If you're in Melbourne over the next few weeks you should really take some time to check out the Melbourne International Film Festival. It has been running since the 50's making it one of the world's oldest screen events and it is fair to say these guys are old hands.
The Forum Theatre is a local favourite with its ornate gargoyles and lavish auditorium. It's the perfect festival hub and conveniently located just across Flinders Street from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. These and various other Melbourne venues play host to the festival which is a long standing local favourite.
We spoke to Kelly Black from MIFF to get her picks on this years highlights for your viewing pleasure.
Advanced Style – USA
“I am dressed up for the theatre of my life every day.” – Lynn Dell
Since 2008, New York photographer Ari Seth Cohen has been snapping fashionable senior citizens for his hugely popular street-style blog, Advanced Style. Now, with help from fashion videographer Lina Plioplyte, he’s bringing these vivacious, vibrant and outspoken older ladies to the big screen.
Don’t be afraid to dig through your closet and dress to the nines for the screening of this engaging documentary.
Appropriate Behavior – UK/USA
“This tart, sexually frank portrait of a disintegrating relationship, and its long, bitter aftermath, packs plenty of punch.” – Variety
Shirin storms out of the apartment of her girlfriend Maxine after a breakup, and proceeds to look back through her history of failed relationships. She moves in with pretentious artists, gets a job teaching filmmaking to five-years-olds, and employs a series of ill-advised schemes in an effort to win back Maxine.
“A supremely satisfying and irreverent take on the New York rom-com.” – The Playlist
Cut Snake – Australia (World Premiere)
“[Blake] Ayshford has written a sensational script which has a nail biting, page-turning quality and yet has something original to say about the nature of love.” – Tony Ayres
Tony Ayres (Tim Winton’s The Turning, MIFF 2013; The Slap, MIFF 2011) returns with his first feature film since The Home Song Stories (MIFF 2007): a psychologically powered crime thriller loosely based around Brisbane’s Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub blaze.
“I've been passionate about making Cut Snake for many years now. For me, it's the combination of it being a thriller and a relationship drama which makes it so exciting.” – Tony Ayres
Dior and I
Peek behind the scenes of the fashion event of a generation.
The unveiling of a new clothing collection by the House of Christian Dior may be a regular occurrence, but it’s not often that a fresh Artistic Director takes the reins of the iconic label. Dior and I delves into the dramas and designs of newcomer Raf Simons as he prepares his maiden line for the beloved brand, after several years designing for Jil Sander and his own label. Known for his minimalistic style and coming from a ready-to-wear background, his first dalliance with Dior haute couture is fraught with trials, but also flirts with triumphs.
“The mere exchange of glances builds as much suspense as a kinetic action sequence in Matthew Saville's tense, stylish psychological thriller.” – Variety
While celebrating a major bust, Sydney drug cop Malcolm makes a mistake that will haunt his life, and which threatens to make or break the careers of two other police: rookie officer Jim and veteran detective Carl. As these three become embroiled in a tense game of cat-and-mouse that pushes each man to his limits, questions of justice, guilt and innocence will be turned inside out and the quest to disguise and unravel the truth will undo them all.
“An outstanding, mostly Australian cast working with a morally complex script makes Felony an absolutely gripping and realistic crime tale.” – We Got This Covered
I am Bird – USA
Profiles Caroll Spinney, the 80-year-old puppeteer who has been behind Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since the show's first season. Relying heavily on Caroll's incredible archive of home videos dating back to the 1950s, I AM BIG BIRD captures how the love radiating from Caroll has created a worldwide cultural icon and answers why he can't say goodbye to the characters he cherishes.
Paper Planes - Australia
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” – JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Twelve-year-old Dylan lives with his father in the West Australian outback. One day at school Dylan discovers he is extremely good at making and flying paper planes. While attempting to refine and develop his newly realised ability, Dylan finds himself caught up in the world of competitive paper-plane making, leading to new friendships, new rivalries and new realisations about his own family.
Predestination - Australia
After tackling zombies (in the FIPRESCI Award-winning Undead, MIFF 2003) and vampires (Daybreakers), the Spierig Brothers take on time travel in this stylish, intelligent thriller.
Shot on location in and around Melbourne, Predestination offers a distinctive blend of sci-fi, noir and crime fiction with a Bukowskian streak. True to the Australian twins’ directorial style, it investigates bigger questions – here, of destiny and identity – with wit and insight.
Pulp: a Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets - UK
Following his cinematic Love Story (MIFF 2012) to New York, New Zealand director Florian Habicht returns with a cinematic love letter to Sheffield… and its best-known 90s export, Pulp.
Pulp is as much a mildly absurd portrait of the unlikeliest of stars as it is an intimate picture of the city of Sheffield, and its inhabitants; of how each informed, and informs, the other. The band’s rangy, geeky frontman Jarvis Cocker takes centre stage as a mirror of the imperturbable locals, lending credence to the cocked-eyebrow subtitle ‘A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets’ and its askew, Gondry-esque nature. Pulp emerges as an odd duck, seemingly above the triviality of the music business; in Sheffield, they’re a perfect fit.
“As celebrated in Habicht’s warmly human documentary, Pulp has always been defiantly different.” – Variety
The Skeleton Twins - USA
Saturday Night Live alumni and Bridesmaid's Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader juxtapose their comic skills with knockout dramatic performances in this warm, darkly funny film.
Craig Johnson’s film about adult siblings working through their past issues is accentuated by a finely finessed script (written by Johnson and Mark Heyman, co-writer of Black Swan) and those revelatory performances from Wiig and Hader. Their chemistry is effortlessly channelled into the shorthand communication and shared humour of siblings that bubbles to the surface despite a prickly past. Impressive cameos by Luke Wilson and Modern Family’s Ty Burrell only add to the film’s enjoyment.
“A bittersweet but refreshing tonic that will leave audiences with a big, dopey smile on their face.” – Hollywood Reporter
That should be plenty to get you excited. For a complete program and booking details check out the MIFF website.
If you feel like making a night out of it, feel free to get in touch with us at Localing Tours Melbourne. We can start with some aperitifs and charcuterie in a few laneway bars and explore the city a little under cover of darkness before dropping you at your film.