Dan and Kailey are joined by president of the Wellington Film Society Chris Hormann to talk about this year’s programme (mostly shared with the rest of the country), the importance of film societies in a world where theatrical presentation is becoming rare for arthouse films. The trio also discuss current releases The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Jupiter Ascending, Focus and others.
Dominion Post and Newstalk ZB reviewer Graeme Tuckett joins Dan and Kailey to talk about Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s vampire mockumentary What We do in the Shadows which is out this weekend across New Zealand (September in Australia) as well as meta-sequel 22 Jump Street which goes into it’s second weekend here and opening weekend across the Tasman.
This week’s Australian correspondent is Chris Elena and he’ll be giving his impressions of the recent Sydney Film Festival and telling us about shooting and editing a short film on film.
There are also a number of utterly non-gratuitous mentions of Game of Thrones in the programme that will no doubt be extremely helpful for search engine optimisation.
The best way I can think of to sum up Jobs, the hastily-prepared not-quite adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s hastily-published biography of the Apple co-founder, is that its subject would have hated it. After all, Steve had taste and – famously – exercised it. He also didn’t release products until they were ready whereas Joshua Michael Stern’s film feels like the winner of a race to be first rather than best.
Ashton Kutcher impersonates Mr. Jobs effectively enough, to the extent of mimicking the man’s strange lope, but never gets further under his skin than a blog post or tabloid headline might. I suspect that is not a comment on Mr. Kutcher’s talent but on the episodic script by first-timer Matt Whiteley. Josh Gad’s Woz provides comic relief only and the amount of fake facial hair on offer suggests the film might better have been titled iBeard.
Operating on a much deeper level is Daniel Borgman’s The Weight of Elephants, a film that prioritises what goes on under the surface almost to the complete exclusion of plot. Gorgeous Demos Murphy plays 10-year-old Adrian, living with his depressed Uncle Rory (great Matthew Sunderland) and Gran (Catherine Wilkin) in suburban Invercargill. The strange disappearance of three local children has an upsetting effect on a boy who is struggling to fit in to the world around him anyway.
No sounds like the kind of thing a toddler in the middle of a tantrum might say, while stomping around your lounge room at bedtime. At the cinema, though, the tantrum belongs to the corrupt dictatorship of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, forced through international pressure to let others play in his sandpit. In 1988 he announced a referendum that would demonstrate – by fair means or foul – that the people loved him, weren’t interested in democracy and that those who thought different were nothing but communists and terrorists.
15 years after he and his military junta overthrew the legitimate left-leaning government of Salvador Allende, the question in the referendum would be a simple one: “Yes” to keep the dictatorship and “No” for a return to free elections. No, Pablo Larraín’s brilliant movie, looks at the campaign from the perspective of an ad guy – a Mad Man – played by Gael García Bernal, who harnessed the latest corporate sales techniques and the power of television to change the direction of a nation.
Cinema and fine food have been getting along rather well in recent times. This year El Bulli showcased the amazing molecular creations of Spanish genius Ferran Adrià and the painstaking seafood creations in Jiro Dreams of Sushi are still on select screens here in Wellington. Films like those honour the creativity, training, hard work and experience of some remarkable people. Meanwhile, Daniel Cohen’s The Chef takes a different path and mercilessly – and humourlessly – satirises their pretensions.
The great Jean Reno (The Big Blue, The Professional) is Alexandre Lagarde, still head chef and creative force behind the Paris restaurant that bears his name but long since sold out to corporate interests that pimp him out for tv cooking shows and frozen supermarket ready-meals. Jacky Bonnot (Michaël Youn) is Lagarde’s biggest fan – a talented young chef whose talents are unrecognised by the bistros and roadside cafés that regularly fire him.