the season – the incidental laughs come pretty thick and fast – and I still don’t really know what the hell was going on, but if you get a chance to see it when it gets a wider release later in the year, do.
BELIEF_KEY STILL-0-2000-0-1125-cropSunday was Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses. I’m still reeling from depiction of Moses’ death at the hands of the family who loved her. Look for a more complete review of the film later this week.
Director David Stubbs was at the screening and took questions from the stunned, I would even go so far as to say awed audience afterwards.
He’s somehow managed to tell Janet’s story with the greatest possible respect to her family, her culture and spirituality and to Janet herself,  while also keeping acknowledging the pakeha world of mental health assessments and the court system.
An incredible, emotional feat that I can’t imagine having the nerve to contemplate, let alone achieve with the grace Stubb’s film does.
I feel quite honored to have been in that screening with so many of the cast and the director. A real privilege and part of why the NZIFF is such an incredible opportunity.
Peggy Guggenheim Art Addict_Key Still-0-2000-0-1125-cropA little less challenging, but no less engaging was Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict at The Embassy.
One of a number of docos I’m seeing this year, this is the driest of them, although Peggy’s bohemian life of art patronage and sexual adventure was, by all accounts, anything but. Talk about role model, Peggy’s one of ’em! He lust for life and art was really exciting and made me want to do stuff!
The next was a little more grueling.
The Wolfpack isn’t the finest example of film making ever, but the subject matter – the squalid-yet-intellectually vibrant lives of six brothers who have been kept inside all their lives, fed a mental diet of classic films and pop music which they re-enact in detail for their amusement – is astounding.
Watch out for a review next week.

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