Yesterday was the last day of 2018’s Melbourne International Film Festival, and I also went for my last film at 2018 MIFF.
Going to MIFF is my first time to really participate in an international film festival, and it really brings me a lot of surprise, and it changes my view of film festivals. To be honest, I used to regard film festivals only as chances for fans to watch some movies previously and meet their favourite actors, actresses or directors. I ever discussed with my friends, and we both thought that there were only few famous stars coming to MIFF, which made it kind of boring. However, I still decided to go to the MIFF this year, especially after choosing the course Film Festival Study Tour, and I wanted to have a close look at what film festivals are really like.
My first day at MIFF was 4th of August, and I went to watch Shoplifters with my friend. When we firstly got into Regent Theatre, we were both amazed by the gorgeous theatre. I never thought about watching films at a really theatre. Compared with all the cinemas, with same cool air, that I went before, sitting in a theatre makes it more formal and ritual to watch a film. But I was a little bit confused. It was a big hall, with two floors, so hundreds of people will sit in one hall and watch movie together. It must be hard for all the people to see and hear clearly, and it must be kind of noisy due to such many people.
We didn’t arrive early, so we had to sit at the second floor, and I thought it must be hard for me to concentrate on and enjoy the film in such distance, especially watching a Japanese film (I don’t understand Japanese). Nevertheless, I was surprised while watching. Although there were many audiences, the hall was quiet while the film was playing. Everyone went into the world of film together, so was I. No one come to disturb the harmonious atmosphere, until the cast list arose, and the light turned on. All the audiences started to applause. At that moment, I started to understand that instead of chasing stars, people came to film festivals for films themselves, for the wonderful experiences at film festivals. A good film festival is not measured by how big it is or how many stars come to it. In my view, as long as it brings good films, no matter famous or not, to audiences, and provide a free place for people to discuss movies, it can be regarded as a good film festival.
The film I watched yesterday was Angels Wear White, directed by Vivian Qu. When the film was shown in China, it shocked the whole country because it focuses on a sensitive but hot issue. However, I didn’t watch it for personal reasons. I’m glad that the film can be shown at MIFF, so I can get the chance to watch it in cinemas. It’s good to end my journey at MIFF 2018 with a Chinese film, not only since Chinese film is easier for me to understand, but also because it’s happy to see more Chinese films showing on the stage of international film industry.
When I sat there, waiting for the film to start, I heard a young man talking with his friend. He said he had watched 25 films at this year’s MIFF. Yes, MIFF is a real crazy party for all the cinephiles in Melbourne.
Then I saw a sentence on the screen that touched me a lot – “We’ll see you next year.”
See you next year MIFF. Can’t wait for another wonderful journey at MIFF.