Film synopsis


CELIA, Dir: Ann Turner, 1989

Horror meets coming-of-age drama in Ann Turner’s critically lauded creation.
Melbourne, 1957: Nine-year-old Celia (Rebecca Smart) is haunted by terrifying visions of storybook monsters who climb through her window at night and lurk behind the visages of everyday acquaintances. 
Presented by the National Film and Sound Archive’s digital restoration program: NFSA Restores – reviving our cinema icons.
Director Ann Turner will be at the session to introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.

SHAME, Dir: Steve Jodrell, 1988

One woman – played by award-winning Deborra-lee Furness – turns the tables on a country town’s system of entrenched male violence in this rip-roaring Australian action flick.
Directed by Steve Jodrell (His Master’s Ghost, MIFF 1990) –Shame is a classic of 1980s Australian cinema and Deborra-lee Furness’ performance as the film’s arse-kicking protagonist earnt her best actress awards at both the Film Critics Circle of Australia and Seattle International Film Festival. Presented by the National Film and Sound Archive’s digital restoration program: NFSA Restores – reviving our cinema icons.
Director Steve Jodrell and Lead Actor Deborra-lee Furness will attend the session to introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.

THE BIG STEAL, Dir: Nadia Tass, 1990

Following her smash-hit directorial debut Malcolm, Nadia Tass’ next big achievement was this early Ben Mendelsohn vehicle, an award-winning, iconic Melbourne teen caper also starring Claudia Karvan and Steve Bisley.
Danny is rapt that he’s lined up a date with Joanna, but there’s one big problem: he promised he’d be rolling up to her door in a Jaguar, a car he absolutely doesn’t have.
Written by Tass’ long-time creative partner David Parker (whose efforts won him the AFI Award for Best Screenplay), The Big Steal is complete with the first lead performance in a film from the prodigiously talented Mendelsohn.
Director Nadia Tass and Lead Actor Claudia Karvan will attend the session to introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.

NAMATJIRA PROJECT, Dir: Sera Davies, 2017

The World Premiere of an extraordinary firsthand account of the international battle to reclaim the artwork and heritage of one of Australia’s most important Indigenous figures: Albert Namatjira. Founder of the Indigenous art movement, the rights to Namatjira’s work was sold to an art dealer by the Australian Government in 1983. Almost 60 years after Namatjira’s death, his family are seeking to regain copyright. A captivating story of Australian race relations seen through the lens of a bitterly contested history of one of our most venerated figures. Namatjira Project the film grew out of Big hART’s award-winning theatre production about Namatjira’s life, staged with Belvoir Street Theatre. It is both a powerful, important addition to the canon of modern Indigenous culture, and a part of the ongoing campaign for justice for the Namatjira family.

The Namatjira family, Actor Trevor Jamieson and Producer Sophia Marinos will attend the session on Saturday 5 August to introduce the film and take part in an extended post-screening Q&A.

THE GO-BETWEENS: RIGHT HERE, Dir: Kriv Stenders, 2017

The Go-Between’s were Australia’s original indie rock trailblazers, leaving behind a sonic legacy that’s influenced everyone from Belle and Sebastian to Sleater-Kinney. From humble beginnings in a Brisbane garage back in 1977, through to their attempts to conquer the world, and the disappointment, disbandment and final tragedy that followed, the Go-Between’s were a band beloved by the critics, but too often ignored by the listening public. This tells the four-decade-long story of the Go-Between’s, in their own words. Featuring unparalleled access to the band’s original members and filled with never-before-seen archival footage,

Director Kriv Stenders and Robert Forster will be at both sessions to introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.

IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD, Dir: Sunao Katabuchi, 2016 

As World War II rages, teenager Suzu Urano agrees to wed naval clerk Shūsaku Hōjō. Moving to live with his family on the other side of Hiroshima, she pursues a new future; however, history dictates that a spate of bombings and a hovering mushroom cloud will change her life forever.Learning both patience and subtlety from his time as an assistant director on Kiki’s Delivery Service (MIFF 1997), writer/director Sunao Katabuchi crafts a moving drama that’s as resonant in emotion as it is rich in animated detail. Filled with watercolor splendor yet potently conveying the many difficulties of ordinary tasks during wartime, In This Corner of the World proves a stellar addition to Japan’s cinematic contemplation of conflict, hand-drawn or otherwise.

ENDLESS, Dir: Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead, 2017

The directors of MIFF 2015 film Spring return with an engrossing tale of high-concept Lovecraftian horror centred on two brothers following their escape from a cult. Ten years ago, brothers Justin and Aaron escaped from a what Justin claimed was a “UFO death cult”, right as the cult was about to commit mass suicide. But Aaron didn’t see it that way, and remembers a wholesome community with good, friendly people. When the two receive an unexpected message from their former “family”, Aaron convinces Justin that they must return to their old home. Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead write, direct and star in a unique film that defies easy genre conventions. The Endless is a film of creeping dread, part horror, part science fiction, skirting the supernatural and keeping the audience guessing until the very end.

FANTASTIC PLANET, Dir: Rene Laloux, 1973

Forty-four years after it won the Special Prize at Cannes, the surreal animated allegory of Fantastic Planet is still one of the strangest, most alien experiences you can have in a cinema!  Fantastic Planet takes viewers to the Dali-esque world of Ygam where the human-ish Oms live like pets, or vermin, to the gigantic, intellectually advanced, blue-skinned Draags … until an Om named Terr, raised from infancy in a Draag household, escapes into the wild with access to his masters’ knowledge.

The uncanny animation, reminiscent of Monty Python’s Flying Circus as much as Hieronymus Bosch paintings, enhances the film’s otherworldliness; as does the psychedelic score by Alain Goraguer, which for MIFF has been reinterpreted by Melbourne prog-rock/jazz fusion group Krakatau, who will perform it live alongside the film as part of this special festival-only Hear My Eyes screening.

BLOODLANDS, Dir: Steven Kastrissios, 2017

This bold, brutal mix of family blood feud and supernatural horror marks the first ever co-production between Australia and Albania. Australian director Steven Kastrissios returns after his bloody and bruising The Horseman (MIFF 2008) with an evocative horror as unique as anything on the local filmmaking landscape.Set in modern-day Albania, the story follows a struggling traditional family that falls prey to a mysterious clan, igniting a Balkan blood feud that ventures into the paranormal via archaic rituals and a local witch. Ambitious and genre-bending – Kastrissios’ knack for dark drama mingles with arthouse surrealism – Bloodlands comprises a forceful next step for an emerging auteur.

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