Don’t MIFF It

Novastream’s Top 5 Melbourne International Film Festival films not to be miffed.

Article by Jason Cook, Sean Coates & Alaisdair Leith.

It’s the third longest-running film festival in the world. So you know they’re doing something right over at the MIFF offices. The 71st edition is no exception, with Artistic Director Al Cossar and his team giving Melbourne a month of absolute treasures.

With endless hours of cinematic treats across the month of August, it’s hard to know what is worthy of your time. The simple answer, they all are. But if you can only pick a handful, we here at Novastream have your back. Here are our Top 5 films not to be miffed. 

In no particular order, our first pick is :

No Bears. 

Two parallel love stories in which the partners are thwarted by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition, and the mechanics of power.

Cinematic renegade Jafar Panahi continues to blur the lines between Fiction and documentary once more all whilst evading strict Iranian censorship with his new Venice Special Jury Prize Winner.

Past Lives

Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrested apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Twenty years later, they are reunited for one fateful week as they confront notions of love and destiny.

Director Celine Song will be in attendance for the screenings on Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 August. She will also appear in the MIFF Talks event In Conversation: Celine Song’s Past Lives. We have a sneaking feeling this could be this year’s Aftersun. A film that doesn’t leave you for days, weeks, months after.

Disco Boy

After a painful journey through Europe, Aleksei arrives in Paris to join the Foreign Legion. In the Niger Delta, Jomo struggles against the oil companies threatening his village and the lives of his family. One day, at the head of an armed group, he kidnaps French nationals. A commando of the Foreign Legion intervenes, led by Aleksei. The destinies of Aleksei and Jomo will merge and continue across borders, bodies, life and death.

Aside from it already getting rave reviews. Rocking an 82% Critic Score on Rotten Tomatoes. It looks as far fetched as maybe as quirky as last year’s winner Neptune Frost?

The Breaking Ice.

In cold wintry Yanji, a city on China’s northern border, young urbanite Haofeng, visiting from Shanghai, feels lost and adrift. By chance, he goes on a tour led by Nana, a charming tour guide who instantly fascinates him. She introduces him to Xiao, a personable but frustrated restaurant worker. The three bond quickly over a drunken weekend. Confronting their individual traumas, their frozen desires slowly thaw as they seek to liberate themselves from an icy world.

This is one that keeps popping up on our radars. With all the drunken lustful fun, this will be sure to tick all the boxes.

MIFF Shorts

If short films are more your thing, the highly anticipated Strange Way of Life starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke as a pair of love-struck cowboys reuniting, director Pedro Almodóvar brings this sure-to-be hit straight from the Cannes Film Festival.

The Melbourne International Film Festival starts this Thursday, August 3rd and runs all the way through to Sunday, the 20th of August. You can catch select films and shorts online through MIFF Play 18th to the 27th. Download the app, create your wishlist and happy MIFF 2023.

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