Cinephilia: Opening This Week
Pick of the week at the movies must be The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke’s triumphant return to major leagues after years wandering in the wilderness. It’s a comeback of sorts for director Darren Aronofsky, too. His last film, The Fountain, was a strange and beautiful fable about trying to escape death but he’s probably best-known for Requiem for a Dream, nine years ago. Rourke plays a rung-out and strung-out professional wrestler trying to reinvent his life outside the ring. Readings, Penthouse, Lighthouse Petone.
In other news, Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri Make a Porno) tries a change of pace as a (possibly) evil nanny in the chiller The Uninvited (Readings and Sky City Queensgate) and my favourite B-movie action hero Jason Statham returns as the eponymous Transporter in the third episode of Luc Besson’s action series. Big question in Transporter 3? Is Frank Martin gay. The director has a perfect action movie name: Olivier Megaton. Readings and Sky City Queensgate.
Before the Rains carries the name of the esteemed production company Merchant Ivory (A Room With a View, Remains of the Day) but doesn’t feature any input from the three creative forces behind the company, screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, James Ivory or Ismail Merchant (who died in 2005). It could easily fit into the Merchant Ivory canon, however, as it tells the story of an idealistic young Indian during the waning days of the British occupation, forced to choose between his ambition for the future and loyalty to his past. You’ll find it at the Penthouse and the Lighthouse Petone.
At the Film Archive you have the chance to see the last serious Peter Jackson film, 1994’s Heavenly Creatures – playing at 7.00pm tonight and Saturday, and Monday’s Film Society screening is Mauvais Sang, a very off-beat thriller from director Leos Carax, described by one critic as "one of the world’s most exciting filmmakers".