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Thunderstruck – Take Shelter review

Take Shelter – Starring Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain and Tova Stewart. Directed by Jeff Nichols. Rated M. Originally published July 24, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run during the Melbourne International Film Festival.  It opens in NSW, VIC and WA on October 13, 2011. I should have known better than to pigeonhole Michael […]

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A Separation, Senna top MIFF audience polls

The people have spoken! Quake in fear at their almighty decision-making ability! The team at the Melbourne International Film Festival has unveiled the results of their audience polls, with Iranian drama A Separation topping the list of fiction films and F1 flick Senna proving to be the most popular documentary. Aussie productions proved to be quite popular with MIFF […]

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Interview: John Michael McDonagh (director of The Guard)

Interview – John Michael McDonagh (director of The Guard). By Simon Miraudo. It was hardly a surprise to discover John Michael McDonagh had just as sharp a tongue as his brother Martin (In Bruges) in his feature film debut The Guard. It was truly refreshing, however, to see some of the family’s trademark barbs being […]

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Lady vengeance – The Woman review

The Woman – Starring Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers and Angela Bettis. Directed by Lucky McKee. Rated R. Originally published August 6, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run during the Melbourne International Film Festival. The Woman is now screening exclusively at the Cinema Nova in Melbourne. In David Mamet’s Spartan, Kristen Bell – starring as the […]

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An accurate title – Win Win review

Win Win – Starring Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and Alex Schaffer. Directed by Thomas McCarthy. Rated M. Originally published July 25, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run  – in slightly shorter form – during the Melbourne International Film Festival. Win Win is now screening nationally. When you see the Fox Searchlight logo before […]

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The need for speed – Senna review

Senna – Directed by Asif Kapadia. Rated M. Originally published July 23, 2011. By Simon Miraudo. This review was first run during the Melbourne International Film Festival. Senna is now screening nationally. Asif Kapadia’s documentary on the life and early death of F1 racer Ayrton Senna – a man and sport, I admit, I knew […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – The Best of the Fest

Melbourne International Film Festival – The Best of the Fest. By Simon Miraudo. Having finally awoken from a 36-hour slumber following the end of the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival (where I caught 60 films in 17 days), I am delighted to bring you a report on the best (and worst) films that played the […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Seventeen

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Seventeen. By Simon Miraudo. It is finished! Over the past 17 days, I have caught no less than 60 movies at the Melbourne International Film Festival (61 if you count the Captain America screening I finagled my way into). After two-and-a-half weeks of brilliant movies, not-so-brilliant movies, and staying […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Sixteen

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Sixteen. By Simon Miraudo. I don’t normally write movie reviews while wearing a suit – it just seems a little formal considering the nature in which I usually watch the films; unshaven, in a hoodie, eating a kit kat – but I’m about to head off to the Closing […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Melancholia review

Melancholia – Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland. Directed by Lars von Trier. By Simon Miraudo. People don’t realise that Lars von Trier has quite a sense of humour, which is why he gets into so much trouble at press conferences when he tries to crack wise. Like any comic, sometimes his jokes […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Fifteen

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Fifteen. By Simon Miraudo. Sorry! No time to chit-chat. On Day Fifteen of the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival I caught five films – three of which are contenders for ‘best of the fest’. I’d love to regale you with anecdotes about angry cinemagoers, crazed cab-drivers, the pain-killers I’m […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Fourteen

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Fourteen. By Simon Miraudo. Something strange is happening here. Festival fatigue is slowly setting in; not just upon me and my fellow ‘60 Film in 17 Days’ Blog-A-Thoners, but apparently also the entire cinema-going population of Melbourne. A couple of days ago, Thomas Caldwell at Cinema Autopsy spotted the […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Thirteen

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Thirteen. By Simon Miraudo. “Nothing cleanses the palate after watching a movie about Satan (or perhaps a vengeful Jesus) wreaking havoc on Earth like a documentary about Elmo.” “You know what I LOVE? Silent films about circus folk living in a war zone.” “No day would be complete without […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Twelve

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Twelve. By Simon Miraudo. Blimey, if we aren’t speedily approaching the end of the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival! It’s been a hell of a fest, and despite my occasional complaints of hitting the wall and enduring conversations with a variety of rather racist cab drivers, I’ve truly loved […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Eleven

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Eleven. By Simon Miraudo. A Chilean drama about mental illness. An inspirational American film about a rancher. A German documentary about a Spanish degustation restaurant. My selection of features on Day Eleven of the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival proved to be the most diverse yet. Perhaps I should […]

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Ready to start – Beginners review

Beginners – Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent. Directed by Mike Mills. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo. Beginners played the Melbourne International Film Festival. It arrives in Australian cinemas August 25, 2011. One of the great cosmic practical jokes is humanity’s enduring inability to capture, well, humanity on screen, which is probably why […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – The Guard

The Guard – Starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle and Mark Strong. Directed by John Michael McDonagh. Rated MA. By Jess Lomas. The Guard screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It opens in Australian cinemas August 25, 2011. The premise of John Michael McDonagh’s Irish comedy crime caper The Guard is far from original: the […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Ten

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day 10. By Simon Miraudo. Only yesterday I was lamenting the fact that I had hit the proverbial wall in my attempt to watch 60 films during the 17 days of the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival. Well, like a bolt from the blue, my singular brand of melancholia was […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Nine

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Nine. By Simon Miraudo. So this is what it feels like to hit the wall. It had to happen eventually. The mental exhaustion, poor diet, and lack of both sunlight and sleep have proven to be too much for me, a small man with almost no muscle mass. I’m […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Project Nim review

Project Nim – Directed by James Marsh. By Jess Lomas. Project Nim plays the Melbourne International Film Festival Sunday 31 July. “It was the seventies!” Is a line used in this documentary, to justify what was known as Project Nim; the forceful taking of a baby chimpanzee from its mother for the purpose of science. […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Eight

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Eight. By Simon Miraudo. I’m writing this very sentence to you at 2:32am on Friday evening (or rather, Saturday morning), on this, the eighth night of the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival. You’ll forgive me if I end my introduction here and get right on to discussing the movies, […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Take Shelter review

Take Shelter – Starring Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain and Shea Whigham. Directed by Jeff Nichols. Rated M. By Jess Lomas. Take Shelter plays the Melbourne International Film Festival on Saturday 6 August. Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ sophomore film, Take Shelter, is a slow-burn mix of family drama and thriller driven by the mental breakdown of its […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Seven

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Seven. By Simon Miraudo. Well, that’s one week down. To think it was only seven days ago that I arrived in Melbournetown and trekked to the Greater Union on Russell Street for the very first time. 168 hours later (give or take), and I’ve seen 24 films at the […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Submarine review

Submarine – Starring Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige and Sally Hawkins. Directed by Richard Ayoade. Rated M. By Jess Lomas. Submarine plays the Melbourne International Film Festival on Thursday 28 July. The feature directorial debut for actor Richard Ayoade is an impressive though familiar exploration into the coming of age for one awkward teenager. Based on […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Six

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Six. By Simon Miraudo. Sweet release! After days of endless movie watching, I felt the need to temporarily take a break from the cinema and recalibrate my now-square eyes to their traditional circular form. Don’t get me wrong … I still went to the movies (there ain’t no real […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Five

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Five. By Simon Miraudo. Today a woman approached me outside of The Forum – one of the primary cinemas screening features at MIFF – and asked if I was from Melbourne. Blush! Had it only taken me five days to acclimatise? Was my super cool sweater/jacket/scarf combo convincing everyone […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Four

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Four. By Simon Miraudo. 25%. One quarter. Half a half. That is how far I am into the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival 60 Films in 17 Days challenge. Thankfully, only a fifth of the films I’ve seen so far have been out and out clunkers, whilst a number […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Three

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Three. By Simon Miraudo. We’re three days into the MIFF Blog-A-Thon challenge (in which myself and five other bloggers attempt to watch/review 60 films in 17 days), and I realise I’ve yet to offer a status report on my state of mind and physical wellbeing. In regards to the […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Two

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day Two. By Simon Miraudo. Beasts, and guards, and Michael Shannons, oh my! My second day of movie-watching at the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival was a packed one; so much so, I don’t even have time to write a proper introduction to this diary entry. Instead, I’m just going […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival – Day One

Melbourne International Film Festival – Day One. By Simon Miraudo. So it begins! Kinda! Although yesterday was technically the opening night of the 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival, I was too busy chatting with Geoffrey Rush on the red carpet, and having John Safran compliment my hair to see the first film of the fest, […]

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