Jul 122014

tom at the farm

So you’re bought yourself some passes for the Melbourne International Film Festival. The sheer number of incredible films on offer can be a little daunting and that’s where I hope to help. I’ve put together a 17 Film Programme (without clashes) which I think offers a little bit of everything good at the festival. That’s a film per day of the fest with plenty of time for you to fit other films in if you are so inclined. I’ve also provided a list of everything that I have seen and can recommend. Films I have reviewed are underlined and linked to. I hope it helps! Check out my recommendations and your curated 17 film programme after the jump.

So here you are Melbourne and MIFF-goers, my film festival programme just for you. I’m assuming that you either have a car or can navigate public transport and can maybe sneak away from work early a couple of days – surely no one will notice? I’m also cheating a little and counting the two Eleanor Rigby films as one (although it will cost you two tickets) – only a crazy person wouldn’t see both.



I didn’t include opening night on this schedule, but if you’re so inclined to get your glamorous self out then you’re probably in for an interesting night with the première of Australian film Predestination.

Film related documentaries feature heavily in this line-up with Trespassing Bergman, Jodorowsky’s Dune, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness and Life Itself all featuring. Film geeks like watching documentaries about film, so it seems like the sorta thing you should do at a festival. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is an absolutely incredible documentary and one of the best films I saw at Sydney Film Festival. As a life-long Studio Ghibli fan I found it so moving. It will also appeal to everyone with even a passing interest in animation and how an animated film is put together. Jodorowsky’s Dune, is a documentary about experimental filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed project to adapt the science-fiction novel Dune to the big screen. I haven’t read Dune and I knew little about the project, but that didn’t stop this from being one of the most interesting and hilarious documentaries I’ve seen in some time.  Jodowosky is a natural story-teller and this is one hell of a story. A must see for film and science-fiction nerds alike. Life Itself kind of goes without saying. It’s not a perfect film but it is certainly worth your time. Bring tissues!

It’s good to throw in a least one comedy and although this isn’t a comedy in the classical sense, I guarantee you are going to laugh. Of Horses and Men is just flat-out weird. I mean, I haven’t seen anything quite like it ever. It’s a film about the importance of horses in the lives of Icelandic people and focuses on one village and their relationship with their horses. This is hilarious – a true crazy, “what the hell am I actually watching”? sort of film. It’s also impeccably made and extremely well-acted. You have to see it to believe it. While it’s not without flaws, Boyhood is one of those films that defies belief. I just can’t comprehend the logistics of making a film over 12 years and keeping the same core cast involved. Watching a set of people pass 12 years of their lives in the span of 2 and a half hours is an incredibly humbling experience.

Not going to say anything about the two Dolan films except see them both.

I won’t be making MIFF this year but if I was going, The ImmigrantObvious Child and Trespassing Bergman would be at the top of my must-see list. Please see them for me and let me know what you think.

Below I have listed all the films from the programme and  I have seen and can recommend (3 Stars+). Films which are reviewed (a mix of full and short reviews , some on Letterboxd) are underlined and linked to.

Recommended viewing

20,000 Days on Earth
At Berkeley
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her
The Disappearance of Eleanor Ribgy: Him
Fish & Cat
The Great Museum
Happy Christmas
Human Capital
In Order of Disappearance
Jodorowsky’s Dune
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Life Itself
Love is Strange
National Gallery
Night Moves
Of Horses and Men
The Skeleton Twins
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Tom at the Farm
Two Days, One Night
Violent Florence [Short]
What We Do in the Shadows

Enjoy the festival!

By Sam McCosh