Melbourne's a movie loving town, which means there's always a special screening, career retrospective or movie night around the corner. Check out our round-up of the best upcoming film events and screenings below. For more Melbourne movie fun, take a look at the best upcoming film festivals and our latest movie reviews.
Melbourne movie screenings and events
Palace Cinemas once again present the Spanish Film Festival, which returns in April. Big stars such as Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Maribel Verdú and Paco León feature in multiple films, and screenings include retrospectives, exciting new auteur efforts, crazy comedies, and all the passion, sentiment, dark Catholic guilt and political unrest that we’ve come to know and love about the cinema of this vibrant and in some ways divided nation. Opening night comedy The Tribe is about a cleaning woman who loves street dancing (Carmen Machi) and the son she gave up for adoption (Paco León), reuniting on the dance floor. The Open Door stars Machi as an ageing prostitute living with her senile mother who takes in a seven-year-old orphan girl, who transforms their lives. Fans of Netflix show Narcos will recognise the story being told in Loving Pablo, which details the downfall of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (Javier Bardem) from the point of view of his TV journalist mistress Virginia Vallejo (Penélope Cruz). Several outrageous comedies are screening. Maribel Verdù stars in Abracadabra, as the wife of a sexist soccer fan (Antonio de la Torre) who is possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. Operation Goldenshell has a con artist hiring a lookalike to pose as a movie star to swindle an investor. It’s for Your Own Good involves three fathers conspiring to scare off their daughters’ deadbeat boyfriends, while Lord Give Me Patience is about a widower (Jordi Sánchez) who has to
Australia’s only film festival dedicated to film lovers aged 60 and up, Young at Heart, is returning in April. The festival program includes acclaimed features, special guests, Q&As and cinema classics brought back to their rightful home on the big screen. The festival opens with The Bookshop, starrring Emily Mortimer as a woman who opens a bookshop in a conservative small town in England in 1959, causing all kinds of ructions. On Chesil Beach is an adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel about a young UK couple on their honeymoon in 1962 struggling to achieve physical intimacy. Saoirse Ronan stars. The Last Flag Flying is a comedy-drama directed by Richard Linklater (Boyhood) starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne as three Vietnam War veterans who reunite after one of their sons is killed in the Iraq War. Australian filmmaker John Curran directs Chappaquiddick, about the scandal that envoloped Senator Ted Kennedy (Oz actor Jason Clarke) in 1969 when a passenger in the car he was driving was killed. US politics in the 1960s are also the subject of LBJ, which sees Woody Harrelson take on the role of 36th President Lyndon B Johnson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as his wife Claudia. Swedish great Stellan Skarsgård stars in Return to Montauk, about an ageing writer who reconnects with his former lover (Nina Hoss) in New York City. French mega-hit Two Is a Family stars Omar Sy (Les Intouchables) as a ladies' man who is suddenly saddled with the
Lido Cinema’s rooftop makes a triumphant return this summer for its third year under the stars. Lido on the Roof will screen critically acclaimed summer releases including Italian romance Call Me By Your Name, dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, fantasy piece The Shape of Water, and the James Franco in The Disaster Artist. Press rewind and get stuck into Lido's huge cult film offering, which will include screenings of classic flicks Goonies, The Big Lebowski, Muriel's Wedding, The Lion King, Coming to America, Empire Records, Grease and plenty more. Premiering during the 17/18 summer season will be Lido's new Lido After Dark series on Friday nights. As the sun sets, Lido After Dark will screen a selection of classic erotic thrillers including Eyes Wide Shut, Wild Orchid and Fatal Attraction. No need to BYO snacks: Lido's food and drink counter serves up great movie treats from choctops and vegan-friendly popcorn, to edamame and craft beers. Check out the Dates and Times tab to see what's showing and hit the Book Now button to buy your tickets.
"There's a baby at the hospital. And you're the father!...." If you've yet to catch up on the collected works of David Lynch – perhaps you're a newly minted Twin Peaks obsessive, or you saw the stunning Mulholland Drive and are itching for more – the good old Astor has answered your fever dreams with a retrospective of every narrative feature the out-there auteur has made. From the black-and-white freak out of Eraserhead (1977) – possibly the worst date movie ever – all the way through to the Laura Dern epic Inland Empire (2006), the Lynchian oeuvre contains some of the strangest and most powerful visions ever committed to celluloid. There's the riveting masterpiece Blue Velvet (1986), which takes the form of a crime movie and features Isabelli Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Kyle MacLachlan giving career-best performances. There's the moving period piece The Elephant Man (1980) with John Hurt as the deformed hero and Anthony Hopkins as the doctor who rescues him from a sideshow. Check out Lost Highway (1997), a thriller with multiple personality disorder. There are also The Straight Story (1999), about a man who drives his lawn mower across two states; the TV spin-off Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992); and the erotic Wild at Heart (1990) with Dern and Nicolas Cage. We have a soft spot, we admit, for Lynch's critically maligned adaptation of sci-fi novel Dune (1984). It's a savage, weird and psychedelic film, oddly like Game of Thrones in space. You can see the full pro
Once a month Australian films play the lead role at Eaglehawk’s Star Cinema. In 2018 the cinema is hosting a year-long festival called Australia on Screen to celebrate the nation’s creative film industry. On the fourth Tuesday of every month the cinema is screening an Australian film, and tickets are just $11. These aren’t your major blockbusters: the Australia on Screen event puts the spotlight on some of Australia’s lesser-known films, highlighting those with a strong connection to regionality and place. From February 27 to November 27 catch films like Love Serenade, Monkey Grip, Walkabout and Celia. For the true Aussie film fans Star Cinema is also hosting a three-day film forum from June 1 to June 3. To buy tickets to the monthly screenings or film forum call 03 5446 2025.
The 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 will be marked during the 4th Irish Film Festival in Australia with three films that explore the legacy of the Troubles. The prolific and incisive American documentarian Alex Gibney (We Steal Secrets, Going Clear, Taxi to the Dark Side) has made No Stone Unturned, which investigates the murder of six Catholics in a pub in County Down in 1994 (the Loughinisland massacre), and points to British government collusion. Maze dramatises the 1983 Maze prison breakout – Maze was the prison in Northern Island that housed paramilitary prisoners. And In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America looks at civil rights campaigner John Hume’s work to bring the US into the peace process to get Britain to come to the bargaining table. The festival is also screening The Flag, a farce about an Irish labourer who plots to steal an Irish flag from an officer’s mess in a British army barracks in London. And Song of Granite is a black-and-white biopic on the life of Irish traditional singer Joe Heaney. Screenings will be at the Kino. Tickets are on sale now; to book and see what's screening when, click on the Dates and Times tab above.
This April, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform music from Hayao Miyazaki films including Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. With scenes from the movies playing on the giant screen at Hamer Hall, the music will be conducted by the man who composed it, Joe Hisaishi, who worked with Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli for over 30 years. Tickets are on sale from Monday February 12.
Cinema owner Eddie Tamir (the Lido, the Cameo and the Classic) was frustrated at the cinema offerings for kids outside of the blockbusters and, determined to broaden the cultural scope of kids' movie diet, is launching the Children's International Film Festival Melbourne (CHIFF). All the films in the inaugural CHIFF are Australian premieres sourced from the festivals in Toronto, Berlin and Seattle. "Watching these films brought me surprising joy," Tamir says. "It was thrilling to feel transported back to my early movie matinée excursions." Announced in the program is I Kill Giants, starring Zoe Saldana and Imogen Poots and based on a graphic novel series. Cloudboy, meanwhile, is set in the picturesque landscape of northern Sweden, where 12 year-old Niilas is sent to spend a summer with his mother among the indigenous Sami people, and learns how to herd reindeer. March of the Penguins 2: The Call follows the arduous journey of a new generation of emperor penguins, 12 years after the first Oscar-winning documentary. Bugsy Malone is a 1970s classic: a gangster film with a cast made up of entirely of children, with flying custard pies, toe-tapping musical numbers and a pint-sized Jodie Foster. The film is a favourite of Tamir.Another retro screening will be three episodes of quintessential Australian TV show, Round the Twist, intended to introduce a new generation of viewers to the magic of Paul Jennings' Twist kids.Animated films include The Incredible Story of the Gian
Powerful human stories are promised at the 11th Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. There will be 15 days of screenings and events in venues across Melbourne: ACMI, No Vacancy, Footscray Community Arts Centre, the Immigration Museum, Fitzroy Library, Newport Substation, and Koorie Heritage Trust. The 2018 festival aims to create awareness on pressing human rights issues across five major themes: conflict and global people movement, gender equality, Indigenous rights, rehabilitation and retribution, and the environment. Opening night in Melbourne is headlined by Australian film After the Apology, directed by Larissa Behrendt. Behrendt is an Indigenous (Eualeyai/Gammilaroi) filmmaker, novelist, lawyer and academic. Her landmark documentary explores the practice of Aboriginal child removal, which is happening at almost double the rate of the time of Rudd’s Apology speech. HRAFF will also screen the documentary Border Politics, directed by Judy Rymer. The feature-length documentary follows human rights barrister, Julian Burnside, as he travels the globe examining the increasing compromises to human rights in Western democracies occurring via the exploitation of fears around border protection. Her Sound, Her Story, directed by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, examines sexism within the Australian music industry. Jackson offers an insight into reproductive rights in America; Jaha’s Promise is about the practice genital mutilation. A Better Man is an intimate look at violence
Back for a third hurrah is the American Essentials Film Festival – 22 new movies and five cast-iron classics back on the big screen, celebrating American life in all its permutations. With film and TV production surging in the US, the festival provides a big-screen outing for films that might otherwise not score a commercial release, despite having a name cast. A special event during the festival will be a gala screening of Gotti, a brand new biopic of Mafia boss John Gotti starring John Travolta. No reviews have filtered through yet, although rumour has it the movie marks a career comeback for Travolta, who stars alongside real-life wife Kelly Preston. Otherwise, we’ve canvassed the reviews from the top US publications and come up with a foolproof list of 13 movies worth your time and money... The Boy Downstairs Zosia Mamet – Shoshanna in Girls – stars in a likeable romcom about an aspiring writer who discovers she has moved into an apartment upstairs from her ex-boyfriend. Awkward. Outside In Released from prison after 20 years, Chris (Jay Duplass) struggles to get by and falls for his former high school teacher (Edie Falco), who has remained his pen pal. Lynne Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister) directs. Kodachrome Funnyman Jason Sudeikis is getting raves for his dramatic work in this road movie as an A&R executive who reunites with his estranged photographer father (Ed Harris), who has cancer. The Ballad of Lefty Brown A revenge western with a lot of affection for