Today marks the day that the annual World Cinema Showcase have launched their programme of wonderful films. I'm a big fan of the Showcase: it's like a smaller, more relaxed version of the big Film Festival in the middle of the year. As per usual, I'll be helping out but what I'm really keen for is a number of the films on offer.
This is a film I have been intentionally avoiding reading anything about: all I know is that it is supposed to be brilliant and you should go in knowing nothing. So far, so good.
Oh fuck yeah! FINALLY we get to see this absolutely, amazingly, mental looking film! Rubber is the tale of Robert: a psychotic, psychically powered rubber tyre. That's all you need to know really. If you're not intrigued from that synopsis, I don't really know what can be done for you.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Starring the delightful Alan Tudyk as one half of the hapless rednecks in this fantastic looking horror-comedy. Tucker and Dale are two redneck types, living in the backwoods and when some teens come along and start dying all over the place, the poor guys get the blame for it.
This marks something of a complete left turn for director John Cameron Mitchell (director of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the "family-values" baiting Shortbus); not only is this a serious drama not focusing on sexuality, it's also his first film starring known actors. In this case, Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman (in the role she was nominated for an Oscar this year). It looks to be an intense, emotional drama.
Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
I remember seeing the trailer for this quite a few months ago, and have been intrigued ever since. I think we can all admit that no-one does politics quite like the Yanks and this doco charting former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's fall from grace looks to be riveting. And coming as it does from Alex Gibney (director of Taxi to the Dark Side and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) you can be sure it will be intelligent and uncompromising.
Waiting for "Superman"
Another doco, this time from Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, It Might get Loud) this could be one of the more controversial films at the Showcase. It focuses on the American education system, and Guggehiem takes square aim at the unions, who he sees as blocking education reform. One to stir debate indeed.
The Way Back
Peter Weir does epic really, really well. And this film, that tells the true tale of a group who escaped from a Soviet forced-labour camp and then proceeded to walk some 4,000 miles to freedom looks pretty damned epic.
Now, this is dedication to a documentary. Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington were embedded with a US military unit in Afghanistan for a year and filmed them. Their ups, downs and deaths.
Jim Broadbent in the new Mike Leigh film? 'Nuff said.
Ok, this film I hadn't heard a thing about until I perused the Showcase programme. Sounds like a totally wacky kung-fu film and I am always keen for one of those. Such as...
Reign of Assassins
A Michelle Yeoh starring kung-fu film, directed (in part) by John Woo? Yeah. Ok then.
Another documentary I've been looking forward to, with contributions from Morgan Spurlock, Seth Gordon, Alex Gibney and more it should be interesting to see if it all ties together.
We Are What We Are
This is another film on the programme that sounds more than a little nuts (in the best way possible). About a family of Mexican cannibals, this looks to a blackly funny and possibly satirical film in the vein (ha!) of Romero.
And I've only picked these from a quick overview of the programme! I'm certain there's a few more tasty cinematic morsels and meals for me to check out and I will, of course, be writing about them all right here.
The World Cinema Showcase runs April 1 - 18 in Auckland, April 14 - 30 in Wellington and May 5 - 18 in Dunedin. There is no Christchurch show this year, for obvious reasons.