What to see at MIFF 2012

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Dinner & a movie: Where to eat @ MIFF2012

If you know me or follow my Twitter you know that I am a film-fiend. Friday was the release date for the Melbourne International Film Festival Program and Twitter has been a-flutter with people trying to decide what to see and what might be worth missing.  So if you are thinking about seeing just one, a few or signed up for full membership you have some big decisions to make. Having been to the London FF, Sydney FF and Melbourne FF – I have always opted for the eMini-Pass – 10 tickets to your choice of films for $150. This makes it cheaper than seeing any film in town.

I have been through the guide with a fine-toothed comb and wanted to suggest a few recommendations that may otherwise get lost in the mix.  But I also want to hear of anything you are seeing as I will always go over the quota of 10 and there is always the spur of the moment films too. Book quickly as they do sell out fast.

Opening & Closing night

I tend to give both opening and closing night a wide berth, as these are films that will inevitably end up at the cinemas.  For good lists of films that already have a release date or a distributer I suggest checking Melbourne Gastronome’s latest post to strike some from the list.

Directors Chair

Big directors getting asked the big questions.  John Safran will be hosting a Q&A with the director of The Ambassador (sounds Great). See the director of Beasts of the Southern Wild that is already many critics’ film of the year so far.

And I implore anyone with a wickedly dark sense of humor to see Bobcat Goldthwait in conversation with Peter Helliar. You may not know the name but he is the crazy recruit from the Police Academy films who is now a director of films that are complete black comedy.  I have triple booked myself so can’t get along and am gutted – for a taste check out this podcast.

Charles Dickens

Spending a decent chunk of years in London I am always keen to learn about its past and future. This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dickens don’t you know. If you too are keen WordMonkey (an English Rose) has suggested Dickens: Crime Fiction & Filmpresented by the Wheeler Centre.

International Panorama

This year it’s a bit hit and miss and many already have an Aussie release date but these may be worth your time:


Apparently outstanding European filmmakers. Nothing grabbed my attention this year.  But I would be willing to see the following if I had the chance:

Australian Showcase

Until someone has made a film better than The Castle since The Castle I give this program a wide berth.

Accent on Asia

The thing I love about Asian and most European films is that they don’t follow story like most other big filmmaking nations. You usually have no idea where they are going or how it will end which makes them that much more exciting – the hero doesn’t always get the girl and relationships don’t end up being roses and cream.

Takashi Miike – Cult Film Director has a number of films showing:

If I could see all his films I would.

Street Level Visions

Trying to break free of China’s tight control of film there are some interesting documentaries:


My favourite category this year – and one that you cannot go past to learn about things you thought you were never interested in.  I implore you to add at least one doco to your MIFF2012 list:


If you like beats and tunes then this is the category for you. Interesting to see that the Paul Simon doco that was promised in the lead up to MIFF hasn’t shown up…:

Through the Labyrinth: New Latin American Cinema

I love me a South American film – beautiful cinematography and stories you won’t find from any other country:

Facing North: Swedish Cinema in Focus

With The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo being such a hit and the TV series The Killing making good headway, there is now a focus on Sweden – with good reason:

Night Shift

My second favourite section. These are films that have played to midnight screenings at Film Festivals around the world – especially the Austin Film Fest – where you either make it or die by heckling.  Usually with a horror element – some of these play at 11.30 pm – so do dinner, get some drinks then settle in for a scare:

So there you have it. Try and get a shortlist out of those. I would love to hear what you are seeing.  If you want any other information or help with planning do let me know – otherwise I will see you in the line.


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