Jojo Rabbit (2019)



I’ll declare a bias upfront: I’m a Taika Waititi fan. From Boy (2010) and Eagle vs. Shark (2007) to What We Do in the Shadows (2014) and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), his dry, droll, irreverent humour never fails to win me over. He even made a superhero movie watchable with Thor: Ragnarok (2017) mostly not taking itself too seriously. Continue reading

Daffodils (2019)



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I was primed for this New Zealand musical as a line of Maori singers serenaded the queue as we waited and they walked into the cinema. I was a tad disappointed when I realised they were there for For My Father’s Kingdom in Kino 1 and Daffodils was going to be a bit more pakeha. Continue reading

The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)



The what-a-people? Full of memorable, quotable lines that are all the funnier for being in a Kiwi accent, there is nothing really to dislike about this sweet New Zealand comic drama by Taika Waititi, director of What We Do in the Shadows and Boy, two of my favourite Kiwi films. You’ll recognise Taika as he also often features in his films – Viago in Shadows, Alamein in Boy and the minister in Wilderpeople. Continue reading

The Rehearsal (2016)



MIFF announced some surprise screenings on the last day. These are films that weren’t part of the festival program and were a mixture of classics – Abbas Kiarostami’s A Taste of Cherry to mark his passing last month – and new films like this New Zealand drama that had just premiered at the NZ Film Festival and been chosen for the New York Film Festival. It’s based on a book by Eleanor Catton, author of the much better know The Luminaries so it has some credentials. Overall it was a pleasant experience though I was left wondering what the film was really about. Continue reading