In my past impressions, the most iconic event of an international film festival was the red carpet and the award ceremony, a grand gathering of celebrities, stars and filmmakers, which seemed to be inconsistent with ordinary viewers like me. The 2018 Melbourne Film Festival is indeed the first time in my life to participate in an international film festival. Casting the aura of the red carpet and the awards ceremony, actually, this is a grand film exchange meeting, where can provide common film enthusiasts with an opportunity to take a look at many films they are interested in, and even participate in the premiere to see movies that have not yet appeared in the market.
There are more than 400 films showing at MIFF this year, one of my most interested films is Shoplifters, which was directed by marvelous Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda and took out the 2018 Palme d’Or. The other one is An Elephant Sitting Still，Chinese director Hu Bo’ s first also the last film work in his short life. It is a story about four insignificant persons in the dilemma of life seeking redemption. I finally went to see another one Angels Wear White because the tickets of that two films were sold out. The biggest difference with our usual film watching experience is the running schedule. Usually, films will be shown in major cinemas lasting for a long time, especially the hot films are usually filled up and there will be many sessions to choose every day. But watch films at a film festival is quite different. Because the number of films is huge, so even popular movies such as the Shoplifters was only scheduled for four days. One of my deep experiences of participating the film festival is that if you have your own film wish list, you’d better to buy the ticket without hesitation at the beginning of the film festival.
I watched theAngels Wear White at the Forum Theatre where is an ancient theatre with a history of 89 years. The night sky style blue ceilings , the retro statues and corridors and the spacious viewing halls with some mottled traces all offered me an illusion that I had walk into another century.
The hall of the Forum Theatre
Site selection in such an atmospheric theater has inadvertently created a better viewing experience of attending the MIFF. From the entry to the viewing hall, you can see a lot of film festival workers along the way, their presence is to help the viewers into the atmosphere of the festival in a timely manner. Usually, when the film ends the crowds will leave the cinema immediately. This time I noticed that people gathered in the hallway to discuss the movie story and exchange their feelings after leaving the viewing hall. There is a festival lounge looks like a small banquet center set up on the first floor of the theater, where offered drinks and space for people to chat and relax. No matter who you are, whether you love movies or not, at this moment you are a person who already participated in the atmosphere of the film festival.
The Melbourne Film Festival (MIFF) Victoria 2018, Angels Wear White, viewed 19 August 2018, http://miff.com.au/program/film/angels-wear-white
The Melbourne Film Festival (MIFF) Victoria 2018, Shoplifters, viewed 19 August 2018, http://miff.com.au/program/film/shoplifters
The Melbourne Film Festival (MIFF) Victoria 2018, An Elephant Sitting Still, viewed 19 August 2018, http://miff.com.au/program/film/an-elephant-sitting-still