Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ve probably noticed by now that there’s a medium to large sporting event going on (why else would the news for the last several days have been largely focused on a particular athlete’s groin?).
What you’ve also hopefully noticed is the celebration of New Zealand arts and culture that has been running alongside the aforementioned medium to large sporting event – the Real NZ Festival. The Festival has included events and sights as diverse as Te Radar’s Eating the Dog and the NZ On Screen containers on the waterfront, as well as dance, music, theatre and more.
The Film Archive’s contribution to the Real NZ Festival is the Reel Festival, a series of screenings of Kiwi films. Screenings are at 7pm every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and tickets are just $8.
It would be fair to call most of the films on offer modern NZ classics; it’s possible that some of them might be a little lost on foreign visitors, but I guess that’s a danger with any regional cinema. Consider it a challenge, and a cultural experience.
The lineup includes local favourites like Sione’s Wedding (in which four guys are banned from their best friends wedding, unless they find girlfriends), Topless Women Talk About Their Lives (which probably isn’t the movie you might imagine, based on the title), and the first ever NZ animated feature, Footrot Flats: A Dog’s Tale, as well as the somewhat more highbrow and internationally successful The Piano.
Since they’re at the Film Archive, you can even have a beer while you watch them – how very civilised – and afterwards it’s only a short stroll to either Cuba Street, Courtenay Place or to the waterfront FanZone if you’re that way inclined. If this weather keeps up, not a bad way to spend a rainy evening, I reckon…