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The pocket-sized film series welcomes a 40-year epic, a seminal concert film, one of cinema's great follies, and a Woody Allen classic.
Before we sink into the belly of winter and curl up with the full NZ International Film Festival (NZIFF) program, Autumn Events is here to give us a taste of what's to come. The first four films for the pocket-sized series have been unveiled, featuring one New Zealand premiere and three cinematic classics.
Forty years in the making, Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time: Life's Journey takes viewers on a trip through the birth of the stars, the evolution of life on earth and sea, and its eventual obliteration. The film has two versions; a forty-minute IMAX cut with narration by Brad Pitt, and a 35-millimetre feature-length edition narrated by Cate Blanchett. Autumn Events will feature the latter in its NZ premiere.
Seminal concert film Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music follows the legendary blowout in 1969 where 400,000 young Americans took over farmland in NY State for a music festival. The 70mm doco by Martin Scorsese was released the following year and has since become a snapshot of the era and the hippy movement. Almost 50 years on, Autumn Events will rehash the peace, love and music with a newly digitised director's cut.
Woody Allen's 1979 rom-com Manhattan is one of cinema's great odes to New York City. Shot in black and white and backed by a Gershwin score, the film stars Allen himself as a neurotic writer, Diane Keaton as his best friend's mistress, and Meryl Streep as his ex-wife, now lesbian author.
The final film in Autumn Events first lineup is Fitzcarraldo, a part fiction, part true-life story following an Irish adventurer who dreams of building an opera house in an Amazon port. Locals were persuaded to assist in the adventure that took four years to make— there were also three changes of cast, and the dragging of a 40-tonne steamboat from one river to another. Directed by Werner Herzog, it's been called 'a great vision of the cinema, and one of the great follies'.
Further Autumn Events titles will be dribbled out through March. The series plays out in cinemas in Dunedin, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch from April 21 to May 21. More info here.
Published on March 10, 2017 by Stephen Heard