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 Monday 8/10/2015 August, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin



Plenty of strong willed women feature on Rialto Channel this week, from the awesome singer songwriter Kathleen Hanna in the documentary The Punk Singer, to the unconventional Vanessa Bell and her sister Virginia Woolf who lived their lives according to their own moral code, rather than that of the times in the BBC drama Life in Squares. Indie filmmaker Cat Candler also brings her sensitive touch to the poignant family drama Hellion, and let’s not forget Saga Noren – policing Scandinavia in her own unique manner in Tuesday night’s The Bridge. Plenty to enjoy this week – here are my picks.

Thursday 13th August, 8.30pm … The Punk Singer

Francesca's Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 8/3/2015 August, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin



The Rialto Channel season of Anime continues throughout August, with more wonderful Japanese animations on show. This month, catch the Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind as well as the coming of age comedy/drama The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (winner of the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year 2006), and the 1999 classic Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. But first, we’re off to Scandinavia this week.

Francesca's Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 7/27/2015 July, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin



Rialto World’s celebration of German cinema this month ends on a high, with Hannah Arendt, written and directed by leading German filmmaker and member of the New German Cinema movement, Margarethe von Trotta. Von Trotta began her career as an actress, working for directors such as Volker Schlöndorff, Rainhard Hauff, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In the mid 70s she finally stepped behind the camera, co-directing The Lost Honor of Katharina Blumalong with Schlöndorff, her husband at the time. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum tells the story of a young woman that has an affair with a man she discovers is a terrorist. Politics and strong female protagonists would become features of von Trotta’s work, and her ability to grasp complex ideas on screen is very much present in her biography of the controversial German Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt. This award-winning drama from 2012, is my first pick of the week.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 7/20/2015 July, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


As we marvel today over the creations that come out of animation studios such as Pixar, it’s hard not to think of the influence Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli has had on contemporary animation. Over the years Studio Ghibli has become known for it’s high quality hand drawn animation and humanistic stories filled with worthy themes, but what makes Studio Ghibli special in my eyes, is the originality and spirituality directors such as Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata infuse into their works. No matter how old you are, the magic and beauty of a Studio Ghibli film draws you in, taking you on an adventure layered with meaning and adventure, and this creativity is not lost on Hollywood. Laputa, which was released in 1986, is a fine example of how timeless Studio Ghibli films are, and this film is perfect for the 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 7/13/2015 July, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


This weeks’ documentary is a portrait of the great twentieth century libertarian Gore Vidal. Australian filmmaker Nicholas D. Wrathall, who found Vidal’s enormous intellect and reputation initially overwhelming, wrote and directed Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia. Wrathall learnt the best way to approach the author was with “caution and respect”, and the two bonded over Australian politics as Vidal had personally known former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Even though he rarely answered questions about his personal life, Vidal was happy to talk to Wrathall about his thoughts on American culture and politics. It makes for fascinating viewing, reminding us how relevant Vidal’s ideas are today. Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia is one of my picks of the week, but first up, Swiss family drama Rosie.  


Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 7/6/2015 July, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


Nordic Noir television series and films are so popular now that Danish tourism websites actually promote ‘Nordic Noir Tours’. Series such as The Bridge and The Killing have not only been huge hits at home, but in the UK and around the world as well. Cinematically shot and often with strong female lead characters, shows such as The Bridge have already been re-made by the British and Americans, confirming just how influential Scandinavian television is at the moment. However, there’s nothing like the original, so don’t miss the start of season 2 of The Bridge, kicking off on Tuesday this week.
 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 6/29/2015 June, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin




Well, it’s all go this month on Rialto Channel. German films take over Monday evenings, the second series of the excellent Danish/Swedish co-production The Bridge kicks off next Tuesday evening and you get to program Wednesday evenings  - all part of Rialto’s Sweet 16 celebration! A new British drama Run staring Olivia Coleman starts on Sunday evening, and classic anime features continue to light up Friday nights. Phew.

My first pick of the week is French film Turning Tide.  

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 6/22/2015 June, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin



There have been some audacious cheats in sporting history; sprinter Ben Johnson, skater Tonya Harding, and Boston marathon winner Rosie Ruiz who took the subway mid race. However in recent times, no one comes close to seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong when it comes to being revealed as a fraudster. Not only did he dope for most of his career, but also he constantly denied it, bullying those along the way who threatened to reveal his double life. Catch his story in Alex Holmes explosive documentary Stop At Nothing, just one of my picks for the week.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 6/15/2015 June, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin


This week on Rialto Channel catch skateboarding documentary All This Mayhem, as well as the Irish black comedy Calvary staring Brendan Gleeson. 



World Championship skateboarder Tas Pappas and filmmaker Eddie Martin talk to Francesca Rudkin about their collaboration All This Mayhem that chronicles the extraordinary careers of the Pappas brothers.

When Australian brothers Tas and Ben Pappas were hanging around the Prahran skateboard park as kids in the 1970s, they could not know where their extraordinary talent would take them, and the incredible highs and lows that would follow.

Their story is the subject of leading Australian filmmaker Eddie Martin’s latest documentary, All This Mayhem. It’s a gut wrenching rollercoaster ride that follows the tight knit brothers from the North Western suburbs of Melbourne to America, where they fulfilled their ambition to “smash Tony Hawk” and become the number one and two skateboarders in the world.


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