Prepare your takeaway flat whites, comfortable queuing shoes, and cough lozenges of choice: the Melbourne International Film Festival is about to make us its willing captives again.
This year, locally-made premieres range from adaptation of Tim Winton’s collection The Turning – featuring contributions by Cate Blanchett, David Wenham, Tony Ayres, Warwick Thornton, and more – to Mark Hartley’s remake of 1978’s “he’s in a coma… yet, he can kill” cult movie Patrick. Documentaries include In Bob We Trust, chronicling beloved Melburnian Father Bob Maguire’s forced retirement from his church. If that sounds too spiritual, try The Act of Killing. It takes real-life murderers and has them reenact their crimes – as both perpetrators and victims.
Genre fans should watch out for Stoker, the first English language production by Korean master Park Chan-wook; Passion, the latest from the always lurid Brian De Palma; and Adam Wingard’s You’re Next (if only because that might be the best title for a horror film since C.H.U.D.: Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller). Blancanieves from Spain offers a poetic, silent, black-and-white retelling of Snow White as a 1920s bullfighter, and Upstream Color is Shane Carruth’s beautiful, mysterious, and looooooooooong-awaited follow up to his lo-fi sci-fi Primer.
The youth-focused Next Gen program looks particularly interesting. I Declare War takes a childhood game of ‘Capture the Flag’ and films it with realistic trappings of war. In Bekas, Kurdish orphans are inspired by a cinema to find the only person they think can help them: Superman.
We’ll be looking at more titles worthy of your hard-earned minipass before too long.