Festivals: MIFF Reviews

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Melbourne 2017 Review: PERSON TO PERSON, A Wonderfully Expansive New York Narrative

Expanded from the quirky short of the same name, Person to Person is an effortless riff on a specific indie vibe. Crafted lovingly and naturally by director Dustin Guy Defa, Person to Person moves from his initial concept, following the quest...

Melbourne 2017 Review: INGRID GOES WEST, Hashtag Essential Satire

Truly great films that exist for the moment tackle relevant and contemporary themes, acting at times as a mirror into our own lives and critically picking apart what makes society function. It is refreshing, then, that Matt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes...

Melbourne 2017 Review: RABBIT Falls Down a Meandering Yet Mesmerizing Hole

Luke’s Shanahan’s twisted twin sci-fi thriller Rabbit is a bold and confident debut feature with wonderfully detailed small moments and plot twists that recall some of the best in psychological horror. The film has a focused idea of how it...

Melbourne 2016 Review: OUR HUFF AND PUFF JOURNEY, Cathartic Kawaii

Daigo Matsui’s latest bubble gum pop nightmare is thankfully a more restrained but no less creative effort from the director with a music video background. Comparable to the loose Wonderful World End, this relatively linear road-trip narrative is brought to...

Melbourne 2016 Review: 11 MINUTES Stylishly and Confidently Embraces its Concept

A new film from Polish master Jerzy Skolimowski, this 78 year old auteur shows no signs that he has slowed down in his latest thrilling venture. It is nearing 5:00 p.m. on an austere but sunny day in Warsaw, Poland...

Melbourne 2016 Review: WHAT'S IN THE DARKNESS Reveals Deeply Ambiguous Nostalgia

What's in the Darkness is a murder mystery, a coming-of-age film and a directorial debut for Wang Yichun. Unfortunately, its poor direction and muddled plot uses far too many metaphors for what is really going on. This deeply nostalgic film is...

Melbourne 2015 Review: DOWNRIVER Needs A Paddle

Downriver, the Australian feature debut from Grant Scicluna, certainly showed signs of promise: a dour but intensely quiet rumination of redemption set in a murky bush town filled with questionable characters. It certainly has the ingredients for an intriguing, mystery-fuelled thriller....

Melbourne 2015 Review: Sebastian Silva Proves He's The NASTY BABY

Based on a true story (very loosely), Silva's latest film Nasty Baby is a completely misdirected comedy drama about a gay hipster couple, artist Freddy (Silva himself) and Mo (Tunde Adebimpe) who reside in Brooklyn and are trying to...

Melbourne 2015 Review: HOLDING THE MAN Explores Doomed Love Delicately

From Neil Armfield, the director of doomed addict romance Candy, comes his latest, also doomed romance Holding The Man. Another adaptation, this time based on the life memoirs of Timothy Conigrave and his epic love for partner John Caleo....

Melbourne 2015 Review: SPEED SISTERS, A Slick And Slight Delight

Speed Sisters is a slick and entertaining documentary about a group of obsessed and undermined women who compete professionally in the West Bank rally race circuit. Providing a point of view that is strictly and politically feminine, the film surprisingly...

Melbourne 2014 Review: LIFE AFTER BETH, A Tame Zom-Com

The ever sardonic Aubrey Plaza stars as Beth, alongside Dane DeHaan's Zach, in this frequently odd but half-cooked zombie comedy from the writer of the excellent I Heart Huckabees. Director Jeff Baena only lends some of his brain to...

Melbourne 2014 Review: GOD HELP THE GIRL, A Twee Little Mess

Coming from Belle & Sebastian front-man Stuart Murdoch, God Help The Girl is a directorial debut disaster. The film is stung by lashes of awkward editing, a sloppy screenplay, and a cloying suffocation of artificial, twee characters.Our 'girl' in this modern...

Melbourne 2014 Review: In TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT, The Dardennes Eschew Nothing

Why did Two Days, One Night work so well for me? It's not easy to explain. This is especially the case, considering this is my first experience watching a film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and the fact I know nothing about...

Melbourne 2014 Review: HAPPY CHRISTMAS Boosted By Its Characters

Joe Swanberg directs and stars in an 'indie' family drama that is as equally generic as the non-descript title suggests. The free-formed plot involves a couple with a child; Jeff (Swanberg) and author Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and the slight stress...

Melbourne 2014 Review: CATCH ME DADDY Imbues Stunning Tension And Displays Confident Direction

Director Daniel Wolfe came into recognition with his awesome music video Time To Dance for the band The Shoes. The clip featured a disturbed psychopath, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who, essentially, murdered hipsters who could not dance. This tongue-in-cheek idea...

Melbourne 2013 Review: THE TURNING Mines Deep Australiana, Unearths Some Gems

Curator, producer and director Robert Connolly knows how to convey a good story. He has been intimately involved with some great Australian productions over the years; from Balibo to These Final Hours. He has the skills necessary to bring together...

Melbourne 2013 Review: THESE FINAL HOURS, The Genre Film Australia Needs

In 2005, actor Nathan Phillips starred in backpacker shocker Wolf Creek. The film was a revitalization of sorts to pure genre cinema without pretension in Australia. Flash forward to today and that same actor has front and centered another firecracker of...

Melbourne 2013 Review: JIMMY P, A Psychoanalytical Slog

Director Arnaud Desplechin is a labelled auteur and no stranger to cognitive dissonance. His latest feature, direct from Cannes continues, his inquiry into the mind, but given the previous efforts, it is inexcusable how utterly dull Jimmy P is. The...

Melbourne 2013 Review: ILO ILO, A Genuine Gem

Ilo Ilo is the debut feature from Singaporean director Anthony Chen, who is now based in London. It is, however, handled with such a deft hand and filled with so much obsessive detail that one would be forgiven for thinking...

Melbourne 2013 Review: AIM HIGH IN CREATION Respects And Engages Gleefully With The DPRK

Director Anna Broinowski is no stranger to confrontation; kicking off her documentary career with Hell Bento, a film that exposed subsections of the Japanese underworld. More recently she directed a startling fib-filled terror tale about Muslim romance called Forbidden Lie$....