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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Last year, the film that stood out most for me at NZIFF was Lee Chang-dong's Burning and it contained a standout scene right in the middle which acted as a flashpoint to what follows after. In a similar vein there's a scene in this film's middle, also set to music which literally and metaphorically sets things on fire. This is an elegant period piece but don't mistake elegance for stuffiness - it feels both of its time and very contemporary…

  • High Life

    High Life

    In space, no one can hear you cream.

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  • Faces Places

    Faces Places

    ★★★★½

    Varda at 88, on a road trip, singing the disco classic "Ring My Bell" is all you need to know about the indomitable force of nature that she is. I adore her.

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★½

    Not another teen movie? Well this one has more smarts than most, is comfortable in its diverse skin and is riotously funny at times. The pairing of Feldstein and Devers is a winning one that puts the smart kids at the centre of the action but *shock horror* they still have plenty to learn. This is a lot of fun, while also managing to touch a few chords when it comes to growing up and thinking we've found "the one". And a smashing Alanis Morissette karaoke scene. Go see it.

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  • Border

    Border

    ★★★½

    That sex scene will haunt me for years. I've got nothing else sorry.

  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★

    The polite but nervous energy of Norman Bates crossed with the relentless drive of Travis Bickle is what you get from Jake Gyllenhaal's Lou Bloom, a sociopath for the new millennium.

    Less a critique of modern day TV news, more a character study, as you see Bloom begin the film with petty crime before stumbling on an opportunity to gather footage of crime and accidents for a cable news channel. Bill Paxton's Joe, a competitor for this footage uses the…