Melbourne International Film Festival Has Revealed Its First 2018 Films

The first 32 films of the mammoth August film festival include Australian premieres, highly recommended docos, and Cannes and Sundance winners.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 30, 2018

This year's Melbourne International Film Festival might still be months away, but that doesn't mean you can't start getting excited now. The August event won't reveal its full lineup until early July, but it has unveiled a 32-title sneak peek of flicks that you should start pencilling into your diary — including a direct-from-Sundance and Cannes selection for opening night.

The 2018 fest will get underway with the Australian premiere of Wildlife. The directorial debut of actor Paul Dano, the 60s-set film features Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal and Aussie up-and-comer Ed Oxenbould. And it's just one of MIFF's high-profile inclusions, with the program also featuring Sundance top prize-winner The Miseducation of Cameron Post, with Chloë Grace Moretz; exceptional crime thriller You Were Never Really Here, complete with a knockout performance by Joaquin Phoenix; and the Ethan Hawke-starring First Reformed, where he plays a priest struggling with his faith. Hawke also directs biopic Blaze, which won his star Benjamin Dickey Sundance's best actor award.

Other highlights include documentary The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man, which delves into the many tales surrounding everyone's favourite celebrity, and fellow doco United Skates, a Tribeca audience award-winner that explores the African-American roller rink scene. Or, there's also the rightfully acclaimed Angels Wear White, about corruption and abuse in China, plus a wordless 55-minute virtual reality film from slow-cinema auteur Tsai Ming-liang, called The Deserted. Drama Tigers Are Not Afraid turns the Mexican drug war into a horror fairytale, and British crime effort Beast combines a love story with psychosexual thrills, while Bodied dives into the world of battle rap — in a fictional collaboration between director Joseph Kahn and producer Eminem.

Films about designer Steve McQueen, musician M.I.A. and boy band fandom also feature, as do all six episodes of new Aussie TV series Mr Inbetween, which follows on from local 2005 mockumentary The Magician. Throw in new movies by excellent international directors — Berlinale hit Transit, from Phoenix's Christian Petzold; historical fiction Zama, the long-awaited next feature from Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel; and Let the Corpses Tan, by French genre standouts Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (Amer, The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears) — and you probably already have too many titles to choose from. MIFF's complete 2018 program is set to include a couple of hundred films across more than 500 screenings.

The Melbourne International Film Festival runs from August 2 to 19. For more information, visit the MIFF website — and check back on July 10, when the full program is announced.

Published on May 30, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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