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Sci-Fi Retrospective

Science fiction’s long cinematic history – a history as long as that of cinema itself – is rich with works of high art as well as low, with films both profound and populist, and with filmmakers and storytellers at the cutting edge of both the reel and the real.

In 2017, MIFF boldly goes where no MIFF has gone before, presenting a massive Sci-Fi Retrospective featuring many of the genre’s most groundbreaking, influential and important films alongside some of its most inventive and entertaining. Significantly, many of these films are also hard-to-find, visually breathtaking spectacles that are best seen in the cinema. We’re thrilled to be showing these works, and equally thrilled to reveal the first titles in the program:

  • Karel Zeman’s uniquely poetic steampunk delight Invention for Destruction, a 1958 screen adaptation of Jules Verne unlike anything seen before, or since
  • Jindřich Polák’s little-known but far-reaching masterpiece Ikarie XB-1, to which Gene Roddenberry and Stanley Kubrick, among many others, owe a huge debt
  • Elio Petri’s wild slice of kitschy 60s sci-spy eye-candy The 10th Victim, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress
  • and Joseph Losey’s 1963 Hammer production These are the Damned, now regarded as one of the greatest UK sci-fi films of all time.

Two major highlights of the program – both on sale now! – will be an all-night cult Sci-Fi Marathon at The Astor; and a special screening of René Laloux’s mesmerising ‘70s landmark Fantastic Planet, with an original score courtesy of Melbourne space rockers Krakatau under the aegis of the Hear My Eyes collective.



Thursday 10 August, 6.30pm

Hear My Eyes screenings are audio-visual events that push the conventions of film and sound beyond their familiar forms. Translating the original cinematic experience for the 21st century, the Hear My Eyes team work with local musicians to reinterpret a film’s soundtrack and perform it live at the screening.

For this special screening on Thursday 10 August, they have recruited local prog-rock/jazz fusion act Krakatau to reimagine the soundscape of the fascinating sci-fi fable Fantastic Planet, a surreal and symbolic work of extraordinary beauty, replete with socio-political concerns as relevant in 2017 as they were when the film was released in 1973. Forty-four years after it won the Special Prize at Cannes, this animated allegory is still one of the strangest, most alien experiences you can have in a cinema!

"A work of art … along with the depth, creativity, innovation and technical proficiency, Fantastic Planet is simply a delightful experience." – Criterion Close Up



Saturday 12 August, 9.30pm

Beginning at 9.30pm and running all night at The Astor, the Sci-Fi Marathon will feature a collection of the genre’s most venerated, controversial and enduring or under-appreciated fan favourites. A brand new frontier for MIFF, these are the films you’re looking for if you want schlock, horror and classic sci-fi curiosities.

Full details, including all the films, will be unveiled with the full MIFF 2017 Program Launch on Tuesday 11 July but tickets are on sale now – surprise yourself with one of MIFF’s most unique events.


Full program launched Tuesday 11 July

The films for both the Sci-Fi Marathon and the full Sci-Fi Retrospective will be revealed when the complete MIFF 2017 program is launched on Tuesday 11 July.

Other special events, as well as Festival Passports (for MIFF Members) and Mini Passes, are on sale now.