Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val

If you only do one thing... See a film at Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val

Time Out (Melbourne) - - IN­NER CITY LOOP - Òmel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val 2017 Aug 3-20.

One of the world’s most pres­ti­gious film fes­ti­vals is right on your doorstep – so why not take ad­van­tage and see as many movies as pos­si­ble? Our tip: save money by get­ting a Mini Pass for ten ses­sions of your choice

Michelle, we’re liv­ing in times when science fic­tion is every­day re­al­ity, so it’s apt to see your Fo­cus on Sci-fi ret­ro­spec­tive this year.

Sci-fi is some­thing [MIFF pro­gram­mer] Al Cos­sar and I have been want­ing to do for ages, and we wanted to look for lesser-known films. A lot of peo­ple think of sci-fi as ’80s or ’90s block­busters, but re­ally it goes way back to the silent era and the be­gin­ning of cinema. The marathon [ see side­bar] was con­ceived to be vis­ceral and pulpy, and the films in the reg­u­lar pro­gram are Eu­ro­pean stuff that has gone un­der the radar. We also have the 1973 an­i­ma­tion

Fan­tas­tic Planet with a live mu­sic score.

Why did you choose to do a film­maker fo­cus on British direc­tor Sally Pot­ter?

Her work has been dif­fi­cult to get to see. She works in so many dif­fer­ent gen­res, but is so ex­per­i­men­tal and dar­ing. I was watch­ing

Or­lando (1993) again re­cently – it’s an in­cred­i­ble film. She comes from a back­ground of dance and ex­per­i­men­tal per­for­mance and she’s re­ally un­der­rated. A lot of her films are per­sonal, but then she does com­pletely weird things like Rage from 2009, which is ba­si­cally just in­ter­view­ing peo­ple on the screen about a mur­der that has hap­pened at a fash­ion show.

Your Pi­o­neer­ing Women pro­gram picks out Aus­tralian films di­rected by women.

In the mid to late ’90s there was an ex­plo­sion in Aus­tralian fe­male direc­tors. So I wanted to con­cen­trate on the ’80s and early ’90s specif­i­cally, and so many amaz­ing films from that era are not known to­day. Gems such as Su­san Lam­bert’s On Guard [1983], a dystopian, an­ar­chic fem­i­nist heist thriller. Tracey Mof­fatt’s

Bedevil [1993] – it’s hard to imag­ine a film like that be­ing made now. Most of the film­mak­ers are go­ing to be here, and we’re go­ing to have a panel.

Your open­ing night film looks very ex­cit­ing this year.

That’s Jun­gle by Greg Mclean – part of our our Pre­miere Fund. Ev­ery year we pro­vide fund­ing to six films that helps them to com­plete the film, and part of the deal is that we get to screen the film in pre­miere. This is a quite a dif­fer­ent film for us, as it’s big and genre-like. Daniel Rad­cliffe is in­cred­i­ble in it, he re­ally is like you’ve never seen him be­fore.

Any word on whether Daniel will come?

We’re try­ing re­ally hard – it’s like a daily con­ver­sa­tion! They haven’t said no.

You have a Ben El­ton-di­rected film as your Cen­tre­piece Gala.

Three Sum­mers. He’s been work­ing on this for quite a while. It’s a big, broad Aus­tralian com­edy with an en­sem­ble cast – Magda Szuban­ski, Deb­o­rah Mail­man, John Wa­ters, Michael Ca­ton. It’s about a bunch of peo­ple who come to­gether over three dif­fer­ent years for this folk fes­ti­val and the re­la­tion­ships they form. It’s a bit of a satire on racism in Aus­tralia as well.

“I get shiv­ers down my spine just think­ing about it”

And you have a mu­sic doco for clos­ing night.

That’s Gur­ru­mul El­cho Dream­ing – a very dif­fer­ent, mov­ing por­trait of the ARIA award-win­ning singer and mu­si­cian. He’s blind and very shy, so quite a dif­fi­cult sub­ject for a film, but once you see his story it’s in­cred­i­bly mov­ing and I get shiv­ers down my spine just think­ing about it.

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