This year we’re spelling out the Showcase’s relationship to the Big One, as we see it, with a simple catch-phrase, “NZIFF Selects World Cinema Showcase”. Showcase films are selected by the NZIFF programmers from the vast array of movies that we encounter every year – and which, for one reason or another, are not eligible for NZIFF screening. Unlike the NZIFF, where the financial risk is pretty much entirely ours, The Showcase is presented in collaboration with our enterprising venue partners; longtime Showcase hosts the Paramount, Wellington and The Regent, Dunedin; and newcomers in 2012, Hoyts Northlands in Christchurch, and two of Auckland’s favourite “arthouse” destinations, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket and the Bridgeway.
We promise as energetic and energising a mix of features and documentaries in 2012 as we’ve ever assembled.
DESIGN FOR LIVING Two Showcase documentaries spotlight design – on the urban scale and the domestic – and a third provides an extremely entertaining account of what can happen when a community finds itself at odds with its elected representatives on the fraught subject of urban development.
Urbanized Gary Hustwit’s credentials as a commentator on design matters were established immediately by his Helevtica, the surprise hit of the 2007 NZIFF. His new film Urbanized applies the same deft visual style to the subject of urban design.
The Triangle Wars Architects, engineers and city planners take the lead in Urbanized, but politicians and developers hold all the cards in The Triangle Wars, an alarming (and disarmingly funny) account of urban development closer to home.
Eames: The Architect and the Painter Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey's lavishly illustrated documentary portrait of husband and wife design team Ray and Charles Eames accommodates many readings: it’s a classic American tale of domestic talent extrapolated into international stardom; of artisanal know-how and innovation tooled for the industrial age. It’s a nostalgic evocation of a time when democratic ideals informed industrial outputs; and it’s a portrait of a creative marriage built on the shifting sands of gender equality in postwar America.
Our Idiot Brother A performance of perfect blundering innocence from Paul Rudd buoys this laugh-out-loud farce about a back-to-the-earth alternative lifestyler who disrupts the lives of his three uptight New York City sisters.
The Deep Blue Sea 2011 marked the centenary of the birth of Terence Rattigan – and an unexpected return to popularity for a prolific playwright whose once enormously successful plays had long been designated artefacts of the postwar era that they dramatized so exactly. Terence Davies’ film of his The Deep Blue Sea, illuminated by a performance of quiet intensity and subtlety by Rachel Weisz, shows just how abidingly resonant Rattigan’s observations of British anxieties about sex and class have turned out to be.
AnDa Union: From the Steppes to the City The Mongolian Steppes have graced many a film festival screen, but this may be the first armchair tour of those rolling grassy expanses that you can’t sit still for. Anda Union: From The Steppes To The City follows a band of young Inner Mongolian musicians as they traverse 10,000 km to perform for each of the ten members' far flung families.