Articles on MIFF 2014

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Buzzard is in effect quirky – and quirk belongs on the fringe. Or does it? MIFF

Check your moral disapproval: Buzzard at MIFF

The Kafkaesque nightmare that underpins Joel Potrykus’ Buzzard might not be just located on the screen. Buzzard, which screened at MIFF 2014 as part of the international panorama program, is an uncomfortable…
This is carnal science fiction cinema. Sancho McCann/Flickr

Anatomy of an Ant: Doomsday in Phase IV

I will often say to my film students that if you want to know what aches a culture at a particular historical juncture then you need to visit and spend time with the catastrophic imagination of science…
In a four-hour long film, we have all the time in the world to consider the misogyny, misanthropy and pathos. MIFF

Who has the time? Four hours of Norte, the End of History, at MIFF

For an expectant crowd of cinephiles sitting down to see a four-hour film, it is easy enough to identify with Fabian, the main character of Norte, the End of History, that screened at the Melbourne International…
Wiig and Hader are well cast and convincingly play the troubled ‘Skeleton Twins’. MIFF

The Skeleton Twins, a dark comedy about mental illness

As the Melbourne International Film Festival draws to a close for another year, what better way to finish than with a comedy? Well, not quite. Craig Johnson’s latest release, Skeleton Twins, starring Kristen…
Footage shot at German concentration camps at the end of the second world war is the basis for a harrowing documentary screening at MIFF. ho visto nino volare/Flickr

German Concentration Camps Factual Survey: shocking to watch, important to witness

The experience of watching horrific imagery in both fiction film and documentary cinema sometimes pushes the act of viewing cinema to its limit. It tests the spectator’s ability to keep looking. That’s…
Fans of Canadian film director Xavier Dolan were treated with two of his films at MIFF 2014. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

Enfant terrible Xavier Dolan at MIFF

Whether you see him as an enfant terrible or an indie darling, Xavier Dolan is a prodigious filmmaker. At the age of 25 he has five critically acclaimed feature-length films to his name. I am a keen fan…
A screening of Invoking Justice at Mahim Beach, Mumbai, India, 2013. BMW Guggenheim Lab/Flickr

Transcending testimony: an interview with filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj

Deepa Dhanraj is a filmmaker and feminist whose extensive filmography spans issues of gender, labour, education and women’s position in Indian society. In 1980, she founded the Bangalore-based filmmaking…
Blues singer Marlene Cummins is the subject of Rachel Perkins’ latest film, Black Panther Woman. MIFF

A blues song to break the silence: Black Panther Woman at MIFF

I sing this song. I sing it for my sisters. For I feel the backbone of our struggle in this country, Trying to keep it together. Koori Woman – Marlene Cummins Rachel Perkins’ latest documentary, Black…
Watching Wetlands is an unquestionably visceral experience and is not for the easily repulsed. MIFF

Wetlands: sugar and spice at MIFF

Wetlands, directed by David Wnendt and based on the best-selling novel by Charlotte Roche, is part of an ever-expanding body of work that gives the lie to the “sugar and spice” conception of women and…
Isabelle Huppert and Kool Shen star in Abuse of Weakness, currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival. MIFF

Who conned Catherine Breillat? Abuse of Weakness at MIFF

Abuse of Weakness, currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival, reflects on French director Catherine Breillat’s experience of being swindled by con-man Christophe Rocancourt. The…
Jodorowsky saw Dune as a chance to bring 1970s avant-garde ideas to mainstream audiences. MIFF

Jodorowsky’s Dune: an acid trip without the acid at MIFF 2014

One of the big attractions at the Melbourne International Film Festival this year is Frank Pavich’s documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013). The film retells the story of cult Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s…
By telling the stories of Boni, Titi and Ho, Jalanan brings to the screen the hardships and precarious lives of marginalised people in one of the most economically promising Asian countries. Courtesy of Jalanan Movie Team

Jalanan: Busking and dreaming in the city

Daniel Ziv‘s documentary feature Jalanan (Streetside), currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival, is a film that seeks to move its audience. Documentaries sometimes invite viewers…
Australian poet and dramatist Christopher Barnett is the subject of These Heathen Dreams, a documentary screening at MIFF. MIFF

These Heathen Dreams: rage and tenderness at MIFF 2014

I met the Australian poet Christopher Barnett in Nantes in 2009. He strode the narrow streets in his long leather coat, occasionally crossing the road in front of cars, staring drivers down. When I asked…
New Indian documentary cinema: Children of the Pyre. MIFF

Death begets life in Rajesh Jala’s Children of the Pyre

Rajesh Jala’s Children of the Pyre (2008) is one of seven documentary features in the India in Flux: Living Resistance strand at the 2014 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). The film is a finely…
A still from Pablo Mazzolo’s Photooxidation, one of the films on the Experimental Shorts program at MIFF. MIFF

Seeing sounds, hearing images: Experimental Shorts at MIFF 2014

The nine films that comprise the Melbourne International Film Festival’s Experimental Shorts program confront viewers with questions about image, form and genre. The Experimental Shorts program is an annual…
Marion Cotillard stars in Two Days, One Night, currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival. MIFF

Two Days, One Night: working hard for the Dardennes brothers

Audiences familiar with Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes won’t need any recommendation to see their latest film, Two Days, One Night, which is on the program of the Melbourne International…
Rinko Kikuchi stars in Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival. MIFF

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter enchants at MIFF 2014

For the most part we live in disenchanted times: everyday life and the political landscape seem increasingly dried of their magical possibilities. Instead they are filled with dross and drone, the relentless…

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