Smash Palace. Greer Robson and Bruno Lawrence star in Roger Donaldson’s New Zealand cinema classic.  Film courtesy of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission

Our 2023 programme is underway!

Wellington Film Society’s 2023 programme.
Fabulous films from near and far, past and present.

Sleeping Dogs launched the acting career of National Film Unit director Sam Neill

We opened on the 27th of February with the Southern Gothic masterpiece, The Night of the Hunter – recently ranked the 25th greatest film of all time in Sight and Sound magazine’s respected critics poll. With an iconic lead performance by Robert Mitchum and incredible black and white cinematography, it really did look amazing on the Embassy screen. Rating at 88% in our audience poll, and applauded by a near-record crowd at the Embassy, it was a fantastic start to our 2023 programme.

“Awesome to see a bunch of fantastic performances; the tension was riveting; the photography was beautiful in a fairy-tale way… Classics on the big screen is what brought me back to the Film Society.”

We followed this up with Seijun Suzuki’s ultra-stylised, trippy ’60s yakuza gangster thriller, Tokyo Drifter.

On Monday 13 March we saw the first in our Aotearoa Cinema series, Sleeping Dogs, the 1977 film that launched the international careers of Sam Neill and Roger Donaldson. The second in the series, Smash Palace, also directed by Donaldson screens on 1 May.

The New Zealand Film Commisssion was formed shortly after the film was released, and Lindsay Shelton became its first marketing director in 1980. Lindsay, a former Wellington Film Society president, shares his perspective on Sleeping Dogs becoming the first New Zealand feature ever released in the Unted States, where it opened in February 1982.

We have really enjoyed selecting and assembling such a range of fine cinema for our 2023 programme, and would also like to acknowledge the help from the following long term supporters:

Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission, the Goethe-Institut, the Institut Français and the Embassy of France, and Unity Books Wellington.

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