Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Carnival is Over.

After 13 films the one thing which I have noticed most about the festival is how tired it made me. I'd get up the day after having seen a few films and just want to sleep and sleep. I had tickets to a lot of films that I didn't even use this year. Time for more fitness training before next year's.

Highlights for me this year were three films in particular. Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Ninth Day, and A Dirty Shame were all highlights.

The Magician, and Voices of Iraq were also real surprise packets.

I'd recommend that anyone see these films should they get the chance.

Far and away the worst was the horrendous A Hole in My Heart and the still painful to recount Pickpocket. Both terrible.

This last post caps off what has been a writing workload that I could done without, but I've enjoyed the chance to become amateur reviewer for a few weeks.

Two things before I go.

I write here normally, it's got a tertiary flavour but a pleasant aftertaste.

And, you should also check out this site if you're after up to date movie reviews.

Cheers, le Student.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Monday morning feels so bad...

...everybody seems to naaaag me.

Last Friday of the festival, and once again Melbourne has experienced an awesome turn of weather. It's hard to convince yourself to spend this time in a cinema, but sometimes you have to make a sacrifice for your blog reading public (wouldn't kill some of you lurkers to shout out once in a while, snobs).

Alas, I digress. Films must be watched, reviews must be written, sappy recent Ben Harper must be listened to in the confines of the festival club's subterraenean Forum floor.

Having skipped the 1pm session, because, I'm like a ROGUE FILM WATCHER, I'm about to head into the 3pm session at ACMI. I've just done some shopping at some of Melbourne's excellent clothing retailers.

(I am so much better than Lavinia Nixon, but I clearly don't have the figure, blonde locks, non offensive smile, and female genitalia for her job. But, on the upside, I dont have to endure the fawning of Ed Phillips. What a cockknocker. I hope you're reading this Ed, you're the sort of toss who'd google search his own name. So go ahead Ed, bite the big one, everyone thinks you're a right cock. In short Ed, I rock - you suck. End of story.)

It's time to queue up and be pleasantly disaapointed.


What a terrible movie.

There are times during which I suspect that films are selected for no reason other than for the climate and style in which they were made, and not whether they could be even remotly interesting or entertaining. The following two phrases from the MIFF guide would seem to sum up precisly what is wrong with this 107 minute trainwreck:

"Made well outside the state system..."

"...a superb non-professional cast..."

Not only was Pickpocket not any good, it was terrible. This was a full frontal assault upon an unprovoked audience. From the 1930's film quality to the consistantly horrendous background noise of car horns, mobile phones, or a singing cigarette lighter of all things, the film blew chunks in no uncertain terms.

Painfully slow and seemingly deliberatly abrasive, Pickpocket tells of a down and out Xiao Wu, his trade as a pickpocket, his adventures in big city China...and not much else.

Avoid this film at all costs, the fate of common sense is at stake.

1/5 spring rolls.

The Education of Shelby Knox

A popular choice at this year's festival, The Education of Shelby Knox tells of one opinionated teenagers crusade against her district's stance on sexual education in school's.

Lubbock Texas has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. It also features some of the most insanely over the top people walking the planet, not least of which is abstinence crusader Rev Ed Ainsworth.

Shelby Knox herself is committed to being chaste until marriage, as part of the True Love Waits program run by the good Reverend Ainsworth. However, as Knox falls deeper into the clutches of local underage student politics via the Youth Commission, she develops a stance on sexual education in schools which is at odds with her parents, her reverend, and the wider community.

An interesting subplot throughout the film is the byplay between her and fellow Youth Commission voicebox Corey Nichols. I'm sure I wasn't alone in assuming from the very start of this film that following her commitment to wait till she is married before having sexual relations, that she would then shag the consummatly dough faced Nichols.

Alas, this outspoken teenager beast with two backs never eventuated.

This film was well worth the admission fee, and provided more than enough awkward laughs to settle even the most unimpressed documentary watchers.

3.5/5 Breezers.

The Last Mitterrand

Becoming an unlikely socialist French President in 1981, Francois Mitterrand led France until shortly before his death in 1996.

This two hour French epic tells of the President's dying days, as he tells his political story to the crestfallen Antoine Moreau, his biographer.

Overwhelming lonely, yet content and verbose, the film allows the audience to delicately care for the ailing Mitteranrd, as he slowly succumbs to prostate cancer.

No doubt this film would have more meaning to someone with a greater knowledge of French politics than myself, but the film had enough going for it to keep your watching for it's 120 minute duration - not least of which was the red hot Judith, the love interest who nets a harried Moreau.

The confused Moreau confronts his Hero in Mitterand, challenging him about the detail of his days during the Vichy reign of France, and his complicity with the Nazi's.

I could easily see how someone could walk out this bored and unentertained, but I enjoyed the film not least for it's historical content.

For me, 4/5 crepes.

Me and You and Everyone We Know

Comprising of many characters, thrown together in a mess of ugly interaction, Me and You and Everyone We Know is the work of artist Miranda July, who wrote, directed and defiantly starred in this witty and all together sweet film fundamentally about love.

It's hard to describe exactly what makes this film work so so well, or what sees July turn her character from painfully awkward to lovable muse - but what can be said for sure is that every role in this film is acted perfectly, right down to it's most minor, most giddy roles.

The film is highlighted by the character of separated show salesman Richard, who is the unwitting love interest of performance artist Christine, played by July. His role in raising his kids never sinks into weak sympathetic fluff for the audience to gobble up, instead he is plainly disfunctional, and his two boys know it.

I absolutely want to see this film again, and suggest that everyone who has the chance to sees it themselves, just once, or maybe again and again.

4.75/5 waters.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Running late after an engagement I could have have completly gone without having been at, I made it into the festival ticket office just in time to purchase a ticket to Rash, only to have the smug faced wanker bitch behind the counter tell me that it was sold out - but I didn't hear 'sold out' - I heard 'sshshssh.....t'.

So I asked her to repeat herself, at which point she loudly proclaimed:

"SAULD!! *breath* HOUT!!"

I should have smacked her over the head with my trusty festival guide, but instead I saw a flick at the Forum for this festival...

The Magician

Despite my apprehension at seeing this film, and fears that it might not live up to the modest hype surrounding it, I was floored by The Magician's down to earth nature and warm intentions.

Despite being a film about a hitman, being shot in Melbourne, featuring local actors, and having had Bernard Curry IN A BANDANA in the audience, this film was excellent. Telling of hitman Ray and his travels, the excellent acting of lead Scott Ryan is the catalyst for a story that grows on the audience and turns a simple tale into an loving examination of the hitman's life and actions.

His relationship with the camera man is the highlight for the film, as they prove the perfect foil for each other. Starting at either extreme, as violator on one hand and innocent bystander on the other, as the film draws on, each begins to assume the role of the other in small increments.

There isn't a lot that can be said for this beyond 'see it when you get the chance.'

4/5 big m's.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Shout Out

For those of you looking for a review by a real person of a film you're thinking about seeing, and are dismayed by this blog's distinct lack of actual movie going, you should check out this blog, miff05.blogspot.com!

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Dirty Shame

I don't know how exactly this John Waters film worked, I'm not sure how a collection of actors including Tracy Ullman, Chris Issak, Selma Blair and an astoundingly good Johnny Knoxville, managed to make this film work so well.

Centered around suffering housewife Sylvia Stickles, played by Ullman, the story tells of a community under siege by the sexually aware, forcing themselves upon the innocent. With well placed nods to the anti communist films of America's 50s, the film pits the sexually aware 'sex addicts' led by Ullman's Stickles against the wowsering 'Neuters', led by Stickles mother, the angry Big Ethel.

The film pulls at the threads of religious revivalism, encouraging the viewer to giggle slyly at every innuendo and simulated sex act along the way.

The films roaring final act is preceded by the meeting of 'Sex Addicts Anonymous' in which Syvia's sponsor encourages her to:

"Make a list of everyone you have fucked... and apologise to their parents."

Featuring a pop culturally well placed cameo by David Hasselhoff, this initially slow film just rolls on and on, drawing the audience into it's saucy cinematic foreplay, whispering into it's ear that if it just relaxes, 'it'll enjoy it, I promise.'

4.5 banana flavoured lattes out of 5.

The Waiting Game

During last year's MIFF, I waited in a queue at Village Bourke St for some considerable time, as a seemingly endless array of Metallica fans, some in Metallica T's, filed out of the cinema after having just seen Some Kind of Monster.

Tonight was no different, as the queue stretched out and beyond the cinema, as the film before Look Both Ways ran late.

Standing in a queue like this, and for so long, affording me a prolonged period of people watching, and the chance to listen into the conversation that a clearly suffering older university lecturer type bloke behind me, and a .... hag were having.

Hag:"When you're interested in arts, it's as if you aren't treated like a person."

Uni Dude:"Um...okay."

And in front I had the retro dressed collection of social misfits, who huddled together in the interests of self affirmation and mutual support in the face of society's disinterest in the painfully self absorbed. They were a hoot, from old blue suit and a needless ugly tie ponytail guy - to - all dressed in black pit hair ruffled blouse obsessive cant let anyone else talk and showing off handbag uninterested boyfriend - to - self arbsorbed conversation about herself and didn't say hi to the people she was just introduced to - these guys almost created a vapid aren't I impressive vacuum, threatening to suck all the 'humble' out of the room.

Eventually, thankfully, we were let into the movie.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

$2.50 Terrible Coffee

Sunny, beautiful, global warmingly warm July day in Melbourne, and I decide to spend hours of it indoors.

Fulling intending to hit the 11am session, I slept in, then had to work, then had to run around, then had to do this, that, then that again.

I met up with PK at Joe's Garage in Brunswick Street, after buying a tie for a ball on Saturday night, and a book to read while I'm away.

I bet you're real glad you came here to read that thrilling information.

Then I got into the city, parked at Crown and headed to the forum to pick up my mini pass. I wa sserved by the astoundingly hot French girl who had served me last year. *drools*

And then it was off to the movies! (and not a moment too soon, this preamble was shit.)

Voices of Iraq

Voices of Iraq is 74 minutes of documentary that makes you question the entire basis of your opinion of the US occupation of Iraq.

Edited together using footage from 150 digital video cameras that were dispersed amongst the wartorn microcosm of Iraq, this documentary gives the viewer a taste of everyday life within the country. Despite my initial misgivings, and suspiscion that the film would lean so heavily to one side or another as to topple over, Voice of Iraq tells of a country which is equal parts relieved and scared.

Amongst the talk of the oppresive regimes, industrial shredders used to torture dissidents, and the crippling sanctions, Ive always wondered what the lifestyle of an Iraqi is like. The film is at pains to say that 'for the first time in 24 years, the people of Iraq have a voice' and I suspected that the film could be pro American, and in retrospect it could be alleged that the film is.

Simply presented visions and stories of common Iraqi's lives in the post US era are presented, with the most common question asked by the camera operator is 'Do you think things are better now?' overwhelmingly they answered yes, but often with a qualifier of "...but things are too unsafe here now."

One of the most alarming scenes was a man address his comments directly to the American viewers of the documentary, he pleads with them to understand that most Iraqi's don't care about the abuses at Abu Graib prison, as the victims were the very same people who tortured innocent Iraqi's prior to the American invasion. This man was happy to see them suffer.

It was hard not to leave the cinema tarred with the sense that Iraq sees a sun rising over the hill, and that the American invasion, for whatever short term cost, will save Iraq, not destroy it. The documentary never falls into the trap of leading the viewers hand, but you still wonder more about what they aren't telling you - than what they do.

I give it 4.5/5 steaming hot lattes.


In 1999 I walked out of the open air cinema in Broome, scratching my head and wondering what exactly to make of The Matrix. After having seen The Matrix two or three more times, I now get the meaning of the film, it's complicated notions, twists and turns.

Primer is precisly the sort of film you shouldn't blow two hours on at the festival, as it needs repeated viewings. Staring Director/Writer/Etc. Shane Carruth, this film suckered me in with the following sentence from it's synopsis on the MIFF website:

Moonlighting research geeks fluke the impossible: a garage-built and gaffer-taped, but functioning, time machine. The implications of their discovery are limitless but, as is so often the case, human beings achieve greatness only after they succumb to their basest instincts.

Am i the only person who thinks, 'Awesome, they'll go forward and get lottery results and then come back and win lots of money and then live the sort of decadent out of control life style I'd lead if I was like God and shit,' when they read that?

There was little action and a lot of low level muttering and whispering. The two lead characters, Abe and Aaron, get themselves into a situation where multiple copies of themselves are roaming the same earth they are...I think.

This movie spent way too much time explaining a complicated and implausible time transportation concept that no one got anyway - it would have been better to just get on with the sci-fi thriller aspect, and focus on delivering a story that the audience was excited to see the conclusion of.

I still don't understand how this ended the way it did, or why anyone let the writer/director take a lead role, to the detriment of the film. This film needs a second and possibly third viewing, and is excellently made in terms of appearance and style, but is not the sort of film to see at the festival.

2 soy lattes.

Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate

In a time when a $40million movie budget was considered excessive, Heaven's Gate become a colossal disaster that single handedly took down movie studio United Artists.

The western film, the child of devoted director father Michael Cimino, fresh from icing the Deer Hunter cake with five Academy Awards, become an exercise in failure, as the obsessive Cimino blew out the budget and filming schedule with an alarmingly unchecked attention to detail.

Featuring new interviews with all cast and crew, but not Cimino himself, the documentary at times struggled to enliven a story that you are already well aware of the conclusion to. It almost becomes a catalogue of the insults and taunts that the cast and crew had to suffer through as the media created maelstrom engulfed the production and release of the film.

The audience is treated to some of the finest film review grenades ever, in the form of reviews that feature quotes such as:

"Watching Heaven's Gate is like being given a three hour tour of your own living room."

Perhaps due to it's length, and lack of content, this documentary never seems to hit the mark, doesn't build towards any climax, and left me checking my watch by the end - but hey, it is a documentary, and I could now tell you in floral detail exactly why 1980's Heaven's Gate was edited, and re-edited, and took the fabled United Artists down with it.

2 lattes.

The Ninth Day

Initially set in the German WW2 Dachau concentration camp, this true story manages to keep the audience at once captivated and uneasy throughout the telling of one of the most morally challenges tales of WW2.

A native of the tiny principality of Luxembourg,Reverend Kremer is one of a group of clergy who are interned at Dachau during the war, as a result of their activities, of varying severity, against the Nazi European occupiers.

Unexpectedly, Kremer is released back to his family in Luxembourg - but he soon finds that he has a challenge facing him. He has nine days to convince the Bishop of Luxembourg to cease his quiet resistance to the Nazi occupation, or return to the concentration camp after the ninth day.

His debate with SS officer Gebhardt is a highlight, as the torn Kremer weighs up the seeming inevitability of Nazi victory against his desire to save himself and his fellow clergy back in Dachau.

This inspiring drama never once falls into the trap of beating the audience over the head with concentration camp horrors, but merely accentuates the fear and torture the hamstrung Kremer relives as he makes his decision over his torrid nine day release.

The climax of this film is gripping, and asks the audience to examine their own beliefs, both moral and religious. The production values are on a par with the beautiful acting, as the Reverend and his SS keeper waltz through a religious debate with the highest of stakes attached for both.

5 grande lattes.

A Hole in My Heart

From the MIFF synopsis:

Rickard and his alienated son, Eric, share a dingy apartment in suburbia. Rickard is something of an amateur pornographer, reality TV and the affordability of a digi-cam making possible this 'creative' venture. Rickard and his buddy Gecko shoot a skin flick over the course of a weekend, with wannabe porn star Tess.

Firstly, from that synopsis, it's entirely plausible that I got everything I could have expected from this film; that said, this film was trash. A Hole in My Heart is far and away the single worst film I have endured so far at this years festival, and goes very close to winning the overall 'Crappest Film Ever Seen at MIFF.'

This film manages to grasp at every lose narrative straw it can in the hope of securing some semblance of relevance, even if it's only to those who appreciate cinema which scrapes the very bottom of the barrel.

It is neither clever, nor cutting edge - it more closely resembles a mulch consisting of equal parts nudity, teen angst, ruined childhood, fear, and social exile. Ultimately rich in visual content, the film is severely lacking when it's comes to fulfilling the audience. It never explores anything beyond the consistent immaturity of the characters.

To describe this film as 'challenging' is to overstate it's ability to hide the shocking makeup of the characters, from the caricature of a teenage son, to the fumblingly ineffective dad.

I walked out, I was the 27th person to do so - but I saw enough to tell you this film gets sweet FA out of five lattes.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Standing in the queue to see Blacktown, I realised that I was standing out from the crowd due to sheer normality. here's a list of things that I forgot to take with me to the festival.


1. Bad Hair.
The more unkempt the better. Festival goers should exercise extreme caution with regards to having anything remotely resembling 'stylish' or 'managed' hair.


2. Festival Guide.
So what if you've already gone through it from cover to cover, bought tickets to all the movies you want to see, and have doubled it's weight via kilograms of ink left behind after you have annotated each movie listing - is HAS to go with you EVERYWHERE.


3. Headwear.
Got a teacosy just gathering dust? Put it on your head, the less dignified the better. Peaked caps are a definite no no, and don't even consider anything constructed of a synthetic fibre.


4. Excessive Scarves.
Please, it's Melbourne, you don't need Lavinia Nixon to tell you that you need to rug up. And rug up festival goers do, with an array of stylish, colour coordinated, inner city lane way cafe and $12 foccacia scarves on display.


5. Talking Hands.
Got something to say? Yell it with your hands. Those with an opinion on Wolf Creek, Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, or Voices of Iraq, had better have a dazzling array of innocent bystanders eyesight endangering hand movements to back them up. Folded arms should step aside!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Monday, Monday

The weekend was, in a word, disorderly - I didn't wind up attending any movies.

So tonight I was able to get along to two films, Blacktown and Three of Hearts: A Post-Modern Family.

(Luckily I can link straight to the MIFF website's excellent online synopsis, allowing me to avoid having to heavily summarise these movies.)

I decided to get a minipass, and got into the festival box office with time to spare before the 7.30pm screening of Blacktown. No matter what time of day you are there, there is always a queue, and during today's queue I was joined by three French exchange students who presumably thought they were on exceedingly crowded public transport and each suffered from poor hearing. STEP BACK LOUD FRENCHIE!

The lady festival volunteers (surely they can't all be silly enough to volunteer for this stuff?) are almost always trendy looking, extraordinarily cute, and precisely the sort of girl I'd love to be seen with on my arm. The girl who served me was no exception, right up until she told me there were no minipasses left - "We'll have some more tomorrow, maybe." - and secondly, DENYING my student card as a valid form of concession ID - "Sorry, this isn't stamped with this year's date." - to which I did the only thing a well restrained festival goer could do, I muttered and rolled my eyes.

I was now shitty, and $30 poorer - she was still alarmingly adorable.

The queue at ACMI was massive, as Blacktown sold out. When seated, in a first for me, I struck up conversation with the girl next to me who was taking notes. I'm not going to reveal how I did this, I don't want everyone lifting my best lines for their personal use, but she was a smart type, with a burgeoning interest in cinema. In and amongst some name dropping and general talking myself up, I noticed that one of the notes she had taken "because I'm interested in directing movies" was Movie is sold out. Hmmm... telling observation.

Blacktown was shot on DV and according to film maker Kriv Stenders, who introduced the film, 'has come to your straight from my computer desktop.' The storyline of this was easy enough to follow, and I have to say, was quite captivating. It treads a fine line between gently leading you on, and risking boring you, yet pulls it off in way that never leads you to second guess the film.

One thing I cannot stand, especially in something this low budget, is a camera which moves during setting shots - it's a small thing, but I'd rather watch a movie without thinking "damnit, buy a FUCKING tripod" every three minutes.

Blacktown tells of an unconventional story, in an unconventional way and still delivers. The energy between leads Niki Owen and Tony Ryan is constant, as both characters grow and bloom during the film.

Unfortunately Blacktown doesn't screen again this festival, but is worth seeing if it happens to pop up locally sometime.

3.5 lattes.

Three of Hearts: A Post-Modern Family featured a majority gay bisexual couple, Stephen and Sam, who decided that a woman was what they were missing in their monogamously gay relationship. Enter Samantha, a gorgeous second generation East Indian woman who becomes the loves third wheel.

This film wins nothing for it's overtly crap title, but it's professionally put together and tells the triangular story in a way that involves the viewer in what could otherwise be a very very very boring 'we're so happy/positive energy/how super modern!' story.

The star of the show is the terribly piss funny Sam, who nails one liners across the 90 odd minutes. The trio marry, and have two kids together, and as the their lives evolve (the documentary was shot over 8 years) it's becomes apparent how normal they are in and amongst the total whatthefuckness of their life situation. Samantha struggles with the same typical stranded mother situations present in most families - despite the children having two fathers, as the film makers are careful to illustrate the normality of the trio's lives.

The documentary slows through it's middle stages, but is worth sticking through even if it's just to hear how effortlessly each character refers to their time 'in therapy' again, and again, and again.

Once again, Three of Hearts: A Post-Modern Family, has finished up for the festival - but is defiantly worth a look if you see it around.

I give it 3 very therapeutic lattes.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The reveal!

This isn't going to work out quite as planned, I don't think I'll be able to go to as many films as I first thought. Typical random planning issues have eventuated, not least of which is the leaving free a weekend to work so I have spare cash for a trip to Cairns in August. That, and that fact that I'm a university student. We're penniless remember.

At the moment I'm seeing as much as I can the first weekend, and then getting to everything I can squeeze into after that.

The festival guide arrived the other day, and the ritual of flicking through the guide from page to page, selecting movies began.

The temptation not to choose too many documentaries saw me switching between films, and going back and choosing others.

There is of course the yearly competition for the most blatantly obvious title translation from another language to English, and this years winner was a film called Buffalo Boy- which is an Asian film about boy and a buffalo.

Tomorrow the festival starts for me, and I'll have an update on what I saw tomorrow night.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Festival Rules: Choosing a Film

(Film you hear me? FILM, not MOVIE!)

The festival presents a filmgoer will many hundreds of films to see, the majority of which you have no idea of whether or not they are any 'good'. Most are in a foreign language, almost all have subtitles, some are animated, some are documentaries, some are collections of short films.

Some filmgoers choose every film before the festival, carefully charting out which films they will see, a week or so in advance. In my case the day before I'm going I'll sit down and go through the guide, checking which sessions I can go to, when the film before ends, how long it'll take me to run between venues, etcetera.

Over the years, I have developed certain rules that guide me when choosing a film to see, here they are in descending order of importance.

1. No French films.
Yes, the girls are always gorgeous. Yes, there's lots of sex. But, French cinema is so boring, so self indulgent, so superficial, so...French. Any nation that, to a person, finds Jerry Lewis funny cannot produce quality meaningful cinema.

I present in my defense the film Swimming Pool, a sellout at the festival a few years back. A film I would never have known existed were it not for the hot girl on the poster, and a plot synopsis like this:

"It is the off-season, and Sarah finds that the beautiful country locale and unhurried pace is just the tonic for her--until late one night, when John's indolent and insouciant French daughter Julie unexpectedly arrives. Sarah's prim and steely English reserve is jarred by Julie's reckless, sexually charged lifestyle."

Blah. I didn't bother seeing it.

2. No Iranian films.
Bad experience. Don't ask.

3. No Kung Fu films.
Okay kung fu lovers, some asian films have AMAZING acrobatics in them, granted. But for me, once you've seen one film with no plot and some buff asian dudes kicking each other in the chest at high speeds while the sound effects guy simultaniously smashes a mallet into a lettuce, you've seen them all.

4. Word of mouth.
If someone tells me they saw a film that's worth seeing, and I can see it's second screening, I'll go see it. This had led me to films like American Astronaut and American Splendor and Donnie Darko, (and I'm sure I dont need to tell any of you trendy wanks what a good film Donnie Darko is) and is generally the best guide you will have about your enjoyment of a movie at the festival.

5. 'How many documentaries have I already seen this festival?'
I'm a documentary whore. I always wind up choosing documentaries, which I see as cheating - it takes the chance out of picking a film, there's no dramatic element, there's no risk. Occasionally the docos are excellent, the The Weather Underground and Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst are prime examples of that, but occasionally they are long....and slllooowwww... including a documentry on the making of some building with some patient rich guy and some tortured genius achitech and ZZZzzzZZZzzz.

If I've seen three documentaries, then thats enough.

6. No animated shorts.
This is a new rule this year, after a really tiring collection of 'wow look at me - I'm a short film genius from eastern Europe who has too much time on his hands' animated shorts last year, I'm steering well clear this year - only in exceptional cricumstances, eg) the fate of the WORLD rests on my seeing a collection of animated shorts, will I see any this year.

7. If it's Australian, how many 'big' name ensamble castmembers will I be subjected to?
If the answer is three or more, keep fucking clear. Case in point, Somersault - shite, and I will happily arm wrestle anyone who disagrees. This film was such inpentrable toss, populated with so many contrite, lingering silence, 'I know better' performances by b-grade fair dinkum Aussie actors, that only the ever lingering prospect of seeing (the admittedly not bad in this) Abbey Cornish nekkid kept me in the cinema.

Somersault follows forgettable films like The Honourable Wally Norman, Japanese Story, The Rage in Placid Lake (Ben Lee, BEN FUCKING LEE), and numerous other films my post-mentioning-Ben-Lee fragile mind cannot recall right now. Of course, there are many good Australian films at the festival each year, for instance Making Venus was unexpected and very very excellent.

(...very very excellent....if anyone catches me typing 'brill' - shoot me)

Monday, June 27, 2005



"Soooo, WHAT - IS - THE - DEAL with the film festival art work this year? They've gone from worldly to camp - it's the sort of wank I'd expect for any event involving St.Kilda or...February."

The festival generally uses artwork which is symbolic of it's particular theme for that year, but above all is stylish and definatly in line with it's distinctly independant and international theme.


2004: 'Hey. Monks... Heavy man.'


2003: 'Is that...two guys? And... stop staring AT ME!'


2002: 'Indigenous is so 2002.'

Yes yes, they wanted a change, but come on, festival goers can't arse around and frown at shit and wear black holding a festival guide with this emblazoned across it.

I'll need to wear EXTRA black to counter the horrifying TEALNESS of this years art. Anyone got a spare beret?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What's 'welcome' in German? I haven't seen Cabaret in ages...

Welcome to Treading Cinema - a journal of The Student's adventures at the Melbourne International Film Festival.