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New Zealand Film Festival 2012 Highlights

Into its 44th year, the Auckland International Film Festival has morphed into something more than just a celebration of film making. It's become a highlight of Auckland's cultural calendar, an opportunity for expression and similarly a time for reflection. As Festival Director Bill Gosden describes it, {the festival} is "boldly posing as an enduring beacon of cultural inspiration in 'volatile and uncertain' times".

This year's programme has truly embraced the digital revolution, a significant step which should delight Auckland festival-goers. Movie fans have the opportunity to enjoy film festival titles at any one of the following venues; The Civic, Skycity Theatre, Rialto Newmarket, The Bridgeway, Event Queen Street and the Auckland Art Gallery.

With so much on offer from this year's festival programme it's only natural to seek a bit of guidance. There's quite frankly something for everybody amongst this year's line-up, but we love lists so much that we've come up with the ViewNZ Top Ten Picks of the 2012 New Zealand International Film Festival

Rip Into It!

Killer Joe

While almost certainly not to everyone's taste, Killer Joe is an enjoyably pulpy and gleefully twisted thriller with a strong script and terrific performances from Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple. One thing's for certain – you'll never look at a piece of fried chicken the same way again.

SkyCity Theatre 4.30pm Fri 20th July, 9.00pm Sat 28th July, 4.00pm Wed 1st August

Review: Killer Joe
Interview: William Friedkin

The Angels' Share

Though it takes some time to adjust to the fact that Ken Loach has made an unabashed feel-good movie, The Angels’ Share is an enjoyable, well written and superbly acted comedy drama that's well worth seeking out.

Bridgeway 6.00pm Fri 20th July, Civic 6.45pm Sat 21st July, 1.00pm Mon 23rd July

Review: The Angels' Share
Interview: Ken Loach

Where Do We Go Now?

Nadine Labaki's eagerly awaited second feature is a hugely entertaining and frequently hilarious comedy with a witty script, inventive direction, a handful of enjoyable musical numbers and terrific comic performances from a superb ensemble cast.

Civic 11.15am Fri 20th July, 3.30pm Sun 22nd July, Bridgeway 6.00pm Fri 27th July

Review: Where Do We Go Now?
Interview: Nadine Labaki


Marley is an exhaustively researched documentary about the life and work of Bob Marley, clocking in at just under two and a half hours.

Civic 6.15pm Sun 22nd July, 1.15pm Wed 25th July, Bridgeway 6.00pm Sat 28th July, 3.00pm Sun 29th July

Review: Marley
Interview: Kevin Macdonald

Shadow Dancer

Impressively directed and beautifully shot, this is a gripping and ultimately moving, slow-burning thriller with an intelligent script and a terrific performance from Andrea Riseborough. Recommended.

Event Queen Street 4.00pm Mon 30th July, SkyCity Theatre 2.00pm Fri 3rd August, 8.45pm Sat 4th August

Review: Shadow Dancer

Moonrise Kingdom

If you're already a Wes Anderson fan, then Moonrise Kingdom is almost exactly the film that you've been hoping for, while also seeming likely to make several new converts to his cause. Funny, superbly acted and brilliantly written, this is thoroughly enjoyable and one of the best films of the year.

Civic 7.00pm Fri 20th July, 4.30pm Wed 25th July

Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Monsieur Lazhar

It's easy to see why the film was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, as it skilfully addresses several themes (immigration, integration, guilt, the importance of communication, education and so on) without ever becoming preachy or sentimental.

Rialto 6.15pm Fri 20th July, 2.00pm Tue 24th July, Bridgeway 6.00pm Sat 21st July, Civic 6.30pm Thur 26st July

Review: Monsieur Lazhar

In Darkness

Harrowing to watch but emotionally rewarding, In Darkness is a superbly directed, powerfully written wartime drama with a terrific central performance from Robert Wieckiewic.

Rialto 2.00pm Sat 21st July, 5.15pm Sun 22nd July, 1.15pm Mon 23rd July, 6.30pm Mon 23rd July

Review: In Darkness

The Cabin In The Woods

It's almost impossible to talk about The Cabin in the Woods without some level of spoiler discussion, but suffice it to say, the less you know about it going in, the more you'll enjoy it.

Civic 9.30pm Fri 20th July, 4.15pm Tues 24th July

Review: The Cabin in the Woods

Hitchcock's Blackmail

This year the Festival's popular collaboration with the APO celebrates two sons of London; Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock.

Civic 6.15pm Sun 5th August

For all New Zealand Film Festival Movie Times, Trailers, Reviews and Features please bookmark this page.

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