Melbourne International Film Festival: Bringing the people together.

The arrival of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) every year is something to greatly look forward to. Why? Because not only does it bring about a sense of community and solidarity, but it also embraces cultures much beyond Melbourne. In Australia, we are generally seen to take great pride in our multiculturalism; this, in turn, is advocated in much of the events that we see popping up around our country, especially in Melbourne. The Melbourne International Film Festival is absolutely no exception to this.

At this year’s MIFF, I have had the great pleasure of attending two incredible events: Prince’s Sign O’ The Times and the Cage-A-Thon event at the Astor, which showed seven of Nicolas Cage’s greatest movies in a one-night-viewing spectacular. Ultimately, the events which I chose to attend were both ones that I have had a prior interest in and, thus, knew exactly what I was to be in for. Something that I don’t generally do – I will often ask movie-buff friends for their recommendations, however due to 

As a music writer and a life-long Prince fan, Sign O’ The Times allowed me to be immersed into and captivated by the true artistry of Prince. It felt like I was there, an actual member of the audience, witnessing the sheer brilliance of this man perform with his incredible live band. The music is his art, and one cannot help but feel utterly engrossed by his presence on any stage. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to witness him live, but this was the next best thing. Brilliance on the big screen. The music and performance aside, the most captivating part of this screening was the underlying narrative that played out throughout the editing and the performance. This was more than just a gig, it was more than just a Prince performance. This screening captivated the audience, taking each one of us on a music journey.

MIFF - Prince Sign O The Times

As mentioned prior, the other event which I was able to attend was the Astor special event Cage-A-Thon which previewed a number of Nicolas Cage’s movies. As a past Film Studies student in both high school and my undergraduate, I have been fortunate enough to study a number of his films already including Con Air, Raising Arizona and Face Off. I have always been a fan of Nicolas Cage films, so to watch seven of them back to back, reminiscing on old ones and discovering ones that I had not watched previously, was a fantastic opportunity. Moreover from that, another main reason why I attended this event was for nostalgia purposes—as a teenager, my sister, cousins and I would attend themed overnight movie marathons at Hoyts or Village. I had not done something like this in years and, as such, thought it to be a fantastic opportunity to take a walk down memory lane.

Ultimately, my love of discovering new films, reminiscing with old films and film festivals as a whole attributes to my eagerness to attend MIFF every year. My one biggest disappointment this year, however, was that I did not experience any new films that were of interest to me; something which I have never done in the past. I am grateful that festivals such as this exist in order to bring the international community closer together, and to allow for all of us whom share this mutual love to bask in each others company.

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