There are many wonderful cultural activities every month in this culturally diverse city, Melbourne. As a film lover, it is the first time that I experienced the atmosphere of the Melbourne International Film Festival(MIFF) as an audience. MIFF is one of the most influential international film festivals in the southern hemisphere. A series of films from all over the world will be shown at this festival every year to present the latest trends in Australian and international movies. A wide range of films, including feature films, short films, documentaries, and cartoons, will be presented to the audiences within 20 days. These films tend to be both fresh and highly controversial.
The official website of MIFF is very clear and professional. It is easy for audiences to find different types of movies which they are interested in. I found some movies I was interested in when I browsed the movie list on the official website.
Burning is a 2018 mystery drama film of South Korea directed by Lee Chang-dong. The film stars Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, and Jeon Jong-seo. It is based on two short stories “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami and “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner. It tells the complex love story of three different young people who have different backgrounds and experiences. Burning was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. That’s one of the reasons I’m interested in this movie. I also pay more attention to this film because of the excellent actor Yoo Ah-in. As a young actor in South Korea, he has participated in many excellent works.
I’ve been looking forward to Burning since the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The film didn’t show in Australia, so I was excited to see that Burning would come out at MIFF. The experience of watching a movie at MIFF is great. I was impressed by the enthusiastic volunteers and the freeway to choose seats. Unlike some Chinese film festivals, there is no seat number on movie tickets of MIFF, and people are free to choose their seats based on their arrival time.
By describing the interaction between three young people of different class status, Burning tells about the confusion of contemporary South Korean young people and metaphor the class difference. This is a suspense movie with a brooding sense of menace. As the author, Pierce Conran(2018), said in Screen Anarchy, “Dense with symbolism, this tour de force burrows towards the ineffable as it gradually builds palpable tension through a mystery that begins to consume its lead character. Yoo Ah-in and Steven Yeun both deliver career-best work while newcomer Jeon Jong-seo is a marvel as the girl who finds herself caught between them.” When the movie ended, like it in Cannes, the audiences applauded spontaneously. I couldn’t hide my excitement under this circumstances. At that moment, I realized the significance of a film festival.
Steven Yeun, who was born in South Korea and grew up in the American Midwest, believes that participating in this film awakened his feelings that he would not be treated as a minority. Nowadays, the trend of film diversity is strengthening in Hollywood. People can see some Asian faces in commercial blockbusters gradually. These films from different countries and cultures at MIFF show how inclusive and diverse Melbourne is. Some audiences find opportunities here to know about other cultures, and people who come from different countries find their senses of belonging and comfort.
This experience reminds me of Crazy Rich Asians, a movie which is just released in many countries. The film with all-Asian cast received rave reviews and promoted cultural diversity around the world. Many audiences started to express their feelings about this movie on social media.
The continuous applause in the whole theater after the ending of Burning seems to prove the same viewpoint: People’s awareness is awakening, and the diversified development of the film industry is an inevitable trend.
BengBeng Zhen. (2018). Reborn from BURNING. Retrieved from http://news.mtime.com/2018/05/18/1580737.html
Pierce Conran. (2018).Cannes 2018 Review: BURNING, a Slow Burn for the Ages. Retrieved from https://screenanarchy.com/2018/05/cannes-2018-review-a-slowburn-film-for-the-ages.html