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Films Screened In 1999

Set in a strange barren landscape a cute white, fluffy star-shaped creature, the 'soft one", lives in a nest in a cave and spends it's days searching for companionship. One day the soft one discovers a sharp, metallic reptilian worker, the 'hard one', mining in a rocky quarry and decides to take a ... Read more
Chuck Workman's exemplary enquiry into the Beats takes a longer view than the typical canonisation of goatees, jazz and reefer that bogs down too many similar projects. The director places his work in context by tracing the history of cultural and artistic rebellion and follows up with an ... Read more
Believed lost for over 80 years, Theda Bara's debut, The Stain, has been lovingly and painstakingly restored by Australian writer, director, editor and film historian, Barrie Pattison. The Stain will come as a surprise even to buffs familiar with classic silent films. It is an example of the style ... Read more
Following Farhad Mehranfar's Paper Airplanes (also screening as part of Journey to Iran), the filmmaker returned to the region of his birth for a cinematic study of a timeless community of people. His crew and cam­eras enter the enchanting mountains of Talesh, where he finds old clans living in ... Read more
In Belgium, the North and South have traditionally been in conflict. Albert, a Belgian in his mid 30s runs a hot chips stand that straddles the border between the two communities. When he hands his customers their chips he is in Flanders, but when he submerges a fresh batch in the sizzling cooking ... Read more
Tim Roth's powerhouse drama about a working-class family torn apart by incest and parental abuse was one of the highlights of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Informed by the gritty urban tragedies of Ken Loach, Roth's first film features Ray Winstone {Quadrophenia, Nil By Mouth, Face [MIFF ... Read more
After completing his previous film, Pretty Village, Pretty Flame, director Srdjan Dragojevic vowed never to under­take another project dealing with the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Thankfully, for MIFF audiences, Dragojevic was compelled by the true story of Pinki and Kraut, two ... Read more
On the streets of Washington there is a war going on. Teenage thugs armed with automatic weapons run many of the inner city blocks. Fully half of the black men aged between 18 and 35 are stuck somewhere in the prison system. For many of them, 'thug life' is a guiding philosophy. As they see it ... Read more
In a drab, futuristic underground world, a cowered and dehumanised populace is governed by a central computer; a robotic police force controls all aspects of daily life in true totalitarian fashion, stamping out any sign of individuality The inhabitants dress in regulation white and their heads are ... Read more
Paintings by Jack Shadbolt inspired by nature and American West Coast aboriginal art are animated, using computer technology, into a seamless, morphing flow of images. This homage to Shadbolt's work by filmmaker Stephen Arthur has transformed the original paintings into a hallucinatory seguence of ... Read more
Gabriel, a composer struggling to make a living in New York, is picked up on the subway one night by Mark, a hunky go-go dancer Adonis from the local cruise joint. The trouble is, the two of them can't find a place to bed down for the night. As they search for a suitable venue, Jim Falls wonderful ... Read more
A methodically crafted yet magically realised feature debut which, although officially credited to Michael Polish, is enough of a joint effort to be billed as a Polish brothers film. Michael's identical twin sibling, Mark, co-scripted this Sundance triumph and stars alongside him as his conjoined ... Read more
Four lost souls in two archetypal automobiles take to the back roads and endless highways of redneck country. James Taylor (The Driver) and Dennis Wilson (The Mechanic) play a pair of speed motorheads cruising around in a '55 Chevy. Their rootless paths cross that of drifter Laurie Bird and the ... Read more
While playing in a sand pit, a little boy unearths a shiny, black machine gun. He begins to explore the workings of the gun with a natural, fearless curiosity and know-how. A brief juggernaut of events ensues which inevitably leads to tragedy. This film depicts a disturbing and tragic connection ... Read more
Horror film buffs will delight at Genevieve Jolliffe's debut. Chilling moments from classics including The Exorcist, Carrie, The Evil Dead, Poltergeist and as far back as Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), register in this clever film. Rather than approach the project as a formulaic genre piece ... Read more
Ten year old Victor chooses a freezing winter evening to run away from home. Exhausted, afraid, his flight takes him to a fairground, the only bright and welcoming sight in the darkness. Moments before he faints, Victor sees Mick, a young man on a merry-go-round. When he wakes he finds himself at ... Read more
Director Frank Scheffer was the recipient ot the 1997 Dutch Film Critics Award for his entire body of work, a back catalogue numbering over 25 films made during the past 17 years. Scheffer has a particular interest in the relationship between music and images and his docu­mentary Voyage to ... Read more
Ziad Doueiri's assured debut is a lively coming of age tale, a technically polished, frequently funny and emo­tionally affecling work which was also a Toronto Film Festival award winner. April 13 1975, the first oflicial day of Ihe Lebanese Civil War: the passengers of a Palestinian bus are ... Read more
What goes on in a high school classroom at Manly Community College for two hours on Wednesday nights represents a fascinating microcosm of how white Australians are dealing (or not dealing) with the coun­try's indigenous past and present. Four times a year a group of between ten and fifteen ... Read more
Filmmakers often construct dangerous scenes or situa­tions within their project but rarely do they undertake an entire shoot that places them in personal jeopardy. Director Paul Wagner along with his cast and crew posed as tourists with video cameras while on location in Tibet. The ensemble ... Read more
Featuring a combination of animation techniques, this film tells the story of a young man who sends letters home to his family while backpacking around the world. When travelling through Jordan he encounters a mysterious local with a rifle and childhood memories of his grandfather as a soldier in ... Read more
Welcome to suburbia ground zero. In 1947, in response to the United Stales' worst housing shortage, architect William Levitt designed the world's first planned community—cheap, mass produced homes that would take his name and become Levittown. This Long Island development, with its row upon ... Read more
Somewhere in a block of apartments a couple wakes up in the morning of January 1st, 2000. As they enter upon a new day at a leisurely pace they find themselves under an unexpected attack. Simple in narrative but distinguished in style, X2000 is a charming piece of filmmaking with all the feel and ... Read more
In a pre-credit sequence, a hunky young stud, Gary (Jason Patric), sweating from exercise hisses dramati­cally, "I think you're a great lay." As it transpires, he is dictating the line into a tape recorder, rehearsing it to be used on a number of different women. As just one exam­ple of the ... Read more
The latest offering from one of Australia's finest animators takes us on a breathless journey through 20th century images in art and fashion. Using an innovative combination of live action, animation, choreography and painting, Antoinette Starkiewicz's lushious imagery is a feast for the eyes. ... Read more
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