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A is for Autumn

And also for Ancient and (unless you’re David Tua) Awesome. The NZIFF delivers its selection of classics for this year’s Autumn Events programme.

“Astaire. Brando. Hepburn. Miyazaki and More” reads the headline, and (with the exception of the last-named director) restorations are the order of the day.

Miyazaki’s final film (unless he changes his mind), The Wind Rises, is currently an Oscar nominee. It’s unlikely to deliver the director’s second Oscar (after Spirited Away) given the steamroller performance of Frozen at the many US awards events that lead up to the Academy’s early March bash.

The Wind Rises will play in both dubbed and subtitles versions in some centres.

Of the golden oldies, Carol Reed’s 1949 The Third Man is the oldest, adapted from his own novella by Graham Greene. Brilliantly and disappointingly, it scales heights British cinema has reached only occasionally in the intervening 65 years.

A pair of fifties Hollywood features offers the contrasting sides of the American industry: the fluff and fashion of Stanley Donen’s Astaire and Hepburn pairing in musical Funny Face versus the working lives in Elia Kazan’s Marlon Brando-starring On the Waterfront.

Rounding out the programme, for the subtitle-lovers and subscribers to the “art is suffering” school of thought, is Werner Herzog’s 1972 Aguirre, the Wrath of God, delivering the first of the director’s battles with actor Klaus Kinski and more OSH violations than most martial arts movies. Brilliant.

Autumn Events plays 11 April – 18 May. Tickets are now on sale.

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