Girl (2018)

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Image via screenworlds.co.uk

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For anyone feeling that “this gender thing has gone too far”, this low-key, intense Belgian drama about a 15 year old girl, born with the body of a boy and trying to be herself, may go some way to help you understand. Continue reading

Capharnaüm (2018)

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Image via miff.com.au

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This memorable feature from Nadine Labaki seems to provoke love or hate. Cast with predominantly non-actors, it is for the most part an extraordinary film that shows the awful reality of the life of Syrian children well below the poverty line in Lebanon. Continue reading

Three Faces (2018)

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Image via miff.com.au

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Jafar Panahi is not one of my favourite Iranian directors. His self-conscious self-referential technique of centring his films around his persona as a director has always kept me at a distance from his films, although I understand the relevance given his 20-year travel and directing ban. Three Faces follows this same style but, for the first time, I felt he kept himself to the margins of the story and let the real star, Behnaz Jafari, shine. Continue reading

The King (2017)

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Image via miff.com.au

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This masterful and emotionally-engaging documentary begins as a journey through the key places and moments in the life of Elvis Presley, from Tupelo to Memphis, Nashville, New York and finally Las Vegas. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki drives around in Elvis’s Rolls-Royce and passengers join him, some telling stories of being Elvis’s friend, neighbour or fellow churchgoer, some famous faces talking about celebrity and politics, others just playing a tune. Continue reading

The Rider (2017)

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Image via miff.com.au

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I tried to keep my expectations low for this quiet and cinematic meditation on masculinity and rodeo riders. I only booked it because of recommendations from fellow MIFF tweeters and it’s often a mistake to expect too much (First Reformed (2017) is a good example of this). It took a little while to settle into the pace and the slight awkwardness of non-professional actors but once I did, I was hopelessly lost in its beauty and pathos. Continue reading