Here is my final batch of MIFF 2013 recommendations before the festival kicks off. Don’t forget to check out part 1 and part 2, and I hope my thoughts on the films below are helpful. In fact, you could do a lot worse than seeing the first three films on this list, which make a sort of unofficial indie trilogy about 20-somethings adrift in three of the greatest cities in the world (after Melbourne of course):
This energetic celebration of friendship and the awkwardness of modern life provides one of the most joyous cinema experiences in years. A feel-good film with substance and integrity.
A formally playful French indie about love, friendship and the dramas of life, which uses its self-awareness to draw in the viewer rather than distance them.
The deadpan humour and mild absurdism of this film set over 24 hours in the life of an aimless young man living in Berlin, becomes a deeply moving film about collective memory.
An expertly made and powerful commentary on social inequality in modern day China, told through four overlapping stories with violent resolutions.
An unsettling school drama set in Kazakhstan about a boy bullied by another student with ties to an organised extortion ring. This slow burn film undermines expectations, plays with audience sympathies and sparingly uses dream sequences to powerful effect.
The realism in this film about a Danish boat captured by Somali pirates delivers a fascinating insight into hostage negotiations as well as delivering a tense thriller.
A heartfelt, in-depth and entertaining documentary about Harris Glenn Milstead and his alter-ego Devine; muse to John Waters and counter-culture/queer icon.
An end-of-the-world thriller/drama featuring a man attempting to get to a hedonistic party to spend his remaining time on the planet in a state of ignorant bliss. However, he discovers that there could be better ways to use what little time he has left in this constantly surprising and highly accomplished new Australian film.
A sobering documentary about a hate crime murder committed in a classroom and the subsequent trial, which raises issues concerning community culpability, marginalisation of LGBTI youth, how intolerance escalates into violence and victim blaming.
Another film to examine school violence and persecution, but with the twist of having the main character – a bullied loner who foolishly publishes online a cathartic revenge story – getting falsely accused of planning a high school massacre.
From the films I’ve seen so far I also recommend people check out Ilo Ilo, A World Not Ours and Twisted Trunk, Big Fat Body. I also had a lot of fun watching I Declare War, Patrick, Lesson of the Evil and Rewind This! And I really urge people to go to at least one or two of the Short Film Packages.
Finally, there are a number of films I’m really hoping to see during the festival and some of those are Leviathan, 3x3D, Omar, Like Father, Like Son, Ginger and Rosa, The Dance of Reality, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Bastards, The Pervert‘s Guide to Ideology and pretty much everything in the Shining Violence: Italian Giallo section.
Have a great MIFF!