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

Posted on Friday 10/23/2015 October, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

 

November is almost upon us, so here’s a little sneak peak at what you can expect over the coming month. On Wednesday evenings there’s an impressive collection of Australian directors on show. Horror films returns to Friday nights to kick your weekend off with a frightening jolt, and Rialto World is filled with a collection of dramas that take you from Israel (The Green Prince) to Uruguay (Kaplan). Saturday’s Official Selection is screening Lucky Them staring Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church, and Anarchystaring Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris and Dakota Johnson. And then, there’s Witnesses, an excellent new six episode French crime series that’s at the top of my pick’s list this week. Enjoy. 

 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 10/19/2015 October, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


The final episode of the third season of Rectify screens this Tuesday evening, and Rectify fans will find it a cathartic experience. Daniel Holden’s (Aden Young) release from death row after being incarcerated for the rape and murder of his girlfriend 19 years ago has quietly wrecked havoc upon his small Southern town family. Relationships have been tested, torn apart and renewed throughout this six episode third series, and while the show retains it’s poetic, melancholic and restrained approach to portraying reality, the final episode moves at pace to bring as much closure to it’s character’s lives as creator,Breaking Bad’s Ray McKinnon, would no doubt allow. There’s a sense of new beginnings and hope, and it’s nice to know that season four of this Sundance Channel drama will take Daniel’s story in a new direction. But really, you should see if for yourself… 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 10/12/2015 October, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


I wasn’t much of a fan of science at school; to be honest, a lot of it went over my head. However these days I find myself getting quite excited scientific endeavors such as NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars, or watching my son program a Lego robot. This week, Rialto Channel’sDouble Exposure documentary series features a couple of thought provoking science documentaries that have piqued my interest. Particle Fever offers an accessible and insiders look CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and Pandora’s Promise explores the role nuclear power might play in powering our planet in the future. If only science had been this interesting when I was at school…

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 10/5/2015 October, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


One of my favourite Rialto Channel series is Double Exposure, a documentary series that plays two films over consecutive nights that focus on the same theme. Last week Double Exposure covered off the extreme sports genre, and this week street art takes center stage with two critically acclaimed documentaries Finding Vivian Maier and Banksy Does New York. Also throughout October, Rialto Selection kicks of a series of intelligent comedies including the endearing The F- Word, and British black comedy What We Did On Our Holidays. This Saturday however, an impressive cast bring humour and heart to the dramedy, A Long Way Down

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 9/28/2015 September, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


The director of the award winning Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour, is not only Saudi Arabia’s first female director, she’s also the first person to shoot an entire film in her homeland. After studying at the American University in Cairo, Al-Masnou returned to Saudi Arabia to work in communications at a large oil company. Frustrated by the restrictions placed on her as a woman, she began making short films documenting life as a woman in Saudi Arabia. Ten years later and with the financial backing of one of Saudi Arabia’s more liberal Princes, she directed Wadjda via walkie talkie from the back of a van, as she was forbidden to mix with the men in her crew. The result is captivating, and Wadjda is my first highlight of the week. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 9/21/2015 September, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin



It’s hard to believe another month is coming to an end, and with it the conclusion of the British television series Chasing Shadows(Sunday evenings) and Rialto Channel’s remarkable season of anime (Friday evenings). However, there are some real treats lined up for you in October with the return of the Double Exposure documentary series focusing on a fascinating range of intriguing themes every Thursday and Friday night. Catch Finding Vivian Maier and Banksy Does New York as well as films that focus on extreme sport, con artists, science and crime. October also features the debut of French crime series Witness, a gripping and atmospheric French police thriller that explores the dark corners of the human psyche and how far people will go to exact the perfect revenge.
 

Here are my picks for the week;

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 9/14/2015 September, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin



When Scrubs and Garden State actor-director Zach Braff turned to Kickstarter to fundraise for his film Wish I Was Here, he had no idea the kind of fuss he was about to stir up. Suddenly, no one was interested in Braff’s project about a 35 year old man forced to examine his life and relationships when his father falls ill. Instead, some critics and cinephile types took offence to the idea that Braff asked people to fund his independent film (read – make a movie that gave him creative control) and yet produced a film that could be regarded as pretty mainstream. Braff was shocked at the controversy and has claimed he will not use Kickstarter again to finance future films. As he told the press at the 2014 Zurich Film Festival press conference for Wish I Was Here, “I was completely taken aback by the criticism,” he said. “I was expecting a conversation because it’s a fascinating and new model. But I felt that a lot of the criticism was unfair and uninformed.” He adds, “This was always meant to be a really fun art experiment”. Braff himself, and traditional sources such as international pre-sales also financed the film. See what all the fuss is about this Saturday, on Rialto Selection. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 9/7/2015 September, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin



This month, Rialto Documentary is playing a series of films that take a look at what happens when governments overstep their normal boundaries in order to make an example of someone, and how those affected fight back. Some of these stories will be familiar to you: Citizen Four follows Edward Snowdon as he blows the whistle on illegal covert surveillance programs run by the NSA, and The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz tells the tragic story of programming prodigy and activist Aaron Swartz who took his own life in 2013.
 

Other stories might have familiar subject matters, such as Dinosaur 13’s Sue, the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus ever found. However, what you might not be familiar with is the story behind the discovery of Sue and what happened to those who found her. Being a paleontologist it seems, can get you locked up in the same prison as Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh. It’s worth checking out in Dinosaur 13, screening on Thursday. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 8/31/2015 August, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


This week we launch into spring, and with a new month comes a new lineup of feature films and television series. British crime series Chasing Shadows stars Alex Kingston and kicks off on Sunday evenings, and after The Bridge wraps up on September 8ththe third season of Rectify takes over Tuesday nights. Rialto Documentary is also filled with stirring films about what happens when governments overstep boundaries, and when people fight back - Citizen Four, Dinosaur 13 and The Internets Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Also throughout September, Rialto’s season of anime continues with Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howls Moving Castle.
 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 8/24/2015 August, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

There’s a gorgeous scene in 20,000 Days on Earth where Nick Cave heads home at the end of his 20,000th day on earth, and snuggles up with his twin sons in front of the television. When I heard the news in July about the tragic death of Nick Cave’s son Arthur, it was that scene that immediately popped into my head. Forget the sophisticatedly dressed, charismatic wordsmith and performer – it was the image of Nick Cave as the doting father that came to mind. It was at that point I realised, that even though this documentary is a stylized, manipulated dramatisation of Cave’s life, I’d still got an unprecedented look into his life and the process behind his songwriting, and I’d almost convinced myself that I knew him. 20,000 Days on Earth screens on Thursday, and should not be missed.   


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