Sunday, 29 April 2012


Sydney Film Festival
June 6-17

Coffee, pastries and movies: what better way to start a sunny autumn morning in Sydney? The coffee and pastries were part of the morning tea provided for the announcement of the 2012 Sydney Film Festival line-up this morning at Customs House. And what a line-up it is.

Earlier last month it was announced that Barbara (Germany), Beauty (South Africa), Tabu (Portugal, top left), Oscar nominee Monsieur Lazhar (Canada), and Sundance prizewinner, Beasts of the Southern Wild (U.S. top right), would all feature as part of the 2012 line-up. And based on word of mouth alone, I'd recommend adding those titles to your SFF 'must-see' list if you haven't already.

Now add to that Cannes 2012 opener, Moonrise Kingdom (from U.S. writer-director, Wes Anderson), Berlin 2012 prizewinner, Caesar Must Die (bottom left), Jeff Who Lives At Home (from the Duplass brothers), Miss Bala (Mexico), Michael Haneke's Cannes entry, Amour, Walter Salles' adaptation of the Jack Kerouac classic, On The Road (bottom right), starring Kristen Stewart, and Australian films, Dead Europe, and Lore.

The Festival, under new director Nashen Moodley, also features a focus on the films of the subcontinent (Focus on India), Aboriginal themed films (Blackfella Films), and a retrospective of Italian director, Bernardo Bertolucci, including screenings of classics The Last Emperor and Last Tango in Paris.

While there are plenty of films which will receive a general release in Australian cinemas -- Beasts, Lazhar, On The Road, Moonrise Kingdom, Takashi Miike's latest, Hara Kiri, Andrea Arnold's revisionist Wuthering Heights, and opening night film, Not Suitable For Children (from Australia, and starring Ryan Kwanten) -- if you can't wait until September (at the latest), well, why should you?

And in the case of Once Upon A Time in Anatolia, unless you live in Melbourne, this may well be your only chance to see the film in a cinema.

But you'll find yourself rewarded if you venture of the beaten track, and checkout films you've never heard of, from countries you wouldn't have thought of catching a movie from. Documentaries and short films also feature prominently in the Festival, which is held in various venues throughout the city.

Going to this year's Sydney Film Festival? Let me know what you plan on seeing? Or even ask for suggestions on what to see. I'll happily recommend something to see (MUST: Beasts of the Southern Wild).

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