July 2, 2013
Seventeen directors will each present a chapter of an adaption of Tim Winton’s The Turning at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Australian actors Mia Wasikowska and David Wenham are set to make their directorial debuts at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
Along with 15 other directors, each will present a chapter of Tim Winton’s collection of intersecting short stories, The Turning.
Australian stars Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett will feature in the film, curated by Robert Connolly of Balibo and The Bank fame.
MIFF artistic director Michelle Carey says some chapters are straight narrative, while others are more poetic.
“As a film experience it’s really unique, it’s something probably a bit more akin to theatre or dance,” she told AAP.
“It is something completely unique certainly in Australian filmmaking.”
Carey says she was impressed with the confidence of 23-year-old Wasikowska’s piece and likened her style to American director, Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums).
Wasikowska also stars in festival film Stoker, alongside Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode.
The uplifting contemporary Spanish satire, I’m So Excited, will make its Australian premiere on MIFF opening night.
Carey says it’s a welcome return to comedy for Pedro Almodovar.
“It’s a very soft social satire, which I always love,” she says.
“It’s also stylish, a little bit cheeky and it’s all those things you’d want for an opening night film.”
All is Lost, recently unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival, will close the MIFF.
Director JC Chandor (Margin Call) transports the audience to Robert Redford, aged in his 70s, who is lost at sea in a film almost without dialogue.
“I really feel like it is going to be a film people are going to be talking about, especially around Oscar time,” Carey says.
“As a viewer you are there with Robert Redford the entire time.
“I didn’t see a film that was diaglogue-less, I saw a film that was incredibly gripping.”
The struggles and off-court triumphs of two of sport’s most intriguing people, Venus and Serena Williams, will be laid bare in Maiken Baird and Michelle Major’s documentary.
And The Crash Reel, meanwhile, documents snowboarder and traumatic brain injury survivor Kevin Pearce’s obsession with the thrill of the sport.
“I wouldn’t go as far to say he has a death wish but he certainly has this fascination with pushing himself, pushing himself further and further each time,” Carey says.
* The Melbourne International Film Festival will feature 310 films and 26 forums, and runs from July 25-August 11.