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Melbourne International Film Festival 2017

From a city boasting avocado lattes, an abundance of laneway bars and a satirical Mormon musical comes a more traditional form of entertainment – the 2017 instalment of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The MIFF has been projecting quality flicks for the film-loving masses since 1952, making it the leading film festival in Australia and one of the oldest film festivals in the world (alongside the prestigious Cannes and Berlin film festivals).

Made up of a huge list of premieres, screenings, marathons, masterclasses and talks, the 18-day festival is will see hoards of square-eyed movie addicts descend on Melbourne, ready and waiting to be glued various cinema screens around town.

The full 357-film program was released this week and it is packed with silver screen gold. Most of us won’t get to see everything on the comprehensive line-up, so we’ve listed 10 of the best films at Melbourne International Film Festival 2017.

You need to see the following:

Call Me by Your Name
Armie Hammer gives his best performance in this 1980’s Italian summer romance directed by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash). Drawing similarities to the film, Carol (2015), don’t be surprised if this passionate adaption of the André Acimen novel wins some awards later in the year.

Brigsby Bear
Described as the “feel-good kidnapping movie of the year” by Vanity Fair, this heartfelt comedy directed by Dave McCary and produced by Andy Samberg follows the release of James (Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney) into society. The hilariously harsh realities faced by the 25-year-old in his new life post-underground bunker captive will have you laughing and sobbing at the same time.

An Aussie doco by Karina Holden that will open your eyes to both the beauty and continual destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. A heart-wrenching cinematic plea to save the aquatic world before it’s too late.

On Body and Soul
Having already taken out Berlinale’s Golden Bear, FIPRESCI, Ecumenical and Sydney Film Festival, this Hungarian Rom-Com follows the awkward and unexpected love found by two vastly different people in a Budapest abattoir.

Ingrid Goes West
Are we obsessed with social media? This question is explored in Matt Spicer’s Sundance award-winning debut – a dramedy in which a delusional Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) heads to L.A. in search of (to stalk?) her Insty idol, a social media “influencer” called Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen). 

This heart-in-throat war film by Philippe Van Leeuw takes a fly-on-the-wall look at a family living in the middle in Syria. Vigorous and horrific, Insyriated is a stark reminder that this isn’t a city under siege in a bygone era, but a war zone that is going on right now.

Happy End
Directed by Michael Haneke (Amour, MIFF 2012; The White Ribbon, MIFF 2009), the satirically brilliant, Happy End stars Isabell Huppert (Elle, Academy Award nominee) and paints a picture of entitlement and self-destruction of middle-class Europe.

As you can imagine, many others deserve a mention. And while we can’t recommend every film, if you get through the previous 7, have a go at Wonderstruck, Loveless, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.

Melbourne International Film Festival 2017 will run from August 3 – 20. Tickets can be purchased here.

words by niall roeder

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