At a media event in Melbourne last night, the 61st Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) launched its full 2012 program.
As previously announced, Australian musical The Sapphires will open MIFF, launching an Australian Showcase of over a dozen films that includes Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s Hail, David Pulbrook’s Last Dance, Luke Walker’s Lasseter’s Bones, and the World Premiere of Jeffrey Walker’s Jack Irish – Bad Debts, starring Guy Pearce.
P.J. Hogan’s Mental will close the Festival on Saturday 18 August, reuniting the director with his Muriel’s Wedding star Toni Collette.
The program is now open to members for purchase at the official website. It will be made available to the general public on Friday 13 July.
Some of the weird and wonderful stuff that caught our eyes:
Accent on Asia
11:25 The Day Mishima Chose His Own Fate (Koji Wakamatsu, Japan, 2012) is a new film studying the life of one of Japan’s most celebrated writers, Yukio Mishima. No less than three Takashi Miike films will grace the program in Ace Attorney (Japan, 2012), the highly anticipated For Love’s Sake (Japan, 2012) and the Melbourne premiere of Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (Japan, 2011). Indeed, it’s all about the contemporary Japanese masters. Festival favourite Sion Sono makes an appearance with Himizu (Japan, 2012), alongside I Wish (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, 2011) .
South Korean cinema is also well-represented with some big names: Im Sang-Soo (The Taste of Money, 2012), Hong Sang-soo (In Another Country, 2012) and Yoon Jong-bin (Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, 2012).
If you missed it in Sydney, India’s Gangs of Wasseypur: Part 1 and Part 2 (Anurag Kashyap, 2012) will get its repeat screening in full 5½ hour glory!
Always the most interesting section on any festival program, the fringes are for the night dwellers and the thrill seekers, those sick and twisted individuals who genuinely like film of all flavours. Outrageous! It’s a real humdinger of a selection this year too, including Australia’s 100 Bloody Acres (Cameron and Colin Cairnes, 2012). We highly recommend William Freidkin’s Killer Joe (US, 2012), and of course, namesake Richard Gray’s Mine Games (US, 2012). This is a section that includes everything from Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America (US, 2012) , anthology film V/H/S (Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Radio Silence, US, 2012) and Franck Khalfoun’s reworking on William Lustig’s Maniac (France, 2011), starring Elijah Wood. Go in hard, bring a change of underwear.
International Panorama features several titles from Cannes which have already been announced, not least of which are the Palme D’Or winning Amour (Michael Haneke, France/Germany/Austria, 2012), the Sydney Prize winning Alps (Greece, 2011), Sundance favourite Beasts of the Southern Wild (US, 2012), Sydney audience favourite Monsieur Lazhar (Philippe Falardeau, Canada, 2011), Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (US, 2012), Walter Salles On the Road (US, 2012), Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share (UK, 2012) and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt (Denmark, 2012). They’ve now added James Marsh’s thriller Shadow Dancer (UK/Ireland/France, 2012), which stars Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough and Gillian Anderson; Frédéric Jardin’s Sleepless Night (France/Belgium/Luxembourg , 2011) about a cop who lands in a shady situation; and 2012 Sundance Winner Teddy Bear (Denmark, 2012) in which Mads Matthiesen expands his tale a shy bodybuilder who goes to Thailand in search of love. This is a huge section. Go check it out.
Retrospectives – New Hollywood Comedy, Leos Carax and more!
Several major retrospectives cover everything from Woody Allen’s Take the Money and Run (US, 1969) to an epic remastered version of Segio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (US/Italy, 1984). “New Hollywood Comedy” highlights Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, 1971), Mike Nichols (The Fortune, 1975), Albert Brooks (Modern Romance, 1981) and many more.
Leo Carax will stun with Holy Motors (France, 2012), and this look back at his career to date includes the controversial Pola X (1999), Lovers on the Bridge (1991) and Bad Blood (1986), his first feature Boy Meets Girl (1984) and more.
There’s also a wonderful looking Jean Epstein retrospective, highlighting the influential filmmakers rarely seen films.
Check out the official website for a full program! Happy viewing!