US filmmaker Whit Stillman brought an Austenian sensibility (and sense) to indie classics Barcelona, Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco. Now with Love and Friendship he adapts Austen’s early novella Lady Susan, starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. It’s the festival’s Closing Night film.
Weiner is a doco about former congressman Anthony Weiner and the sexting scandals that brought his New York mayoral campaign to an ignominious end. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance in January.
Strap on a VR headset to experience one of nine VR movies in Down the Rabbit Hole: Virtual Reality at the Hub, Lower Town Hall. Find yourself in Wonderland with the Cheshire cat or on stage with the Sydney Dance Company, or prowling a haunted asylum. All nine VR sreenings are free on a first-in-best-dressed basis.
A highlight of David Stratton’s retrospective of Scorsese is the 1980 black-and-white saga of Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro), a middleweight boxer undone by his obsessive jealousy over his wife (Cathy Moriarty).
Belgium-born Akerman died last year but not before completing a project that weighed on her mind for decades. No Home Movie is a portrait of her relationship with her mother, a holocaust survivor whose chronic anxiety shaped Akerman’s art.
Ants on a Shrimp: Noma in Tokyo is about René Redzepi’s Tokyo pop-up and search to find a Nordic take on Japanese ingredients. One screening will be followed by a dinner at one of Sydney’s best restaurants, the Bridge Room. Trust us: you’ll be starving.
Jake Gyllenhaal is getting some of the best reviews of his career for Demolition, the new comedic drama from Jean-Marc Vallée (Wild, Dallas Buyers Club). An investment banker (Gyllenhaal) struggles with the tragic loss of his wife by writing lengthy letters of complaint.
Rebecca Miller’s Maggie's Plan is a complicated love triangle in the best Woody Allen tradition. A career advisor (Gerwig) is about to embark on single motherhood when she finds love with an anthropology professor (Hawke) who happens to be married to a demanding academic (Julianne Moore).
Alexander Sokurov created a one-take love letter to the Hermitage in St Petersberg in Russian Ark. His ode to the Louvre, Francofonia, is slightly different: a docu-drama about the curator and the Nazi officer who worked together to protect the museum’s works during the war.
Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who has been announced as a festival guest, ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ is a powerful short documentary about Saba Qaiser, who fell in love, eloped, was hunted down by her father and uncle, shot in the head, stuffed into a bag and tossed into a river. Amazingly, she survived.
Musical comedy-drama Sing Street by John Carney is about the struggles of growing up in 1980s Dublin. A boy attending a tough inner-city school sets out to impress a girl by forming a band. There’s music from ’80s bands like Duran Duran and the Cure.
Linklater’s Boyhood was the sensation of the 2014 Sydney Film Festival; now the festival gets Everybody Wants Some!!, in which Texas college freshmen enjoy a weekend of partying prior to the start of semester.
A prescient 1982 film has De Niro kidnapping a TV comedian (Jerry Lewis) so that he can perform his act on live TV. It’s an underrated gem, with a superb supporting turn from the hilarious Sandra Bernhard.
Based on Matthew Whittet’s play, Girl Asleep is a wildly imaginative coming of age story set in the 1970s. A 14-year-old girl (Bethany Whitmore) suffers the birthday party from hell and descends into a rabbit hole of surreal events.
From the director of Kill List comes an adaptation of JG Ballard’s sci-fi novel concerning an apartment tower which descends into tribal anarchy – an allegory for the class system with echoes of A Clockwork Orange.
Documentary Jheronimus Bosch: Touched by the Devil follows five Dutch historians around the globe as they unravel the secrets of Bosch (1450-1516), whose blackly funny scenes of heaven, hell and carnality befuddle and amaze to this day.
It was booed at Cannes in 1985 and shocked audiences with its sex and sheer craziness. But the epic film, directed by Ray Lawrence (Lantana) based on Peter Carey’s novel, is among the most daring and witty in the Australian canon. Stars Barry Otto.
Cast Away meets Weekend at Bernie’s as a marooned man (Paul Dano) whose solitude is broken when a flatulent drowned man (Radcliffe) is washed up on his island. File Swiss Army Man under ‘love it or hate it’.
Refreshingly frank and real Indian comedy Angry Indian Goddesses has modern women exploring gender, sexism and harassment and is part of the ongoing conversation about women’s rights on the subcontinent.
Because of a NSW Supreme Court Injunction, Hollie Fifer can’t show all of her doco on the fight to save a Papua New Guinea community from an Australian five-star hotel development. Actor Sarah Snook will narrate over the redacted sections of The Opposition. Expect lawyers to be in attendance.
A small town schoolgirl discovering her sexuality gets tangled up in the investigation of a series of killings in What’s in the Darkness, a searing indictment of police incompetence in an authoritarian state.
The director of Only Lovers Left Alive and Down by Law has made a documentary about Iggy and his band. Gimme Danger promises to be a meeting of minds so cool, the universe will basically freeze forever.