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Highlights from the 2014 Melbourne International Film Festival

Hieu Chau

Mon Jul 14 2014


AFRAID you’ll miss out on the Melbourne International Film Festival? Meld’s resident film buff Hieu Chau recommends a few films that students can catch after study hours.

Melbourne’s winter doesn’t always drum up festive vibes but for many filmgoers in the city, the cold air can only mean one thing: the return of the annual Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)!

The yearly Melbourne event brings with it another extensive platter of exciting new films from all around the world. As you might expect, MIFF’s broad palette – from high-brow festival favourites to cult classics-in-the-making – aims to cater to every taste in film imaginable.

More than 300 films will be showcased from July 31 – August 17, an overwhelmingly large number especially for those of you who will be heading back to study during that time.

Have no fear though! If you’re excited for the festival but can’t seem to find which movies to watch after a long day of study, we’ve come up with a small handful of films screening after study hours that you might be able to sneak into your schedule!

A Hard Day
Thursday, August 7 (6.30pm); Sunday, August 17 (6.30pm)

Korean film fans yearning for a tense thriller ought to look no further than the suspenseful A Hard Day.

Fresh from its screening at the famous Cannes Film Festival, A Hard Day is an intriguing South Korean feature that sees a dejected police detective accidentally run over a man in his car, forcing him to cover up the incident. This only leads to further questions as the dodgy detective continually comes up with more inventive ways to cover up the incident as he’s continually pressed by it.

Life After Beth
Tuesday, August 12 (9.15pm); Thursday, August 14 (6.30pm)

Image supplied.

Image supplied.

If you’re into zombie-romantic comedies (or zom-rom-coms!) like Shaun of the Dead or Warm Bodies, then Life After Beth should no doubt be on your list of things to see at MIFF.

Starring Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Chronicle), Aubrey Plaza (TV’s Parks and Recreation, Safety Not Guaranteed), the film follows the relationship between DeHaan’s Zach and Plaza’s Beth amidst a zombie invasion.

When Beth dies just as she’s about to break up with Zach, she inexplicably comes back to life. Though she comes back with amnesia,  Zach soon finds out that Beth isn’t the only dead person coming back to life.

Time Is Illmatic
Saturday, August 9 (8.45pm); Tuesday, August 12 (6.30pm)

Lovers of hip-hop won’t want to miss out on this documentary on rapper Nas’ monumental, game-changing album, Illmatic.

The documentary goes into Nas’ creation of the album, its effect on the state of hip-hop, and how it’s still celebrated today amongst the community (from influential rappers such as Talib Kweli and Lupe Fiasco and music publications the world over).

Time Is Illmatic will also be accompanied by a screening of Ror, a 13-minute Australian short that profiles Ror Akot, a young man from Sudan, who follows his hip-hop dreams in Melbourne.

Tomorrow We Disappear
Saturday, August 2 (9.30pm); Thursday, August 14 (9.00pm)

Image supplied.

Image supplied.

As part of this year’s India In Flux: Living Resistance program (a selection of films that go beyond the spectacle of Bollywood to show the reality of modern Indian life), Tomorrow We Disappear stands out based on its premise.

For 50 years, New Delhi’s Kathputli Colony has been home to a myriad of performers. A community of magicians, acrobats, singers and puppeteers call this area home but it isn’t until the government decides to bulldoze the slum to make way for a skyscraper that the colony’s residents take action.

This curiously intriguing documentary follows three of the colony’s residents and was filmed over a three-year period.

Why Don’t You Play In Hell?
Friday, August 1 (11.30pm); Tuesday, August 12 (6.30pm)

Image supplied.

Image supplied.

With a title as bold as that, certainly you owe it to yourself to give this one a try right? MIFF regular Sion Sono (director of Love Exposure, Suicide Club) returns with a loud, bombastic film that outdoes Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez in bloody, mad-cap fun.

A down-and-out film crew gets mixed up with a yakuza boss who wants to make a film starring his daughter but not everything turns out well.

Featuring an insane blend of genres and unrelenting manic energy, Sono’s film is at once a roaring celebration of filmmaking and a crazily good time at the movies. An absolute blast!

The Melbourne International Film Festival kicks off on July 31 and ends on August 17. Tickets are currently available for purchase to the general public. For more information on MIFF, visit the festival’s official website, where you can book tickets and search for other films.