Published: Thu 13 Apr 2000 08:56 AM
Brought to you by The Daily Squeeze
19 Blair Street Wellington. Phone 384 9048
Thursday 13th April
Michael Thorp's NZ film THE LUNATIC'S BALL, made for $50,000 after the director hocked off his Porsche 911 Turbo, screened last year at Cannes. This Thursday 12 April it has its NZ premiere at the World Cinema Showcase (8.30pm, Paramount).
The programme promises psycho-thriller intrigue" in an "emotionally charged fantasy' about a radical young psychiatrist.
THE LUNATIC'S BALL (M, contains offensive language) has yet to secure a New Zealand distributor, so this may be your only chance to catch it.
JUBILEE (M, contains violence and offensive language) is a great family Kiwi comedy. Cliff Curtis stars as hapless Billy, thrust into an event organiser's role for which he is patently unsuited; Theresa Healy is his suffering wife.
The evocation of mateship, and the rise of communal spirit amid petty squabbling in a town famous only for kumara, is handled deftly by director Michael (Hercules) Hurst, bringing out the latent humour in the broadly drawn situations.
But it's the emotional heart provided by Curtis, Healy and the rest of the strong cast (including Hori Ahipene and Kevin Smith) that makes JUBILEE work. And when Billy gets up in front of the Hit List to sing John Rowles' "If I Only Had Time", tears get jerked too.
Wellington film HOPELESS (M, contains offensive language), directed and written by Stephen Hickey, has its World Premiere screening at The Embassy next Wednesday 19 April at 8.45pm.
The "unromantic comedy for the '00s... shot entirely in the streets and cafes of Wellington" is the first of the "no-budget" features produced by Larry Parr for Kahukura Productions, and will screen following drinks, with schmoozing and dancing to LOOP faves Aspen, 50HZ and DJ MU after the movie.
The $12 premiere had already sold half the available tickets by the time this emailer went to wire, so contact the Embassy on 384 7656 to get yours: all proceeds go to the Embassy Theatre Trust for continuing restoration of the magnificent cinema.
LOOP's Annabel Crerar went to the media preview. She enjoyed it:
I don't usually go to the movies by myself. And perhaps if I had realised that HOPELESS is packed with laugh-til-you-cry humour I wouldn't have found myself alone in the middle of a packed movie theatre (one of life's paradoxes) doubled up with shrieks of laughter, feeling like an idiot but unable to stop the laugh-tears streaming down my face.
HOPELESS is the story of Ben Gilmour, played with Hugh Grant charm by the suitably floppy-haired Phil Pinner, and his motley crew of friends. There's the stunning Maryann (Mia Taumopeau), who rejects Ben in favour of his best mate Phil Hope (Scott Wills) before the opening credits finish rolling. Not to mention flatmate Richard (Adam Gardiner), who provides the biggest laughs as we are acquainted with his minor toilet paper obsession, less minor competitive chess obsession, and frankly disturbing early sexual experiences.
All of which come together in a finale that just about had me falling off my chair and rolling round on the Hoyts floor... behaviour which, whilst scarcely acceptable with a friend, is not at all advisable when alone.
HOPELESS is good. See it. Take a friend.
[The HOPELESS website is The New Zealand release begins 27 April with eight prints going out nationwide.]
It's the weekend that activists head to Washington DC to shut down the IMF/World Bank, and what's in store? Golf War. Screening as part of the Focus on Economic Globalization during the Cinema of Resistance Film Festival is THE GOLF WAR - what happens when Filipino peasants resist converting their ancestral farmland into a golf resort, and face a bloody struggle against developers and their government. Tracking down both armed guerrillas and golf boosters,including Tiger Woods, the filmmakers reveal a larger, national battle over land and revolution in what the LA Times called a "bombshell of an expose."
More at
The two minute showreel of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has become the most downloaded web trailer ever (around 2 million hits!), clogging servers and wowing viewers. Surf to
Opening this week in Wellington (13 April):
Human Traffic (R18): drug-fuelled weekend clubbing fun... think Trainspotting on ecstasy, to that oonsty beat...
Erin Brockovich (M). Smash US hit from director Steven Soderberg (Out of Sight), with Julia Roberts earning her $20 million-plus fee in great form as a crusading law assistant, with Albert Finney and Aaron (Swingers) Eckhart playing backup. Based on "real life".
The Dinner Game (M, offensive language) French farce about impersonations and manipulations.
Galaxy Quest (M, medium level violence), very funny space spoof with Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman
The Iron Giant (PG, medium level violence) dir. Brad Bird. Warner Bros animation in top storytelling form, with the voices of Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr
Mission to Mars (G) dir. Brain De Palma, with Tim Robbins, Wesley Snipes, Gary Sinise. Brian de Palma in restrained mode - 2001 lite (ie. don't expect Armageddon).
The Tigger Movie (G), more from the Pooh gang, Disney-style.
Boys Don't Cry (R18, contains sexual violence, violence and drug use) - the fictionalisation of The Brandon Teena Story, or how a woman passed as a man in conservative small town USA with tragic results. Starring Golden Globe winner Hilary Swank.
Savage Honeymoon (R15, contains irresponsible behaviour associated with alcohol) - Westie comedy that hits the mark and funnybone enough to not worry you too much about the lack of depth or character development. Surely that censor's warning is an ad?
The Green Mile (R16, contains violence) - The second Stephen King prison adaptation from director Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption). This time it's a scrupulously faithful adaptation of the serial novellas about a guard (Tom Hanks) who encounters strange spiritual goings on when a giant convicted murderer is placed on his death row shift.
American Beauty (R16 contains violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes) - Near-immaculate first feature from first time director Sam Mendes, albeit with less depth than the mass acclaim might suggest - whoever dubbed it "Blue Velour" was spot on. But Kevin Spacey is excellent as the 42-year-old who breaks out of the constraints of his suburban family existence, and the rest of the fantastic cast right up there with him almost every step of the way. Great fun.
The Straight Story (G) - David Lynch's gorgeous Disney saga about a lawnmower-driving old coot travelling across Iowa to visit his dying brother.
The Talented Mr Ripley (M, contains violence and offensive language) - Anthony Minghella's beautiful reading of Patricia Highsmith's thriller is very effective. Matt Damon is effectively slimy as the upwardly mobile protagonist, Jude Law is cruelly divine as the object of Ripley's (initial) affection, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett providing top support - along with the excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman (Happiness). Hitchcockian suspense, lush Italian vistas, plus one of the year's best murder scenes to date - it's truly shocking, and the operatic enhancement later in the film is superb.
Toy Story 2 (G): The best film of last year returns to the big screen.
Angela's Ashes (cert. TBC) dir. Alan Parker; the Frank McCourt classic with Robert Carlyle and Emily Watson, 20 April
Buena Vista Social Club (April 20) - Wim Wenders' Oscar-nominated doco about guitarist Ry Cooder and fabulous Cuban musicians like Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez. Wenders has begun making a second film about the band with the working title The Amsterdam Concerts, using footage shot during the band's concerts in Amsterdam in spring 1998 (only a fraction was used in the first doco). 20 April
U-571 (cert. TBC) dir. Jonathan Mostow; WW2 drama with Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, 20 April
Snow Falling on Cedars (cert. TBC), dir. Scott (Shine) Hicks; from the hit novel, with Ethan Hawke, James Cromwell, Sam Shepard, Max von Sydow, 27 April
Dogma M) dir. Kevin (Clerks) Smith; angels in effect, with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, 27 April
East is East (M), dir. Damien o'Donnell, UK box-office and critical smash, with Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Jordan Routledge, 27 April
Hopeless (cert. TBC), beaut low-budget Wellington comedy from debut director Steven Hickey, with Phil Pinner, Mia Taumoepeau, Adam Gardiner, Scott Wills, 27 April
All About My Mother (R18) Pedro Almodóvar's Oscar-winning emotional masterwork, with Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Penelope Cruz. Almodóvar, 48, is working on three unfinished screenplays, has no interest in making movies in Hollywood, and was pissed off at Oscar ceremony organisers who he says whisked him off stage when his acceptance speech (in accented English, referencing saints and virgins) ran overtime. 4 May.
Fantasia 2000 (cert. TBC), Walt Disney's reworked animation classic, 4 May
Guest House Paradiso (cert. TBC), the TV series Bottom hits the big screen, with Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, 4 May
Any Given Sunday (cert. TBC), Oliver Stone's gridiron movie, with Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, Ann-Margret, LL Cool J, Charlton Heston, Jamie Foxx. Jim Brown, Matthew Modine, 11 May
The Next Best Thing (cert. TBC) dir. John Schlesinger, with Madonna and Rupert Everett as parents, 11 May
Being John Malkovich (cert. TBC), the surreal sensation from director Spike Jonze, with John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich, 18 May
Heaven (cert. TBC) dir. Scott Reynolds, with Martin Donovan, Joanna Going, Patrick Malahide, Richard Schiff, 18 May
The Whole Nine Yards (cert. TBC) dir. Jonathan Lynn, with Bruce Willis ,Matthew Perry, Natasha Henstridge, Roseanna Arquette, 18 May
Magnolia (cert. TBC) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, family drama with Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, William H Macy, Philip Baker Hall, Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, 25 May
Onegin (cert. TBC), the Pushkin classic, directed by Martha Fiennes, with brother Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler, 25 May
OUT TAKES lesbian and gay film festival (Christchurch 25-28 May; Wellington 1-7 June; Auckland 8-16 June) - Leading edge lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered short films, features and docos, including Swedish tour-de-force Fucking Amal, dark and brooding German film Lola & Bilidikid, and remarkable French film The Treaty of Chance. Visit
The riot of the bad, the awful and the always extraordinary returns mid year to Auckland (Chinatown Cinema, cnr Halsey and Victoria Sts, May 11- June 10) and Wellington (Paramount Theatre, June 16 - July 10). This year's lineup includes: Bad Girls go to Hell, Black Shampoo, Candy, Eternal Evil of Asia, Hypnosis, Island of the Damned, King of Comedy, My Body Hungers, Night of the Lepus, Nude on the Moon, Revenge of That's Exploitation, Richie Venus, Ring, Secrets of the Shadow World, Sex: the Annabel Chong story, The Sinful Dwarf, Some Like It Violent, Spriggan, Strange Things Happen at Night, Tanya's Island, Tarz, Jane, Cheetah & Boy, That's Education, The Longest Nite, The Todd Killings, US Underground, Vampire Men of the Lost Planet, Vampyres, WADD - The John Holmes Story, Zardoz, and Zontar: Thing.
The Wellington Film Festival opens 14 July.
Brought to you by The Daily Squeeze
19 Blair Street Wellington. Phone 384 9048

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