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Films In 2009

A subversive comedy tour through North Korea takes a turn for the absurd in this Yes Men-style gonzo doco from Mads Brügger. ... Fighting propaganda with propaganda, filmmaker Mads Brügger takes two Danish-Korean comedians - the rotund Simon and the self-professed ‘spastic' Jacob - on a ... Read more
The real-life tale of a man driven to extremes in pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline high. ... Based on real events and adapted from Martin Prinz's novel, this film tells the story of a man committed to twin pleasures - bank robbery and physical exercise. ... Driven by the need for a high, for ... Read more
The first Chinese production to be shot entirely in the Tibetan language. ... Moving from one stunning mountainscape to another, a film crew undertakes a series of auditions across Tibet - presented in their real-time entirety - for a screen version of the classic Tibetan-Buddhist opera Drime ... Read more
Plenty of Chinese documentaries look at the nation's poor and disenfranchised - The Transition Period gives us a rare peek into Chinese life from the other side. ... Director Zhou Hao was given access to follow Guo Yongchang during his last months in office as party secretary of an underdeveloped ... Read more
Join the revolution. ... Fighting the apathy of his peers,17-year old student Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel) is the reincarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky - or so he believes. His plans of getting exiled twice, marrying an older woman named Alexandra and getting assassinated someplace ... Read more
An initiation into the little-heard music of Mongolia that is as captivating to the eyes as it is to the ears. ... This highly stylised documentary from filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa (The Cave of the Yellow Dog, MIFF 06) almost masquerades as fiction, but the story of famous singer Urna's quest is as ... Read more
“Poignant, perceptive and unrelenting, this may be bleak, [but] like all great drama, it is ultimately uplifting.” - Empire ... Like Alice down the rabbit hole, Lucy - the victim of an abusive father and an absent mother - tumbles deep into the frightening world of foster care. ... Actor ... Read more
“It's about understanding death and loss and achieving oneness with nature.” - filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni ... After years apart, cousins Sameer and Nachiket meet at a family wedding. Spending their days swimming at the local well and figuring out what to do with their lives, they are inseparable ... Read more
“For centuries we've asked ourselves: What keeps us apart? Now is time to ask what brings us together.” - filmmaker Ciro Guerra ... Carrying a cursed piano-accordion said to be stolen from the devil himself, minstrel Ignacio sets out on a journey to return the instrument to his mentor, vowing ... Read more
“Compelling, moving and thought-provoking… an intellectually-stimulating crowd-pleaser.” - Hollywood Reporter ... Swetlana Geier has spent sixty years of her life translating great Russian literature into German, including Dostoyevsky's five major novels - his ‘elephants' as she ... Read more
“Should people be sitting in the theater or rioting in the streets?… once there was a man whose work made no distinction between the two.” - Boston Globe ... For lovers of theatre and those who create it, Theater of War follows a 2006 production in New York's Central Park of Bertolt ... Read more
“Charged by a whip-smart, deadpan approach, overflowing with talk that seems to be delivered at the speed of sound, if not light.” - Variety ... For a group of twenty-somethings, being holed up in a house in the middle of nowhere over the long Argentinean summer leads to flirtation and fun. But ... Read more
Winner of the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. ... From the runaway imagination of Festival favourite Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, MIFF 2004; Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, MIFF 2006) comes Thirst. ... Dubbed a ‘scandalous vampire melodrama' by Park himself, Thirst sees a priest (Song ... Read more
João Pedro Rodrigues extends on the theme of marginalised homosexuality explored in his previous features (O Fantasma and Odete) with this stunning formalist drama. ... Whipping up a stylistic mélange of Douglas Sirk and Rainer Werner Fassbinder together with a touch of magical realism ... Read more
“More fun than a possum up your trousers.” - Sydney Morning Herald ... Twin sisters Jools and Lynda Topp are a New Zealand institution. A country singing and yodelling lesbian comedy act, they seem unlikely candidates for mainstream acceptance - but the last few decades has seen the Topps ... Read more
A manic and charismatic film that breaks all speed records for whimsy and slapstick. ... Housemates Indian, Cowboy and the love-struck Horse live in a rural town populated with a gaggle of plastic toys, including a hyperactive postman, musical farm animals and pointy-headed bad guys. Their ... Read more
“Pity the festival-going fool who stumbles unawares into Harmony Korine's patently abrasive, deliberately cruddy-looking mock documentary Trash Humpers.” - Variety ... Amongst the badly-lit alley ways that buffer suburban homes exists a great American underground that has been hidden from view ... Read more
“Simply one of the best films about childhood ever made.” - Village Voice ... Two young sisters in South Korea find themselves suddenly packed off by their single mother to live with their aunt in this engrossing feature from director Kim So-yong (In Between Days, MIFF 06). Bewildered, the ... Read more
When a man is sitting down having a rest and sees another man running towards him… well, what do you do? ... --- D/S Dominic Allen P Dominic Allen, Mattoe Bruno WS Valarc Films L English, Creole w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2009 ... Read more
A man wakes to discover the outside world is getting in. From Oscar winner Grant Major, production designer on Lord of the Rings. ... --- D/S Grant Major P Dan Salmon WS NZ Film Commission TD 35mm/2009 ... Read more
“A stylish ode to the ache of youthful passions set against a chic and multi-cultural London.” - Screen International ... Two young foreigners in London - one searching for his father, the other for love - engage in all the excesses of an inner-urban party lifestyle. ... Axl, played by ... Read more
“No man can tell what he will do when driven by hunger.” - Alexander Pearce ... In 1822, eight convicts escape the brutal penal settlement of Macquarie Harbour, only to find the wilds of Tasmania a much crueller reality. As the provisions run out and the men fight to stay alive, only one option ... Read more
“I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful. I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream.” - Vincent Van GoghMaking excellent use of the lush, gigantic IMAX format, filmmakers Francois Bertrand and Peter Knapp track the ... Read more
“His music is completely unique. If you haven't heard it yet, go hear it.” - Frank Zappa ... Described by writer Henry Miller as “the stratospheric colossus of sound”, French sonic alchemist Edgard Varèse (1883 - 1965) continues to influence music even 40 years after his death. Artists who ... Read more
An exile's view of the decline of Italy's national culture and the man who put the ‘boob' on the tube. ... This riveting illustration of 21st century media Fascism begins in the 1970s with a TV quiz show where slinky housewives disrobe with every correct answer. That show was produced by the ... Read more
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