The Family (2016)

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Image via MIFF

I wasn’t expecting this documentary about the Melbourne suburban and Victorian rural sect The Family and leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne to pack such an emotional wallop. It begins as a blow-by-blow retelling of the investigation into the cult in the 80s and takes a while to build a coherent story but ends as a devastating insight into the repercussions for the children involved and the inability of investigators to breach the protective wall of privilege around the cult to obtain justice. Continue reading

Lovesong (2016)

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Image via MIFF

Lovesong is one of the films I missed at MIFF and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival has given me another chance to see it. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but I loved this sparse, quiet tale of the significant loves we have in our lives and what steers our choices. Continue reading

Paris 05.59: Théo and Hugo (2016)

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Image via MIFF

This Melbourne Queer Film Festival screening was my third attempt to see this film; booked at MIFF but sacrificed for tiredness, waiting for half an hour at Cinema Nova yesterday before it was cancelled due to a technical hitch and then rescheduled today. I’m glad I hung in there; it was a beautiful film that pulled me into a world both foreign and familiar.  Continue reading

The Family Fang (2016)

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Some films have great potential; an unexpected premise, a storyline that raises challenging questions and a direction that could take you down one or more interesting paths. The Family Fang, the second feature film directed by actor Jason Bateman, is such a film. Camille and Caleb Fang are avant-garde performance artists who only hesitate momentarily when they become parents, quickly incorporating their children Annie and Baxter into their performances. Their aim is to upset the status quo and watch as innocent participants become drawn into their elaborately orchestrated social mischief. Continue reading

The films I missed

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You might think that seeing 61 films was enough but I have a list of films from MIFF that I missed and still want to see. Some I am just curious about, others I heard good reviews from friends or through the MIFF social media feeds. Some are in release now – Tickled, Sunset Song, I am Not a Serial Killer – and some are coming up in the next few months at the Nova – The Eagle Huntress, Ella. I’m sure that there will be quite a few that don’t get a release but I’ll keep an eye out for them. Continue reading

MIFF wrap up

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Sigh. Done for another year and it’s taken me two weeks to recover. My strategy of booking 75 or so films so that I could trim out a few kind of worked. I ended up seeing 61 films over the 16 days but that was perhaps just a few too many. It was so hard to not see a film – what if it was the film of the festival! – and there were a few that I was so tired in, my eyes may have closed once or twice. Next year I think I’ll make sure I have better breaks between films and perhaps not keep chasing that elusive film that blows me away. Yeah, right. Continue reading