Blogged by: Filmme Fatales 07 Jul 2016 View comments
Navigating the vast Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) program is a daunting task that Melbourne movie buffs undertake every year. To make the process of shortlisting and scheduling a little easier, our local film correspondents from Filmme Fatales are back to tell us what films are topping their must-watch list this year. Check out all of our exclusive MIFF dining offers, and read on to find out what Filmme Fatales editor Brodie Lancaster is most keen to see at HOYTS Melbourne Central, and to find out how you can score some free MIFF tickets as well.

As I Open My Eyes 

Set in the capital of Tunisia in 2010, As I Open My Eyes is a portrait of Farah, a bright high school graduate with a passion for music and performing—despite her parent’s hopes for a career in medicine. Set against the backdrop of the impending Arab Spring—which occurred early in 2011—the film explores the clashing of artistic passion and political rebellion.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 10 at 6.30pm on 29 July

Janis: Little Girl Blue

In its synopsis of this documentary, the MIFF program describes how talk of Janis Joplin “so often regarded as a cartoon or cautionary tale”. A rock and roll singer with a furious voice and troubled heart, Janis’s place among the great music tragedies was cemented when she died, in 1970, at age 27. But she was so much more than just a name on the infamous “27 Club”’s members list, as this film by Academy Award-nominated director Amy Berg explores, using archival footage of her performances and interviews with those close to her.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 10 at 4.00pm on 30 July



I recently saw the film The Fits, about a young girl trading in her boxing gloves to join the all-girls dance team in a small town. It was an eerie, exciting movie, with awesome dance sequences choreographed by Celia Rowlson-Hall. I’d seen her playful work with Lena Dunham [] before, but was left wanting more. Ma is her first feature film as director and, with no dialogue, it is a film that makes the most of every movement. I’m so excited to not only see her film, Ma, play as part of MIFF’s ‘Bodies in Motion’ program, but also to hear her discuss it as a guest of the festival.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 3 at 6.45pm on 31 July

Beware the Slenderman

The Slender Man stabbing might just be the most terrifying source material for a horror movie. Not just because it’s rooted in reality—which it is—but because it demonstrated the extreme power the internet can have on our minds and decisions. During a sleepover in 2014, two 12-year-old girls found the story of Slender Man on a website filled with horror stories. They believed the invented legend surrounding the (PhotoShopped) image of the Slender Man so thoroughly that the following night they stabbed a fellow classmate 19 times in an attempt to be welcomed into his fold. Director Irene Taylor Brodsky weaves the girls’ police interrogation tapes into her feature film about this unsettling, incredible internet phenomenon.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 10 at 9.00pm on 2 August and 6 August


You can’t make this stuff up. What begins with New Zealand journalist David Farrier investigating the seemingly innocent trend of “competitive tickling” he stumbled across online becomes something far more sinister. As his requests to speak to the mysterious “Jane O’Brien”—a woman behind the organisation that pays handsome young guys thousands of dollars to be held down and tickled on camera—are met with threats, Farrier and his co-director Dylan Reeve are motivated to dig deeper into the manipulation and blackmail that goes on once the men are released from “tickle cells”. I can’t wait to watch as they try to locate the dark underbelly of this great, mysterious tickling empire to find out who exactly is holding the feather.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 10 at 6.30pm on 3 August


My eagerness to see this movie has only grown since it premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and at MIFF I’ll finally get the chance. A retelling of the shocking 1974 on-air suicide of TV journalist Christine Chubbuck, with the dependably thoughtful actress Rebecca Hall in the title role, Christine delves into the life of the woman before the event that came to define—and end—it. Also playing at MIFF is Kate Plays Christine, an eery documentary following beloved indie actress Kate Lyn Shiel as she researches Christine Chubbuck in preparation to play her on-screen. Like the two back-to-back TV series about OJ Simpson that have aired this year—one a dramatisation, one a documentary—these two complementary films are sure to raise and answer questions in equal measure.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 11 at 9.15pm on 6 August

Girl Asleep 

Not to play favourites, but this Australian teen comedy might just be my most-anticipated film at MIFF this year. Adapted from director Rosemary Myers’ stage production, the film combines the absurdist elements of Napoleon Dynamite with the surreal fantasy dream scenes in Where the Wild Things Are in its story of awkward teen Greta, whose eccentric family insists on inviting all the kids at her new school to her 15th birthday party. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film that satisfies my love of home-grown teen comedies, and I think this will be the one to do it this year.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 10 at 6.30pm on 9 August

Bad Girl

A dark, suspenseful story about friendship, romance, deception and betrayal, Bad Girl is one of seven films on this year’s program that was supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund. It follows Amy, the 16-year-old adopted daughter of picture-perfect parents. Following her release from juvenile detention, she is drawn to Chloe, a local girl who is hiding a lot of secrets behind her friendly face. I’m a big fan of the sub-genre of Australian films affectionately called “Kitchen Sink Dramas”, and this one, with its suspenseful score by Warren Ellis, is one I’m really looking forward to.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 10 at 9.00pm on 11 August

Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie

No one does immersive reporting like Louis Theroux. The beloved British broadcaster has ventured into high security prisons, Neo-Nazi compounds and the home of the Westboro Baptist Church for his BBC TV documentaries. Now, in his first feature film, Theroux brings his trademark curiosity to the rich, threatening institution that is the Church of Scientology. So much of his comedy comes from the absurd situations he places himself into, and there are few things more ripe for absurdity or skepticism than L.Ron Hubbard’s brand of celebrity religion.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 11 at 4.00pm on 13 August


When old friends Sarah and Mindy are reunited, years after they became friends, they find a lot has changed. Young mum Sarah is trying to keep her marriage from falling apart, and the arrival of her free-spirited friend becomes both an anchor and a distraction from troubles at home. Their intimacy only grows, until one night when their relationship changes permanently. Three years later, we see them come together again, this time for Mindy’s wedding, and they attempt to make sense of where they stand. Director So-yong Kim has deliberately left feelings to linger and questions to remain unanswered in this tender, enigmatic story.

Screening at Hoyts Cinema 10 at 1.30pm on 14 August

Win the Ultimate Melbourne Central Eat & Play Experience!

Melbourne Central is giving away 18 double passes to a selection of these films—plus one major prize comprising a $300 Nando’s voucher, $200 Pancake Parlour voucher, a double pass to a Cupcake Central Decorating Masterclass and a MIFF double pass.

Click here to enter our giveaway, or find out more about exclusive MIFF activity and offers at Melbourne Central!


Join The Conversation

comments powered by Disqus
Get the latest offers, event details and all that is happening in-centre. By signing up, you agree to our collection and handling of your information as described in our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time.
Get ahead of the crowd and get the latest offers, event details and all that is happening in-centre. By signing up, you agree to our collection and handling of your information as described in our Privacy Policy. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time.
Opening hours
Labour Day Trading Hours
Mon, 13 Mar 2017 - 10am - 6pm
Level 3 - Dining & Entertainment (10am - Late)
Regular trading hours
Mon - 10am - 7pm
Tue - 10am - 7pm
Wed - 10am - 7pm
Thu - 10am - 9pm
Fri - 10am - 9pm
Sat - 10am - 7pm
Sun - 10am - 7pm
Melbourne Central
Cnr LaTrobe and Swanston Streets
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9922 1100