Melbourne movie screenings and events
Good movies are great, but bad movies are often so much better. Every Wednesday, Classic Cinemas is celebrating B-grade films, with low-budget, cult classic and downright terrible movies getting their time in the sun. Weird Wednesday films are screening upstairs, at one of the Classic's four brand-new screens. Past Weird Wednesday films have included Jack Frost, about a murderous possessed snowman, and epically terrible horror film Birdemic, which includes graphics that look like they were made in MS Paint circa 1995. These underappreciated (or perhaps perfectly appreciated, for what they are) gems of cinema will be at the Astor every Wednesday throughout June and July. Grab the popcorn and choc tops, because it's going to get weird.
The MIFF vision is nothing less than to "build an enlightened, engaged society through film". Under director Michelle Carey, this aim is carried out through a program of hundreds of fascinating films from around the world. The festival has been kicking around since 1952: it's not only one of the oldest film festivals in Australia, it's also one of the most popular. The festival shows off international features, arthouse films, documentaries and shorts. Kids aren't forgotten about either with the festival regularly including family friendly films from across the world. If you're just wanting to go watch that one special film then you can, but movie buffs are better off buying buying a festival pass to be granted entry to all showings. The opening night film has been announced as Wildlife – the directorial debut of US actor Paul Dano, co-written with his partner Zoe Kazan, about a teen whose family is falling apart in Montana in the 1960s. Australia’s prodigious Ed Oxenbould (Paper Planes) stars alongside Carey Mulligan. Veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader (Cat People) has been getting his best reviews in decades for the Cannes hit First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke. Chloë Grace Moretz stars in Desiree Akhavan’s second feature The Miseducation of Cameron Post, about attempts to ‘cure’ a lesbian teen. Cannes 2017 Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix features in Lynne Ramsay’s taut revenge flick You Were Never Really Here, playing a war vet whose job includes rescuing children from
The Great Ocean Road and Yarra Valley Chocolateries are famous for their month-long festival dedicated to hot chocolate in all its delicious forms, and this year is no different. A total of 31 limited-edition hot chocolate flavours will be available to try throughout August 2018, with eight new flavours introduced every week. Each flavour is created using a coverture chocolate base, which has seasonal and exotic ingredients, herbs and spices added to it. On the menu this year you can expect flavours like hazelnut-chocolate, pistachio, chestnut, mint, pumpkin chai, cookies and cream and for the real chocoholics, triple chocolate brownie. For the adventurous hot chocolate lover there's are wacky flavours like avocado and black sesame, as well as plenty of wild, showstopping elements like exploding marshmallows and edible cups. Some of the showstopping flavours for 2018 include a blue mermaid hot chocolate, a bohemian raspberry hot chocolate and a glow worm hot chocolate (don't worry, the only bugs in it are made from chocolate). Every limited-edition hot chocolate flavour you order at either the Yarra Valley or Great Ocean Road location comes with an extra shot of milk, white or dark chocolate as well as a giant marshmallow. Too many flavours to choose just one? Book into a tasting session, where $20 lets your try eight different flavours and create three hot chocolate spoons to take home. The Yarra Valley and Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery hot chocolate
More than 45 local features and shorts, along with Oscar-nominated short films, will be screening at Cinema Nova as a part of a series of events presented by AACTA in August and September. On Tuesday August 21, 6.30pm the Oscars Short Film Program will screen. This is an exclusive showcase of the ten shorts that were nominated for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' animated and live action short film categories this year. They include an Australian nominee for Best Live Action Short, Derin Seale and Josh Lawson's 'The Eleven O'Clock'. On Wednesday August 22 AACTA's Melbourne Masterclass in Web Series Creation will draw upon some of the country's most successful web content creators and developers to share their expertise in creating scripted content for online audiences worldwide. Then Thursday August 23 will see the AACTA Short Film Program shown on the big screen – this year's nominees for Best Australian Short Film and Best Australian Animated Short, with winners to be announced at the AACTAs in December. Later on in September the AACTA Film Fest will warm up for the awards season with screenings of 38 Australian films from the past year, many of which are exclusive screenings or films yet to be released (such as the pictured Ladies in Black). All films are competing for nominations for the 8th AACTA Awards, so you can get a snapshot of the high calibre and diversity of Australian cinema, including such gems as Upgrade, Sweet Country, Cargo and Swinging Sa
The kitsch, whimsical world of Wes Anderson is coming to the Astor Theatre this month. From July 4 to August 9, Wednesday nights at the Astor will celebrate the entirety of Wes Anderson’s directorial career from 1996 comedy-crime Bottle Rockets right up to this year’s stop-motion animated hit Isle of Dogs. Inspired by the likes of Orson Welles and Federico Fellini, Anderson has spent his 20 or so years as a director carving out a rather fanciful niche. The seven-week retrospective at the Astor includes both single and double bills, as well as plenty of pastel-hued sets and Owen Wilson moments. For the full schedule of films check the Dates and Times tab above.
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.
Lots of cathartic crying, attractive stars and supernatural suspense: Korean cinema doesn't muck around when it comes to what's fun in movies, and the annual Korean Film Festival in Australia is always a highlight of the cinema year. The KOFFIA is run by the Korean Culture Centre Australia, which offers public education programs about the Republic of Korea throughout the year. The 2018 film festival will be the ninth, with 22 feature films to be screened (all with English subtitles). Opening night film is Little Forest, a feelgood film about a young women who leaves the big city to return to her rural hometown, while closing night's Microhabitat is a slice of life about a 31-year-old housekeeper who tries to live by couch surfing with her old college friends. A nice'n'nasty chunk of K-horror arrives in the form of Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum, in which a team explores an allegedly haunted asylum for a YouTube horror web-series and gets more than they bargained for. A dark Korean take on Groundhog Day, A Day is about a surgeon who must re-live the traumatic morning of his daughter's death over and over again. Cop buddy comedy Midnight Runners has a dumb jock and a shy bookworm becoming best friends at the academy and launching their own investigation into a kidnapping. The fantasy Glass Garden concerns a PhD student with a gift for communicating with nature who gets the attention of a novelist. Be With You is a poignant supernatural love story in which a deceased mother
The first ever Harry Potter film is 17 years old (do you feel old yet?) and while that's not exactly a big anniversary, that's not going to stop the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from hosting live concert screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in November this year. The Harry Potter Film Concert Series is a global concert tour celebrating the boy wizard films all over the world, and rewatching the third Harry Potter film with a live orchestra will no doubt renew your appreciation of these three hard-working wizards. Still, John Williams' magical score is one of the most recognised in the world, and who doesn't feel a little excited when that theme song comes on?
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – aka Episode 5 – is widely considered the best of the eight Star Wars films. The first Star Wars sequel, it's the movie that set the series on course for immortality, introducing characters such as Yoda and Boba Fett, offering the cliffhanging twist about Luke's parentage, and bringing together Leia and Han in a surprisingly affecting love story. But let's not forget the score by John Williams, which introduced to Star Wars the thunderous 'Imperial March'. Now fans have the chance to hear that music played live by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Nicholas Luc. Prior to the two film screenings Luc will join film experts Dr Dan Golding and Andrew Pogson to give a presentation on the composition and greatness of the score. Be quick to book your tickets: the chances of this happening again soon are on a par with the chances of successfully navigating an asteroid field. Tickets are on sale now.
Watch a film in the great outdoors
Nice weather means spending warm evenings watching new releases and cult classics; here are our favourite outdoor cinemas.