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Win tickets to Adam Wingard’s THE GUEST

Win tickets to Adam Wingard’s THE GUEST

2014 provided two future classic B-movies in the form of The Guest and John Wick, although rather inexplicably neither found itself a theatrical release in New Zealand. Action fans now have cause to celebrate, however, as the former — ostensibly director Adam Wingard’s badass love-letter to ’80s genre flicks — has made its way at last to our cinemas. Dan Stevens …

Win tickets to Woody Allen’s IRRATIONAL MAN starring Joaquin Phoenix

Win tickets to Woody Allen’s IRRATIONAL MAN starring Joaquin Phoenix

The resurgent Joaquin Phoenix makes an unexpected foray into the farcical world of late-career Woody Allen in Irrational Man. He stars as a burned-out philosophy professor who takes a job at a Rhode Island College and becomes involved with a teacher (Parker Posey) as well as a precocious student (Emma Stone), but won’t find meaning in his life until an existential act …

Win a mystery prize!

Win a mystery prize!

A Fistful of Culture is beyond excited for the upcoming New Zealand International Film Festival, and if you’re reading this then no doubt you feel the same way, so let’s celebrate together: let us know which film from this year’s programme you are most eagerly anticipating, as well as your preference of Blu-ray or DVD, and you’ll be in …

Win a double pass to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s BIRDMAN starring Michael Keaton

Win a double pass to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s BIRDMAN starring Michael Keaton

Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu — known for his dark, earnest, non-linear dramas (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel) — delivers the most stylish and entertaining work of his career with Birdman. The film follows a former cinema superhero (Michael Keaton, in what will be his definitive performance), as he attempts to reinvigorate his career with an ambitious Broadway production. The impressive supporting cast includes Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, …

Win a double pass to NIGHTCRAWLER starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Win a double pass to NIGHTCRAWLER starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Screenwriter Dan Gilroy’s impressive directorial debut Nightcrawler hits New Zealand cinemas this week, and A Fistful of Culture has five double passes to giveaway thanks to Trigger Marketing. The film details the sleazy world of L.A. crime journalism (”if it bleeds, it leads”), and Jake Gyllenhaal gives an utterly riveting, career-best performance as the opportunistic Lou Bloom. Gaunt, desperate and eerily …

Win a Studio Ghibli Blu-ray or DVD prize pack

Win a Studio Ghibli Blu-ray or DVD prize pack

In anticipation of The Tale of Studio Ghibli — a cinematic showcase celebrating the genius of filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro) and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) — A Fistful of Culture and Madman have put together two prize packs which include some of their best loved films. The first is made up of Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas and Howl’s Moving Castle on …

Win a doppelgänger Blu-ray prize pack

Win a doppelgänger Blu-ray prize pack

Two of the year’s most intriguing and enigmatic films — Richard Ayoade’s The Double and Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy — dealt with the discovery of a doppelgänger, so it’s only fitting that they should be given away together. For those who missed either at the NZ International Film Festival, both come highly recommended — Ayoade’s film is a wonderfully stylised and frequently hilarious …

Win tickets to the Mo Brothers’ KILLERS

Win tickets to the Mo Brothers’ KILLERS

Timothy Tjahjanto (VHS2, ABCs of Death) and Kimo Stamboel (Macabre) aka the Mo Brothers have re-teamed on the gory thriller Killers, the first Indonesian-Japanese co-production of its genre. The intriguing story follows a deranged cat-and-mouse game between two serial killers (Kazuki Kitamura and Oka Antara) who post their increasingly violent crimes online. Following its Incredibly Strange debut at the 2014 NZ …

Win THE RAID 2 on Blu-ray

Win THE RAID 2 on Blu-ray

Perhaps the most breathlessly anticipated sequel of the year, Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2 picks up from right where his breakout 2012 Indonesian actioner left off, only upping the ante with fight scenes that incredibly manage to top the original for intensity as well as an admirably grander story. Now available on Blu-ray — with an Uncut 148-minute running time …

Win 2013 NZIFF favourites on Blu-ray

Win 2013 NZIFF favourites on Blu-ray

Two of my absolute favourite films of last year’s NZ International Film Festival — and, in fact, the entire year — are now available on Blu-ray/DVD: Jim Jarmusch’s uber cool Only Lovers Left Alive and Paolo Sorrentino’s stunning The Great Beauty. A Fistful of Culture is combining blu-ray copies of both into three awesome prize packs courtesy of Madman, and …

Win tickets to PREDESTINATION starring Ethan Hawke

Win tickets to PREDESTINATION starring Ethan Hawke

The Spierig brothers have reteamed with their Daybreakers star Ethan Hawke on another intriguing science fiction project. Predestination follows the life of a time-traveling ‘Temporal Agent’ (Hawke) as he pursues the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. Early reviews suggest that this film is a must-see for genre fans and boasts a breakout performance from Australian actress Sarah Snook, and A …

Win a double pass to Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD

Win a double pass to Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD

Fresh off its festival conquering run, Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making Boyhood is heading to New Zealand cinemas this week. This utterly unique and ambitious film follows a fictional Texan family — with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as the separated parents — as the youngest son (Ellar Coltrane) literally grows up before our eyes. What sounds like a potential gimmick …

Win a DVD prize pack of 2013 NZIFF titles

Win a DVD prize pack of 2013 NZIFF titles

With the much anticipated 2014 NZ International Film Festival launching in Auckland this week, A Fistful of Culture would like to celebrate by giving away a prize pack of highlights from last year’s programme: Jeremy Saulnier’s terrific revenge thriller Blue Ruin, Asghar Farhadi’s intricate relationship drama The Past, and Sarah Polley’s fascinating family documentary Stories We Tell. Each of these highly recommended titles are …

Win a Studio Ghibli Blu-ray prize pack

Win a Studio Ghibli Blu-ray prize pack

Following the recent release of Hayao Miyazaki’s magnificent swansong, The Wind Rises, this month sees the long-awaited arrival of what may be Isao Takahata’s final film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya — screening at the 2014 NZ International Film Festival. In anticipation of this, A Fistful of Culture has teamed up with Madman on a prize pack of two Studio Ghibli …

Win a double pass to John Michael McDonagh’s CALVARY starring Brendan Gleeson

Win a double pass to John Michael McDonagh’s CALVARY starring Brendan Gleeson

Writer/director John Michael McDonagh made an impressive debut in 2011 with The Guard, which served as a hilarious showcase for the great Brendan Gleeson. The pair are returning to NZ screens next week with an even blacker comedy, Calvary, which follows the story of a good priest (Gleeson) who is faced with troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his …

Win a GOOD VIBRATIONS prize pack

Win a GOOD VIBRATIONS prize pack

Chronicling the Belfast punk scene that exploded during the peak of The Troubles, Good Vibrations earned rave reviews in the UK last year — particularly for its star, Richard Dormer — and NZ audiences can catch the film at Rialto Cinemas from this week. With a soundtrack that features Good Vibrations acts Rudi, The Outcasts and The Undertones, as well …

Win tickets to Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

Win tickets to Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

Jim Jarmusch’s ridiculously cool Only Lovers Left Alive is one of the most enjoyable films of the past year, not to mention a stellar addition to the filmmaker’s incomparable oeuvre — as those lucky enough to catch it at the 2013 NZ International Film Festival will attest — so NZ audiences should get excited to discover (or rediscover) the …

Win a double pass to Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Win a double pass to Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

It’s early days yet for film-of-the-year talk, but 2014 already has a significant frontrunner in Wes Anderson’s absolutely wonderful The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is heading to NZ cinemas this week. Following 2012’s festival favourite Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson once again tries his hand at a period piece, reimagining 1930s Europe through the zany adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a …

Autumn Events 2014 programme guide + THE THIRD MAN giveaway

Autumn Events 2014 programme guide + THE THIRD MAN giveaway

The good folks at the New Zealand International Film Festival are brightening up our April once again with this week’s return of the Autumn Events, a delightful entré to the festival’s main course in July that presents legends of the big screen on gloriously big screens (The Civic in Auckland; The Embassy in Wellington). Last year’s …

Win tickets to Paolo Sorrentino’s THE GREAT BEAUTY

Win tickets to Paolo Sorrentino’s THE GREAT BEAUTY

Paolo Sorrentino’s stunning The Great Beauty (or La Grande Bellezza) makes its way to New Zealand cinemas this week after wowing festival audiences throughout last year, ultimately besting some stiff competition to claim both the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film — a just result following its baffling awards snub at Cannes. Sure to be …

Win a double pass to Spike Jonze’s HER starring Joaquin Phoenix

Win a double pass to Spike Jonze’s HER starring Joaquin Phoenix

Spike Jonze’s Her will likely be snubbed by the Academy next week, but don’t let that oversight fool you as this is one of the most ingenious and resonant American films in recent years — one which is likely to become a Millennial touchstone. Joaquin Phoenix delivers yet another great performance here as a withdrawn writer …

Win tickets to DALLAS BUYERS CLUB starring Matthew McConaughey

Win tickets to DALLAS BUYERS CLUB starring Matthew McConaughey

For those who haven’t been paying attention recently, Matthew McConaughey is currently in the midst of a terrific renaissance — or McConaissance; the increasingly prolific actor gave a great performance in Mud last year, stole the few scenes he was opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, and is currently doing some of the best work …

Win a double pass to SHORT TERM 12

Win a double pass to SHORT TERM 12

The biggest breakout success of last year’s SXSW Film Festival was Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12, which centres on a compassionate social worker who supervises at-risk teens while hiding troubles of her own. Brie Larson gives a revelatory lead performance that is sure to put her on everyone’s radar, and Cretton’s quietly powerful film has justly been …

Win tickets to PHILOMENA starring Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

Win tickets to PHILOMENA starring Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

Stephen Frears is back in top form with Philomena, a powerful and affecting true story that is easily his best work since The Queen. Judi Dench is wonderful as ever as the titular character, a kindhearted Irish woman who wishes to track down the son she was forced to give up by the Catholic church, and Steve …

Win tickets to 20 FEET FROM STARDOM

Win tickets to 20 FEET FROM STARDOM

Morgan Neville’s spirited music doc 20 Feet From Stardom won over audiences during the NZ International Film Festival earlier this year, and this insightful and often moving film is now returning to NZ cinemas for those who missed it. Just as 2002’s Standing in the Shadows of Motown shed long-overdue light on the overlooked session musicians …

Win a double pass to ENOUGH SAID starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus & James Gandolfini

Win a double pass to ENOUGH SAID starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus & James Gandolfini

Sundance favourite Nicole Holofcener (Please Give) returns this year with Enough Said, a very promising romantic comedy starring a resurgent Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) and featuring one of the final performances by the late, great James Gandolfini. The film centres on a divorced single parent (Louis-Dreyfus) who falls for a sweet man (Gandolfini), only to have matters complicated …

Win a double pass to Ridley Scott’s THE COUNSELOR starring Michael Fassbender

Win a double pass to Ridley Scott’s THE COUNSELOR starring Michael Fassbender

One of my more anticipated films of the year is The Counselor, a star-studded thriller — including Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt — that tantalizingly pairs author-turned-screenwriter Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men) and director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner). The film has been divisively received by U.S. critics, with several comparing …

Win CHASING ICE on Blu-ray

Win CHASING ICE on Blu-ray

Chasing Ice — one of last year’s must-see documentaries — has now hit Blu-ray in New Zealand, and if you missed it A Fistful of Culture is giving you the opportunity to win one of three copies. The film follows esteemed National Geographic photographer James Balog as he documents the increasingly rapid decline of our planet’s glaciers, …

Win a double pass to CAPTAIN PHILLIPS starring Tom Hanks

Win a double pass to CAPTAIN PHILLIPS starring Tom Hanks

Paul Greengrass’ acclaimed new drama Captain Phillips is out today in New Zealand cinemas, and A Fistful of Culture has three double passes to giveaway thanks to Sony Pictures. This intense, urgent and realistic biopic stars Tom Hanks as the courageous titular captain whose cargo ship was taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, and the …

Win Christian Petzold’s BARBARA on DVD

Win Christian Petzold’s BARBARA on DVD

Christian Petzold’s tense, atmospheric and transfixing Cold War thriller Barbara was undoubtedly one of the best European films of 2012, and A Fistful of Culture has three DVD copies up for grabs courtesy of Madman. The film stars regular collaborator Nina Hoss as a doctor banished to a rural East German hospital as punishment for applying for …

Win a REEL ANIME prize pack

Win a REEL ANIME prize pack

Annual animation event Reel Anime returns to Auckland this week with another impressive line-up of much-buzzed films: Hideaki Anno’s third entry in his landmark Evangelion rebuilds (Evangelion: 3.0), the new film from Jin-Roh director Hiroyuki Okiura (A Letter to Momo), the latest from Children Who Chase Lost Voices director Makoto Shinkai (The Garden of Words), a new sci-fi from Ghost in the …

Win Nicolas Winding Refn’s VALHALLA RISING on DVD

Win Nicolas Winding Refn’s VALHALLA RISING on DVD

Nicolas Winding Refn’s fascinating 2009 viking journey Valhalla Rising is finally available on DVD in New Zealand, and A Fistful of Culture has three copies to giveaway courtesy of Madman. A spiritual predecessor to this year’s uncompromising Only God Forgives, the film stars Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) as the fearsome and silent warrior One Eye, and he gives an utterly …

Win Israeli TV series PRISONERS OF WAR on DVD

Win Israeli TV series PRISONERS OF WAR on DVD

Before the insanely addictive and Emmy-dominating Homeland there was Prisoners of War, Gideon Raff’s wildly popular Israeli drama which served as the inspiration. The original series has several key differences — there is no Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) character, the soldiers were MIA for 17 years rather than 8, etc. — and hardcore fans of the American show …

Win a double pass to Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE starring Cate Blanchett

Win a double pass to Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE starring Cate Blanchett

Woody Allen delivers his strongest late-period film with Blue Jasmine, a nuanced and tragicomic tale of a spoiled New York housewife struggling through a financial and personal crisis. Cate Blanchett gives a phenomenal and wrenching performance as the neurotic titular character — an awards certainty at this point — and she is supported by a stellar, …

Win Bart Layton’s THE IMPOSTER on DVD

Win Bart Layton’s THE IMPOSTER on DVD

Bart Layton’s astonishing The Imposter was one last year’s very best documentaries — you can read my review here — and if you missed it in cinemas now is the time to catch up. Documenting the unbelievable story of French conman Frédéric Bourdin, who managed to convince a grieving Texas family and the authorities that he was their missing …

Win a double pass to Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Win a double pass to Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

One of the most fun films of the 2013 NZ International Film Festival was Much Ado About Nothing, Joss Whedon’s unlikely The Avengers follow-up. Starring a winning ensemble of his TV pals — including Amy Acker, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Alexis Denisof, Reed Diamond, Sean Maher and Nathan Fillion — this charming and energetic no-budget take on one of Shakespeare’s great …

Win tickets to THE PATIENCE STONE starring Golshifteh Farahani

Win tickets to THE PATIENCE STONE starring Golshifteh Farahani

Afghan author Atiq Rahimi (Earth and Ashes) once again adapts his own bestselling novel, The Patience Stone, for his second feature. Starring gorgeous Iranian actress/rebel Golshifteh Farahani (About Elly), the film tells the story of a Muslim woman whose older husband is paralysed and unconsciously assumes the role of a magical force that shields her from the sorrows …

Win the LONE WOLF AND CUB 7-Disc Ultimate Collection

Win the LONE WOLF AND CUB 7-Disc Ultimate Collection

Lone Wolf and Cub — one of the most influential samurai series — has now been collected on DVD, and A Fistful of Culture has three copies of the 7-disc set to giveaway thanks to Madman. Tomisaburo Wakayama played the iconic Ogami Ittō over the course of six bloody films in the early 1970s, all of which …

Win tickets to Matteo Garrone’s REALITY

Win tickets to Matteo Garrone’s REALITY

Italian maestro Matteo Garrone returned last year with Reality, a darkly comic follow-up to his 2008 crime masterpiece Gomorrah, and following a lengthy festival run the film is making its way back to New Zealand cinemas this week. Newcomer Aniello Arena stars as Luciano, a Neopolitan fishmonger and natural born performer who is encouraged by family …

Win a double pass to FRANCES HA starring Greta Gerwig

Win a double pass to FRANCES HA starring Greta Gerwig

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s outstanding Frances Ha — a highlight of the 2013 NZ International Film Festival — is heading to New Zealand cinemas this week and A Fistful of Culture is thrilled to be giving away three double passes, courtesy of Trigger Marketing. Following the story of a New York woman (Gerwig) who apprentices for a dance company …

Win KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE on Blu-ray

Win KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE on Blu-ray

Studio Ghibli continue their run of excellent back catalogue Blu-ray releases this month with Hayao Miyazaki’s heartwarming 1989 film, Kiki’s Delivery Service. This lovely coming-of-age story follows Kiki, a 13-year-old witch who sets off into the world — with her trusty black cat, Jiji — to complete a one-year apprenticeship in a bustling coastal city. …

Win tickets to Nicolas Winding Refn’s ONLY GOD FORGIVES starring Ryan Gosling

Win tickets to Nicolas Winding Refn’s ONLY GOD FORGIVES starring Ryan Gosling

One of the most highly anticipated and — not coincidentally — critically divisive films of the year is Nicolas Winding Refn’s willfully difficult Drive follow-up, Only God Forgives, which arrives in New Zealand cinemas next week. Once again collaborating with star Ryan Gosling and composer Cliff Martinez, and featuring a bravura performance from Kristin Scott Thomas, this ultraviolent, …

Win a double pass to Edgar Wright’s THE WORLD’S END

Win a double pass to Edgar Wright’s THE WORLD’S END

Long-time friends/collaborators Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost delivered two of the best comedies of the last decade with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and now they have reunited to complete the “Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy” with The World’s End. The film follows five friends — Pegg, Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan — …

Win CHECK IT OUT! WITH DR. STEVE BRULE: Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD

Win CHECK IT OUT! WITH DR. STEVE BRULE: Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD

The first two seasons of Adult Swim’s hilariously awkward Tim and Eric spin-off Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule have been collected on DVD, and A Fistful of Culture has scored three copies from Madman to giveaway. Starring the brilliant John C. Reilly as the titular character, the DIY show follows Brule as he “checks out” various …

Win tickets to Michael Winterbottom’s THE LOOK OF LOVE starring Steve Coogan

Win tickets to Michael Winterbottom’s THE LOOK OF LOVE starring Steve Coogan

The Look of Love marks the fourth collaboration between prolific English director Michael Winterbottom and comedian Steve Coogan, following the consistently excellent 24 Hour Party People, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story and The Trip. The pair try their hand at a more conventional tragicomic biopic this time around, with Coogan alternately dramatic and wisecracking as Britain’s richest man, …

Win Florian Habicht’s LOVE STORY on DVD

Win Florian Habicht’s LOVE STORY on DVD

Florian Habicht’s breakout 2011 hit Love Story is out now on DVD, and if you missed it the first time around — or would like to relive the magic again — A Fistful of Culture has three copies to giveaway on DVD, thanks to Madman. After meeting a beautiful stranger (Masha Yakovenko) on the Coney Island train, filmmaker/star …

Win a double pass to BEFORE MIDNIGHT

Win a double pass to BEFORE MIDNIGHT

Another nine years has passed, which means it’s time to check back in with our favourite on screen couple, Jesse and Céline, as they spend a family vacation in Greece in Before Midnight. Richard Linklater and his stars/co-writers Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy deftly build on the previous two films here and manage to exceed expectations, …

Win tickets to THE OTHER SON

Win tickets to THE OTHER SON

Following its screenings at the 2013 Alliance Française French Film Festival earlier this year, Lorraine Lévy’s Middle Eastern drama The Other Son returns to New Zealand theatres today. This provocative and moving film tells the story of two young men — one Israeli, one Palestinian — who discover at age 18 that they were accidentally switched at birth, and the …

Win a double pass to WORLD WAR Z starring Brad Pitt

Win a double pass to WORLD WAR Z starring Brad Pitt

The long-awaited Hollywood adaptation of Max Brooks’ cult zombie novel World War Z is hitting New Zealand screens today, and A Fistful of Culture has three double passes to giveaway thanks to Paramount NZ. Directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Stranger Than Fiction), the film stars Brad Pitt as a former United Nations employee turned family man who …

Win Takashi Miike’s ACE ATTORNEY on DVD

Win Takashi Miike’s ACE ATTORNEY on DVD

Following a pair of respectable and rather reserved samurai dramas — 2010’s 13 Assassins and 2011’s Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai — the latest film to hit our shores from prolific Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike is the courtroom drama Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban). Adapted from the Capcom video game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — which ought to be enough to tell …

Win a double pass to THE HUNT starring Mads Mikkelsen

Win a double pass to THE HUNT starring Mads Mikkelsen

One of the highlights of last year’s New Zealand International Film Festival is making its way back to cinemas this month: Thomas Vinterberg’s unsettling drama The Hunt. The film stars Mads Mikkelsen as a school teacher in a small Danish village who becomes the target of mass hysteria after being wrongfully accused of sexually assaulting a …

Win the 7-film Ultimate Luc Besson Collection on Blu-ray!

Win the 7-film Ultimate Luc Besson Collection on Blu-ray!

The first seven (and best-loved) films of Luc Besson’s eclectic and prolific career have been assembled in a new box set, The Ultimate Luc Besson Collection. These include his previously hard-to-find 1983 debut The Last Battle, 1985’s fun Christopher Lambert vehicle Subway, ambitious 1988 diving drama The Big Blue and its 1992 documentary companion Atlantis, oft-remade 1990 thriller La Femme Nikita, terrific …

Win Korean smash hit THE THIEVES on Blu-ray

Win Korean smash hit THE THIEVES on Blu-ray

Dong-hoon Choi’s The Thieves set box office records last year, becoming the second highest-grossing film in Korean history. Boasting a star-studded cast of Korean and Hong Kong actors — including Kim Yun-seok (The Yellow Sea), Johnnie To regular Simon Yam (Vengeance), Park Chan-wook regular Dal-su Oh (Thirst), Lee Jung-Jae (The Housemaid), Kim Hye-Soo and Gianna Jun — this slick film …

Win tickets to J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Win tickets to J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

The most breathlessly anticipated sequel of the year is undeniably Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J. Abrams’ follow-up to his impressive 2009 reboot. After discovering an unstoppable force of terror within their own organisation, the Enterprise crew — the winning ensemble of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho and Simon Pegg all returning — …

Win a double pass to Harmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS

Win a double pass to Harmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS

One of the best films of the year so far — and certainly the most outrageous — is Spring Breakers, the latest gonzo effort from indie writer/director Harmony Korine. Starring former Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens alongside Ashely Benson and Rachel Korine as a reckless group of college kids willing to do whatever it …

Win two seasons of Jon Glaser’s DELOCATED on DVD

Win two seasons of Jon Glaser’s DELOCATED on DVD

Adult Swim are primarily known for their wacky animated fare, but they also make weird live-action series such as Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Delocated. The latter comes from the mind of Jon Glaser — a former writer for Conan O’Brien, best known for his current role as Jeremy Jamm on Parks and Recreation — who stars as a …

Win CASA DE MI PADRE starring Will Ferrell on Blu-ray

Win CASA DE MI PADRE starring Will Ferrell on Blu-ray

One of the most curious and unexpected films of last year was Casa de mi Padre (House of My Father), a Spanish-language comedy set in Mexico starring Will Ferrell as a rancher who ends up going to war against a drug lord (Gael García Bernal). The great supporting cast also includes Diego Luna as his younger …

Win double passes to highlights at the 2013 Documentary Edge Festival

Win double passes to highlights at the 2013 Documentary Edge Festival

The 2013 Documentary Edge Festival opened in Auckland last night with a sold out screening of the inspirational climate change film The Island President, and will run until next Sunday before heading to Wellington. I have previously posted my picks of the programme, and now A Fistful of Culture is giving you the opportunity to win a …

Win an OBLIVION prize pack!

Win an OBLIVION prize pack!

The 2013 blockbuster season gets off to an epic start this week with Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion, a visually spectacular dystopian that looks incredible on IMAX screens. Tom Cruise stars as Jack Harper, the last drone repairman stationed on a ravaged Earth, working alongside his partner (Andrea Riseborough) to ensure that vital resources are extracted for their …

Win tickets to Christian Petzold’s BARBARA starring Nina Hoss

Win tickets to Christian Petzold’s BARBARA starring Nina Hoss

A favourite for many at last year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Christian Petzold’s simmering Cold War thriller Barbara is making a welcome return to our screens this week. Set in 1980, the film stars regular collaborator Nina Hoss (Jerichow, Yella) as Barbara, a Berlin doctor banished to a rural East German hospital as punishment for applying for …

Win Andrey Zvyagintsev’s ELENA on DVD

Win Andrey Zvyagintsev’s ELENA on DVD

One of the best films of 2011 has at long last found its way to DVD in New Zealand, and A Fistful of Culture has three copies to giveaway thanks to Madman. Elena is the latest gripping slow-burn from Russian maestro Andrey Zvyagintsev, who stunned festival audiences with his 2003 directorial debut The Return and has been earning equal praise this …

Win a double pass to Danny Boyle’s TRANCE

Win a double pass to Danny Boyle’s TRANCE

Following two Academy-approved films (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) and the rousing success of last year’s London Olympics opening ceremony, director Danny Boyle returns to his genre roots with Trance. This trippy thriller follows an art auctioneer (James McAvoy) with memory loss who is desperately trying to recover a lost painting with the help of a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson), …

Win tickets to Pablo Larraín’s NO starring Gael García Bernal

Win tickets to Pablo Larraín’s NO starring Gael García Bernal

One of my very favourite films of last year — and a highlight of the 2012 NZ International Film Festival — was No, the excellent third feature from Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero). The Oscar-nominated film stars Mexican heartthrob Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) as a young advertising hotshot who reluctantly gets involved in the 1988 campaign to vote out Pinochet’s dictatorial …

Win ARBITRAGE on Blu-ray

Win ARBITRAGE on Blu-ray

One of last year’s most pleasantly surprising performances was Richard Gere’s great turn as a morally bankrupt hedge-fund magnate in Arbitrage, a taut thriller and engaging character study from documentary director Nicholas Jarecki (The Ousider) — half-brother of Eugene (The House I Live In) and Andrew (Capturing the Friedmans). The eternally handsome Gere relishes this …

Win SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN on Blu-ray

Win SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN on Blu-ray

One of the most unlikely film success stories of last year was Malik Bendjelloul’s musical detective documentary Searching For Sugar Man, which followed the fascinating journey of two South Africans as they attempt to discover what happened to their mysterious ’70s folk hero, Rodriguez. After screening to rave reviews around the festival circuit last year — …

Win the GANTZ movie collection on Blu-ray

Win the GANTZ movie collection on Blu-ray

Hiroya Oku’s wildly successful manga Gantz has recently been given another adaptation in Japan — following Ichiro Itano’s popular anime series of the same name — this time in the form of two live action films, simply titled Gantz and Gantz: Perfect Answer. Directed by Shinsuke Sato, the films follow a pair of high school students, Kurono (Kazunari Ninomiya) and Kato (Ken’ichi Matsuyama), …

Win YOUR SISTER’S SISTER on Blu-ray

Win YOUR SISTER’S SISTER on Blu-ray

One of the most charming and crowd-pleasing films of the 2012 NZ International Film Festival was Lynn Shelton’s latest dramedy Your Sister’s Sister. The Humpday writer/director reunites with mumblecore fixture Mark Duplass who stars as Jack, an aimless 30-something guy who hasn’t recovered from the death of his brother one year ago. His best friend, Iris (Emily …

Win AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY on DVD

Win AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY on DVD

Ai Weiwei has become China’s most famous artist and outspoken dissident over the past five years, and first-time filmmaker Alison Klayman was granted unprecedented access to him during this crucial period, resulting in last year’s acclaimed Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. The film documents Ai’s artistic process in preparation for major museum exhibitions, his intimate exchanges with …

Win tickets to SAMSARA

Win tickets to SAMSARA

Samsara is the latest non-narrative documentary from acclaimed director/cinematographer Ron Fricke, who previously gifted us with 1992’s incredible Baraka and is perhaps best known for shooting Godfrey Reggio’s landmark 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi. This visually stunning film was shot on 70mm over a period of five years in 25 countries, and it delivers another fascinating (and non-verbal) meditation on spirituality and …

Win tickets to Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN

Win tickets to Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN

With an overwhelming twelve nominations, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is the clear frontrunner for the upcoming 2013 Academy Awards, and New Zealand audiences now have a chance to see what all the fuss is about in cinemas. Set toward the turbulent end of America’s Civil War, the film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the iconic 16th President of the United …

Win a double pass to ANNA KARENINA

Win a double pass to ANNA KARENINA

New Zealand cinemas are currently being inundated with acclaimed awards season films, but one film which is equally deserving and has been unfairly overlooked so far is Joe Wright’s breathtaking and inventive Tolstoy adaptation Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This highly ambitious film radically challenges our preconceptions of what a literary …

Win Johnnie To’s LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE on DVD

Win Johnnie To’s LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE on DVD

Johnnie To is best known to Western audiences as Hong Kong’s premiere crime filmmaker, responsible for such gems as Mad Detective, Exiled, The Sparrow and the Election films. Over the past couple of years, To has been changing it up a little with two romantic films — 2011’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart and last year’s Romancing in Thin Air — as well as the …

Win tickets to SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Win tickets to SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

David O. Russell’s critically acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook finally arrives in New Zealand theatres tomorrow, and A Fistful of Culture has five double passes to giveaway thanks to Roadshow Films. The film stars a revelatory Bradley Cooper and sensational Jennifer Lawrence as a pair of equally messed-up new friends trying to get back on their feet following tragic …

Win a double pass to DJANGO UNCHAINED

Win a double pass to DJANGO UNCHAINED

Quentin Tarantino’s slavery-western Django Unchained is one of the most anticipated films of the past year — not to mention one of the very best — and it hits New Zealand cinemas at long last today. Set in the antebellum south, the film stars Jamie Foxx as the titular freed slave who, with the aid of a …

Win the complete EDEN OF THE EAST collection on DVD

Win the complete EDEN OF THE EAST collection on DVD

Eden of the East is anime hotshot Kenji Kamiyama’s follow-up to his widely acclaimed series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. The series follows a young Japanese woman who, while on vacation in the United States, gets herself into trouble and becomes entangled with a mysterious fellow countryman that has lost his memory and may be …

Win a PARANORMAN prize pack!

Win a PARANORMAN prize pack!

ParaNorman is the much-anticipated second film from LAIKA, the stop-motion animation studio behind 2009’s Oscar-nominated Coraline. Shot in 3D this time around — only the second animated feature to do so — this zombie-comedy is unsurprisingly a stunning visual achievement which rivals Wreck-It Ralph as the best animated studio feature of 2012. Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell (The …

Win BERNIE on Blu-Ray

Win BERNIE on Blu-Ray

Richard Linklater’s true-crime black comedy Bernie is out now on Blu-Ray/DVD in New Zealand, and A Fistful of Culture has three copies to giveaway this week thanks to Madman. The film reunites the director with his School of Rock star Jack Black, playing a charming small-town funeral director who makes the mistake of befriending an unpopular and controlling elderly widow (Shirley …

Win tickets to THE IMPOSTER

Win tickets to THE IMPOSTER

One of the best documentaries of 2012 — and a highlight of last year’s NZ International Film Festival — was Bart Layton’s The Imposter, which is out today in New Zealand cinemas. The film documents the unbelievable story of French conman Frédéric Bourdin, who managed to convince a grieving Texas family and the authorities that he was their missing …

Win a double pass to LES MISÉRABLES

Win a double pass to LES MISÉRABLES

One of the biggest films of this crowded awards season is Tom Hooper’s (The King’s Speech) adaptation of the beloved musical Les Misérables — not to mention one of the most heavily debated. Out today in New Zealand cinemas, the film features a huge ensemble that includes Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, …

Win a LIFE OF PI prize pack

Win a LIFE OF PI prize pack

Ang Lee’s highly-anticipated and critically-acclaimed Life of Pi is finally out in New Zealand cinemas this week, and A Fistful of Culture have three prize packs — consisting of a double pass and a notebook (see below) — to giveaway thanks to 20th Century Fox NZ. No stranger to literary adaptations, Lee brings Yann Martel’s supposedly unfilmable …

Win a double pass to SIGHTSEERS

Win a double pass to SIGHTSEERS

Ben Wheatley turned many heads last year with his shocking indie horror Kill List, and the prolific English filmmaker quickly followed that up this year with the hilarious black comedy Sightseers. Written by and starring comedians Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, the film follows the couple on a caravan trip through the countryside that turns murderous …

Win A ROYAL AFFAIR on BLU-RAY

Win A ROYAL AFFAIR on BLU-RAY

Denmark’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Academy Awards and Golden Globes is A Royal Affair, a lavish and impressively acted historical drama set in the 18th century which tells the fascinating true story of an ordinary man who wins the Queen’s heart and starts a revolution. Written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel …

Win all four seasons of THE VENTURE BROS. on DVD!

Win all four seasons of THE VENTURE BROS. on DVD!

For anyone somehow unaware, The Venture Bros. is a brilliant animated TV series that has been the shining light of Adult Swim‘s often stonerish line-up over the past decade, delivering countless classic episodes that deftly blend exciting action and hilarious comedy while they chronicle the adventures of the Venture family: the eager but incompetent twin teenagers Han …

Win a copy of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO on BLU-RAY!

Win a copy of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO on BLU-RAY!

Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 treasure My Neighbor Totoro is finally being released on Blu-ray this week, and A Fistful of Culture is delighted to have three copies to giveaway courtesy of Madman. The landmark film is widely regarded as an anime high-water mark and is a personal favourite of mine; I maintain that few animated films have equalled it …

Win a copy of THE BRIDGE Series One on DVD

Win a copy of THE BRIDGE Series One on DVD

Danish television has been embraced internationally in the last couple of years thanks largely to the unprecedented success of the gripping police procedural The Killing (Forbrydelsen), which was subsequently handed the dubious compliment of a U.S. remake by AMC, but an interest in Scandinavian crime — dubbed “Nordic noir” — has been growing exponentially with the …

Win a double pass to BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

Win a double pass to BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

Benh Zeitlin’s stunning debut film Beasts of the Southern Wild — which was one of my highlights of the 2012 NZ International Film Festival — is coming to New Zealand cinemas this week. This allegorical tale follows Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), a rambunctious six-year-old girl who is faced with both her hot-tempered father’s (Dwight Henry) ailing health and melting ice-caps that flood …

Win WAR OF THE ARROWS on BLU-RAY

Win WAR OF THE ARROWS on BLU-RAY

South Korean historical epic War of the Arrows is out now on DVD/Blu-ray in New Zealand, and A Fistful of Culture have three copies to giveaway thanks to Madman. Set in 1636, Kim Han-min’s film tells the story of a skilled archer (Park Hae-il) who risks his life to save his sister (Moon Chae-won) from slavery following the …

Win a copy of ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA on DVD

Win a copy of ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA on DVD

One of the greatest films I have seen in the past year is Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest masterwork Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which follows a strange murder investigation over the course of one long night in the Anatolian steppes. Out now on DVD, the film is a must-see for any serious cinephiles, and …

Win tickets to ELECTRICK CHILDREN!

Win tickets to ELECTRICK CHILDREN!

Rebecca Thomas’ gauzy debut film Electrick Children follows a rambunctious 15-year-old Mormon girl, Rachel (Julia Garner), who believes she has had an immaculate conception after discovering a forbidden cassette tape with rock music on it. When her fundamentalist parents (Cynthia Watros and Billy Zane) arrange a marriage, Rachel runs away to Las Vegas to search for the man …

Win a double pass to ARGO!

Win a double pass to ARGO!

Ben Affleck’s highly-anticipated political thriller Argo is coming to New Zealand cinemas October 25, and A Fistful of Culture have one in-season double pass to giveaway everyday this week (22-26 October) thanks to Roadshow Films. Affleck stars alongside an incredible ensemble — including Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler, Richard Kind, Scoot McNairy, Chris …

Win FRANKENWEENIE tickets + a copy of the soundtrack!

Win FRANKENWEENIE tickets + a copy of the soundtrack!

Legendary filmmaker Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow) is back on form with his latest effort Frankenweenie, a black-and-white stop-motion animated tale about a boy named Victor who conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. The film hits New Zealand screens in 3D on October …

Win a double pass to SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED!

Win a double pass to SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED!

The breakout Sundance 2012 hit Safety Not Guaranteed finally arrives in New Zealand cinemas on October 18, and to celebrate A Fistful of Culture have one in-season double pass to giveaway everyday this week (15-19 October) thanks to Rialto Distribution. The film stars indie favourites Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Funny People) and Mark Duplass (Your Sister’s Sister, The League) in …

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