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Programmers' Picks and Tips

Next Gen programmer Thomas Caldwell's Hidden Gems

ANINA
South America does not produce many animated features, but this co-production from Uruguay and Colombia contains a stylistic and thematic sophistication that is as good as anything from the USA, Japan or France. This is a gorgeous family film that will appeal to audiences of all ages and has been a hit at festivals all over the world.

AUNT HILDA!
Combining a fun and anarchic animation style with hilarious and biting satire about corporate greed and environmental vandalism, this a timely and relevant film with a wicked sense of humour.

WE ARE MARI PEPA
From 13-year-old girls in Sweden in We Are The Best! to 16-year-old boys in Mexico in We Are Mari Pepa, MIFF delivers an energetic double-header of rebellious youth-driven films about teenage punk groups. We Are Mari Pepa is rough, crude and funny but underneath it all, very sweet; not unlike many 16-year-old boys!

THE FORT
The winner of the Crystal Bear for the Best Film in the Generation Kplus section at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival is a heartfelt coming-of-age film that beautifully showcases India's dramatic rural countryside. Far from the conventions of the dominant Bollywood cinema, The Fort reveals a too-rarely seen side on Indian cinema that evokes the work of Satyajit Ray.

BLACK DIAMONDS
Hot on the heels of the 2014 World Cup comes this damning dramatisation of one of the most unscrupulous (and illegal) practices used to recruit young soccer players. Black Diamonds follows two soccer-loving teenage boys from Mali who are taken to Europe with the promise of international fame and glory, to then be abandoned when they don't become overnight successes.

FACTORY OF DREAMS - SHORTS ABOUT CINEMA
A tribute to early cinema pioneer Alice Guy, an animation about a girl falling under the spell of Truffaut's Day for Night, a montage of clips cut from body horror films, a film about a man obsessed with  seeing his double in an obscure 1960s Italian film, the Foley process for The Conversation caught in a single long take, and a tribute to the end of film projection in Melbourne. This is a must for all cinephiles.

Programmer Al Cossar's Hidden Gems

NE ME QUITTE PAS
Sabine Lubbe Baker and Niels von Koevorden’s doco portrait of an Autumn years male friendship, based on one part co-dependent estrangement and one part alcoholism, might not seem like a recipe for upbeat popcorn times; but there’s wisdom, humour and a rare, true bond to be had here. Not to mention the best onscreen use of a Roxette power ballad, bar none.

LI'L QUINQUIN
Bruno Dumont would be exactly no one's idea of an auteur who would ever make something that could be described as "hilarious", but that's exactly what he does here: a television entry (that you won't see on the small screen here anytime soon) that's weird, compelling, cinematic and, above all, funny. One review likens it to "True Detective meets the Keystone Cops", and that's an interesting way to think about it.

HOPE
Despite the generic title (whchis actually the name of a character) and a plot setup that might feel a little familiar on paper working against it (African migrants attempting to move through into Europe), this is a really taut, well written (it got the screenplay award at Critics Week in Cannes), engaging character drama that had me hooked throughout - one of the films I saw at Cannes knowing nothing about, but has stayed with me since, and I can't wait to see again. Highly recommended.

SEPIDEH – REACHING FOR THE STARS
A young Iranian girl dreams of outer space and pursuing her love of astronomy against the cultural expectations put on her. A really heartwarming and inspiring coming-of-age documentary about ambition and the pursuit of knowledge.

CONCRETE NIGHT
Pirjo Honkasalo's tale of  the shifting dynamics of two siblings in a Helsinki ghetto looks absolutely stunning on a big screen. It is visually one of the most striking and beautiful films at the festival, and well worth seeing in the cinema.

PRINT THE LEGEND
IF you liked a film like Startup.com, this should be up your alley: a dramatic piece of non-fiction filmmaking about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, which sees several companies trying to be the ones to break 3D printing to consumers and gain themselves the acclaim of becoming the next Steve Jobs.

CHEATIN'
Cult animation legend Bill Plympton returns with his seventh feature: a fantastical saga of broken hearts and sexual misgivings, sad and silent and comic and crazy.

We've asked our programmers to make some suggestions for great film pairings: films or sessions that complement each other like fine wines!

Artistic Director Michelle Carey's Film Pairings

SILK and L FOR LEISURE
Linking these two films is a love of life, of leisure and of music. The former is a very creative concert film / record label / dance piece about the fiercely independent dance label 100% Silk; the latter is a fun lo-fi look at students on vacation in the early 90s and has a chilled soundtrack by John Atkinson of Aa (who will introduce the first screening).
 
JEALOUSY and THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE
Garrel’s latest film (starring Louis Garrel) has many similarities with Eustache’s 1973 classic (starring Jean-Pierre Léaud): both 35mm-shot black and white arias for love found and lost (and then found again…) in bohemian Paris.
 
JOY OF MAN’S DESIRING and THE STORY OF MY DEATH
The latest films from international auteurs – messing about in the most graceful ways with Casanova and Dracula in the latter; and Brechtian formalities in the factory, in the former.
 
LA ULTIMA PELICULA and LISTEN UP PHILIP
A double dose of Alex Ross Perry: in front of the camera in Raya Martin and Mark Peranson’s touristic filmic mash-up; and behind the camera in his Jason Schwartzman-starring third feature.
 
WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM and THE SECOND GAME
Two striking new films from Romanian new wave director Corneliu Porumboiu. Read a great article comparing them here.

Programmer Al Cossar's Session Pairings

THE NOTORIOUS MR BOUT and DO THE RIGHT THING? THE CULT OF THE ANTIHERO
Maxim Pozdorovkin's chronicle of Viktor Bout's globe-trotting villainy is a fascinating real-life antihero tale for audiences; our Talking Pictures event Do the Right Thing? The Cult of the Antihero dissects exactly why we're drawn to such no-goodniks on the silver (and small) screen, with the help of Pozdorovkin, as well as Mac Gudgeon (Australian Writers' Guild), director Matthew Saville (Felony), writer Peter Gawler (Underbelly) and actor John Jarratt (Wolf Creek).

DON'T THROW STONES and LOCAL AND NOTABLE: MARVELLOUS MELBOURNE MOVIES
Stephen Cummings, beloved Melbourne songwriter, takes apart his memoir Will it Be Funny Tomorrow, Billy? in Don't Throw Stones; he also appears on our Local and Notable: Marvellous Melbourne Movies panel to discuss his personal pick for the iconic 'Melbourne on Screen' movie, alongside Adam Elliot, Adalita, Clementine Ford, George Calombaris and Jack Charles.

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR and BLUE MOVIES: SEX AND SEXUALITY ON SCREEN
Desiree Akhavan's Appropriate Behavior runs rampant with a hilarious degree of sexual awkwardness; and in Blue Movies: Sex and Sexuality on Screen, our panel – including journalist Clem Bastow, directors Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Ana Kokkinos (Head On) and Joe Swanberg (Happy Christmas), academic Barbara Creed and Akhavan herself – wax lyrical about using the sex scene on screen to say something new.

LIFE ITSELF and TO MAKE OR TO BREAK: DO CRITICS MATTER
Steve James' acclaimed documentary take on the influence and legacy of Roger Ebert's film criticism, Life Itself, is a perfect jumping off point to ponder exactly what the consequences of someone's opinions are, in the Talking Pictures event To Make or To Break: Do Critics Matter?, which features a stellar line-up of Australian film critics including Tom Ryan, Karl Quinn, Margaret Pomeranz, The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney and acclaimed Australian filmmaker Fred Schepisi.

WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J BULGER and COURT ON CAMERA: FILM AND THE LAW
Master documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger returns to the big screen with a riveting true-crime courtroom tale of Boston underworld overlord, James J Bulger; meanwhile, Damien Carrick (ABC Radio National) takes apart how the fascinating detail of legal process works as storytelling onscreen in Court on Camera: Film and the Law, with special guests Ryan White (director, The Case Against 8), Rachel Ball (Human Rights Law Centre), Elizabeth O'Shea (Maurice Blackburn Lawyers), and Liz Burke (Just Punishment).