Discovering my film bias

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So the MIFF program is out (miff.com.au/program/)! I’m excited. Of course there are 50 thousand films so I needed some time to go through them all. Laptop, blazing fire and a glass of wine and I was ready. The online program lets you browse by country and this is where I discovered I have a bias. The great films I have seen in the past year or so have had an influence. So first it was Middle Eastern countries – Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Palestine – then Eastern Europe – Georgia, Romania, Albania, Slovakia, Czech Republic – Scandinavia, Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, China, Korea, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Japan and the UK. Then I stopped for a big breather.

I found I was reluctant to look at films from the US and Western Europe. Maybe because there were so many of them, but also the films from France and Germany, Austria, Switzerland didn’t seem all that exciting. I have to admit that by the time I got to the 70 or more US films, I didn’t look at every one, I skimmed and picked out those that jumped up and down with their hands waving. I barely looked at South American films or the rest of Asia. Maybe it was film synopsis fatigue.

Things that turned me off a film:

  • big-name male Hollywood stars in non-US movies;
  • movies about bands and music pioneers who I have never heard of;
  • movies that are three hours long and are an “emotionally affecting examination of hardship” or have “minimal editing and unfold without music and little dialogue”;
  • descriptions containing the words absurdist, farce, experimental, collage, hijinks or crowd pleasing.

Things that I liked:

  • B&W movies,
  • documentaries,
  • use of the words feminist, calisthenics, rural, isolated, uncensored, profound and “winner of”.

So, now I have booked 47 films. I’m itching to book three more – don’t you think ’50 films in 15 days’ has a ring to it?

13 days to go…

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