Sunday, August 02, 2015

MIFF- The Overnight, Sherpa and Gayby Baby

The Melbourne International Film Festival has begun and this year I have taken the plunge and bought myself and eMini Pass, which will get me into 10 films. This weekend I have caught three films- one comedy and two documentaries.

movie, MIFFThe Overnight is about a married couple who move from Seattle to Los Angeles with their son. Nervous about making new friends, Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) encounter Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) at the park when their two sons start playing together. He invites them all over to his house for dinner, and the movie covers what happens when the kids are put to bed and the two couples keep on partying. There are some funny moments throughout the film (particularly around some prosthetic appendages) and Jason Schwartzman nails the Los Angeles hipster who dabbles in a bit of everything and has too much cash to burn.

movie, MIFF
Sherpa is a documentary that shows life on Mount Everest from the Sherpa's point of view, with a focus on the 2014 climbing season where an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas. The film follows veteran Sherpa Phurba, who works for one of the main expedition companies and has submitted Everest 21 times (and would break the world record if he made it up again). It is an interesting exploration of the treatment of Sherpas by the rich Western climbers and how tensions have been rising between the two groups over the past few years as the Sherpas demand better treatment and compensation for the dangerous work they do. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, and we were fortunate enough to have the director Jennifer Peedom attend our screening (although I couldn't stick around for the Q&A).

movie, MIFF
Gayby Baby is another documentary that portrays four Australian kids around 12 years old - Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham - and their families. Shot over a couple years you get to see the kids grow older, deal with adolescence and articulate so clearly what it's like to grow up in a household with same-sex parents. The film is also a great portrait of parenting in modern times as these families really allowed some intimate and honest moments to be captured on film by the director Maya Newell. Maya, as well as one of the families, were at the screening and did a Q&A session after the film was shown. At a time when the marriage equality debate is still going on in Australia, this is an important film for people to see.

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