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MIFF 2017

THE REVIEWS

LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
30th July 2017

Get excited for this year's Melbourne International Film Festival! With a huge range of films and other events taking over Melbourne, film lovers and cinema goers will find something to whet their appetite.

Take a look through SWITCH's reviews and start putting together your must-see list! We'll be updating this page daily as new reviews come to hand, so check back throughout the festival for new reviews.

Patti Cake$ - Off track
PATTI CAKE$
The best thing here is Danielle Macdonald, who has the presence and charisma to pull off her white female rapper character. Still, the formulaic material has been executed more impressively.
Roller Dreams - The retro roots of roller skating
ROLLER DREAMS
What starts as a nostalgic look back at a joyous time and place that transformed lives and a humble beach quickly becomes a sad tale of racism.
Brigsby Bear - Paws-itively pure, authentic joy
BRIGSBY BEAR
It’s so beautifully nuanced and performed that it’s not until you leave the cinema with a huge grin on your face that the film’s layers start to reveal themselves in the most warming way.
Ellipsis - Fails to come full circle
ELLIPSIS
This improvised film is clearly the workings of an actor trying to separate himself from his career in front of the camera. ‘Ellipsis’ has its charms, but is neither original nor the best of its kind.
Spoor - A dark thriller with bite
SPOOR
It’s a particularly twisted film, growing from a defenceless wolf cub into a vicious, vengeant creature. Back an animal in a corner, and it will fight back. ‘Spoor’ strikes with all its might.
Insyriated - Escaping war within a personal prison
INSYRIATED
For a film that exists inside such a small setting, ‘Insyriated’ is a big film. As disturbing as it may be, it’s remarkably powerful and a strong piece of work from director/writer Philippe Van Leeuw.
Afterimage - Reality askew
AFTERIMAGE
For viewers and those inspired by Strzeminski and Wadja's work, this film serves as a lasting afterimage of their artistic legacy.
Liberation Day - The sound of music
LIBERATION DAY
‘Liberation Day’ is a revelatory experience, a truly captivating documentary about a part of our world rarely seen, and the Westerners who tried to bring in a touch of nonconformity.
PACmen - The rise and fall of Ben Carson
PACMEN
As Donald Trump is wont to say, "America does not like losers," and Walker mines comedy gold with ‘PACmen’ by illustrating why Ben Carson was exactly that.
Newton - Dark political comedy a winning formula
NEWTON
A fine example of a political satire. Its black humour comes with meaningful messages, and sheds light on issues which trouble India. For a positive reaction, ‘Newton’ is definitely a winning formula.
Pop Aye - Not your normal road trip movie
POP AYE
'Pop Aye' offers a glimpse inside the true Thailand, with an endearing story about a man and his elephant trying to find their place in the world.
Phantom Boy - An affecting animation full of warmth
PHANTOM BOY
There’s a great warmth to the film, with the animation splashed with bright colours and a wealth of humour. ‘Phantom Boy’ will give you shivers, but in the best possible way.
78/52 - A blow-by-blow account of 'Psycho's' shower scene
78/52
‘78/52’ starts out by looking at the climate that produced ‘Psycho’, Hitchcock’s motivation for making it, and continues until it reaches those iconic few minutes that changed the course of cinema.
That's Not Me - A marvel of indie ingenuity
THAT'S NOT ME
‘That’s Not Me’ is a marvel of indie ingenuity, with dollops of charm and confident direction. Shot over nine months for $60k, this film looks and sounds like a million bucks.
Spookers - A real horror show
SPOOKERS
‘Spookers’ interweaves a lot of different stories into one entertaining piece, but it’s not the horror that truly fascinates - it’s the people.
Blade Of The Immortal - Gloriously violent
BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL
‘Blade of the Immortal’ is a thrilling, complex and hugely fun action film. If this is the standard of Takashi Miike 100 films into his career as a director, I hope he gets to make 100 more.
Waiting For Giraffes - A tall order
WAITING FOR GIRAFFES
Despite the hardship, the team persevere with their goals, and it’s hard not to want them to succeed. By the end, you’ll be rooting for them too - and amazed at the impossible zoo they have forged.
The Belko Experiment - Dull and forgettable
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT
This film exists simply to cash-in on James Gunn’s current success via one of his old, discarded ideas. Unoriginal and rather boring, the script should have remained lodged beneath Gunn’s couch.
The Void - Filled with gory, stylish horror
THE VOID
‘The Void’ is an impressive production not just for an indie film, but for a modern horror movie in a category crowded with high-budget slop.
Maudie - A gentle and loving portrait of a inspiring artist
MAUDIE
It’s hard not to be charmed by ‘Maudie’. Sally Hawkins is radiant as Maud, and her work in this film will hopefully continue to build her reputation. Aisling Walsh has crafted a gem with this film.
God's Own Country - A miracle of a film
GOD'S OWN COUNTRY
‘God’s Own Country’ is a miracle of a film, a quiet masterpiece that holds you enraptured from beginning to end by its beauty and its humanity.
Jungle - A true story told poorly
JUNGLE
Though the cast is charismatic and eager, and the story is astonishing, this is a disappointingly limp affair. While it tells the tale with clarity, it forgets to be a film in the process.
Call Me By Your Name - Beautiful beyond words
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Luca Guadagnino has made a film of enormous humanity, a statement on the nature of love that sends shockwaves through you, especially with the powerhouse performance from Timothée Chalamet.
Good Time - A scuzzy and propulsive odyssey
GOOD TIME
It is exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure, but the underlying humanism of the Safdies’ dark and unflinching world view means that buried underneathis a jittery, frantically beating heart.
Revolution of Sound. Tangerine Dream - A salute to the 80s synth maestros
REVOLUTION OF SOUND. TANGERINE DREAM
While ‘Revolution of Sound. Tangerine Dream’ is less engaging than it could have been, it is still fascinating viewing, particularly for film and music buffs.
A Quiet Dream - A quirky, beautiful urban comedy
A QUIET DREAM
Some mild touches of fantasy contribute to a mood of dreamy melancholy in this quirky, bittersweet and rather beautiful urban comedy.
A Life In Waves - An electronic music innovator
A LIFE IN WAVES
‘A Life in Waves’ continues Whitcomb’s admirable quest to shine a light on the untold stories of inspirational women who blazed a trail. This is an essential documentary for fans of electronic music.
Jupiter's Moon - Defies gravity
JUPITER'S MOON
It's an overwhelming experience that’s remarkable, nuanced and elegant. This is film as both art and entertainment melded together, fascinating and unparalleled in its story and storytelling methods.
The Butterfly Tree - A slice of Aussie cinema
THE BUTTERFLY TREE
Priscilla Cameron has crafted an emotional, stylised and slightly fantastical story about three people’s relationship with love, loss and each other.
The Square - A dazzling piece of cinematic invention
THE SQUARE
'The Square’ is a masterful piece of cinema, preposterously funny and endlessly strange, culminating in moments of genuine awe.
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer - Revenge most bizarre
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
This is another indulgently outlandish offering from a director unafraid to cross lines and toy with taboos. The film is slick, smart and self-assured - the best kind of barbarous cinema.
Faces Places - The empathy engine
FACES PLACES
Reinforcing the ability of art and artists to form connections and provide windows into the lives of people who are just like us, and also not at all, this is a moving tribute to the act of creation.
Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience - Malick's vision of life itself
VOYAGE OF TIME: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE
There were moments that took my breath away, images that spoke very deeply to our connection with the natural world. This is the chance to celebrate Terrence Malick's skill as a visual storyteller.
Happy End - Michael Haneke's puzzling social allegory
HAPPY END
This puzzle-box doesn’t make it easy for you, and like many of Michael Haneke's films, your response will likely be complex. He wants you to be provoked, pushed and bamboozled by it.
Hello, Goodbye - Emotional, watchable
HELLO, GOODBYE
While the film doesn’t reinvent the wheel, if you are seeking a simple story that is elegantly told, imminently watchable, and may require a box of tissues to catch some excess eye moisture.
Tokyo Idols - J-pop obsessions and fandom
TOKYO IDOLS
A few unanswered questions aside, ‘Tokyo Idols’ is a very strange, amusing, and uncomfortable look into a particularly odd facet of modern Japanese culture.
In This Corner Of The World - A heartbreaking and beautiful animated film
IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD
Katabuchi’s previous anime films are better known in the West among anime nerds - but the incredibly moving and sobering ‘In This Corner of the World’ should be the film to change that.
The Challenge - An epic struggle against drowsiness
THE CHALLENGE
As amazing as everything looks and sounds, ‘The Challenge’ is quite boring. Most scenes are long and dreamy, but they also tend to be repetitive and boy, do they drag on.
The Ornithologist - Let madness take flight
THE ORNITHOLOGIST
‘The Ornithologist’ is about losing yourself in the wild, only to find yourself. Venturing down twisting pathways, it drags us on a preposterous adventure through the darkest parts of the mind.
FAST FACTS
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