The 60th Melbourne International Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday night after two and a half weeks of movie goodness. Bleary eyed patrons basked in cinema from all over the world but still managed to chuckle every time Geoffrey Rush came on screen in the well-made trailer by Clemenger BBDO. Already, the announcement of The Age Critics’ Award and TeleScope Award has occured, with Fred Schepisi’s The Eye of the Storm and Markus Schleinzer’s Michael winning, respectively.
The 60th MIFF was also Michelle Carey’s first year as festival director, in which she – along with her team – brought a diverse and immense programme filled with some terrific gems. Unfortunately, the festival was filled with mishaps, mostly due to projection issues. An incident in the last twenty minutes of a session of The Turin Horse was especially notable, as framing and lighting issues would disengage viewers from the film after two hours of commitment.
Nevertheless, the #miff11 hashtag on Twitter created numerous conversations, with many of these continuing in real life in the lobby of the cinema, or in the beautiful Festival Lounge at the Forum Theatre.
I polled a sample of local film and visiting critics about the films they’ve seen at MIFF. While the star rating system is obviously very limited – and certainly not a preferred method of discussing film – taking these opinions and placing them together does create an insightful snapshot of the overall critical reaction to this year’s line-up. I am thrilled that the first Melbourne International Film Festival poll includes contributions from visiting critics based in Brisbane, Perth and New Zealand.
I’ve also included links to the contributors’ writing about the festival if you’d like to read a more in-depth analysis of the program.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge. Note that the films which do not appear on the list were not seen by anyone on the panel.
Here are some initial observations:
- The fifteen critics that took part in the poll rated 235 of the films in the festival programme.
- The retrospective features dominated the feature film section, with The King of Comedy a favourite amongst a number of critics.
- Much like the Sydney Film Festival Critics’ Poll, A Separation and Senna drew praise, receiving the highest ratings of new features.
- Polisse, Tiny Furniture and The Turin Horse seemed to the most divisive films in the programme.
- Again, we saw too few of the shorts for the results to mean much, but I thought I’d include them any way.
Thanks to all who took part! It was wonderful to meet so many fellow lovers of film and find out they are all actually lovely. A special shout out to all of those who put their bodies on the line for the 60 Films in 17 Days Blog-a-Thon challenge!
Read / hear more of those that took in the poll:
Glenn Dunks (Stale Popcorn, Various Publications)
Rhett Bartlett (DialMForMovies)
Jessica Lomas (Watch Out For, Quickflix)
Simon Miraudo (Quickflix)
Thomas Caldwell (Cinema Autopsy, Various Publications)
Jake Wilson (The Age)
Julian Buckeridge (This Site)
Rochelle Siemienowicz (The Big Issue, Australian Film Institute, It’s Better in the Dark)
David O’Connell (Screen Fanatic, Movie Critic)
Paul Anthony Nelson (Hell Is For Hyphenates)
Sarah Ward (AtTheCinema)
Anthony Morris (The Big Issue, Empire Magazine, The Vine)
Greg Bennett (Sounds Like Cinema)
Richard Haridy (Rich on Film)
Lee Zachariah (Bazura Project, Hell Is For Hyphenates)
If you’re a Melbourne based film critic and you’d like to take part in future polls, get in touch!
Did you see any films at the Melbourne International Film Festival? Do you agree with these local critics? Which were your favourites?