Monday, July 25, 2011

monday melbourne roundup - MIFF week 1

And so begins MIFF 2011. This year I am living the dream and taking 2 weeks off work. I am scheduled for 26 sessions, but have missed one (A Separation) and picked up another (Cave of Forgotten Dreams). I've been spending my days gloriously going from session to session, eating at Journal, Hoboken and MoVida Next Door (which is now open on Sundays HOORAY!). Killing time in between at ACMI, NGV, being on holidays in Melbourne is a glorious, glorious thang. Most of these films have a second session, if one catches your eye try and go,


cave of forgotten dreams

Absolutely astonishing. What makes a documentary successful is a fascinating subject given the space and editing it deserves (I guess for most stories right?). Werners monotone, albeit hilariously dry soundbites only added to this for me (detracted for others). The subject, the oldest cave paintings ever discovered, are jaw dropping. The painting styles range from abstract impressionism to cubism to animation (!!). This pieced so much about humanity together for me, I couldnt stop the tears of joy and amazement. We are all linked together through a golden thread to the divine. My favourite of the fest so far (even though 3D makes me queasy). 4/5

(couldn't find an english language subtitled trailer)

A gentle movie about a tween girl who wants to be a boy. Rather than hitting the hard notes on gender dysmorphia, it hits the gentle ones of families stuck in the middle of trying to protect their children but also letting them express themselves. I have to say, being a gay woman who has thought a lot about this stuff it actually challenged my preconceived notions of gender through the little voices in my head. I was surprised at some of the remarks that came out of my brain, gendered comments about appropriateness. In this way, the message of the film, was completely effective for me. It has given me a lot to think about without being a brutal, harrowing experience (such is a lot of LGBTIQ cinema). Beautifully shot, the child actors are particalarily wonderful, the relationship and playtime between the sisters will make any hardened heart smile. 3/5


I immediately bristle to the Wes Anderson comparisons, its SO much more. (I am sharply divided down the middle with Wes Anderson love Darjeeling, Rushmore HATE Tenenbaums, Steve Sizou). I had highish expectations of this, I love Richard Ayoade so I was keen to see how he would put something out there. Its EXTREMELY interesting from a artist input way to see how much of his style was in Garth Merenghis. Submarine is actually quite lovely, without being saccharine. Really hilarious, the crowd was hooting all the way through. I love that it was set in Wales (the Welsh accent!) I LOVE that Noah Taylor was the Dad (and retained Australian accent), I also LOVE that I had no idea that Ben Stiller 'presented' this (its prominently displayed on the American poster). There is so much win in this, its shot beautifully, like photograph stills. A remarkably strong debut. I originally gave this 3.4/5... but its deffo 4/5 from me now.

el bulli

For the remarkable subject and so much to shoot I didnt think this was very well put together, it lacked punch. It could have been stunning to look at but the camera work was shoddy. Altogether though it captured mood very well, Ferrans relationship to his head chefs, I was full to the brim of anxiety after being in the molecular gastro-dons presence for a couple of hours. It was also bitter sweet knowing now that El Bulli is no longer a restaurant. 3/5

you are here

Im a huge Tracy Wright fan, "The Affair" a skit in The Kids in the Hall is one of my favourite pieces of comedy of ALL time. So it was sad to know this was her last film (she died of pancreatic cancer June 2010). Its certainly Charlie Kauffman-esque but lacked the drama and mystery, the subconsious messages that make your skin crawl and your ears prick. I would definitely watch this again, perhaps when I'm less tired, but perhaps this is for the crowd who 'didnt get' Synecdoche because I really didnt get the greater subtext of this but loved and completely understood Synecdoche. 2/5

the solutude of prime numbers

(couldn't find an english language subtitled trailer)

Ok first of all its 2 hours long which usually pisses me off and its 2 hours long for the reasons that piss me off the most DRAWN OUT EURO ANGST. BLAAAHHHH. FFS.. wont someone kill themselves or EAT SOMETHING?!?!? The 2 leads are lovely creatures to look out, Isabella Rosselini in fine form as Italian MAMA, the Italian falling like a waterfall from her lips left me.. squirming in my seat. Mike Pattons score... was UHMAZING but didnt suit the film?!!? It was more late 70s sci fi.. perfectly suited for Kubrick (that would be an amazing collaboration)... not crippled twee euroangsty love story? Man Italians... YEAH ITS ALL SO IMPORTANT. 2.5/5


  1. THANK YOU. I know too many steadfast Wes Anderson fans. I am fond of Rushmore but had to walk away from Life Aquatic after 20 minutes.

  2. I love his concepts but he needs a collaborater you know what I mean? Someone to steers his artistic vision into something cogent.


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