The 59th Annual Sydney Film Festival has wrapped up, and I managed to see 16 films in between having to work and do unimportant things like sleep. Check out my ranking of the films, and some overall thoughts on the festival after the jump.
The last 10 days have been some of the most fun, tiring, and interesting days of my life. The diverse range of films I’ve seen, and incredible group of people I have been privileged to meet will ensure that this festival will be remembered extremely fondly. I have to say that Sydney’s weather didn’t exactly play ball – by the time the sun broke through the sky on the last day of the festival, I was well and truly over walking through the dark and wet streets of the city to get to and from films. For the most part it was completely worth it – I’ve seen my first 5 star films of the year, and had the chance to see an incredible mix of films from all over the world that I would have otherwise not had the chance to see. It was wonderful to visit the beautiful State Theatre for the first time, and apart from getting some vertigo in the dress circle, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of seeing films there.
Congratulations to the team behind the festival, especially first-time SFF Festival Director Nashen Moodley, and the team at the festival hub for putting on such a great festival!
The highlight of the festival wasn’t the films, but it was meeting fellow film lovers and critics (both new faces and old friends) from all over Australia, most of whom I have interacted with on Twitter for some time. The coming together of so many film nerds was truly an awesome experience. Thanks to each and every person I had the pleasure of chatting with. You all made the festival such an amazing experience for me. I have to give a few special mentions: to the incredible Steph who saw more than 40 films – you really are inspiring and a bit nuts. A shout out to Blake Howard for being my fellow day job trooper and general awesome guy. To Tom Clift from Melbourne - it was really fun, and I can’t wait to do it all again at MIFF! Finally to Andrew Buckle – you’re a real tour de force in the film blogging world, and a pretty fantastic boyfriend to boot! Be sure to check out Andy’s comprehensive festival coverage at The Film Emporium.
While Alps took out the official competition, it wasn’t one of the highlights for me. From the craziness of Holy Motors, to the originality of Beasts of the Southern Wild, and the close-to-homeness of Liberal Arts, there have just been so many great moments. If I had to pick my favourite moment it would have to be the scene in Holy Motors which involves an accordion - that just blew my mind all over the cinema walls.
Below is the list of the 16 films I saw in the order I liked them, and links to my reviews (for those I have reviewed). Over the next week or so, check back for reviews of Liberal Arts, Neighbouring Sounds, and Monsieur Lazhar.
Side by Side
Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai
Safety Not Guaranteed
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the site and checked out my reviews. I put a lot of work into covering the festival, and it’s great to know people are reading my work.