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8 huge movies have just been added to Sydney Film Festival

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Written by
Nick Dent
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It's become a Sydney Film Festival tradition: an 11th hour addition of films that have made a splash at the Cannes Film Festival barely days earlier. (The timing of SFF in June, just after the world's most prestigious film showcase, means that some of the most exciting movies can't be confirmed in time for the official program announcement.)

And what a haul this year! Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – the legendary 'cursed' movie Gilliam tried for years to make, itself the subject of a documentary, and at last completed with stars Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce – had a triumphant premiere in Cannes. Now, super-quick movie fans can get tickets to two SFF screenings. 

The Palme D'Or winner, Shoplifters, will screen too – it's a widely loved Japanese drama about a poor Japanese family committing petty crimes to survive. Korean film Burning got rapturous reviews too; this Korean film is based on a Haruki Murakami story and features The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun. 

A special award was given in Cannes to the towering figure of Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless), the 87-year-old pioneer of the French new wave, for his experimental film The Image Book. It's a powerful essay film reflecting on the state of the world – an explosion of images, news clips, acts of violence and sounds that references hundreds of movies. 

“Satanic”, “gobsmacking”, “depraved” and “unflinching”: just some of the descriptors applied by critics to Climax, the new film from French provocateur Gaspar Noé (Irreversible). It's reportedly based on the true story of a dance group whose post-rehearsal party descended into hell, helped by lashing of LSD-laced alcohol.

Paweł Pawlikowski won an Oscar for the stunning Ida. His new film, Cold War, also in glorious black and white, is a passionate, music-filled love story set in Cold War-era Europe – Pawlikowski won the Best Director prize in Cannes. 

The Cannes Camera d’Or winner Girl is an impressive debut about a teenage transgender girl training to be a ballerina whilst undergoing a taxing physical transformation. And Woman at War is an Icelandic comedy about a choir leader who has a secret life as an eco-warrior.

Tickets to all films are on sale now.

Read Time Out's top 23 picks of the Sydney Film Festival.

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