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By Stephen Heard
May 04, 2017
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By Stephen Heard
May 04, 2017
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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 at the main event. The pocket-sized film series takes place at Wellington's Embassy Theatre from May 3–21, and Auckland's The Civic and Academy Cinema from May 10–21. From one of cinema's greatest follies to a snapshot of the hippy era, here's five to schedule in.

VOYAGE OF TIME: LIFE'S JOURNEY

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.

WOODSTOCK: THREE DAYS OF PEACE AND MUSIC

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.

BURDEN OF DREAMS

Les Blank's Burden of Dreams immortalises the chaotic making of Fitzcarraldo, a part fiction, part true-life story following an Irish adventurer who dreams of building an opera house in the Amazon. 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, Fitzcarraldo has been called 'a great vision of the cinema, and one of the great follies'. The end product is also screening at this year's festival.

CAMILLE

1936 classic Camille is often considered one of cinema's finest romantic tearjerkers. Featuring golden age actors Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor, the film follows a courtesan who must choose between the man who loves her and the baron who wants her.

THE KING AND THE MOCKINGBIRD

French animation The King and the Mockingbird has been described as "the perfect film for children, and a challenging one for adults." Based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, the hand-drawn animation started as a collaboration between director Paul Grimault and French poet Jacques Prévert in 1948 though was officially finished until 30 years later in 1980. It follows a chimney sweep and shepherdess on the run from a tyrannical king.

Published on May 04, 2017 by Stephen Heard

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