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
Did you ever wonder why France’s film culture is so rich and varied and full of big-name stars? Simple: for every cinema ticket sold in France, whether for a local film or a Hollywood blockbuster, the state gets money to invest into French films. The latest fruits of this vibrant industry screen in March, spanning comedy, biopic, drama, war stories, animation and romance. They include new movies from the Dardenne Brothers, Anne Fontaine and Bertrand Tavernier, featuring stars such as Isabelle Huppert, Daniel Auteuil, Omar Sy, Audrey Tautou and many, many more. Gender equality is especially strong in the French movie world, with 17 new movies from women directors. And here’s another drawcard: the festival is running a competition this year with prizes for attendees of a trip for two to France and a trip for two to New Caledonia. Here are Time Out’s 12 picks of highlights to look out for. The Alliance Française French Film Festival is set to take place across Palace Cinemas throughout Melbourne including: the Kino Cinemas, the Astor Theatre, Palace Balwyn, palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth and Palace Cinema Como.
Lido Cinema’s rooftop makes a triumphant return this summer. The season kicks off with a Western-themed costume party and a screening of the Hell or Highwater, starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine. Lido on the Roof will also screen summer releases including Arrival, Nocturnal Animals, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and a Valentine's Day screening of Fifty Shades Darker. Press rewind and get stuck into retro-Wednesdays, which will feature screenings of classic flicks Do the Right Thing, Death Becomes Her, Wake in Fright, Pink Flamingos and Woody Allen's Manhattan. Owners Eddie and Lindy Tamir opened Lido Cinemas’ doors in June in 2015 after years of disuse. The art deco building’s previous lives included a start as a cinema in the 1940s, which was then used as a dance school and later, a cabaret theatre. Setting out to bring the spectacle back to going to the cinema, the Tamirs transformed the previously derelict venue into what they described as a “60s futuristic” themed space, adding lashings of contemporary design whilst respecting the building’s original features. 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.
Belgrave's Cameo Cinemas operate an outdoor cinema every summer, showcasing a mix of epic summer blockbusters and arthouse films in among the green forests of the Dandenong Ranges. This summer's program opens with JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and features special screenings such as the Valentine's Day Screening of Fifty Shades Darker, and Bring Your Pet screenings of A Dog's Purpose and Red Dog: True Blue. For the optimal film-watching experience, Cameo Outdoor Cinema features a 14m wide screen, headphones for the best sound quality, and a picnic area for deckchair and bean-bag seating. The outdoor cinema opens an hour before every film screening, giving moviegoers enough time to take in the breathtaking surroundings and grab treats like sweets from the Sassafras Sweet Co and hand-made choc tops.
The newest film festival to hit Melbourne owes its existence, weirdly, to Irish Rules football. Also known as Gaelic football, the game is similar to Aussie rules and is played by many expats from the Emerald Isle in Australia; Irish filmmaker Dr Enda Murray originally came out to make a documentary about the phenomenon, and ended up staying on to work in academia (he’s currently teaching film at the University of New South Wales). “I lived in London before Australia and was really impressed by their Irish Film Festival,” he explains. “I thought it would be a great addition to the cultural life of Sydney, and the Irish Government have supported us really well, and this year we are going to Melbourne for the first time.” The Irish industry, Murray says, is “going gangbusters” thanks to country’s strong connections both to Europe and the US. “Ireland being just four hours from New York, there’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of actors and technicians. There were a total nine films last year with Irish connections nominated for Oscars. The future is looking pretty bright.” Murray talked us through the festival’s five offerings. A Date for Mad Mary “It’s a comedy about a woman out of prison trying to find a date for her best friend’s wedding. I love it extra, because it’s made in my home town, Drogheda – I can spot locations where I misspent my youth. It’s [also] a gay story, which reflects the fact we’ve got marriage equality in Ireland, and for a country that was priest-ridd
Have you seen the 2014 Australian comedy The Little Death? No? Pity. Josh Lawson’s film is a daring, adult sex comedy exploring what happens when various suburban Aussies start to act on their fetishes. Back then, Time Out wrote that the film “deftly weaves together surreal scenarios into a constantly surprising package”. But moviegoers stayed at home – most likely because the words “erotic” and “Australian comedy” just don’t sit comfortably in the same sentence together. So it’s no shock to us that the movie has been remade, very successfully, in Spain. Director Paco Léon has worked out the kinks, so to speak, of Lawson’s film and with Kiki, Love to Love managed to unseat Batman vs Superman from the top of the Spanish box office. The film has garnered comparison to the work of Pedro Almodóvar, and will be the opening night film of the 20th Spanish Film Festival. The film’s star, Natalia de Molina (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed), will be visiting Australia as festival guest. Closing night film, meanwhile, will be The Trip to Spain – the third ‘trip’ movie, in which Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden play themselves on assignment, driving through Spain, eating at its best restaurants and exchanging improvised banter. Iberian superstar Penélope Cruz stars in The Queen of Spain. The sequel to 1998’s The Girl of Your Dreams, it’s a comedic drama about a 1950s Hollywood star who returns to her native Spain to shoot a film. Thriller fans will go for The Fury of a Patient Man. The deb
Powerful human stories are promised at the tenth 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. Opening night's film promises to be a highly publicised and controversial documentary. Highlights from the program already anounced include the world premiere of Happyland by director Marti Salva. It's set in Manila’s slum communities of Baseco and Happyland (from a local word ‘hapilan’ for dumpsite) where most residents live in makeshift homes built with scavenged waste. In 2016, street artists Cheeseagle and Kaff-eine decided to change this with an art installation and housing project. They raised money and installed 30 large art tarpaulins, featuring Kaff-eine's portraits of local residents. Raving Iran spotlights the music of Iranian DJ's Blade & Bear whose music is deemed illegal in their country. Susanne Regina Meurs followed the DJs for a year, during a crucial phase in their lives. From the Netherlands comes Radio Kobanî. When liberation came to the Syrian border town of Kobanî, 20-year-old Kurdish reporter Dilovan started a radio station. She and her friend Biter report on refugee camps, talk to survivors and interview fighters and musicians. Filmed over ten years, Australian feature documentary Constance on the Edge by director Belinda Mason is a portrayal of