Friday, 2 August 2013

MY MIFF2013 experience so far......

We are into the first week of MIFF, and since my first MIFF experience, it is more than just seeing the films. My MIFF experience is about seeing the regular faces; standing in the members queues; chopping and changing films and schedules; meeting friends and new faces; and now also the food at the festival lounge. I am over my biggest hurdle, being the first weekend, where I saw 8 movies over the 3 days (yes I know, for most people that's a lot, but for the MIFF diehards that's nothing). The films I have seen so far: Dirty War; Mystery Road; Grigris; The Trials of Muhammad Ali; I Declare War; Marvin, Seth, and Stanley; The Major; Powerless; The East; Omar; The Attack; and Mistaken for strangers.

This Documentary reminded me of George Orwell's 1984, and still has me thinking of where is our future heading towards. I think Jeremy Schahill showed an angle, of this war on terror, which is not shown to us via mainstream media. How over the past decade the US have reacted to the war on terror, creating a new special forces that seem to have no rules of engagement and that only answers directly to the US government. I found that this documentary was well worth watching, providing us with as much facts as it could and showing a war which seems to have no ending in sight.
- Next MIFF Sessions: 9pm, Monday 5th August. Might be hard to get a ticket for this one being on the MIFF standby list.

Mystery Road:
An Australian thriller, by Ivan Sen, with a few big name Australian actors thrown into the mix. I enjoyed this movie, it provided a good story while showing a side of Australia which most Australians don't get to see. Ivan really gave you a sense of that outback feeling in this film, and it took me back to my outback travelling holidays when I was growing up.
- Next MIFF Sessions: Only had the showing last week, which is a pity.

The great thing about MIFF is experiencing all the different styles of films from all over the globe. GRIGRIS is one, being from France/Chad. Apart from being a good story, you just need to see this film for Souleymane Démé, what a great dancer. With the starting scene, you wouldn't have known he had a paralysed leg, he could really pull of some fantastic moves.
-Next MIFF Sessions: No more MIFF screenings. Grigris had two showings already at MIFF, the last being last night.

The Trials of Muhammond Ali:
Only knowing Muhammond Ai for his boxing prowess while growing up. I found this documentary providing me with an interesting insight to the man behind the boxer. Another reason why I love MIFF, the only time you are really able to see interesting documentaries on the big screen. With this documentary and Dirty Wars being amongst them.
- Next MIFF Session: 4pm, Sunday 4th August.

I Declare War:
This was one of the films I was looking forward too at the festival. A Canadian film, it had an interesting angle and take on kids playing capture the flag. While they were just using sticks as guns, you see the weapons in the eyes of the kids, with also the blood splatter. It reminded me a little of 'The Lord of the Flies', where the power corrupts the kids. It slightly let me down, but an interesting movie, and I think still worth watching.
- Next MIFF Session: 1:30pm, Saturday 3rd August.

Marvin, Seth and Stanley:
The film is about a dad with his two sons, on a fishing trip. Had funny moments, dragged on a little, but I didn't mind it. It did give a good sense of a father with his sons, and at some moments reminding me of being with my dad and brothers. Probably what our fishing trip would be like if we went on one.
- Next MIFF Session: 6:30pm, 3rd August, selling fast.

The Major:
A Russian film, starting with a cop, Sergey Sobolev, getting a call from the hospital, with his wife giving birth to their first baby. From here he races of on the icy snow to go and see them, only to kill a little boy, along the way. From here he calls his cop friends, where they start to cover up the incident. This thriller movie was ok, but had a few holes in the storyline.
- Next MIFF Session: 6:30pm, Friday 9th August. On standby.

The East:
Another film I was looking forward to at this festival. The East is about a private intelligence officer (ex FBI agent) infiltrating a cult. I liked the angle of how it is a private intelligence firm (and not a government agency) working for corporations, and going after a cult group that is planning to attack the corporation. The film starts of well and continues to build on this, and then I found the ending was let down. I felt that the ending killed what could have been a fantastic movie.
- Next MIFF Session: 7pm, Sunday 11th August. Selling fast.

An interesting film about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Omar is force to scale a wall to see his friends and girl friend. The movie shows an aspect of West Bank, which most of us have no clues on. I found it very interesting, and learnt a lot, the storyline could have been touched up a little, but overall I enjoyed it.
- Next MIFF Sessions: No more MIFF screanings.

The Attack:
Another film on a different view of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I am liking 'Omar' and 'The Attack' for being able to see and experience a view of a world which is totally different to Australia. Both movies are good, but I feel they both could have stronger story lines.
- Next MIFF Session: 9pm, Wednesday 7th August. selling fast.

Mistaken for Strangers:
Going to say my MIFF movie highlight so far. This a documentary about two brothers, Tom and Matt Berninger (Matt being the frontman to the band 'The National'). Tom was asked to be a roadie for the band on a world tour, and while doing his job he decides to make a documentary while on the trip. I really enjoyed this one, it was just what it was meant to be, a must see.
- Next MIFF Session: 9pm, Sunday 4th August. On standby; and 11am, Sunday 11th August.

So far the biggest improvement, for me at the festival, has been the food at the festival lounge. From what I recall from previous festivals, it used to be just basic salads and sandwiches, now its lots of yummy hot foods. A big positive tick on this one, and will be another aspect of why I long going to MIFF.

I have been struck down with the flu today, so if all goes to plan here are my remaining Films that are on my ticket list: Fatal Assistance; Lunacy!; The act of killing; Computer Chess; Fruitvale station; Drinking Buddies; A Hijacking; Ilo Ilo; and Artifact.

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