The 2019 Melbourne International Film Festival
At MIFF this year, 376 films are hitting the screens, including world premieres, Australian premieres, shorts and forgotten classics. There are 20 venues across town, including the Forum, the Astor, the newly reopened Capitol and the Melbourne Planetarium.
A few highly anticipated titles headline the festival. The opening night film is The Australian Dream, telling the story of Adam Goodes’s battle with racism and reconnection with his Indigenous roots. The closing night film is the much-anticipated Sundance hit The Farewell, a darkly funny and heartwarming film about family ties, starring Awkwafina.
From around the world, highlights include 55 films straight from the Cannes Film Festival, including some of the most acclaimed and awarded, such as French drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, and Russian historical drama Beanpole.
New Australian films include Babadook director Jennifer Kent’s brutal Tasmanian gothic The Nightingale and heartwarming family film H is for Happiness, plus there’s the Accelerator program showcasing the best new emerging filmmakers.
The much-loved Night Shift program focuses on the latest in the horrific and the downright weird, including Jim Jarmusch’s new zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, starring Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton. There’s yakuza madness in First Love, killer dresses in In Fabric, and an anthology of Indigenous horror stories in Dark Place.
And Jeff Goldblum stars in not one but eight films, including new drama The Mountain and an all-night Goldblum-a-thon, featuring him at his enigmatic best in The Fly, Independence Day and Thor Ragnarok, alongside some forgotten gems.
But the best part of MIFF is trawling the huge program and discovering something you’ve never heard of – and may never get the chance to see again. Like the retrospective of American indie filmmaker Penelope Spheeris, or any number of obscure documentaries covering everything from farming (The Biggest Little Farm) to feminist porn (Morgana) to AFL (Collingwood: From The Inside Out). Book early!
The Melbourne International Film Festival runs from August 1 to 18. Browse the full program and book tickets at miff.com.au.
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