If you're already feeling like you're going to be busy between August 2 and 19, that's completely understandable. In fact, the latest batch of flicks isn't going to change that. It's MIFF's biggest haul to date from the most famous film festival in the world, and includes award-winners, star-studded picks, the latest work from famous directors and more.
Leading the charge is Hirokazu Kore-eda's Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters, which just charmed audiences at the Sydney Film Festival. It's joined by nearly every other major Cannes award recipient this year, including best director winner Cold War, Queer Palm and Camera d'Or winner Girl, best screenplay winner Happy as Lazzaro, Directors' Fortnight prize recipient Climax, Critics Week Grand Prize winner Diamantino and main competition Jury Prize winner Capharnaüm. Story-wise, that means the lineup spans thieving families, a couple torn apart by war and a transgender ballerina, as well as an out-of-control dance party, a disgraced soccer star and a 12-year-old child attempting to divorce his parents.
Other Cannes titles on MIFF's bill include the French fest's opening night pick Everybody Knows, from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi and starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem; Terry Gilliam's long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, aka the flick it has literally taken decades to make; documentary The Eyes of Orson Welles, a love letter to the famous filmmaker; and the Nicolas Cage's suitably unhinged newest effort, Mandy, which'll kick off the aforementioned all-night Cage-a-thon. Three of the biggest Asian films of the moment — Lee Chang-dong's Burning, Jia Zhang-ke's Ash is the Purest White and Mamoru Hosado's animated delight Mirai — are also among a lineup that features everything from a documentary about the Pope to a thriller featuring Mads Mikkelsen stuck in the arctic.
And, for fans of short filmmaking — and Aussie filmmaking too — this year's other Palme d'Or winner will also screen at MIFF. A 13-minute drama shot on 16mm film in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong, All These Creatures nabbed Australian director Charles Williams Cannes' other top prize, and comes to the fest in its Australian premiere.
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.