The Sydney Film Festival is less than two weeks away, and we’re manically filling out our schedules with back-to-back marathons of premieres, classics, documentaries, short films and the fun activities of the Sydney Film Festival Hub (where we’re seriously contemplating setting up a bed).
Looking for a way to spend your Flexipass 10? Check out our 10 must-see films of the 2013 Sydney Film Festival.
We’re excited for anything new from the South Korean director of Old Boy, Park Chan-wook. Starring homegrown talent Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver and Mia Wasikowska, this gothic thriller story of a very dysfunctional family has everyone making Hitchcock comparisons.
VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR
Denis C√¥té is one of the most interesting directors working today, with previous festival hits like Our Private Lives. The Canadian filmmaker returns with this tale about two female ex-prison mates who have become lovers and are attempting to make a life for themselves in a remote cabin, with the assistance of their young, sympathetic parole officer.
Salman Rushdie’s acclaimed novel, winner of the ‚ÄòBooker of Bookers’, has been given the film treatment by Deepa Mehta (Fire, Earth, Water) and the result is a stunning epic that weaves a touching portrait of love and family through the most important events of modern India. Adapted for film and narrated by Rushdie himself, we can’t wait to see one of our favourite books faithfully brought to life on the big screen.
The tale of Snow White is retold in the world of bullfighting in 1920s Spain, in this delightful tribute to silent film. Shot in lush black and white, with a vibrant flamenco soundtrack and the requisite evil stepmother – although we were simply sold on the idea of ‚Äúbullfighting dwarves‚Äù. Should be unlike anything else you see at this year’s festival.
The new film from French maestro Michel Gondry – who can sublimely blend the surreal with the hauntingly romantic – looks next-level in every way. With casting that pulls out all the stops – Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Omar Sy – and Gondry’s colourful handmade production aesthetic, this adaptation of Boris Vian’s cult 1947 ‚Äúunfilmable‚Äù novel ‚ÄòFroth on a Daydream’ looks like a whimsical delight.
This new film from director Shane Carruth, whose first film Primer became an instant cult classic in 2003, was the hot ticket at Sundance 2013. Fresh from Park City, this follow up will have audiences languishing in its cinematic beauty whilst being hypnotised by its surreal non-linear story. A tale of two souls drawn together by their shared experience of a bizarre kidnapping, this will have you scratching your head for days.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES
We’ve talked endlessly about this film on our blog so we’ll keep it snappy. Ryan Gosling and Nicholas Winding Refn reunited after Drive. Kristin Scott-Thomas as an acid-tongued, blood-thirsty matriarch. Critical acclaim and absolute panning in equal measure after the Cannes premiere this week. This is the 2013 hot ticket.
Greta Gerwig stars in and co-wrote this bright and breezy modern fable from Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Kicking and Screaming). She plays a dancer who is approaching her 30s with little success, no boyfriend and nowhere to live. However Frances defies these elements and lives her life with joy and lightness, and the script is peppered with sparkling dialogue and glorious moments to reflect that.
Yet another black and white gem in our list, this German slacker comedy tracks Berlin’s rise to hipster cool through the eyes of college drop-out Niko. Winner of Best Film at the German Film Festival, this is an exciting and hilarious take on the affect of youth and modern-day existentialism.
Heartwarming doesn’t begin to describe this bold new Australian film, which we had the privilege of seeing a few weeks ago. Don’t miss this Australian premiere, which follows 10-year-old Ahlo who is considered a curse by his Laotian tribe. When a series of events – including mass dislocation and death – suddenly take place, Ahlo is ostracised by his community and sets out to prove he is not bad luck with the creation of a rocket. Put this on the top of your list.
I AM DIVINE
This documentary delves into the life of an absolute diva and unexpected superstar – Divine. Defying every gender stereotype and body image, she became famous as the drag queen that (literally) chewed the scenery of John Waters’ best films. A darling of the cult-cinema circuit, and the victim of an all-too-early death, this is an unmissable portrait of one of the most interesting figures of 20th century film.
The Sydney Film Festival 2013 runs 5 – 16 June, and you can purchase tickets here.