Brisbane International Film Festival
It’s that time of year to get lost in film again, with the BIFF bringing the best of world cinema, documentaries, animation, retrospectives, up late thrillers and more to screens around Brisbane.
Venues this year include the Palace and Dendy cinemas and Events in the city, South Bank’s Openair Cinema and a pop-up screen at Hamilton’s Containerval Festival.
Jonathan Teplitzky’s drama is based on the true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer captured during World War II who was tortured while building the infamous Thailand-Burma ‘Death Railway’. Making its Australian premiere on the festival’s opening night, The Railway Man was shot around Ipswich and the Gold Coast and stars Oscar winners Colin Firth and Australia’s own Nicole Kidman.
When: 6.30pm Wednesday November 13 (Opening Night) Palace Barracks.
**Special event! “In-Depth With The Filmmakers of The Railway Man”. Attendees can meet The Railway Man filmmakers Jonathan Teplitzky and Chris Brown on November 14, as they reveal how Eric Lomax’s moving war memoir and best-selling novel was adapted to film and what it took to bring this extraordinary story to the screen.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour (La Vie d’Adele)
French starlet Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol) and newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos star in this sensual drama about a teenager who discovers her sexuality with an unexpected first love: an eccentric blue-haired female artist. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, this film won the prestigious Palme D’Or at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
When: 6.30pm, Saturday 16 November Palace Barracks (gala screening) & 3pm, Sunday November 24 Palace Centro.
Almost 50 years to the day since John F Kennedy was assassinated comes this fascinating retelling of events inside Dallas hospital on the day JFK was shot. It focuses on the lesser known players: Parkland hospital staff, Lee Harvey Oswald’s family, an FBI agent who’d been tracking Oswald and a cameraman who accidentally filmed the whole thing. Australia’s Jacki Weaver is superb alongside Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden and Paul Giamatti.
When: 9pm Friday November 15 (Australian premiere) Dendy Portside & 9pm Wednesday November 20 Event Cinemas Myer Centre.
Linda Blair and The Exorcist 40th Anniversary screening
Still get nightmares when you think about that little possessed girl in The Exorcist? Here’s your chance to banish them for good! Revisit the film’s late night 40th anniversary screening - a special digitally re-mastered director’s cut.
When: 11.30pm Friday November 15 Palace Barracks.
The Armstrong Lie
Not since BIFF screened The September Issue has one documentary created so much anticipation. That’s because director (and former believer) Alex Gibney was invited into Armstrong’s world to shoot what was supposed to be an uplifting tale about the cyclist’s post-cancer comeback – only for it to change direction mid-film once news of Armstrong’s scandal broke. Gibney, crushed, stuck around for the aftermath and the resulting documentary is intoxicating.
When: 1.30pm Sunday November 17 (Australian premiere) Palace Barracks & 6.30pm Friday November 22 Event Cinemas Myer Centre.
Six Degrees of Separation
This 1993 cult classic forms part of a nine-film showcase at BIFF celebrating the work of Australian director Fred Schepisi. A young Will Smith as we had never seen him before (and never will again) plays a con artist who charms his way into artsy Upper East Side families on the pretense that he is Sydney Poitier’s son. Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-nominated stage play, it also kickstarted a worldwide phenomenon: Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
When: 1pm Sunday November 17 GOMA.
**Special event! “In Conversation With Fred Schepisi”. Following screenings of his short films People Make Papers (1965), The Shape of Quality (1971) and Tomorrow’s Canberra (1972) on November 16, special guest Fred Schepisi will be in attendance for an in-conversation with attendees.
It sounds a bit trippy: an all-star bunch of Aussie actors like Claudia Karvan, Bryan Brown, Deborah Mailman and Brendan Cowell telling us their own supernatural stories, as experienced firsthand. But under the direction of Samson and Delilah’s Warwick Thornton, this becomes something much more than spooky ghost stories: it’s an investigation into illusion, folklore and the afterlife.
When: 6.30pm Thursday November 21 (Warwick Thornton will be in attendance) Palace Barracks & 3.30pm Saturday November 23 Palace Centro.
Director Jason Reitman is well-known for his quirky offbeat dramas (think Juno and Up In the Air) and this one packs quite a punch. Set in the 80s, Kate Winslet is hypnotic as a single mother battling agoraphobia and depression while trying to raise her teenage son. When she meets the roguish Frank, played by Josh Brolin, her world is turned upside down.
When: 6.30pm Saturday November 16 (Bubbles at BIFF) Dendy Portside & 6.30pm Sunday November 17 Palace Barracks
Seduced and Abandoned
Since finishing up on 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin has proved a comedic force to be reckoned with. How else do you explain this hilarious “pseudo” documentary about a couple of wisecracking blokes milking the A-list in Cannes to fund their remake of Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris? Look out for cameos from Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling, Francis Ford Coppola and Bertolucci himself in this ode to filmmaking days of yore.
When: 6.30pm Wednesday November 20 (Bubbles at BIFF), Palace Barracks & 2pm Sunday November 24, Event Cinemas Myer Centre
12 years a Slave
The latest cab off the rank from Brad Pitt’s production company is a shocking true story set in pre-Civil War America. Solomon Northup is a free black man, an educated musician living happily with his family in upstate New York in 1841 – until he is abducted and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Directed by Steve McQueen, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Salt), young Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt.
When: 7pm Saturday 23 November (Closing Night) Palace Barracks
Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams
Grab a cinematic backstage pass to follow Fleetwood Mac frontwoman Stevie Nicks into her home for brainstorming sessions and rehearsals to the final recording of her In Your Dreams studio album that was more than a decade in the making.
When: 3pm Wednesday November13 Palace Barracks & 4pm Friday November 15 Palace Barracks
By Marie-Chrstine Sourris, Editor of Cinemazzi
Brisbane International Film Festival