Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sydney Film Festival Approaches

Can I just say how glad I am to be living in Sydney? No offence to any other capital city in Australia, but seriously, Sydney owns. Whilst there is a myriad of reasons I could offer to why this is so, the one that is on my mind at the moment is that Sydney Film Festival is infinitely better than any other film festival in Australia. I mean it's no Venice, Berlin, Cannes or Toronto film festival by any means but the talent it draws in undeniable. This year I think the lineup is at an all time level of sexyness. I usually catch a couple of films each year the festival is on, but this year due to me living in much closer proximity to the event, and the number of great films on offer is making me jump at the chance. Here are the top ten films I'm excited for:

10. Hesher

Why? Early word from the Sundance film festival is good, but the calibre of the cast is enough to make any film goer keen. Joseph Gordon Levitt seems to be the acting king of independent film at the moment, Natalie Portman seems to be getting better with age and Piper Laurie, best know as Carrie's crazy mum in... Carrie, is on board too.

9. Summer Wars

Why? I'm a sucker for animated film, I can admit it. You're always seem to be guaranteed a visual feast at the very least. This one is from the director of the Girl Who Lept Through Time which while I haven't seen, its regarded as one of the best Japanime films of the last decade.

8. Undertow

Why? Can I just get a hollah for how many GLBT films are on at the fesitval? Of course I'm incredibly bias about this, but I am liking that these kind of films are on display. It's probably the SFF catering to what will be a demographic that are likely to attend, but good on them. This one appeals to me particularly because of the guests attending accompaning the film screenings.

7. Howl

Why? I'm a fan of Allen Ginsberg's poem which caused the obscenity trial the film is based around, and I think James Franco is a really great choice to portray the poet. The rest of cast is also pretty noteworthy. Like many films on offer at the festival it's picked up some strong buzz at the Sundance Film Festival.

6. Honey

Why? In won the Golden Bear at this years Berlin Film Festival amongst an apparently very competetive field. The film has recieved rave reviews so far, and is the final chapter of a reverse order trilogy from the director. The only reason it isn't higher is that I haven't seen the other films.

5. I Am Love

Why? Tilda. Swinton. Need I say more? Ok I will. Not just because she's amazing in everything she does, but you can be sure it's going to be an interesting film as she picks her films very carefully. The film looks visually scrumptious, and all the costumes are part of a new clothes line designed specifically for the film. Yay for fashion porn.

4. Heartbeats

Why? It recieved standing ovations in Cannes in the last few days, and young director Xavier Dolan (He's my age. I hate people who are so talented and sucessful at my age. It rubs in the failure...) is apparently one to watch. Like I Am Love, it look visually amazing. Interestingly the other film Dolan has directed I Killed My Mother is also playing at the festival. So you can see his complete filmography in one festival, even if it is only two so far.

3. Winters Bone

Why? Sundance went crazy over this film, and went even crazier over Jennifer Lawrence who plays the central character and many people already screaming "OSCAR! OSCAR!". It's drawn parrallels with Frozen River which can only be a good thing.

2. The Illusionist

Why? Directorial follow up to The Triplets of Belleville which was one of the most unique, charming and quirky films of the last decade. Of the few clips I've seen so far available on the internet it looks just as wonderful. I love it when animated films appear to really be using the chosen medium well, and this seems like one of those instances.

1. The Kids Are Alright

Why? Another Sundance favourite, but judging by the trailer looks like the perfect blend of comedy and drama. The cast is really amazing with Jullianne Moore and Annette Benning playing lesbian mums to their daughter played by aussie Mia Wasikowska who wants to meet the baby daddy, Mark Ruffalo.

I'll try to see as many as possible with all these and more. Just missing the list would be The Tree, South Solitary, I Killed My Mother, Cyrus, The Game Of Death, Caught Inside, Ajami, The Killer Inside Me, The Runaways, and Women Without Men. Hmm... That's alot to be "just missing" the list. There's so many good'ens.

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