A freelance writer and copywriter for over fifteen years, Helene has written for publications and brands all over the world and couldn’t imagine herself in any other job. A shameless film freak, her first onscreen experience involved a trip to Avondale’s Hollywood Theatre at the age of five to see Yul Brynner in The Ultimate Warrior and she hasn’t looked back since. A big fan of documentaries, she has interviewed subjects as diverse as Henry Rollins, Jimmy Choo and Beyonce Knowles, and also has her own beauty blog - which can be found at www.mshelene.com - for the purpose of raving about red lipstick, big hair and other essential indulgences.

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Film Fess by Helene Ravlich

25 Latest News Articles

You’ll find very few errors in the mesmerising Errors of the Human Body

Posted on Monday 9/03/2015 March, 2015 by Rialto Admin

Errors of the Human Body is most definitely a strange and almost indefinable film. On one hand it has a horror vibe going on, and on the other a distinctly sci fi feel all round. And having said that, it goes a lot deeper emotionally than either of those genres… so is perhaps something else entirely. A terrifying trip into one scientist’s worst nightmare perhaps, after the death of his young son drives him mad with frustration.

Mr. Jones

Posted on Tuesday 3/03/2015 March, 2015 by Rialto Admin

The intention behind tonight’s film Mr. Jones was to make an art house horror flick, which sounded like a promising little number to me and I got immediately stuck in. I was aware of the predominantly bad reviews of the flick but went in with (hopefully) an unbiased opinion, emerging later feeling uncharacteristically non-plussed. Good? Maybe not. Great? Probably not. But if you’re a fan of the genre them read on, as it may well be your cup of tea and hey – don’t believe everything that you read.

Wrestling Queens

Posted on Monday 23/02/2015 February, 2015 by Rialto Admin

Wrestling Queens AKA Queens of the Ring AKA Les Reines du Ring is a seriously kooky French comedy about a woman who goes to quite the extreme in order to get the attention of her young son. Her past status as a bit of a crap mum contributes in part to her decision, and the fact that the aforementioned son has been placed in foster care sounds a bit grim, but it’s a warm little number that comes highly recommended.

In Their Skin will get under your skin

Posted on Tuesday 17/02/2015 February, 2015 by Rialto Admin

One of the most wonderful things about watching great movies is the sense of relaxation one feels, that moment of being simultaneously stimulated by and taken away from the everyday by a top-notch cinematic outing.

One movie that is both well made and acted but will have you in a state akin to a quivering wreck by the time the end credits roll however, is In Their Skin, showing on Rialto.

Are these the five least sexy sex scenes ever?

Posted on Wednesday 11/02/2015 February, 2015 by Rialto Admin

With talk of late proclaiming that upcoming, much hyped on screen couple Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson have the worst ever chemistry on display in “Fifty Shades of Grey”, I’ve been thinking about the least sexy, cinematic sex scenes ever made. The pair was apparently doing reshoots up until a few weeks ago, and by all accounts their press tour has been like watching a soon-to-be-divorced couple in the early stages of therapy!

Top Ten Sinfully Sexy Movies

Posted on Wednesday 4/02/2015 February, 2015 by Rialto Admin

This month is devoted – shamelessly – to sin on Rialto Channel, so I’m kicking off my part in the whole thing shebang with a top ten of the most sinfully sexy movies I’ve been lucky enough to see. Romance is not what I’m is not what I am counting down here either – it’s pure filth all round, so if that’s not what you’re after then please close the curtains.

This list is about hot, saucy, sassy and at times a little-too-real celluloid sexiness, and yep, at times it makes even me blush. Theses are the moments that make you feel strange if you watch them with your parents or new friends (a big thank you to Mulholland Drive for that awkward few minutes), scenes you don't want to witness on a first date, and the chemistry that makes a movie memorable and at times, a little uncomfortable to watch.


Posted on Wednesday 28/01/2015 January, 2015 by Rialto Admin

That James Franco is one hell of a polarising character. From pretty boy to serious talent to laughable auteur and scholar (and plenty more in between), you either love him or you hate him, and my camp of choice is most definitely the former.

Known for his breakthrough starring role on Freaks and Geeks (1999), Franco’s star ascended quickly, and his appearance in films as diverse as Pineapple Express and Milk have seen his profile grow among both stoners and art house fans all over the world.


Posted on Tuesday 20/01/2015 January, 2015 by Rialto Admin


This Wednesday, January 21 sees the New Zealand television premiere of COLLABORATOR, a very unusual little film that is also the writing and directorial debut of a highly respected acting talent – Martin Donovan.

It’s the story of Robert Longfellow, a renowned playwright in the middle of a creative dry spell that is turning him in knots. His latest high-profile production is a very famous flop, so to extricate himself from the bad press and general dysfunction of his professional life, he retreats to the home to the neighbourhood he grew up in on the other side of the country. He quite literally runs home to mama with his tale between his legs, and that is when things really start to go pear-shaped.

El Limpiador

Posted on Wednesday 14/01/2015 January, 2015 by Rialto Admin

One of those people is Eusebio Vela (played by the amazing Víctor Prada), the main protagonist in the beautiful but odd film El Limpiador – AKA ‘The Cleaner’. Eusebio’s job as a forensic cleaner is to sterlise places where someone has died, and he is the busiest he has ever been since the outbreak of a mysterious epidemic that has the city of Lima, Peru in its grips. Eusebio is a lonely and seemingly apathetic man to the pain around him. He has essentially been desensitized by his line of work and goes about his business without a care in the world. One day, while cleaning an abandoned house of the detritus of death, he comes across a scared boy hiding in a wardrobe. It is immediately obvious that he is the child of the deceased, and Eusebio takes it upon himself to find the boy's remaining family. He convinces the terrified child that donning a cardboard box will keep him safe from the horrors that lie outside on the streets, and the hunt begins together for a future in a hopeless place.


Posted on Wednesday 7/01/2015 January, 2015 by Rialto Admin

“An engrossing study in the communication possible...between man and beast...” said Variety of the exquisitely filmed, unabashedly sentimental documentary WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE, a tale of nature vs. nature in the form of some true equine beauties.

It has been said that the best so-called “horse-y movies” are especially successful when they manage to seduce those members of the audience who have never really identified themselves as horse lovers, as opposed to their usual captive fans. Alex Dawson and cinematographer Greg Gricus have created such a film, with this incredible portrait of just a few of the individuals who train fully wild mustangs (described as “never been touched” horses) in just three months. It takes the viewer on an unforgettable journey across the American Southwest where cowboys and cowgirls still reign supreme, astride their trusty – and breathtakingly beautiful – steeds.

At the heart of WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE is the story of the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, an annual contest that dares 100 people to each tame a totally wild mustang in order to get it adopted into a better life beyond the usual federal corrals. It is Dawson and Gricus' debut feature documentary and immediately leaves you wanting more with its gorgeous big-sky, all American vistas, amazing shots of the majestic mustangs and intimate moments between trainers and trainees.

Which all made me think about the plight and the uneasy future of Aotearoa’s own wild mustangs, the Kaimanawa. New Zealand's only true ‘wild’ horses, they have grazed the rugged Kaimanawa Ranges south of Lake Taupo for more than 100 years, but their future existence remains threatened by the Army and the Department of Conservation.

Back in seventies the Kaimanawa population had been decimated by amateur hunters, pet food suppliers, local rodeo outfitters and others, to the extent that in 1981 the horses were finally granted Protected Status under the Wildlife Act and listed by the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations as a special herd of genetic value. The horses continued to happily flourish despite their harsh living environment, but their spirit of survival was to prove their undoing by the early nineties. This was when they were said to be “inconveniencing” the New Zealand Army, on whose training ranges they graze, as well as threatening the survival of certain endangered plants in the area.

The Department of Conservation's management Plan for the Wild Horses was adopted by Parliament in May 1996, and the horses' Protected Status was lifted. All horses were removed from the "ecologically fragile" Northern Ranges, and the herd size in the Southern Ranges has been drastically reduced "to protect the environment". This is an environment that can apparently withstand damage from army tanks and vehicles, as well as from other grazing animals, but not from horses. Go figure.

After the public naturally opposed the government’s decision to cull the horses by shooting, then-Prime Minister Jim Bolger decided against taking such drastic action, and instead there was a muster of around 1000 horses in May-June 1997 and a second smaller muster in June 1998, to reduce the horse population to the Government Approved figure of 500, as quoted by the 1996 Management Plan.

The latest biannual muster was completed at the end of May with the muster of 172 horses, and now the wider community is also actively involved, with partner organisations such as the Kaimanawa Heritage Horses Trust and the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Preservation Society integral in re-homing 157 of the mustered horses. The management approach for the horses aims to keep herd numbers in the management area to 300, but horse lovers claim that if the population falls below 500, or if the number of horses in the wild does not include enough mares of breeding age, the Kaimanawa could officially become extinct in the wild.

In addition, there are reports of Kaimanawa in captivity that have not been so lucky as to be successfully re-homed. Sixteen of them starved to death in June 1998 on a Central Plateau Farm, waiting for Massey University to carry out immuno-contraception trials. There was an ownership dispute between the University, the grazier and DoC, and no one took responsibility for feeding. The Ministry of Agriculture held an enquiry into the tragedy but decided in December 1998 that there was not enough clear evidence of criminal liability for a prosecution. So once again the horses are the losers. Of the 1100 or more horses removed from the ranges in 1997 and 1998, at least 500 are known to have gone for slaughter, and some are known to have died. The survivors are at private properties all around New Zealand.

So anyway… watch WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE and enjoy every beautiful moment – but don’t forget our own wild beauties close to home.

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