Thursday, August 04, 2016

MIFF- International Shorts 2 and The Neon Demon

For tonight's MIFF session I began at Hoyts Melbourne Central with International Shorts 2, which featured six different internationally acclaimed and awarded short films. Juanjo Gimenez's Timecode, which won the Palm d'Or for best short film at this year's Cannes Film Festival, was my favorite of the bunch. It featured two parking lot security guards who encountered each other as they changed work shifts. A discovery of her colleague dancing during one of his shift leads to them leaving time coded dance messages to each other.

Next was Balcony by Toby Fell-Holden, which showed the developing friendship between two girls from different backgrounds and concluded with a shocking ending. Maria Guskova's The Return of Erkin showed what happened when Erkin returned to his hometown after 10 years in jail and the reception he received from family and friends. The Silence by Ali Asgari and Farnoosh Samadi was a heartbreaking film about a girl who had to translate news of her mother's diagnosis to her but couldn't find the words. Zamo Mkhwanazi's The Call was about a taxi driver who received some life changing news from a sex worker he'd been seeing. The final film was The Bathtub by Tim Ellrich, a funny film where three brothers tried to recreate a childhood photo for their mother's 60th birthday.

I then headed to the Comedy Theatre for Nicholas Winding Refn's film The Neon Demon. Elle Fanning plays Jesse, a 16-year-old aspiring model who comes to Los Angeles and befriends make up artist Ruby (Jena Malone) and her model friends Sarah (Abbey Lee) and Gigi (Bella Heathcote). As Jesse becomes the next "it girl" with photographers and designers, her new friends become jealous and eventually get their revenge on her. The plot was severely lacking in this visually stylish film that featured both necrophilia and cannibalism (and a lot of blood).

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