Thursday, August 14, 2008

From Drought to Flood

With MIFF over and still recovering from festival fatigue, it's hard to believe that until recently we've been starved of cinema releases for the best part of three months. It seems the distributors have been anxiously awaiting the end of the east coast major festivals and now the flood gates are opening. There's no shortage of new releases, several of which have screened at the recent festivals.

Coming up in the next few weeks are: Redbelt (David Mamet), The Visitor (Thomas McCarthy, director of The Station Agent), Katusha (Igor Grabovsky), Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi; I'm planning to take the family to see this tomorrow), Son of a Lion (Benjamin Gilmour), My Blueberry Nights (Wong Kar-Wai), (yes, the MIFF-opener by Mark Hartley), Not Quite Hollywood, In Bruges (Martin McDonagh), Welcome to the Sticks (Dany Boon), Funny Games (Michael Haneke), Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman; this is one title I'm looking forward to, an animated documentary I planned to see during MIFF, but decided to wait when I learnt it was getting a release), Caramel (Nadine Labaki), (Andrew Stanton; not exactly arthouse, but I'm keen to take the kid to see it) and Blindness (Fernando Meirelles). All these are just what looks to me like the pick of releases for the next month or so.

There's the Malaysian Film Festival at ACMI (15-18 Aug), The Israeli Film Festival at Palace Como and Brighton Bay (1-7 Sep) and The Indian Film Festival at the Nova (3-17 Sep). The Indian festival looks like it's stepping outside of the usual Bollywood melodrama musical action romantic dramas (usually rolled into each film) and giving us some serious cinema with a retrospective of Satyajit Ray's films (thanks to Lynden Barber at Eyes Wired Open for the heads up).

There's the AFI Screenings, free but only for AFI members, screening at ACMI (5-28 Sep); ACMI's Focus on Jim Henson (4-14 Sep) and also a number of films connected with Yves St. Laurent (1-7 Sep), and the Italian Film Festival at Palace Balwyn, Como and Westgarth and at the Kino (17 Sep - 5 Oct).

But wait, there's more. There's the Melbourne Cinémathèque seasons on Fritz Lang (20 Aug - 3 Sep) and Cinema '68 (17 Sep - 15 Oct). Cteq is also screening (10 Sep) La maman et la putain (The Mother & the Whore, Jean Eustache, France, 1973), a film I've been wanting to see for a long time. ACMI is continuing with the Focus on Ozploitation that started at MIFF with some titles that didn't screen as part of the festival retrospective: Kung Fu Killers, Howling III and The Naked Bunyip. ACMI is also screening Obscene (21-24 Aug), a documentary about my favourite director, simply called Lynch (25 - 28 Sep) and FW Murnau's Faust (11 Oct) with a live score.

There's even more, but where do you stop? Us Melbournians certainly have no cause to complain as we'll be drowning in cinema for many weeks to come.


Gala Hallelujah said...

Hi! been a reader for a while. Your film snap shot of Melbourne is indispensable as ever.

great update - i'm glad that distribution has finally opened up a bit - its raining nearly as much as it is outside.

The next couple of months have me really regretting other commitments on wednesdays - that is some really great programming over at cinemateque.

Paul Martin said...

Thanks for your comments, GH. And good luck with your blog. I note your interest in textiles, which I share, and used to make clothes myself (though not for over ten years now - I don't have the time).