After a huge first week with over 35 international and local guests the 2014 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is rolling in to its last week with an impressive lineup of films, events and a new group of visitors.
Joel Edgerton is a guest of MIFF for the Australian premiere, and closing night gala presentation, of his new film FELONY. The tense and stylish psychological thriller is directed by Matthew Saville, who will join Joel on the red carpet on Saturday 16 August.
AFI Award-winning actor Harrison Gilbertson and director Stephen Lance are attending the world premiere of My Mistress on Thursday 14 August. Gilbertson stars as vulnerable teenage romantic Charlie and My Mistress is the provocative love story of his dangerous infatuation with S&M mistress Maggie (played by acclaimed French actress Emmanuelle Béart). Lance’s bold and visually captivating debut is supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund.
Ryan White, the director of The Case Against 8 is a guest from the USA from 15th August, accompanying his riveting documentary that follows the historic case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage; a journey that took five years of setbacks and victories and ended up in the Washington Supreme Court. The Case Against 8 will also be presented at a special Chair’s Screening with a panel discussion from Colin Batrouney (Victoria AIDS Council), Dennis Altman (academic and gay rights activist) and Anna Brown (Human Rights Law Centre).
Andrew Leavold, director of The Search for Weng Weng, is also a guest of MIFF. A unique documentary about a short-statured Filipino film star, taking in everything from Golden Age Filipino filmmaking and culture to a rare encounter with Imelda Marcos, The Search for Weng Weng was filmed over seven years. Andrew Leavold owned and managed Trash Video, the largest cult video rental store in Australia, from 1995 to 2010, and is in Melbourne from 14 August.
No one likes a chatterbox in the cinema but MIFF’s Talking Pictures program loves it and has been designed to encourage discussion, debate and questioning with filmmakers and personalities. This week’s Talking Pictures highlights include:
Talking Pictures – Trailer Trash: The Art of the Film Trailer – Monday 11 August
Film journalist Zak Hepburn (ABC TV) considers both the art and the guilty pleasure of the genre film trailer, with Mark Hartley (Electric Boogaloo), Gerard Johnstone (Housebound), Antony I Ginnane (Turkey Shoot), academic and writer Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, and trailer editor Terence Race (Wolf Creek 2), showcasing some expertly made genre trailers, and examining the showmanship, ballyhoo and spirit that lies at the heart of these inspired pieces of movie marketing. This is a free 18+ event.
Talking Pictures – Spook and the City: Hong Kong Supernatural – Thursday 14 August
Co-presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, this event will take a closer look at the stranger side of Hong Kong; from ghostly goings-on to the jiang shi cinema of hopping vampires, join Asian genre expert Andrew Leavold (director, The Search for Weng Weng), Christian Were (Madman Entertainment), film writer Michael Helms (Fangoria magazine) and academic Michael Honig for a dissection of genre thrills, doomed romance and Chinese folklore.
Talking Pictures – Getting Inside the Director's Head – Saturday 16 August
Co-presented with the Australian Directors Guild this event is the opportunity to find out first hand what really happens on set. Kingston Anderson (Executive Director, Australian Directors Guild) will uncover the drama behind the drama from the perspective of veteran directors and their on-set directors' attachments. Does the director always know what’s going on? How does the director’s attachment see the work of the director? Will they reveal their secret knowledge of the on-set activities of two new Australian films? With Robert Connolly (Paper Planes), Tony Ayres (Cut Snake), and emerging filmmakers Matt Moore (The Amber Amulet, MIFF 2013), and Stephen McCallum. What happens on set, doesn’t stay there, anymore.
Talking Pictures – Court on Camera: Film and the Law – Sunday 17 August
ABC Radio National's Damien Carrick talks to American director Ryan White (The Case Against 8), Rachel Ball (Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Human Rights Law Centre), Elizabeth O'Shea (Associate at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers) and documentary filmmaker Liz Burke (Just Punishment) about the technicalities of capturing legality and the law on screen in one of the year's best real-life courtroom procedurals.
Once the debate and discussions has subsided, MIFF has the fun covered kicking off tonight with a ping pong tournament at the Festival Lounge in recognition of the major moves Radford Miracle plays in MIFF 2014 film Ping Pong Summer. Player registrations have closed but spectators are welcome.
Back for the third year, Meet Me at MIFF is speed dating for the filmbuff on Monday 11, Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 August at the Festival Lounge at the Forum. Hosted by comedian Oliver Clarke, who will keep the bubbles flowing and the conversation flowing, there are sessions for under 35s, over 35s and a queer edition (male to male).
On the last weekend of the Festival there will be encore screenings of some of this year’s MIFF favourites including Boyhood, Pulp: A Film About Life Death and Supermarkets, Advanced Style, Heaven Adores You, Love Marriage in Kabul and Starred Up.
Melbourne International Film Festival finishes this Sunday 17 August.
Full details of surprise screenings:
Full details of Festival Lounge offerings and events:
Full details of the program: