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Articles on MIFF

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Viewers can stand, sit, or be positioned in patterns and relations that breach the traditional movie theatre encounter. Breaching Transmissions/Images courtesy of MIFF

Breaching Transmissions – can expanded cinema expand your mind?

Expanded cinema, a term coined in the mid-1960s by American experimental filmmaker Stan Vanderbeek, extends and enriches the way cinema can engage with its viewers. The art form is taken into galleries…
This film conveys a uniquely Australian sensibility, at equal turns calm and intense. Images courtesy of MIFF

Going against the flow in Grant Scicluna’s debut feature film Downriver

Filmed in 29 days on a shoestring budget, Downriver's bush setting and narrative twists give it an expansive feel. It is a visually stunning piece, with superb performances and an utterly gripping story.
Jonathan Gold has a charming curiosity for food and a willingness to try out weird and wonderful dishes. Images courtesy of MIFF

Deer penis with hagfish? City of Gold celebrates the eclectic flavours of LA

Jonathan Gold, the only restaurant critic to have won a Pulitzer Prize, has a charming curiosity for food. Laura Gabbert’s new documentary focuses on Gold’s penchant for seeking out the hidden treasures of LA.
Set in what seems like an eternal dusk, Tangerine is breathtaking in its beauty and garishness. Images courtesy of MIFF

From iPhone to iFilm: the queer experience of Tangerine

US director Sean Baker's Tangerine is a film that's queer in both storyline and filmmaking approach. Featuring trans actors and shot on an iPhone 5S, it teases with ideas of authenticity and truth.
Adapting a much-loved text is always a delicate task as the audience can be fiercely protective. Sydney Film Festival

Holding the Man, and bringing HIV/AIDS in Australia to a mainstream audience

Holding the Man, the screen adaptation of Timothy Conigrave's much-loved memoir, has seen audiences laughing, then sobbing at its devastating portrayal of AIDS in Australia. It's an important story to tell.
Périot neither condemns nor romanticises extreme ‘resistance’ and ‘revolutionary’ actions, nor the state’s response. Images courtesy of MIFF

A German Youth brings the Red Army Faction to the Melbourne International Film Festival: review

Germany's Red Army Faction evolved from student protest to bombings, kidnappings and shootouts with police. The group transformed dissent into spectacular media event. This documentary picks up the story.
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…

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