Cinephilia: Opening This Week

by Dan on March 5, 2009

Watchmen posterI expect there’ll be an awful lot of disappointed 15 year olds when they discover that long-awaited graphic novel adaptation Watchmen has been rated R16 despite being trailered in front of every big movie since The Dark Knight. Evidently, it earns the rating being every bit as bloody as the book (not to mention featuring 50 foot high blue penises). Director Zack Snyder looks to have used plenty of actual frames of Moore & Gibbons work as inspiration (much as he did with 300 in 2006) but it remains to be seen if he can successfully film the "unfilmable" book: Readings, Empire, Embassy, Sky City Queensgate.

The Paramount provides plenty of balance as usual, opening two American documentaries this week. Gonzo: The Life & Work of Hunter S. Thompson (which sort of speaks for itself) and Crazy Love (of which I said in my Festival preview last year: "… it helps to not know too much detail going in, as the reveals are deliciously handled. Suffice to say that love is blind, in more ways than one."

[The rest of this week’s new releases after the jump]

Back in the commercial cinema we see The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, adapted from the acclaimed young-adult novel by John Boyne. Eight-year-old Bruno moves to a new town when his soldier father gets a new posting. His dad runs a Nazi concentration camp and young Bruno makes friends through the wire with one of the children inside: Readings, Penthouse and Lighthouse Petone.

Chirpy little Dakota Fanning won this year’s NAACP Image Award for Best Actress for The Secret Life of Bees despite being, how do I put this, white. She plays a 14-year-old girl in 1964 South Carolina, escaping from an abusive family situation with her black nanny (Dreamgirls ‘ Jennifer Hudson). Based on another beloved novel, you can find it at Readings, Penthouse, Lighthouse Petone, Sky City Queensgate.

The Film Society got under way gently on Monday with a secial preview of Crazy Love. The first film fired in anger is next Monday: Garden of Earthly Delights featuring a Q&A with the director, Lech Majewski. I previewed the Film Society programme at Funerals & Snakes yesterday.

The Film Archive seems to define eclecticism with their programming – next Wednesday the 6.00pm session is a series of short dance films (Dance, dance, dance ) selected by Rebecca Galloway from the New Zealand School of Dance shortly followed by Tibet – Murder in the Snow, a documentary about an eventful trip in the Himalayas.

All the commercial releases will be reviewed in the Capital Times next week, cross-posted with hyper-links to Funerals & Snakes.

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