With the Sydney Film Festival fast approaching, it’s now time for Victoria to get a small taste of what’s in their cinematic future. The enormous annual Melbourne International Film Festival has revealed the first glimpse into its 2014 programme, and it is an absolute cracker. From tense thrillers to reserved documentaries; small budget indies to big name Hollywood stars, there’s a little something in there for everyone. Here’s a select few picks from the first batch of films announced.
JOE – USA Dir. David Gordon Green
Also showing at the Sydney Film Festival, this tense, brooding Southern Gothic drama centres on a man trying to suppress his anger, and a boy whose abusive father threatens to bring it out. Stars Nic Cage in what’s being hailed as a career-best performance.
GOD HELP THE GIRL – UK Dir. Stuart Murdoch
Member of indie group Belle & Sebastian Stuart Murdoch makes his directorial debut in this film about a group of Scottish misfits who form a band and ride the summer out together, in what is part dreamy, melancholic coming-of-age drama, and part indie musical. The film stars “our” Emily Browning.
JODOROWSKY’S DUNE – USA Dir. Frank Pavich
A documentary chronicling one of cinema’s great pieces of folklore: Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s ambitious, and unsuccessful, attempt at bringing Frank Herbert‘s seminal sci-fi novel Dune to the big screen.
20,000 DAYS ON EARTH – UK Dir. Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
A wholly unique and completely innovative look into the life of celebrated writer, musician and generally intriguing human being, Nick Cave. Part fictionalised biopic, part documentary, part completely unclassifiable, the film has been generating rave reviews and excited buzz the world over.
NIGHT MOVES – USA Dir. Kelly Reichhardt
Jesse Eisenberg stars as a would be eco-terrorist planning an attack on a Portland dam with his high school dropout girlfriend (Dakota Fanning) and an ex-Marine mentor (Peter Sarsgaard), but are sidelined when the unexpected consequences of their actions surface. A tense thriller that highlights the greying line of morality and ethics.
BOYHOOD – USA Dir. Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater‘s passion project a decade in the making. Following the life of a boy between the ages of 6 and 18, and shot over 12 years as the actor himself grew up. An absolutely original and painstaking exercise in patience and belief, resulting in a deeply moving and never-before-seen portrait of ageing, along side traditional coming-of-age archetypes. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette also star.
WE ARE THE BEST! – Sweden Dir. Lukas Moodysson
Set in the post-punk era of Joy Division and The Human League comes this chaotic, charming, and often hilarious story of mischievousness and rebellion among outcast teens. With themes of pre-Riot Grrrl feminism clashing up against pure childhood nostaliga, We Are The Best! is a sweet and genuine adaptation of a semi-autobiographical graphic novel.
PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH & SUPERMARKETS – UK Dir. Florian Habicht
Following a two-year reunion world tour, iconic Britpop band Pulp finished with a final show in their hometown of Sheffield. This concert film documents not only the band’s final hometown show, but also the hometown itself; how Pulp fits into Sheffield, and how Sheffield fits into Pulp.
The 2014 edition of MIFF runs from the 31st of July through till the 17th of August. You can check out the first glimpse of the programme in full over on their website.
The entire programme will be revealed in early July.