Entertainment

Must-See Films to Close Out MIFF This Weekend

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The Worst Person in the World / MIFF

A special short film, Red Passion, will be exclusively streaming before each of the first four films. Created by emerging Australian artists in partnership with Campari, the short film embodies Campari’s “Red Passion” ethos – an inner flame and urge that challenges you to leave your comfort zone and inspire outstanding creations. 

Exploring the evolution of three dancers, the short film gives shape to their ‘Red Passion’ in solo, duet and ensemble form. 

Your weekend is sorted with these great MIFF films, so sit back and enjoy with a Negroni in one hand, and popcorn in the other.

Bodies in Motion shorts

After 18 months and however many lockdowns later, our bodies tremble for movement. But there is another performer on stage: the camera.

A series of five films, these shorts include As One, Bonanza!, Multiply, Poleng and The Prelude – Michelle.

The Macaluso Sisters 

Emma Dante directs this adaptation of her widely acclaimed play: a melancholy and moving tale of five Sicilian sisters whose lives are forever changed by a trauma from their youth.

Dante’s feature is a masterpiece of mood and feeling, deeply empathetic and sensitive to its female characters whom we meet first during the exuberance of youth, then revisit as resentful adults and in regretful old age.

Madalena

The directorial debut of Madiano Marcheti, it’s an eerie and thought-provoking lament for a horrific reality: more trans people are murdered in Brazil than in any other country.

Shot in a rarely seen rural Brazil that Marcheti is intimately familiar with, this visually arresting elegy transports us to a place both shockingly mundane and ominously alien – one where the alarming murder rate has become barely noticeable background noise. 

Queen of Glory

Actor Nana Mensah (Farewell Amor, MIFF 2020) makes her directorial debut with this smart and darkly funny film that authentically dramatises the African immigrant experience, which earned her Tribeca’s Best New Narrative Director award.

This gutsy and charming film about a young Ghanaian-American woman at a crossroads marks the arrival of a filmmaker with a fresh, unique vision.

Describing herself as “the Black Miranda July”, she offers a rare glimpse of the vibrant Ghanaian-American community that Sarah is thrust back into, while also writing herself a role that defies stereotypical depictions of women of colour. Queen of Glory is a quirky and heartwarming tale of one woman coming into her own and embracing a cultural rebirth.

Palazzo di Cozzo 

Last but certainly not least, and streaming for one night only (20 August) on MIFF PlayPalazzo di Cozzo, is a delightful portrait of Melbourne’s iconic baroque homewares mogul, Franco Cozzo, and provides insights into furniture, family and the migrant experience.

Cozzo’s personality is as big as the bedheads he sells, but Martiniello eschews caricature and delivers this account with thoughtful affection. In particular, she reminds us just how rare and innovative his 1980s television ads were: spoken in English, Italian and Greek, they helped to foster a sense of community and inclusivity in a Melbourne that was still coming to grips with the notion of multiculturalism. 

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MIFF Play – the festival’s online streaming platform – will now be available to stream MIFF films on for the entire duration of the festival.

MIFF Play is available until Sunday, 22 August. You can find it here. 

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With 62 films already announced, the online program will be augmented with over 30 further feature titles that can be accessed in all states across Australia from this Friday, 6 August, with further short films to be added as well.

CODA – Siân Heder’s tender coming of age story – will now launch the festival’s digital season on 5 August. The transfixing story of a CODA (a child of deaf parents),the filmexplores the fraught ties between deaf and hearing communities through a young girl pursuing a passion in music, despite her parents’ inability to participate. The film premiered at Sundance, where it won four awards, including a Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, as well as making headlines for becoming the biggest film acquisition in the history of the festival.

Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson will remain MIFF’s Opening Night Gala, premiering instead on 12 August to mark the commencement of the festival’s in-cinema program. In order to increase opening night capacities, concurrent screenings of the highly anticipated film, will now take place at The Astor in St Kilda; The Sun Theatre in Yarraville; Pentridge Cinema in Coburg; and Lido Cinema, Hawthorn. Following this, Questlove’s highly anticipated Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) will premiere as the Centrepiece Gala on 19 August, with CBD screenings now expanding into Coburg Drive-in.

Additional Cannes Titles

In an unexpected coup for Melbourne audiences, MIFF has managed to secure a selection of extra titles direct from Cannes – including the Palme D’Or winning film Titane – adding to the already remarkable line-up of films out of the prestigious festival. In addition to Titane, other additions to the program straight from Cannes include, Joachim Trier’s (Thelma; Oslo, August 31st) exquisite The Worst Person in the World, Oliver Stone’s (Snowden; Wall Street) looks to set the record straight on what really happened in 1963 – JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, andthe first film from Bangladesh to officially screen at Cannes, Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s Rehana Maryam Noor.

Overview

  • The 2021 Melbourne International Film Festival is online 5 – 22 August and in cinemas 12 – 22 August.
  • You can watch all films online and select films in-cinema.
  • Visit www.miff.com.au to explore the full program.
  • All ticket holders will be contacted directly.

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Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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