Francesca Rudkin

Francesca Rudkin

Over the last 15 years Francesca Rudkin has been working in the media as a film and music reviewer (NZ Herald, Breakfast TV), a television presenter and producer, and voice over artist. Recently, Francesca joined Rialto Channel as their resident blogger, allowing her to indulge in her love of world cinema. Her next challenge is to convince her young children that being a “Cinephile” is a legitimate profession.

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Francesca’s Picks for the Week 13th October

Posted on Monday 10/13/2014 October, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

This week Ant Timpson’s Rialto Incredibly Strange series kicks off on Friday evening with the Indonesian martial arts film The Raid 2. Like it’s predecessor, the film was written and directed by Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans. Evans began his career producing web videos teaching people the Welsh language but when the martial arts fan was offered the opportunity to head to Jakarta to work on a documentary about Indonesian culture he snapped it up. Evans then moved permanently to Indonesia and what followed was martial arts film Merantau and thenThe Raid, a film that launched him onto the international scene as an action director to watch. The Raid 2 is my first pick of the week.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 6th October

Posted on Monday 10/6/2014 October, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

It’s a good month to polish up on your Italian, as on every Monday and Tuesday evening throughout October, Rialto Channel will be screening Italian films. There’s a wonderful collection of stories to enjoy, such as the historical drama Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy that tells the story of the tragic Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan 1969. It’s my first pick of the week . 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 29th September

Posted on Monday 9/29/2014 September, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

I’ve picked an eclectic mix of films to highlight this week on Rialto Channel. There’s a romantic comedy from Danish award winning director Susanne Bier, a quirky morbid, black comedy staring Matt Lucas, and a documentary about the lead singer of metal band Tool’s foray into wine making. Surely, there’s something here for everyone.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 22nd September

Posted on Monday 9/22/2014 September, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons

Lasse Hallström is a Swedish filmmaker international well known for his films My Life as a Dog (1985), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and The Cider House Rules (1999). More recently though, the Oscar nominated director has been working on films that offer pleasant and predictable escapism such as the Nicholas Sparks’ adaptations Safe Haven and Dear John, as well as The Hundred Foot Journey. While there is nothing wrong with this lighter style of filmmaking, it’s nice to see him deal with grittier material again in The Hypnotist, the first Swedish language film he’s made in 25 years.

HIGHLIGHTS: Francesca’s Picks for the Week 15th September

Posted on Monday 9/15/2014 September, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Actor Shia LeBeouf is a bit of an oddball. A precociously talented child actor (Holes, Disturbia and Constantine), these days the Transformers actor is more well known for his behavior off the screen rather than on it. Plagiarizing other people’s work, wearing a paper bag over his head proclaiming he is no longer famous, and getting arrested for trespassing, misdemeanor drunk driving, and disturbing a Broadway show are just a few of the headlines he’s had to deal with over the last few years. But the thing is, no matter how much of a troubled brat he is, he can act, something he proves in the crazy genre bending The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.

Here are my picks for the week:

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 8th September

Posted on Monday 9/8/2014 September, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Danish romantic comedy film directed by Susanne Bier and starring Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm.

It’s Scandinavian month here on Rialto Channel. Not only is Rialto World screening a film from Scandinavia every Monday night (such as Love is All You Need and Le Havre ), but on Tuesday night, you can also catch series one of Morden: Camilla Lackberg’s Fjallbacka Murders. This month expect comedy, drama and plenty of Scandi-noir!

Here are my highlights for the week.


Posted on Tuesday 9/2/2014 September, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Camilla Lackberg is a popular Swedish crime writer whose books, set in the tiny west coast fishing village of Fjällbacka, have sold over 10 million books in 55 countries. Lackberg attended the Auckland Writers Festival in May, and shared with the audience the story of how she began her crime-writing career - at the tender age of four years old. The story she wrote began with Santa and Mrs. Claus happily holding hands, and ended with Mrs. Claus lying on the ground, beaten to death, blood running from her Santa hat.

From that grisly start, Lackberg has gone on to become one of Sweden’s most profitable authors selling more books than Stieg Larsson, author of the Millennium Trilogy. Her novels center around writer and amateur sleuth Erica Falck and her husband Patrick Hedström, a local cop who together solve a series of grim murders that take place in picturesque Fjällbacka.

Not surprisingly, these novels have now been turned into a series of feature film length television movies that kick off on Rialto Channel tonight (Tuesday 2ndSeptember, 8.30pm), and they’re a must see for murder–mystery fans.

Camilla Lackberg kindly took the time to have a quick chat about CAMILLA LACKBERG’S FJALLBACKA MURDERS.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 1st September

Posted on Tuesday 9/2/2014 September, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Actresses have for years lamented the lack of quality lead roles for women in Hollywood. While it’s been an issue for dramatic roles, the documentary genre has had little problem finding complex, fascinating woman living interesting lives. In fact, it’s where we find some of the most intriguing female characters on screen today. Rialto Channel celebrates some of these women this September with a selection of female skewed documentaries about women who live, or lived, a different kind of life. Kicking the series off this Thursday is the stunning and thought provoking The World Before Her. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 25th August

Posted on Monday 8/25/2014 August, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Two iconic figures are at the centre of the films I’ve chosen to highlight this week. The critically acclaimed documentary Marley tells the definitive story of legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley, and the controversial melodrama Diana tells the juicy story of Princess Diana’s relationship with Pakistan born cardiologist Dr. Hasnat Khan. Two quite different rebels, two quite different films!

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 18th August

Posted on Monday 8/18/2014 August, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

There’s no rest for the wicked in the third series of the gritty French cop drama Braquo that launches this week, hot on the heels of series 2. A combination of The Shield and a dark, twisted Scandinavian crime novel series Braquo isn’t the most plausible crime series around, but it’s one of the most addictive. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I watched the entire series in 48 hours!


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