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michael haneke Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Review: Rust and Bone, A Lady in Paris and Jack the Giant Slayer

By Cinema and Reviews

Rust and Bone posterIt’s no disgrace to come second at Cannes to Michael Haneke’s Amour, especially so when your film is Rust and Bone. Writer-director Jacques Audiard has a track record of unsettling and confronting dramas, starting (for New Zealand audiences) with Read My Lips in 2001 and — most recently — prison drama A Prophet in 2009. Rust and Bone is equally rugged but with some beauty to balance the violence and despair.

Acadamy Award-winner Marion Cotillard is the big name on the marquee but the film really belongs to Matthias Schoenaerts who lays down a portrait of wounded masculinity as riveting as any of De Niro’s classic performances. He’s Alain, a drifter and waster who lands in picturesque Antibes with his young son. He’s useful in a scrap but useless as a parent and some of the most difficult scenes in the film are of him failing to look after the boy.

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Cinematica 3/20: Love Story

By Audio and Cinema
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This week Michael Haneke’s Oscar-winning Amour, Cirque du Soleil take us Worlds Away and teenage witches replace teenage vampires in the affections of teenage audiences — Beautiful Creatures. We also find out about film diary website letterboxd.com.

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2012 Wellington Cinema Year in Review

By Cinema

This Must Be the Place posterAs usual, the vagaries of holiday deadlines mean that, just as you are arriving back at work to gleefully greet the New Year, here I am to tell you all about 2012. The best way to use this page is to clip it out, fold it up and put it in your pocket ready for your next visit to the video shop — that way you won’t go wrong with your renting. Trust me — I’m a professional.

But this year I have a problem. Usually I manage to restrict my annual picks to films that were commercially released to cinemas. I’ve always felt that it wasn’t fair to mention films that only screened in festivals — it’s frustrating to be told about films that aren’t easy to see and it makes it difficult for you to join in and share the love. This year, though, if I take out the festival-only films the greatness is hard to spot among the only “good”.

As usual, I have eschewed a top ten in favour of my patented categories: Keepers, Watch Again, Mentioned in Dispatches and Shun At All Costs. In 2012, only two of my nine Keepers (films I wish to have close to me forever) made it into commercial cinemas and one of them isn’t even really a film.

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Review: Predicament, The White Ribbon & Piranha 3D

By Cinema and Reviews

The unhappy bard of Hawera, Ronald Hugh Morrieson, died in the sure and certain knowledge of his own failure. Only one of his four novels had been published (and only in Australia) and the others languished in obscurity. He wasn’t to know that his Taranaki-gothic visions would prove perfectly adaptable to the big screen and that no less a Hollywood legend than John Carradine would appear in the first of them, The Scarecrow in 1982. Came a Hot Friday (1985) followed to huge box office success but then the Morrieson curse struck again and, due to the vagaries of the international movie business, Pallet on the Floor wouldn’t even make it in to cinemas in New Zealand.

Predicament posterHis other novel, “Predicament”, has finally made it to the big screen and, I’m sorry to report, that Morrieson himself might prefer that it hadn’t. It’s Hawera, 1933. A socially repressed New Zealand small town, pleasant and placid on the surface but teeming with petty crims and sly-groggers underneath. When gawky teenager Cedric Williamson’s mother died his father (Tim Finn) suffered a breakdown and is silently building a huge wooden tower in his front yard.

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