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Films Screened In 2005

In Igor Strembitskyy's [Wayfarers] childhood never returns, dreams don't come true, and madness is a kind of happiness and grief. This superb documentary, written around a traditional lullaby, is the first film in the history of independent Ukraine to be selected for Cannes, where it was awarded ... Read more
Celebrated auteur Tsai Ming-liang returns to MIFF with his daring [The Wayward Cloud], which won the Fipresci and Silver Bear at Berlin, 2005. Loneliness and disconnection are at the heart of the film, underscored by the radically pared back dialogue. Here, Tsai picks up the threads of his [What ... Read more
Described by its director as "a simple, very Polish story", [The Wedding] features barbarous drinking, family feuding, general depravity and the corruption of all social principles and institutions. ... Wieslaw is throwing a wedding reception for his daughter, and he has a lot to juggle. With the ... Read more
Eighteen-year-old Alice has finished summer vacation and all her friends have gone to college. Out of boredom - and the looming prospect of a dead-end job in a New England backwater - she steals money from her boss and embarks on a 1000-mile road trip to Miami in a beat up Ford Escort. A succession ... Read more
A teenager wonders at her father's selfishness as he leaves his family in favour of a younger woman. The girl's story reflects the surrealism of confused adolescence, yet presents some well-observed insights. --- D/S Ramunas Greiãius P Kestutis Drazdauskas WS Cinevera L Lithuanian w/English ... Read more
Heather wakes up hungry, but her mum has the shakes. While finding something to eat and money to feed her mum's habit, Heather pays an unexpected price. Taut and genuinely shocking, [Who Do You Love'] received the Special Jury Prize at the Tehran Film Festival. --- D/S Jim McRoberts P/WS Elaine ... Read more
A woman waits at a bus stop, ready to move on with her life. But first she must let go of all that holds her back. The story of a woman caught between her past and her future, [Whole Heart] stars stars Mia Hollingworth with John Brumpton and James Brennan. --- D/S Tracie Mitchell P/WS Twirling ... Read more
The personalities of a flock of oversized budgies and their hippy caretaker ensnare you in the irresistibly charming [The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill]. ... "It's also a portrait of Mark Bittner, the quasi-Saint Francis of San Francisco, who monitors, feeds, and - simply put - loves these ... Read more
A programme of short films curated exclusively for MIFF by Bahman Ghobadi complements the 'Homelands Now' spotlight. It is an eclectic selection from one of the least-known filmmaking cultures in the world. These shorts are not only diverse and stylistically adventurous, but provide a rare glimpse ... Read more
When her meth-cooking father goes missing, violating his bail conditions and putting the family home at risk of repossession, 17-year-old Ree Dolly (the revelatory Jennifer Lawrence) sets out to find him. Traversing the dangerous backwoods of the Missouri mountains, she confronts her father's ... Read more
Australia has made a name for itself since the 1960s for mysterious disappearances on its remote stretches of bitumen. And backpackers have often been at the centre of these chilling episodes. Based on a true story, [Wolf Creek] is the well-crafted debut feature of Greg McLean, which tracks the ... Read more
In this new-found footage work by Gustav Deutsch (Film Ist), three historical camera pans take in the streets and squares of Vienna, Surabaya and Porto. They provide a starting point for reflecting on the relationship of everyday stories and cinematic machinery. ... Each of the three pans - taken ... Read more
A World Without Thieves, from popular Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, is a stylish, high-octane ride on a train to redemption - with some superbly choreographed battle scenes en route. It revolves around China's Bonnie and Clyde - Wang Bo, played by the superstar Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, MIFF ... Read more
During the 10 years of China's Cultural Revolution, the only culture allowed was [Yang Ban Xi] - propaganda operas. Based on traditional Chinese stories and adapted to the taste of Mao's wife, Jiang Qing Min, these eight operas presented the world in a much simpler way. All the good guys were ... Read more
Yao Ming is Houston's big man of basketball. The Houston Rockets drafted the seven-foot, six-inch Chinese national in 2002, amid considerable skepticism from the NBA hoops experts. [The Year of the Yao] follows this new giant of the sport through one of the most exciting rookie debut years that ... Read more
In 1978, Tom E. Lewis played the unforgettable hero in [The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith]. The character he played was close to himself: a young man struggling on the edge of two cultures. Ivan Sen's first film since his award-winning feature [Beneath Clouds] (2002), [Yellow Fella] is an emotional ... Read more
Zululand, South Africa. Yesterday (Leleti Khumalo), a woman in her early 30s, and her seven-year-old daughter Beauty are on the way to the nearest clinic. Yesterday has a lingering cough and wants to get it checked. After untold difficulties gaining access to a doctor, she learns the terrible news ... Read more
A glorious, dynamic melodrama written by Mizoguchi collaborator Yoda Yoshikata, [Yoshiwara: The Pleasure Quarter] ranks among Uchida's finest films. ... A successful textile industrialist from the provinces is beloved by his employees for his kindness, but cannot find a wife because of a ... Read more
Directed by Xan Cassavetes, daughter of legendary actor-director John Cassavetes, [Z Channel] is an engrossing account of a TV phenomenon topped off by a bizarre murder-suicide. Jerry Harvey was a visionary programmer whose dream of bringing a perpetual film festival to Los Angeles resulted in ... Read more
MIFF has brought together the amazing and imaginative works by Image Forum, Japan. Exclusive to MIFF, these short films are at the epicentre of experimental filmmaking in a range of styles. [The Trains] (Hirata Takahiro, 8 mins) is a rhythmic rendition of [Kaerunoouta] (Frog song), created by the ... Read more
Denise takes her marriage vows seriously. It should come as no surprise then that when her new hubby Danny is attacked and infected by a zombie sailor, she stands right by her man... at least up until he starts looking at her like lunch! ... A nicely nasty twist on the traditional zombie movie ... Read more
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