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Films Screened In 1999

A nail-biting exercise in political paranoia featuring first rate performances from leads Tim Robbins and Jeff Bridges. Michael Faraday (Bridges) is rebuilding his life after the death of his FBI agent wife, killed while on stake-out of suspected militia members. His young son is feeling alienated ... Read more
A man who accidentally sees a UFO subsequently suffers from powerful and painful hallucinations. In desperation, he and his girlfriend commit suicide to escape the hallucinations but find themselves in an equally strange world inhabited by beings with only half a body. ... Read more
Denis Villeneuve made his mark directing 20 short videos and winning first prize in the Canadian equivalent of the ABC's Race Around the World. August 32nd on Earth indicates his exceptional flair. ... Villeneuve's film captures the existential crisis of post-crash trauma with precision and humour ... Read more
Eric Rohmer once commented that his films deal less with what people do than what is going on in their minds while they're doing it—a cinema of thought rather than aclions. Winner of Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival in 1998, Autumn Tale continues in this vein. Rohmer's elegant ... Read more
Beautifully shot and finely acted, Avril opens an intriguing window on women in contemporary Tunisia. Amida, a 10 year old girl, arrives from her native village with an old man who sells her to Farida and Dalila, two sisters in their fifties. There is a strange mood in Amida's new environment. ... Read more
Anita is a 'Babymother', a young woman raising two chil­dren in a housing estate in north-west London with the assistance of her own mother, Edith. Byron, the father of her youngest child, is a local Reggae celebrity who casually invites Anita to perform in his show but never follows up on the ... Read more
Bach in Auschwitz is a sobering account of the experience of 40 women who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp of World War II by belonging to a group known to both prisoners and Nazis alike as 'the ladies of the orchestra', The women were from all over Europe. One thing kept them ... Read more
Julie-Anne comes home from a hard day at the office to discover her mother has locked the cat in the house all day (again) and that she is expected to cook 'bangers" for dinner. Preparing Ihe meal becomes a manifestation of all the repressed tensions in Julie-Anne's work and home life. ... Read more
Javi, Manu and Rai live in a none too salubrious part of Madrid. Their barrio (neighbourhood) is principally comprised of rundown, low-income housing and conse­quently the boys, in their mid-teens, spend more time hanging around the local tip than they do with their fam­ilies. Boredom, the ... Read more
In this hilarious computer animation, directed by Glen Dunstan and produced through the Animation and Interactive Media course at RMIT, a skeletal bird in a natural history museum dreams of flying. Delusions of flight, however, come to a crashing conclusion. ... Read more
Rose Troche (Go Fish, MIFF 1994) has crafted an excel­lent comedy of manners and sex in the nervous 90s. Bedrooms and Hallways—which received the Audience Award at the London Film Festival—focuses on Leo (Kevin McKidd, Trainspotting) a young gay man living in a share apartment with ... Read more
Having stirred the emotions of MIFF audiences fast year with his debut feature The Hanging Garden, Thorn Fitzgerald blends documentary and fiction in an entertaining and provocative homage to 1950s muscle magazines. This Berlin Film Festival hit demonstrates his wide cinematic palette; taking on ... Read more
Bertolucci's latest film is designed with the pure geome­try of music in mind. In Kenya. Shadurai's (Thandie Newton) husband is arrested for opposing the military government. She moves to Rome and takes work cleaning the house of an expatriate English composer and pianist named Kinsky (David ... Read more
With echoes of the Coen Brothers' debut, Blood Simple (1984), Best Laid Plans is a noir-ish entanglement of lust, betrayal, theft and murder. At all times it remains a film about the perception of events, reality generated and maintained by the characters' personal version of events. An opening ... Read more
Walking home from a pleasant evening at 'Cat's Ass', a local lesbian club, Maggie finds herself bailed up by a gang of skinheads. Fearing the worst, Maggie is enormously relieved when a minibus screeches to halt beside her and out jumps Kim, a charismatic artist, whose presence is enough to move ... Read more
Billy, the stick figure boy, holds in one hand a balloon and shakes a rattle with the other - a happy scene. Or so it seems until his balloon begins to have a sadistic mind of its own. The latest animation from this popular cult filmmaker is dark, twisted, relentlessly funny and is sure to give ... Read more
The gypsies who populate Emir Kusturica's latest project, like those of his Cannes 1989 hit Time ot the Gypsies, live on the banks of the Danube River. These cheerful outcasts inhabit roughly constructed, semi-permanent dwellings and make a living via all kinds of skulduggery. The plot revolves ... Read more
Along with Peter Tosh, Bob Marley is virtually the only reggae superstar to find fame on the international stage. Born in Jamaica in 1945, Marley was singing and play­ing homemade instruments by the age of 15—thus beginning an extensive musical career that saw him record and perform from ... Read more
Stan Brakhage is considered a living legend and one of the most important avant-garde filmmakers. Since 1952 Brakhage has created over 300 films, constantly and consistently redefining Ihe shape of film art. Jim Shedden's documentary explores the depth and breadth of Brakhage's genius; the ... Read more
James Ellroy spent the early 80s in an alcoholic haze, stealing womens' underwear from clotheslines when he wasn't on a bender or absorbing a century of crime fiction. From casual work as a drunken golf caddy to literary celebrity. Ellroy has come a long way in 15 or so years. The rights to ... Read more
Ry Cooder and Win Wenders have known each other for 20 years. Cooder wrote the haunting music for Wenders projects Paris, Texas (1984) and The End of Violence (1997). In 1996 he brought a band to Havana's Egram Studios to cut an album that went on to win a Grammy. Two years later, the band were ... Read more
With his fascination for transmogrified bodies, junkyard sci-fi hallucinations, explosive violence and dynamic editing. Shinya Tsukamoto has found a cult audience at festivals worldwide since his breakthrough feature debut, Tetsuo—The Iron Man. ... Fans of his hi-impact, confrontational style ... Read more
Through the gateway of an oven, an errant moth leads an elderly rabbit to a brighter existence in this beautifully executed animation. The script, lighting and music score for Bunny are carefully orchestrated. Writing the script over a number of years, Chris Wedge was determined not to make any ... Read more
Veteran Serbian director Goran Paskaljević's Cabaret Balkan is set in Belgrade in 1995, offering a rivetting, fictitious account of events occurring on the night of the Dayton Peace Agreement. It is the dawn of an awakening political consciousness, fraught with the lingering threat of hatred ... Read more
"Like parents crowing over baby's first steps, MGM announced 'Garbo talks!' (for Anna Christie) and 'Garbo laughs!' (for Ninotchka), but they missed out on this one, when they should have crowed 'Garbo acts!' Under George Cukor's direction, she gives a warm yet ironic performance that is possibly ... Read more
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