Melbourne International Film Festival unveils biggest post-Cannes line-up yet
Press release from MIFF
The 61st Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will screen its biggest selection of films straight from the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
MIFF is one of the first festivals to screen these films after their world premiere at Cannes, meaning Melbourne audiences will be one of the first in the world to watch them after their debut on the French Riviera.
Over 35 films from Cannes are included in this year’s Festival line-up. Along with Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winning Amour, Benh Zeitlin’s Camera d'Or winner Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Wes Anderson’s Moonlight Kingdom, all announced in MIFF’s First Glance on 5th June, MIFF audiences will be treated to a huge selection of the world’s best filmmakers and films.
“Cannes is undoubtedly the international festival highlight for MIFF and this year we are thrilled to be able to bring such a huge array of titles. This is the most wide-ranging Cannes selection yet, with at least 20 countries represented in this selection alone. We have the sublime yet devastating Amour, the charming and surprisingly funny No and the ingenious Holy Motors. There are also exciting new films from MIFF regulars Im Sang-soo, Ken Loach, Hong Sang-soo, Ben Wheatley and Abbas Kiarostami,” said Festival Director Michelle Carey.
From the Cannes Festival Competition section MIFF will screen Walter Salles’ highly-anticipated adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road featuring Sam Riley as the infamous writer Sal Paradise, with support from Kirsten Stewart and Garett Hedlund; the Jury Prize winner The Angel’s Share, an affectionate crime caper by auteur Ken Loach that sees him mellowing his sharper edges; the film that was the talk of Cannes, Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, a contemplative, mesmerising work featuring Denis Lavant, Eva Mendes and a singing Kylie Minogue; and The Hunt by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, who introduced the world to the Dogme95 doctrine 14 years ago with The Celebration. This latest film won Mads Mikkelsen the Best Actor Award at Cannes.
Also from the Competition is Hong Sang-soo’s (Oki’s Movie, MIFF ’11) eccentric romantic comedy In Another Country, starring Isabelle Huppert; The Taste of Money, in which Im Sang-soo’s follows-up The Housemaid (MIFF ’10) with another uber-polished tale of seduction and power between the classes; Paradise: Love, from Austria, which launches Ullrich Seidl’s (Import Export, MIFF ’08) Paradise trilogy, examining the gulf between love and exploitation in Kenya; Beyond The Hills, Cristian Mungiu’s follow-up to the Palme d’Or-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (MIFF ’07), a film based on BBC reports that exposed an exorcism case at a Moldavian monastery; Like Someone in Love, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s (Certified Copy, MIFF ’10) surprising and sorrowful romantic tale set in Japan, and the FIPRESCI Award winner In The Fog from Russian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (My Joy, MIFF ’10), an evocative film that offers a philosophical and psychological meditation on morality in its war setting.
From Un Certain Regard MIFF will screen the winner of the Special Jury Prize, Le Grand Soir, a comic gem from filmmaking team Gustave de Kerven and Benoît Délepine (Louise-Michel, MIFF ’09); the Special Distinction recipient Children of Sarajevo, Aida Begic’s (Snow, MIFF ’09) exploration of post-war Sarajevo through the life of a 23-year old girl who seeks solace in the Muslim faith; Moussa Touré’s The Pirogue, which puts a human face to the topical plight of Senegalese refugees and asylum seekers, delivering an emotional wallop in place of staid news headlines; veteran provocateur Koji Wakamatsu’s (Caterpillar, MIFF ’10) radical biopic on the life and death of Japanese icon Yukio Mishima, 11:25 The Day Mishima Chose His Own Fate; a dark domestic thriller from Belgian auteur Joachim Lafosse called Our Children; the stylised Bombay thriller Miss Lovely, combining Bollywood pleasures with underworld grime; and 7 Days in Havana, an omnibus film featuring seven directors, including Elia Suleiman (Divine Intervention, MIFF ’02), Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void, MIFF ’10), Laurent Cantet (Heading South, MIFF ’06) and Benicio Del Toro, who each take on a single day from one week in Havana, to tell the city’s stories.
From Directors’ Fortnight MIFF will screen Pablo Larraín’s top prize-winning No, about the ‘Mad Men’ of Chile’s 1998 referendum. It stars Gael García Bernal as the ad man who drove the idea to sell the ‘No’ vote with a maverick marketing campaign. Also screening from this section is Anurag Kashyap’s two -part Gangs of Wasseypur; Part 1 is a Bollywood-influenced gangster epic that follows the trials of two rival clans over 70 years while Part 2 focuses on the generation that follows, Bollywood-obsessed and growing up on an inheritance of vengeance.
Also from Directors’ Fortnight MIFF will screen Iranian Massoud Bakhshi’s semi-autobiographical A Respectable Family, which draws on Bakhshi’s own memories of the bloody Iran-Iraq war; the ornately detailed watercolour animation Ernest & Celestine, which received a special mention; The King of Pigs, a provocative animation about South Korea’s corrosive class inequality that was also a triple-award winner at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival; the fascinating documentary Room 237 which dissects a host of obsessive theories around Stanley Kubrick’s beloved The Shining; and Ben Wheatley’s follow-up to the brutal Kill List (MIFF ’11), the deranged comedy, Sightseers, for which the film’s terrier, Smurf, won this year’s Cannes Palm Dog award.
From Critics’ Week MIFF will screen the Tim Roth-starring Broken, which follows the forced coming of age for the 11-year old girl, Skunk. The film is directed by celebrated UK theatre director Rufus Norris and is set to a haunting score from Damon Albarn’s Electric Wave Bureau. Also from this sidebar comes The Wild Ones, a striking saga of juvenile delinquency from Alejandro Fadel (screenwriter on Lion’s Den, MIFF ’08), who thrusts his subjects into the oppressive but lyrical Argentinean wilderness.
From other sections at Cannes MIFF brings the revelatory Journal de France, combining an affectionate portrait of photographer-filmmaker Raymond Depardon with remarkable footage from his incredible global travels over the last 50 years; the documentary Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, an in-depth look at the unparalleled filmmaking and comedy work of the king of comedy; The Suicide Shop from Patrice Leconte (The Girl On The Bridge) who takes cues from The Addams Family and Tim Burton when he animates the subject of suicide into a tastefully black musical comedy in 3D; Maniac, Franck Khalfoun’s scalp-slashing horror starring Elijah Wood; and For Love’s Sake from the prolific Takashi Miike, who turns a classic Japanese anime about a doomed love triangle into a genre-twisting musical.
Along with the previously announced Australian short Yardbirds, the ten shorts selected from Cannes to screen at MIFF include the Palme d’Or-winning Silent, pondering the prevailing human spirit when a Kurdish woman is forbidden to speak her own language while visiting her husband in prison; the moving Cuban film and Cinéfondation Prize winner, The Hosts; and the slow-burning uncanny horror Doppelgänger.
The full program and guests will be launched on Tuesday 10 July with the Festival program online at miff.com.au from Wednesday 11 July and in The Age on Friday 13 July. Tickets go on sale on Friday 13 July.
Melbourne International Film Festival runs 2-19 August 2012. Tickets for Opening Night gala of The Sapphires, e-mini passes and passports are on sale now at miff.com.au.