Method to the Madness of MIFF

As we ready ourselves for the Melbourne International Film Festival 2012 , we thought it only right to catch up with Artistic Director Michelle Carey to find out her thoughts, feelings and hot tips for this year’s program. 



I really can’t believe how quickly this year’s MIFF has come around. As my second at the helm, putting the festival together has been both easier and more challenging. The stakes are higher and expectations similarly high, but I feel more personally creative and confident in how to do it all.

There is so much I’m excited about. A really beautiful thing to behold is the intoxicating combination of sheer excitement and uncontrollable nerves of the filmmakers and cast of a premiering film. This will be felt especially on opening and closing nights. Both films – The Sapphires and Mental, respectively – offer a whole host of exciting new female acting talent to watch out for, as well as some of Australia’s most-loved actors. I’ll be feeling the exhilaration and terror with them!

I hope to get around to as much as possible in the cinemas. I too share the MIFF-goers excitement at there being just so much to see! Even though I’ve seen most of the program, one of my favourite things in the world is to share that experience with a full house – to be thrilled, to laugh out loud, to be positively perplexed or moved to tears. The hairs on the back of my neck still stand up when I see Tritingnant holding Riva’s face so tenderly in Amour, or Kylie Minogue wandering forlornly around the dilapidated and abandoned Parisian department store, Samaritaine, in Holy Motors. Or that final scene in Just the Wind

There is the very explicit comedy of Vulgaria, Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, Le grand soir, The Intouchables, or any of the ’70s New Hollywood comedies, but there are also sublime, fleeting moments of humour to be found in Bestiaire, In Another Country, No, Room 237, Postcards from the Zoo, Crazy Horse, Tomorrow, Tabu, The Legend of Kaspar Hauser and L.

I’m also excited about the retrospectives we are bringing to you this year. Do not miss the films of Jean Epstein, all on archival 35mm print. The opportunity to see films on ‘film’ is becoming rarer and rarer. At the same time, the beauty and essence of celluloid is becoming more and more pronounced. Epstein himself wrote extensively about this phenomenon in the early 1920s, calling it photogénie (read about his theory more in this Senses of Cinema article).

Michelle, we are excited too!

MIFF 2012 kicks off on Thursday 2 August and runs until Sunday 19 August.

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