Melbourne 2015: A Relief But No Surprises; MIFF's Cannes Line-Up

Contributing Writer; Melbourne, Australia (@Kwenton)
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Melbourne 2015: A Relief But No Surprises; MIFF's Cannes Line-Up
The Melbourne International Film Festival Cannes line-up was announced recently. It has become a tradition now that the films MIFF has acquired from La Croisette are announced a month before the full line-up is unveiled.

The list contains many films we can all breath a sigh of relief about seeing, but nothing totally unexpected. Every film is from a previous MIFF stalwart or respected auteur, particularly the Asian picks.

The full line-up from Cannes, after the bump.

Several award-winners make their way to the festival, some more distributor-friendly than others but if you just cannot wait, the following titles should satisfy you...

The Lobster; Yorgos Lanthimos' (ScreenAnarchy review here) Jury Prize-winning absurd satire of modern romance, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz. The Assassin; a spectacular take on the martial arts epic starring Shu Qi, which won the Best Director Award for the legendary Hou Hsiao-hsien (ScreenAnarchy review here). The measured, melancholy and very un-horror ghost story Journey to the Shore, winner of the Un Certain Regard Best Director award, from horror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu's (12:08 East of Bucharest) Un Certain Talent Prize-winning black comedy about Romanian bureaucracy.

Audiences can also catch Love, one of the most explicit and talked-about films from Cannes, in which master provocateur Gasper Noé (Enter the Void) takes on love, sex and money shots in 3D; the new film from Hirokazu Kore-eda, Our Little Sister, a gentle, domestic drama that follows the director's Cannes Jury Prize-winning Like Father, Like Son.

Also screening is Mountains May Depart, a moving story of family and migration partly filmed in Australia from Jia Zhang-ke (ScreenAnarchy review here); and Louder than Bombs, the English-language debut for Norway's Joachim Trier (Oslo, 31 August), starring Gabriel Byrne, Jesse Eisenberg, and Isabelle Huppert.

From Cannes' Un Certain Regard category, MIFF will screen Japanese director Naomi Kawase's (Still the Water) An, a bitter-sweet tale of old wounds and new beginnings; Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatong Weerasethakul's first full-length feature since his Palme d'Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. The Chosen Ones, David Pablos' uncompromising second feature highlighting the violence of human trafficking in Mexico; and The High Sun, writer/director Dalibor Matanić's heart-wrenching film about three different couples thrown together by war. 

Films from Cannes Directors' Fortnight include In the Shadow of Women, an examination on the vagaries of modern relationships from legendary French auteur Philippe Garrel (Jealousy); Miguel Gomes' ambitious and multi-faceted critique of modern-day Portugal in his trilogy Arabian Nights comprising Volume 1, The Restless One, Volume 2, The Desolate One and Volume 3, The Enchanted One; and Takashi Miike's Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld, filled with rampaging violence, slapstick, volcanoes, animation, giant monsters and vampire gangsters.
Also from Directors' Fortnight: My Golden Days, a stunning coming-of-age tale featuring Mathieu Amalric, from feted French film-maker Arnaud Desplechin (ScreenAnarchy review here); and Rick Famuyiwa's Dope, about a self-confessed geek living in one of LA's roughest hoods, narrated by Forest Whitaker and starring A$AP Rocky (ScreenAnarchy review here).

Films from Cannes Critics' Week are: Krisha, Trey Edwards' intensely personal film shot over nine days in his parents' house (ScreenAnarchy review here); the South Korean box-office hit and gangster genre film Coin Locker Girl, from first-time director Han Jun-hee (ScreenAnarchy review here); and Meditarranea, Jonas Carpignano's feature debut inspired by real events, including the 2010 Rosano race riots in Southern Italy (ScreenAnarchy review here).

Two directors I care little for (Jia Zhang-ke and Hou Hsiao-hsien) have me extremely excited for their latest films and although Sony have The Lobster the release will likely be much later in the year so I will be definitely catching that at MIFF. I will be avoiding An like the plague.
If you are attending the fest which Cannes films have you most excited? Sound off below. 

Stay tuned to ScreenAnarchy as more on MIFF develops!


Ryland Aldrich, Ben Croll, Jason Gorber, Peter Martin and Pierce Conran contributed to this story.

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2015Cannesmelbourne international film festivalMIFF