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259 feature films. 19 days. 1 city. The 2019 Melbourne International Film Festival was a huge success - check out our reviews here!x
OUR CONTRIBUTORS
JAKE WATT
Jake has a background in journalism but, after some time working at a newspaper on NSW's Central Coast, he relocated from Newcastle to Sydney and segued into marketing and content roles. A lifelong pop culture fan, rumor has it that he sleeps on a giant treasure trove of books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and comics.

TOP 3 ARTISTS: PJ Harvey, Beastie Boys, Madlib
TOP 3 MOVIES: Strangers On A Train, Hangin' With The Homeboys, Aliens
BEST CONCERT: The National at the Sydney Opera House in 2014
FIRST MEMORY OF A FILM: Being terrified by the prologue of Ralph Bakshi's animated film, The Lord of the Rings (1978). The music, the voiceover and the live-action silhouettes against a blood-red backdrop were four minutes of pure nightmare fuel for an overly imaginative child.

jake@maketheswitch.com.au
www.twitter.com/JakeChatty

Ray & Liz - Not your typical
RAY & LIZNot your typical "poverty porn" flick
It may be dour, but it's also vital, edgy and progressive. This drama crackles with angry energy, and reflects how grim life really was and still can be for large parts of the population.
Okko's Inn - A gentle tale of ghosts and human kindness
OKKO'S INNA gentle tale of ghosts and human kindness
An exceptionally gentle exploration of death, trauma and simple human kindness (as well as Japanese culture) that's charming and effective at pleasing its young audience.
Extra Ordinary - Just plain old ordinary
EXTRA ORDINARYJust plain old ordinary
At its best, the film is alive with light humour and a clumsy romance. But it's too uneven - with a wonky tone, hit-and-miss jokes and annoying acting - to be anything more than merely ordinary.
Memory: The Origins of Alien - Three Men and a Xenomorph
MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIENThree Men and a Xenomorph
A comprehensive look at the three men who created 'Alien' and the influences which bled together into a masterpiece.
The Seer and the Unseen - Elves and environmentalism under the Northern Lights
THE SEER AND THE UNSEENElves and environmentalism under the Northern Lights
A documentary that looks past the beauty of Iceland to see the life of one extraordinary environmentalist and her struggle against the mindless wheels of bureaucracy under the Northern Lights.
Carmine Street Guitars - Heartfelt #GuitarPorn
CARMINE STREET GUITARSHeartfelt #GuitarPorn
The most enjoyable music documentary of the year. The genuine passion for guitars and music felt by all the participants in the film reverberates out of the screen and into the hearts of the audience.
Monos - A hypnagogic mix of teen angst and warfare
MONOSA hypnagogic mix of teen angst and warfare
This film is a mood, an aesthetic, an idea; a sensory cinematic experience more than a story.
Scheme Birds - A gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
SCHEME BIRDSA gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
This documentary exudes compassion for its subjects and finds a few glimmers of hopefulness among the debris. It’s hard not to become attached to these “scheme birds” as they spread their wings.
The Australian Dream - The conversation Australia needs to have
THE AUSTRALIAN DREAMThe conversation Australia needs to have
Watch this documentary and talk about it. We need to re-evaluate how we acted during this extremely recent period of our history, and forge a better way forward.
The Scoundrels - Fun, fast-paced action-thrills from Taiwan
THE SCOUNDRELSFun, fast-paced action-thrills from Taiwan
Your Face - A contemplative portrait of ageing
YOUR FACEA contemplative portrait of ageing
A film that creates portraits in time, taking time to find the beauty in the normalcy of life.
The Art of Incarceration - A portrait of culture and identity
THE ART OF INCARCERATIONA portrait of culture and identity
The film presents the audience with some jaw-dropping statistics and goes on to complement them with the perspective of prisoners and former inmates.
One Last Deal - A touching tale of final chances
ONE LAST DEALA touching tale of final chances
This isn’t simply a film about redemption and last chances. It's a slow-moving detective story and a touching drama that demonstrates how the bonds of family can still be healed.
XY Chelsea - An intimate look at a political activitist
XY CHELSEAAn intimate look at a political activitist
An intimate look at the very complex identity of Chelsea Manning who did what she thought was the right thing in releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks, despite the dire consequences.
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
As a unique historical fantasy film coming out of India, ‘Tumbbad’ is a triumph for the filmmakers and a high-point for Hindi horror cinema.
Waiting: The Van Duren Story - A crowd-pleasing journey of rediscovery
WAITING: THE VAN DUREN STORYA crowd-pleasing journey of rediscovery
Maybe it’s the scrappiness of the filmmakers, the curiosity they exude, or their rapport with the musicians, but this is an interesting and unusually heartwarming feature documentary.
Zoo - Toothless and shambling
ZOOToothless and shambling
It only takes one good and original zombie film to breathe new life into the genre that refuses to die and make us believe in the walking dead once more. ‘Zoo’ is not this film.
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
HAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
A sometimes thoughtful meditation on growing older that will keep you entertained while reminding you that emotional life does not end or become less complicated once you reach your autumn years.
Black '47 - A bleak historical revenge Western
BLACK '47A bleak historical revenge Western
An exploration of a gruelling period in Irish history, the film toys with notions of ethics in an amoral world in the first portrayal of the Great Famine on the big screen.
Dragged Across Concrete - A hypnotically violent and excessive crime flick
DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETEA hypnotically violent and excessive crime flick
Even at 160 minutes and with ample dialogue, it's not once tedious or dull. It’s the ‘Before Sunrise’ of dirty cop films. Genuinely thrilling, ugly, bleak, brutal and vile in the best ways possible.
Come to Daddy - A morbidly amusing genre mash-up
COME TO DADDYA morbidly amusing genre mash-up
A film for people who laugh when they see somebody walk into a glass door, then laugh even harder when they notice that the person got a bloody nose. A delightful and unexpected highlight.
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
CHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
This film epitomises the risk that filmmakers take with adapting a long-running or ongoing manga - a vast amount of material has to be peeled back to the core essentials..
I Am Mother - Finally, a great Netflix sci-fi film
I AM MOTHERFinally, a great Netflix sci-fi film
Not only is it by far the best science fiction film to emerge from among the multitude of Netflix Originals, but cult gem status surely beckons.
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
PARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
An engrossing, stylish and near perfect movie. Though he is often juggling a mosaic of characters, themes and social issues, Bong Joon-ho never eschews his anarchic impulses and dark humour.
The Final Quarter - Tackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
THE FINAL QUARTERTackling a shameful chapter in AFL history
The booing of Adam Goodes started after he took a stand on racism. The events depicted in ‘The Final Quarter’ should be regretted deeply, both for his sake and ours.
Varda by Agnès - The final film of a French New Wave legend
VARDA BY AGNÈSThe final film of a French New Wave legend
It allows the audience to watch a legend of cinema take stock of her life’s work and share some last bits of wisdom.
The Nightingale - A blunt and brutal period piece
THE NIGHTINGALEA blunt and brutal period piece
This is not an easy film to watch and certainly not one to expect to come out of feeling terrific. But it will make you will feel something, which is a rare thing for a film to be able to do today.
Shooting the Mafia - An interesting but unclear picture
SHOOTING THE MAFIAAn interesting but unclear picture
The film never quite brings together the determined woman and her trailblazing work into a coherent portrait. It's is an interesting but disjointed look at one of the great photographers of our time.
Tito and the Birds - A flight of imagination
TITO AND THE BIRDSA flight of imagination
With a script that is as richly textured as the artwork, ‘Tito and the Birds’ is a moving and human story that boasts a big heart and reminds us that we aren’t alone in the troubles we face.
Never Look Away - An artistic and spiritual epic
NEVER LOOK AWAYAn artistic and spiritual epic
The rare kind of work where politics, history, art and love collide into an almost operatic crescendo. Like the title suggests, it’s riveting viewing.
Kursk - When tragedy and bureaucracy collide
KURSKWhen tragedy and bureaucracy collide
Moments of suspense are abound but not abundant. This isn't a traditional "submarine movie", but the themes of bureaucratic interference and media manipulation are more relevant than ever today.
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
SCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
A jaw-dropping look at one of the many new businesses designed to help women get ahead in Russia.
Farewell to the X-Men - Looking back at the first and best superhero universe
FAREWELL TO THE X-MENLooking back at the first and best superhero universe
The X-Men Cinematic Universe showcased dynamic, distinct characters. The movies are more insightful and inclusive, and still say more about the genre as a whole than any other superhero property.
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - The man behind the jazz legend
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOLThe man behind the jazz legend
By humanising a musical genius, we end up with an engrossing, hilarious, informative and heartbreaking look at the Miles Davis that music fans thought they knew.
A Dog Called Money - An uneven mix of music, imagery and poetry
A DOG CALLED MONEYAn uneven mix of music, imagery and poetry
An intriguing snapshot of PJ Harvey’s creative process, but little else. It's less of a portrait of an artist or a travelogue and more of an outline of the relationship between poetry and imagery
What Doesn't Kill Us - A touching drama for romantics
WHAT DOESN'T KILL USA touching drama for romantics
Squarely aimed at an older audience of incurable romantics, the film occasionally succumbs to sentimentality and hinges strongly on a sense of hopefulness while showing how broken certain people are.
The Captain - Horror, nihilism and dark humour
THE CAPTAINHorror, nihilism and dark humour
A thoughtful, brutal and morbidly amusing study of the corrupting nature of power and the rise of evil, with questions that remain painfully relevant.
Styx - An intense nautical morality tale
STYXAn intense nautical morality tale
'Styx' reminds us of the plight of refugees who risk everything, and the damage caused by bureaucracy and by-the-book policy. A nail-biting drama that is superbly executed and exceedingly timely.
The Wind - A paranoid Western nightmare
THE WINDA paranoid Western nightmare
Horror Westerns are incredibly hard to accomplish, and director Emma Tammi’s boldness and imagination makes ‘The Wind’ a spooky breath of fresh air.
Apollo 11 - A transcendent journey to the Moon
APOLLO 11A transcendent journey to the Moon
This feels more like a time-travelling thriller and less like a conventional documentary. We're not so much hearing what happened in the past as seeing it happen before our eyes.
25 km/h - A supremely easygoing German comedy
25 KM/HA supremely easygoing German comedy
The postcard-perfect cinematography beautifully shows off and contrasts locations, and it’s impossible to resist the charm offensive of a strong cast and a script laced with life truisms.
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