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 - NOVEMBER 4

Posted on Monday 11/4/2013 November, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

When it comes to my highlights this week, it’s all rather bloody I’m afraid!  Ralph Fiennes does a good job bringing Shakespeare’s battle fueled tragedy Coriolanus into the modern day, and in Swedish film The Man From Beijing, a judge is targeted by a psychopathic mass murderer who hacks to death eighteen members of her family - hard not to take personally. To lighten the mood there’s also top documentary Milius, about producer, director and screenwriter John Milius. A wannabe solider and maverick, Milius created some of the most memorable and ‘manly’ characters we’ve seen on screen, including Dirty Harry and Conan the Barbarian.

Introducing Emir Kusturica

Posted on Friday 11/1/2013 November, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

Serbian filmmaker, producer and musician Emir Kusturica is an internationally acclaimed director, just as well known for supporting the arts in his home country as he is for his own creative output. Throughout November, Emir Kusturica is the featured director on Sunday evenings’ Director’s Series.

Born in Sarajevo in 1954, Kusturica was sent by his parents to the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague in 1978. He returned home after graduating and made several TV films, followed by his debut feature film Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (1981), a collaboration with screenwriter Abdulah Sidran, that went onto win the Silver Lion for best first feature at the Venice Film Festival.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week – October 29

Posted on Tuesday 10/29/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin


It's November this week – can you believe it? To distract you from how quickly the end of the year is approaching there’s plenty of great viewing coming your way on Rialto Channel. This month the director featured in the Directors Series is celebrated Serbian filmmaker and actor Emir Kusturica. You’ll be able to catch his classic films, such as Life is a MiracleTime of the GypsiesUnderground and Black Cat, White Cat. They’ll screen on Sunday evenings after The Story of Film: An Odyssey

Francesca’s Picks for the Week - October 21

Posted on Monday 10/21/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

We’re still celebrating the Aussies on Rialto Channel this week, with a premiering of black comedy The King is Dead! on Friday. Cleaver Greene’s adventures also continue with Rake on Wednesday evenings, and there’s even a trip for two to Australia to be won - just head to the competition page for details. Also this week, we head to Norway where we get to admire some stunning architecture in Headhunters, and the US in director Oren Moverman’s full-on cop drama Rampart. It’s a week filled with dark humour and some grisly action!

Top Five Adultery Films

Posted on Thursday 10/17/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

Well, who would have thought the singing, passionate community crusader and recently re-elected Mayor of Auckland Len Brown would have had such an interesting first week of his second term. I’m more interested in Len Brown’s politics than his private life, but it got me thinking about films on a similar theme that he may ponder.

Here are my top five recent adultery related films...

Francesca’s Picks for the Week - October 14

Posted on Tuesday 10/15/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin


This month we are focusing on our neighbours across the ditch, premiering Aussie films every Friday night with the occasional headliner on Saturday evenings, and premiering the brand new series of Rake every Wednesday at 8.30pm.

My highlights this week feature one of my favourite Australian actresses, Toni Collette. I just love watching this woman – she can make me laugh and cry and is totally believable whether she’s playing it straight, quirky or mentally ill. Regardless of whether she takes on a leading or supporting role (often as a mother - The Sixth Sense, About a Boy, The Way Way Back, Little Miss Sunshine…) she always makes her presence felt. And as far as movie stars go - there’s something down to earth and genuine about Toni Collette.

Needless to say, she takes centre stage in my first highlight of the week.

Rialto Directors - Bob Rafelson

Posted on Thursday 10/10/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

In 1969, a film about a couple of counterculture pothead hippies travelling across America on motorcycles changed the landscape of filmmaking in America. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider captured the tension between the establishment and counterculture and gave young audiences a film they could relate to; it also proved that low budget, independently made, gritty looking films could be both critically and commercially successful.

Francesca recommends a good read...

Posted on Wednesday 10/9/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

 

Toni Collette stars alongside Adrienne Pickering in tonight's premiere of the second series of Rake. James Croot nips in before the expected long queue of admirers forms. Take a look at James' chat with Adrienne from this week's TV Week in the Dominion Post here.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week - October 7

Posted on Monday 10/7/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin


As much as we pretend we’re not fond of those loud mouthed larrikin Aussies across the ditch, the truth is we are. When it comes to the entertainment industry, Australia has opened its arms to Kiwis, welcoming our directors, actors and musicians, and providing for some a stepping-stone to United States success.

On the channel this month you can catch the best of Aussie film and TV, and you could win a luxury trip to Australia to see real Australians in their natural environment. For more information, head to the competitions page here on the website

Interview with Stephen Kessler for Paul Williams: Still Alive

Posted on Wednesday 10/2/2013 October, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

Grammys and Academy Award winner Paul Williams may not have looked like a superstar, but in the 70s he ruled the airwaves with hits such as Barbara Streisand's Evergreen and the Carpenter's We've Only Just Begun, not to mention Kermit the Frog's biggest hit, The Rainbow Connection.

One day though, he went from being everywhere to nowhere, and filmmaker and fan Stephen Kessler presumed he had died. When he discovered recently Paul was alive and well he convinced Paul to let him make a documentary, but it wasn’t all plain sailing.

Stephen kindly took the time to have a quick chat about the challenges of making a film about a man who doesn’t want to be filmed.

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