Francesca Rudkin

Francesca Rudkin

Over the last 20 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. Francesca is Rialto Channel's resident vlogger, 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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Posted on Monday 8/07/2013 July, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

A few things you should know about July on Rialto Channel.

1. The Sundance television show Rectify has begun – it’s a ripper so catch up and get hooked.

2. The featured director of the month is American filmmaker Spike Lee. Jungle Fever, Crooklyn and Clockers screen on Sundays at 8.30pm over the coming month. It’s a great opportunity to re-live these iconic films.

3. Thursday night is Rialto Documentary night and this month there is a fabulous collection of music documentaries portraying the life and career of artists such as Sixto Rodriquez (Searching for Sugar Man) and this week’s highlight, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?)

4. And finally, Friday nights are dedicated to crazy, intense, fired up Asian Action, including The Raid, which is another highlight this week.

Here are the highlights for the week…

A few things you should know about July on Rialto Channel.

1. The Sundance television show Rectify has begun – it’s a ripper so catch up and get hooked.

2. The featured director of the month is American filmmaker Spike Lee. Jungle Fever, Crooklyn and Clockers screen on Sundays at 8.30pm over the coming month. It’s a great opportunity to re-live these iconic films.

3. Thursday night is Rialto Documentary night and this month there is a fabulous collection of music documentaries portraying the life and career of artists such as Sixto Rodriquez (Searching for Sugar Man) and this week’s highlight, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?)

4. And finally, Friday nights are dedicated to crazy, intense, fired up Asian Action, including The Raid, which is another highlight this week.

Here are the highlights for the week…


Damsels in Distress
Directed by: Whit Stillman
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody and Analeigh Tipton
Premiering: Saturday July 13, 8.30pm

This urbane, witty college comedy is Whit Stillman’s first film since 1998s Last Days of Disco, and centers around four pretentious female college students trying to teach their fellow students self esteem and manners. They do this in a variety of ways; running Seven Oaks College’s Suicide Prevention Centre where they dish out alternative therapies such as tap dancing, and dating men who are less intelligent than them to give them a step up in life. The delivery is deadpan, the characters charmingly wacky and the romantic entanglements are never straightforward. Leading the girls is the fabulous Greta Gerwig who is one of my favourite actresses of the moment, I’m also looking forward to seeing her in Noah Baumbach’s latest film Frances Ha at the New Zealand International Film Festival, which starts in Auckland on July 18th.


Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?)
Directed by: John Scheinfeld
Starring: Yoko Ono, Randy Newman, Ray Cooper, Robin Williams
Premiering: Thursday 11th July, 8.30pm

The name Harry Nilsson may not mean anything to you, doubly so if you weren’t around in the 1970s. But if you play a couple of Nilsson’s tracks, such as Everybody's Talkin (made famous by the film Midnight Cowboy) and Without You, it becomes clear everyone knows his music. One of the most prolific, popular and respected singer/songwriters of the 1970s, Nilsson’s story is unfortunately of an incredibly talented and self-destructive man who died before his time. Director John Scheinfeld works hard to show us the real Harry Nilsson, but it’s a difficult task as Nilsson was very private. It’s the women in his life who offer the most insight into what made Harry tick, but there’s still endless entertaining stories about the parties and good times, albums recorded and Nilsson’s determination to be his own man.


The Raid
Directed by: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Donny Alamsyah, Ray Sahetapy
Premiering: Friday 12th July, 8.30pm

This is not the most relaxing way to start the weekend, but The Raid’s excessively thrilling, violent, and brilliantly choreographed and filmed fight sequences and stunts are a must for all action fans. The film tells the story of a SWAT team who become trapped in a derelict apartment building in Jakarta run by a notorious drug lord and a bunch of violent thugs. It’s not quite what you’d expect from a nice Welsh boy, The Raid’s writer and director Gareth Evan. Thanks to Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon, Evans has been a martial arts fan since he was a kid, but found himself making a living producing web videos teaching people the Welsh language. When he was offered the opportunity to head to Jakarta to work on a documentary about Indonesian culture he snapped it up, and only returned to Wales to pack up for a permanent move to Indonesia. What followed was martial arts film Merantau (which screened last week – keep an eye open for a repeat screening) and then The Raid, a film which launched him onto the international scene as an action director to watch. Fans of The Raid will be pleased to hear, The Raid 2 is coming soon.


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