Have you already booked your tickets for the Melbourne International Film Festival? Taking place from August 4 to 21 in cinemas across the city, it’s a common space to capture the most anticipated releases of the year and also celebrate all our local talent. So if you’re headed to the festival or need a little push to attend, we’ve got our top picks to catch at the 2022 festivities below.
Shantae Barnes-Cowan and Carlos Sanson Jr. star in this road movie about 15-year-old Murra on the brink of self-destruction due to a tumultuous family life. Her uncle steps in, offering her a lifeline in the form of a “photo safari for at-risk children”, where she is joined by a handful of other teenagers – Kyle, Sean, Elvis and camp counselors Fernando and Michelle – on a bus trip to the Pilbara.
You know the movie. We all know the movie. It stays with you like the vaporous grime of the city it was filmed in, under our fingernails, under our skin. children, however is described to stay with us in another way. Based on the sequel to the original movie, Kids, which offered an unflinching look at the lives of young New Yorkers, children was created in response more than 25 years later. A darker, lesser-known underbelly has developed following the fallout from Kidsthe one that Eddie Martin exhibits.
The Safdie brothers are back with this dark initiatory comedy shot in Super 16 mm. It follows 17-year-old Robert, who dreams of drawing and writing comics, but although he has the technical ability, his cotton life in a nowhere suburb means he lacks life experience. After a traumatic event, Robert announces to his parents that he is dropping out of school and going to live in a seedy basement apartment, where he meets Wallace, an ex-colorist and quite possibly the missing piece to his dreams.
The film opens with Leo, 13, and his best friend Rémi. It’s summer on Leo’s family flower farm, providing a picturesque setting for the extent of their friendship to take shape. Like the farmer’s work schedule, the story follows the seasons over a year. When the two enter their first day of high school, their closeness is met with critical eyes – the cruelty of children – and it only takes one homophobic slur for Leo to begin quietly parting ways with Remi, an action with tragic consequences.
To ring in the 70th Melbourne International Film Festival, organizers play Goran Stolevski Of an age. Set in the summer of 1999, it follows two teenagers fresh out of high school who are partners in a dance competition. On the big day, Nikola – reserved and born in Serbia – receives a distressed call from Ebony, played by Hattie Hook, asking to be picked up from across town. Nikola rings in Ebony’s brother Adam and another road trip, an unmistakable spark ignites between the two. The bad news is that Adam is leaving the country in 24 hours. It has been identified as a quintessentially Melbourne queer love tale.
Located in Nicaragua in 1984, The stars at noon by Denis Johnson details the relationship between an American and an Englishman; where neither party is exactly what it seems. Arguably the best part about this upcoming film adaptation is that Margaret Qualley will star alongside Joe Alwyn. Not only that, but A24 is set to distribute it while French director Claire Denis steers the ship.
Paul Mescal is a young father in this film centered on newcomer Francesca Corio. It opens with eleven-year-old Sophie on vacation in Turkey with her father. The trip is fun and carefree and while Sophie can sense her dad’s change in mood, she’s having too much fun to think about it. It is only when, as an adult, Sophie begins to piece together those days with her own memories and MiniDV footage, that the person she thought was her father is a man she has never known.
Ever since David Bowie’s passing, Iman has made it clear that there won’t be a Bowie biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody Where I want to dance with someone, saying that her husband would never have wanted it. But when the model licensed a film-documentary hybrid directed by Brett Morgen, we knew we were in for a treat.
From Perth to Rockhampton to Sydney to Melbourne, filmmaker Jenny Ross makes her feature film debut with this project on the polarizing Australian punk scene of the 70s and 80s. Radio didn’t want to air it, but just as punk met fierce hatred, he was also taken with love by people already on the fringes who had something to say and now had a vehicle to do so.
Made with a cast of almost entirely disabled creatives, acclaimed Back to Back art director Bruce Gladwin brings us Shadow a film that asks if an AI-driven future would further disenfranchise people with disabilities.
Body Body Body
A24 takes us into the lives of a group of wealthy, morally depraved twenty-somethings who decide to throw a hurricane party as the storm approaches. Naturally, the choice of location comes down to one of friends’ remote (and likely haunted) mansions. As the night rolls in, the group thinks they’re playing a board game of murder in the dark, but when a real murder is revealed, everything turns to trash, real quick. It stars Rachel Sennott, Amandla Stenberg and Pete Davidson.
Book a ticket for the 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival at MIFF website now, with festival pass and off-peak rates available.