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By Cinema, Conflict of Interest and Wellington

Loath as I am to let the real world intervene in this little oasis of semi-relevance (and as uncomfortable as I am about pimping my commercial activities here), I feel bound to let you know about a couple of important entertainment options I have a role in.

Firstly, my company, Miracle Pictures, is producing the 6th Latin American Film Festival which gets under way with a Gala Opening Night at the Embassy Theatre on Wednesday night (18 April, 7.30pm). There are a limited number of tickets available to the public and they will go on sale on Monday morning from the Embassy Box Office. Sales will be made on a first-come, first-served basis and will be cash only (due to the Embassy not wanting to mix my money with theirs for complex accounting reasons). Tickets are $20 and for that you’ll get to partake of some sponsors product (Corona Extra and caiparinhas courtesy of Scorpion Distribution) plus wine from Argentina and Chile and food from the region courtesy of the Latin American Embassies in Wellington.

Oh, and there will be a film screening as well: The Sacred Family (La Sagrada familia) from Chile. The film is rated R16 (Drug use, sex scenes and offensive language) which bodes well for a successful night, I’m sure you will agree.

This year’s festival features 8 award-winning feature films from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru (plus two prestigious shorts). The official festival site is here and there you will find details of all the films and screenings in each centre: Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch.

48 Hours logoI also want to let y’all know that registrations are now open for this year’s “V” 48 Hours, officially New Zealand’s largest film competition. I am managing the Wellington end for the fourth straight year.

Shoot weekend is May 18 — 20; Heats are at the Paramount between 23 and 31 May; Wellington Grand Final will be at the Embassy Theatre on Thursday 7 June.

Following that, the finalists from each participating city (plus the Peter Jackson-selected wildcards) go head-to-head “live” on C4 on Friday June 22.

All the information you need to take part can be found here. We have space for a few more teams than last year but when they’re gone, they’re gone.

The Return of the Spelling Police (Wellington Division)

By Cinema, Cricket, Food & Drink and Wellington

Over the last couple of weeks both the Penthouse and the Paramount have upgraded their websites — the Penthouse scores marks for having their session grid available only a click away from the front page and the Paramount scores bonus marks for having the session grid right there on the front page — no extra clicking.

Paramount loses serious marks because the film titles aren’t clickable! You have to go to another menu to read about the films. Counter-intuitive, dudes.

My favourite aspect (in a schadenfreude-y sort of way) of the Paramount’s new design is the lack of attention to detail, as displayed in the following image (snapped today, may have been fixed by the time you get there but it has been like that for more than three weeks):


Notice how they manage to mis-spell the title of the film and all the members of the cast. Re-spect to Altman, though, as they got him right.

To prove that I’m not picking on them, here are a couple of choice Wellington chalk-typos. The first from a couple of weeks ago outside <forget the name, on the corner of Cuba and Vivian>:

Duck Brest
(click to enlarge)

And my favourite, from outside The Caledonian last Summer (the blackboards and fences have since been taken down by the new management):

Big Screen Cricet
(click to enlarge)

Eagle vs. Shark clip

By Cinema and NZ

… can be found here. Warning: Music from The Phoenix Foundation plays on this page and there doesn’t seem to be a way of turning it off. Grrr.
Also, the first reviews from Sundance have started to appear.

On a related matter, the trailer for Black Sheep was playing ahead of Rocky Balboa on Thursday and I thought it was a bit dark. Not ‘dark’ as in depressing but ‘dark’ as in ‘absence of light’. Printed that way deliberately?

And, while researching this aside I see that a trailer for The Devil Dared Me To is online here. With any luck we’ll see it in cinemas soon, there may be some overseas sales, and the participants might get paid what they are worth.

Devil Dared Me To

Film Society Programme 2007

By Cinema and Wellington

The programme for 2007 has been announced and listed on the Society website. I’ll do a proper preview in a few days (for Capital Times and for here) but you can go ahead and investigate now.

Featured directors this year are François Truffaut and Sam Fuller and there are seasons of films from Brazil and France.

Like last year, I have entered all the screenings into Google Calendar and you can have a look or subscribe to the feed by clicking the button below:

Funerals & Snakes heartily recommends membership of the Film Society, and if you use that membership to get all the available discounts around town it’ll hardly cost you a bean.

Friday Night at the Movies

By Cinema and Wellington

This Capital Times gig is proving more fun than a barrel of monkeys. I’m falling in love with cinema all over again. What I’m not falling in love with are cinemas themselves – or should that be some cinemas. Or, more specifically, some people in some cinemas.

Tonight at World Trade Centre in Readings 3 I had the misfortune to sit next to three people who simply would not shut up. Supposedly witty comments sprinkled liberally throughout the film meant I would happily have slapped them upside the head with my notebook. However, they paid for their ticket and I didn’t so …

And as for Brick in Cinema 7 later tonight: what is it with people texting during a film? Little blue lights everywhere, like little glow-worms in a cave. One young woman left to answer her phone but actually answered it before she got out of the cinema!

It will be a while before I brave Readings again on a Friday night. I’m planning a trip out to the new cinemas that have opened in the last 12 months (Village Queensgate and Lighthouse Pautahanui) so I can see whether standards are any different out of town.