Tag Archives: film festival

DocEdge 17 | Max Gimblett : Original Mind

Australia / United States | 2017 | 50 min | English | Rhys Mitchell

‘Max Gimblett : Original Mind’ is a glimpse into the life of Max Gimblett – one of  New Zealand’s most outstanding living Artists – and gives us insight to the workings of his Loft Studio in New York, which he acquired in 1974.

Gimblett talks about some of his earlier inspiration; being influenced by Matisse and starting ink drawing while he was in San Francisco in the mid 60’s, and becoming more strongly influenced by Japanese Calligraphy a few years later, when he was in Indiana. This influence helps us understand perhaps why he moved to Buddhism; He is now an avowed Rensai Zen Priest. These concepts and belief systems are evident in much of his work, and his spirituality seems to be a driving force behind his studio practice, as well as his everyday life.

Gimblett’s approach of creating, doing and feeling before over-thinking results in much of his extraordinarily expressive yet minimalist paintings and drawings. Over the years he has built an impressive and immense body of work, and this is continuously growing – his creative genius seemingly no where near exhausted.

‘Max Gimblett : Original Mind’ is 50 minutes of enjoyment and insight into one of New Zealand’s most relevant and intriguing artists, and well worth viewing.

The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz

DocEdge 17 | Fallen Flowers, Thick Leaves

Netherlands / Germany | Chinese / English Sub | 2017 | 80 min | Laetitia Schoofs

‘Fallen Flowers, Thick Leaves’ subject matter is highly relevant and current, touching on sensitive issues not often discussed in Chinese culture and commonly considered taboo. In-depth sexual education for women is scarce and not as widely available in this setting, and we gain some insight into what is becoming more available in terms of education in modern Chinese culture, with the happiness and satisfaction of these women in mind.

Much is still suppressed in regards to the control the Government exercises, however this is being challenged  – we are introduced to some captivating women; intelligent, independant and attractive. Women whom are sometimes condisered ‘freaks’, as they are unmarried, single, without children and past their mid-twenties. They are subject to the cultural and societal pressures placed upon them, however the discovery and acceptance of the fact that they do not need to reply on a male partner for their sexual satisfaction is empowering to some.

Director Laetitia Schoofs has a sensitivity and gentle beauty to the treatment of her subject, which is felt throughout the viewing of “Fallen Flowers, Thick Leaves’. At times I was reminded of last years DocEdge screening for ‘Inside the Chinese Closet’, and in a way these films are both linked – hopefully creating some awareness and understanding of the juxtaposition of a culture held back by tradition, but propelling towards modernerty at a rate which highlights these shortcomings so blatantly.

Highly recommended.

The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz






DocEdge 16 | Inside the Chinese Closet

China | Mandarin / English | 2015 | 72 min | Feature film | Sophia Luvarà

Inside the Chinese Closet is a look into the life and struggle of what it means to be Chinese and Gay in a modern society, bound by the social and cultural expectations of family. It focuses on two contrasting situations; Andy lives in urban Shanghai, and is searching for a lesbian psuedo-wife of convenience to bear his child and appease his family. Socially active, with a calm self-confidence, he is challenged by these social constructs; although his father may to accept his lifestyle to a degree – it is still referred to as ‘his issue’, and something to solve. His journey explores his options, including IVF, surrogates & adoption.

Cherry is a different personality entirely. From countryside China; she is emotionally sombre, and possibly procrastinating when it comes to the task of actually procuring a child. Many complications prolong the process, to the very apparent frustration of her parents. Her Father especially seems to rule with an iron fist, while her endearing Mother tries to understand her daughters homosexuality (and fails).

What I came to realise early on is that there is a real sense of unity in China’s Gay community, as their situation is unique, and they are stuck in this in-between place; a forward moving, industrious China vs. cultural tradition. Andy and Cherry are very real people; Sophia Luvarà illustrates this with beauty and sensitivity.

I would highly recommend adding ‘Inside the Chinese Closet’ to your view-list, premiering in New Zealand this May at the DocEdge Film Festival. Get your tickets HERE.

The 11th DocEdge Festival takes place in Wellington 4-15 May and Auckland 18-29 May. www.docedge.nz

seen | Short Me Shorts 2013

The best new short films from New Zealand and around the world are in cinemas nation-wide. Still around, you must go see! Here’s a review of a few short films that you might like:

Cautionary Tail: A quaint 3D animation about a girl born with a tail that conveys her emotions. Voiced by Cate Blanchett and David Wenham, it’s an uplifting short film with a poignant message- of which we should all take heed. What happens to you when you give in to the pressure of conformity and lose the quirk which makes you, who you are.

Unravel: An interesting documentary directed by Maghna Gupta that gives us a look at where our unwanted clothes go, a sleepy town in Northern India- Panipat, to be recycled back into yarn. We mostly hear from Rechma, a woman who works in a textile recycling factory and dreams of travelling to the foreign places the clothes she handles are from. We’re shown how the clothes are processed, while different woman reflect on what they believe about the Western cultures, discussing hearsay and what they deduce from the kinds of clothes they find.

Perfect Drug: Is an out of this world look at a heist gone south, with crazy CGI and mental hallucination scenes it’s a wild ride.

Mud Crab: A quaint animation about a little boy who catches a mud crab and the discussion he has with his ‘dadda’ about how to get the mud crab out of the cage without hurting themselves.

I’m Going To Mum’s: A funny, touching, look at the effects of a newly divorced couple’s feud on their eight-year old son, Jacob. After their squabbling leads them to dressing Jacob in outfits that become more and more ridiculous as a way of one-upping one other, it ultimately leads to Jacob resorting to drastic measures in an attempt to both end the hate, and find his identity which was getting buried in the layers of clothing.

For more information about the festival and where you can check these shorts out, click here.

heard | Watties Cans Film Festival back for its 20th Year

The Wattie’s Cans Film Festival is back for the twentieth year and this year the line up includes everything from a documentary to the high-flying animation, Planes.

From Wednesday 6th November to Wednesday 13th November, you can exchange cans of food for Festival night tickets at participating cinemas.

Event:                  Wattie’s Cans Film Festival

When:                  Wednesday 13 November

Where:                Reading Cinemas, Hoyts Cinemas, EVENT Cinemas and independent cinemas across New Zealand

The Wattie’s Cans Film Festival, now in its 20th year, provides essential support to The Salvation Army in stocking up their food banks for the busy Christmas period. For every can donated, Wattie’s will donate one can of their own to help ensure The Salvation Army have the supplies they need to support Kiwis in need this Christmas.

Once again, Reading Cinemas, Hoyts Cinemas, and EVENT Cinemas are generously offering their theatres for the Festival night, 13th November, along with independent cinemas, at approximately 40 locations across the country.

To find your nearest cinema and find out when films will be showing, check out www.watties.co.nz. You can also keep up to date on all festival news via www.facebook.com/wattiescansfilmfestival.

The 2013 Wattie’s Cans Film Festival Film Line-up:

  • One Direction
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Planes
  • Smurfs 2

Electronic Excitement

Book your flights, ladies and gentlemen, because the 9th annual Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media is back!

(Seriously though, early ticket purchases will be discounted by 25%)

Headlining the most anticipated festival in Seattle is New Zealand’s very own musical gem Kimbra, who will be coming home in July for a one night only performance at Auckland’s Vector Arena before kicking off the Decibel Festival on September 26.

Kimbra will be in talented company at Decibel with acts such as Fennesz, Carl Craig, Dragonette and the Baths. The final musical lineup is expected to be announced today, with the final educational, film festival, after party and boat party programs released on July 11.

The festival expects over 30,000 attendees this year with over 170 artists. Decibel will hit Seattle with its sound waves for 5 days at over 14 different venues, and encompasses 34 audio/visual showcases, an outdoor event, a three-day conference, and a film festival.

Founded in 2003, Decibel’s mission was to redefine underground electronic music and visual art as a unified performance medium by balancing “technology and creativity; innovation and nostalgia; popularity and obscurity”.

2012 will be their most ambitious and diverse program yet. With representation from 19 countries around the world and a record 25% female artist lineup, the festival has truly defined what it means to be progressive for electronic music.

Website: http://dbfestival.com/

2012 Preview Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=pWKWrtZQqVc


LAMBS in world festival

Another great set of Kiwi talent is showing New Zealand to the world. LAMBS, the hottest new Kiwi short film will appear in the 34th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival – the world’s premiere short film event. This is the 24th year the Festival has run an international competition with LAMBS selected to compete from 5,701 worldwide submissions! LAMBS tells the story of Jimmy, a big-hearted fourteen year old boy facing a difficult decision – stay in his abusive home to protect his younger siblings, or leave to start a new life of his own.

Written and directed by Wellington filmmaker, Sam Kelly, the script for LAMBS came out of research for a feature film he is writing, and time spent meeting ‘at risk’ youth from Welly. “These children have been prosecuted for offences ranging from burglary to aggravated assault. There were similarities in many of their lives, often facing neglect, abuse, drugs, and gang affiliations. I felt disturbed that children in my developed country were in survival mode, yet moved by the courage and heart that many of the kids showed“ says Kelly “and in the character of Jimmy I found a moving dilemma”.

Shot just outside Wellington, in the Porirua’s Cannons Creek. Casting Director, Yvette Reid, spent six months casting the film almost entirely from non-actors. Reid and Kelly scoured schools, supermarkets, boxing clubs and netball courts to audition over 300 people for the film. The lead role of 14 years old Jimmy was a challenging role to cast, needing both a tough exterior and emotional openness. After auditioning kids from Porirua and Wainuiomata schools, Waka Rowlands instantly stood out with his naturalism, belief in the situation, and emotional access. Waka’s performance as Jimmy has impressed New Zealand casting directors, and promises bigger things.

The 34th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2012 runs between January 27th and February 4th 2012.