Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mister Lonely comes to Melbourne

Oh, exciting news indeed, hot off the MIFF press just a few minutes ago. Festival director Richard Moore promised to bring some of the highlights of Cannes 2007 to this year's Melbourne International Film Festival, and he appears to have landed quite a few tasty morsels. Of particular interest to at least one reader from Sydney is that Harmony Korine's Mister Lonely, which was not programmed for the Sydney Film Festival is getting a screening at MIFF. HH, pack your bags.

Other highlights include the Palme d'Or winner, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Hours (Cristian Mungiu, Romania), Grand Prix winner, Mourning Forest (Naomi Kawase, Japan), Breath (Kim Ki-duk, Korea), The Man From London (Bela Tarr, France/Germany/Hungary/UK, in Hungarian) and others.

The press release is below and will probably appear on the MIFF website some time during the day. The full MIFF program will be announced on 20 June.

MIFF runs from 25 July to 12 August 2007.


MELBOURNE, Wednesday 13, June 2007 – The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is excited to announce the inclusion of several key titles that premiered at the this year’s Cannes Film Festival. "We pride ourselves on bringing Melbourne audiences the best and most challenging cinema from around the world - this year’s audience is in for some thrills. You'd better book now" said Executive Director Richard Moore.

Winner of the prestigious Palm d’Or prize, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Hours (Romania) will be having its Australian Premiere at MIFF. Cristian Mungiu’s film is set in Romania, during the final days of Communism and is a harrowing tale of the grim lengths to which two young women will go to end an unwelcome pregnancy.

Also in MIFF that screened in competition at Cannes and winner of the Grand Prix is Naomi Kawase’s Mourning Forest, a stirring Japanese film about death and grief; Alexandra (Russia) - Alexander Sokurov’s subtly political film featuring a performance of monumental depth by opera legend Galina Vishnevskaya. The film is about Alexandra (Vishnevskaya), who visits her grandson at his base camp where she discovers a whole new world and a path to communicate with the local residents. MIFF veteran Kim Ki-duk returns to the festival with his new film Breath (South Korea), an enthralling tale of what can result from spousal infidelity. Bela Tarr’s Man From London is a homage to film noir - a man witnesses a murder and his life takes a sudden turn, forced to come face to face with issues of morality, sin and punishment.

From the Director’s Fortnight, MIFF will screen Anton Corbijn’s Control (UK), the much anticipated feature film about the life and death of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the legendary post-punk rock band, Joy Division; and Zoo (USA), Robinson Devor’s documentary that investigates an incident that occurred in the US in 2005, which uncovered a secret community of zoophiles – or ‘zoos’. Tom Kalin’s Savage Grace (USA) is a glimpse into the lives of the rich, peripatetic heirs of the Bakelite plastics fortune.

From Un Certain Regard, MIFF will be screening Yang Li’s Blind Mountain (China) and tells the brutal story of college student, Bai Xuemei, who is sold as a “wife” in a remote rural village where she is raped and beaten. Harmony Korine's fable Mister Lonely is an enchanting tale of a young man who wishes he were someone else and how he finds a community of like-minded fantasists.

Volker Schlondorff’s (The Tin Drum, Palme d’Or winner 1979) Ulzhan (France) screened as a Special Screening (Out of Competition) at Cannes. When Frenchman, Charles, goes on a mysterious personal quest to Kazakhstan, he meets the beautiful and alluring Ulzhan who helps him find what he is so desperately searching for.

Andrey Nekrasov's Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case (Russia) was also a Special Screening at Cannes and is a memorial to the former Russian intelligence agent who died in a London hospital in November 2006, the world's first known victim of poisoning by polonium-210, a highly radioactive substance.

Yo (Spain) is the first feature film by Spanish filmmaker Rafa Cortés and won the “Revelation of the Year" award at a special screening during the International Critics' Week in Cannes. It’s a story of a man who, feeling accused of something he hasn't done, sets out to prove an innocence nobody questions. Every attempt to correct this mistake leads him closer to the real problem: himself. Winner of the Camera d’Or Award, Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen’s Jellyfish (Israel) and is a portrait of a messy world in which everyone scrapes by as best they can, looking for love, for something to remember or to forget.

Screening Out of Competition and screening in MIFF is Michael Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart, starring Angelina Jolie as the wife of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl.

The BigPond MIFF shorts programme will include Mark Albiston’s Run (NZ), which received a special mention; Grzegorz Jonkajtys’ animated Ark (Poland) and Andrs Baiz’s Bonfire (Colombia) which screened at the Director’s Fortnight.

Full details of the program will be released on Wednesday June 20th.


trent said...

Do you know when individual tickets go on sale Paul? I'm looking at the Mini Pass but I just don't think it's possible for me.

Paul Martin said...

Trent, MIFF tickets go on sale on July 13, the same day that the programme is distributed through the Age newspaper.

Matt Riviera said...

Ha! Now I'm even more excited about coming to MIFF. There's always a little overlap with SFF but this bummper Cannes crop makes me glad I bought a plane ticket to Melbourne!

trent said...

thanks for letting me know paul. this is already looking like an even better festival than sydney, very pleasing.

Paul Martin said...

I look forward to seeing our Sydney 'neighbours' for the festival. It seems like Richard Moore is keen to stamp his mark on the festival. He obviously has his ideas on improvements, and let's see how this year's festival unfolds.