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Looking Ahead to the 70th MIFF and What’s On Offer

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It’s been almost three years since Australia’s longest running and most prestigious film festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), had its last in-cinema screenings. Now in its 70th year, MIFF is back and filled to the brim with a line-up comprised of some of the biggest films in the 2022 festival circuit.

The 2022 program will see 257 feature films, 102 shorts and 12 XR works. Of those, there will be 18 world premieres, 12 international premieres and 177 Australian premieres, including a record 61 titles arriving from Cannes.

Alongside its in-cinema offerings, MIFF Play, the festival’s online streaming platform, will also make a return for those looking to enjoy some of the titles from the comfort of their home or otherwise. MIFF Play will boast 105 festival features and shorts from the 11th-28th August.

Amongst the large array of films on offer, these are some of our most anticipated:

Headliners:

1

Three Thousand Years of Longing

The Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton led, Three Thousand Years of Longing, sees George Miller return to the big-screen for the first time since his box-office hit, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). The film follows an academic who encounters a djinn while travelling to Istanbul for a conference. Upon releasing him accidentally, she is granted three wishes in exchange for his freedom, but she’s a bit hesitant to do so.

It’s yet another fantasy-oriented endeavour from Miller, but sits in stark contrast to his more hothead, loud Mad Max entries (of which, there will be a special retrospective screening at MIFF as well).

4

Crimes of the Future

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a David Cronenberg film grace our screens — eight years to be exact. His latest foray into the strange, Crimes of the Future, sees Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart and Léa Seydoux engage in a darkly sensual body-horror film set in the dystopian future. Organs are aplenty, bodies are losing the feeling of pain, and further crazy changes are occurring to humans in this unmissable feature.

Cronenberg isn’t getting any younger, but he’s definitely still his irreverent and unique self, so this will be one that will be a must-see in a cinema with an audience.

5

Triangle of Sadness

One of MIFF’s biggest headliners this year, Triangle of Sadness is already on many peoples Letterboxd lists this year.

The film has already seen a varying reception, with walkouts occurring, standing ovations ensuing, and a second Palme d’Or for Ruben Östlund. The film is set on a boat that Woody Harrelson captains (as if that isn’t reason enough to see it). It pokes fun at the rich through its dark satire and has even been hailed as the “best movie involving a boat since Titanic” by Variety.

3

Broker

Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda returns with this charming dramedy featuring this year’s Cannes Best Actor winner and star of 2019’s Oscar winning Parasite, Song Kang-ho.

The film revolves around boxes being left out for people to anonymously drop off their unwanted babies. For San-hyun (Song) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), that becomes complicated as the mother of the stolen baby they have, returns to join them on the road all the while they’re being chased by a pair of detectives.

David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter said: “Kore-eda has an unfaltering lightness of touch, a way of injecting emotional veracity and spontaneity into every moment.”

2

Decision to Leave

Director Park Chan-wook’s, The Handmaiden (2016), was a hit at MIFF six years ago, and Park has returned with an equally praised feature, Decision to Leave. The film has netted him the coveted Cannes Best Director award in a film that sees a mystery turn into a romance as a detective investigating a man’s death falls in-love with the dead man’s widow.

The film has already received incredible ratings, with a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes and 88% on Metacritic. This is not a film to be missed.

Other Notable Films:

6

Moonage Daydream

It’s been over six years since David Bowie left us, but his influence hasn’t diminished. Brett Morgen’s Moonage Dream is a documentary on the iconic musician featuring restored and never-before-seen footage — including performances, recordings, images as well as Bowie’s artwork and journals. If Peter Jackson’s recent restoration of unseen footage from The Beatles in The Beatles: Get Back (2021) is anything to go by, than Moonage Dream is sure to be just as enticing for fans new and old of David Bowie.

7

The Humans

Featuring on MIFF Play is the star-studded A24 drama/horror, The Humans (2021). A film that has no doubt been on many peoples must-see lists (including yours truly), it is set entirely around a Thanksgiving table one fateful evening at a family gathering. Directed by Tony Award-winning playwright, Stephen Karam, in what is his directorial debut, the film is an adaptation of the very same Tony Award-winning play.

It stars Richard Jenkins, Jayne Houdyshell, Amy Schumer, Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun and June Squibb, and has been met with praise across the board, with a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 78% rating on Metacritic.

What Else to Expect:

Given it is a milestone year for the festival, there will also be more for audiences to expect, including curated ambassador screenings, star-studded guest appearances, expertly-executed restorations and an extensive Melbourne on Film retrospective.

The festival’s status as the Southern Hemisphere’s leading and longest-running film festival will be firmly cemented with the introduction of the MIFF Bright Horizons Competition.

The MIFF Audience Award will also return, with audiences given the chance to vote for their favourite flick from across the festival program.

The Melbourne International Film Festival runs from the 4th-21st of August in cinemas, and the 11th-28th of August online. See the full program here to book your tickets.

Contributors

Arnel Duracak

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