Thursday, July 17, 2014

EVENT: Auckland Zinefest 2014!

Auckland Zinefest is back, look for the NZCC and fifty other great local comics, zines and small press stalls & workshops this Saturday July 19th, at the Old Folks Association, 8 Gundry street, off of K road! It kicks off from 12pm - 5pm, so we'll see you there!

- AK! (run off his feet with lots of crazy publishing/comics things going on, so more updates soon!).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Contains Graphic Content: Comics Related Films at the NZIFF!

Above: John Hurt, Chris Evans and Jamie Bell in the film adaptation of Snowpiercer.

The 2014 New Zealand International Film Festival is rapidly approaching, kicking off in Auckland from July 17th - 3rd August, before going on the road to twelve other venues around the country. For those viewers with a love of comics and animation, I'm going to highlight some of great comics/graphic novel related film in this year's Festival line-up.

Above: A page from the French graphic novel Snowpiercer, by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette.

One of the most talked about films of the year so far is Snowpierceradapted from the French graphic novel series by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette, and directed by Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho (The Host). Set in a dystopian near future, Snowpiercer is mankind's last refuge from a new ice age, a lone, massive train circling the globe in a non-stop journey of survival against a now uninhabitable environment. Inside the train is segregated, with the poor lower class workers in the back carriages, and the elite class living in luxury at the front. This imbalance is about to be challenged when one of the workers, Curtis (Chris Evans), leads a desperate rebellion to take control of the train - by fighting their way to the front.

Described as 'visually stunning' and 'groundbreaking' by critics, this film has proven to be an instant cult classic, and well worth catching on the biggest screen you can find! More details and show times can be found HERE.

Above: A still from We Are the Best!, directed by Lukas Moodysson.

Coming from Sweden, We Are the Best! follows two rebellious teenage girls, Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin), who cut school to form their own punk band. They don't let the fact they are 'musically challenged' get in the way, and recruit a third, more experience musician - Hedwig (Liv LeMoyne), to complete their trio. 

Above: A page from Never Goodnight by Coco Moodysson. Copyright Coco Moodysson 2014.

This punk 1980's era coming-of-age story is written and directed by Lukas Moodysson, adapted from his wife's graphic novel, Never Goodnight by Coco Moodysson. More details and show times can be found HERE.

Above: A still from REALITi, directed by Jonathan King.

Now for some local connections: a filmmaker and more recently a prolific cartoonist, Jonathan King (Black Sheep, Under the Mountain) returns to filmmaking with this low-fi science fiction thriller, REALITi. Written by his comics collaborator, novelist Chad Taylor, REALITi introduces us to Vic Long (Nathan Meister), a media executive with a young family and a bright future. But when a petty crime throws a strange light on the world he has made, he begins to question the very facts of his existence. 

In their approach to making this paranoid thriller, the filmmakers stated, "We wanted to depict the modern urban landscape of New Zealand: the cities and suburbs, the corporate interests, and the fears we import from overseas". Jonathan King will also be making a guest appearance at the Auckland and Wellington screenings. More details and show times can be found HERE.

Above: A still from Over the Moon, featuring Anna Jullienne as Connie Radar.

Featuring in the New Zealand's Best 2014 short film competition, Over the Moon is a impressive adaptation of Karl Wills' Connie Radar min-comic series from The Comicbook Factory. Directed by James Cunningham, the seven minute short features a witty adaptation by Wills and Timothy Kidd, brought to life with the aid of some amazing effects work by a team of students from the Media Design School

The short is in competition here for the Madman Entertainment Jury Prize, and has also been selected to screen at the Comic-Con International Film Festival in San Diego later this month. More details and show times can be found HERE.

Above: A still from The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

The latest film from Studio Ghibli, The Tale of Princess Kaguya takes its inspiration from the traditional Japanese folk-tale 'The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter'. Animated in the hand-drawn style of a storybook and set in an unspecified time, a bamboo cutter discovers a miniature princess, Kaguya, concealed in a bamboo shoot. He returns home with his curious discovery to show his wife, only to have it blossom before their eyes into a full gown baby. They adopt the child, who grows quickly for her age, earning her the nick-name 'bamboo' from the other village children. 

When he parents find gifts of gold and fine silk in the forest, they take it as a sign of Kaguya's royal lineage, and leave their pastoral lifestyle behind to raise her as a royal princess. From there the story develops in surprising and unexpected ways, taking a unique spin on the traditional princess fairy tale - from the battle of suitors to the revelation of her true heritage. More details and show times can be found HERE.

For more information on NZ International Film Festival sessions, screenings and events in your area, check out there website HERE.

- AK!