Melbourne International Film Festival Sneak Peek
The festival has unveiled an early selection of highlights.
By Cara Nash
The Melbourne International Film Festival has a revealed a first glance at its program, which is set to entertain and provoke audiences August 2 to 19.
Features on the bill include Michael Haneke's Amour, which of course just won the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The Camera d'Or winning, Beasts of the Southern Wild, which also won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier in the year, will also screen.
Other festival favourites and anticipated features confirmed include Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom; the Oscar-nominated French-Canadian Monsieur Lazhar; the beguiling cross-continental love story Tabu; Takashi Miike's thrill ride Ace Attorney; and the absurd romantic comedy, Ruby Sparks, from the directorial team who made Little Miss Sunshine.
There are contemporary thrillers on the bill with The Loneliest Planet starring Gael Garcia Bernal; and the riotous horror flick, 100 Bloody Acres, which stars Australian actors Damon Herriman and Angus Sampson. And of a completely different nature, mumble-core favourite, Lynn Shelton, delivers a smart love triangle with Your Sister's Sister, which stars Emily Blunt.
As always the festival has compiled an intriguing documentary program. A number of music icons and bands will be profiled on screen with Paul Kelly: Stories of Me, a candid bio of one of Australia's most beloved singer-songwriters, premiering at the festival. Other music docos include Searching for Sugar Man, which follows the improbable-but-true story of US soul singer, Rodriguez; Ice-T offers a personal journey into the soul of hip-hop in Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap; and we go behind the scenes of LCD Soundsystem's last gig (and inside front man James Murphy's mind) in Shut Up and Play The Hits.
Adding some real edge to the documentary section, Werner Herzog's unsettling look at American crime and punishment, Into The Abyss, will screen. Other provocative pieces include Mads Brugger's probe into the diamond trade in Africa in The Ambassador; and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a compelling portrait of China's most famous and outspoken activist-artist. Meanwhile, This Ain't California takes us into the heart of eighties East Berlin as seen through the eyes of young, rebellious skaters.
And proof that truth is stranger than fiction, the true crime thriller, The Imposter, will leave you bewildered; while the Oscar-winning Undefeated, which chronicles a coach as he tries to end a US high school football team's 110-year losing streak, is the ultimate underdog tale.
And as previously announced, Wayne Blair's The Sapphires - which has just enjoyed some rave reviews and praise in Cannes - will open the festival on August 2.
To view the full list of First Glance titles, visit www.miff.com.au. The full program will be launched on July 10. Tickets for the Opening Night gala are on sale now.