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HOT List: Melbourne International Film Festival 2011 picks

Screen shot 2011 05 27 at 10.47.08 AM HOT List: Melbourne International Film Festival 2011 picksYAY! It’s the time of year when I can bunker down in dark cinemas for hours on end during the Melbourne International Film Festival.

This year RM and I have selected the films for our 10 film mini-pass in a slightly different manner. In one way we’ve been constrained by the fact that we have a little baby, which means that we can only see films together if we can get a babysitter and we can’t see several films back to back. On the other hand, limited movie date nights together means that we’ve been free to go our on way with our cinematic interests.

So, here are the films that RM and I have chosen to see this year. Our leanings are towards international award-winning European cinema (me), music documentaries (him), feelgood films involving kids (me), Japanese films (him), Eastern European comedies (me), sports documentaries (him) and dark Korean films (me).

There are 200+ films on offer and your film-going tastes may not necessarily match mine – but as this year’s tagline says ‘only the best films make the cut’.

2014 – MY WEDDING AND OTHER SECRETS New Zealand audiences have embraced this charming, oddball comedy about the challenges of cross-cultural love.

5022 – NORWEGIAN WOODWith this adaptation of the best-selling novel by Haruki Murakami, acclaimed Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya, Cyclo) has created a dark and strikingly haunting film about love and loss.

6024 – LIFE IN A DAYA historic cinematic experiment shot by thousands of people in 192 countries, Life in a Day is the true story of a single day on Earth.

3032 – 33 POSTCARDSAn inter-continental journey with a little girl lost and an adult looking to be found.

4046 – PRINCIPLES OF LIFE How hard can it possibly be to organise a family holiday?

2053 – KHODORKOVSKY “For me, as for anybody, it is hard to live in prison, and I do not want to die here. But if I have to, I will have no hesitation. What I believe in is worth dying for.” – Mikhail Khodorkovsky

1067 – SENNA “A high-octane bio of one of auto racing’s greatest figures.” – Variety

6074 – FIRE IN BABYLON “My bat was my sword.” – Vivian Richards

2078 – PROJECT NIM “Reminds us that while our close genetic relatives are as intelligent as they come, we can be the biggest chumps.” – Guardian

4083 – HOW TO DIE IN OREGON “A beautifully intimate look at terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally.” – Variety

1090 – THE UNJUST “Achieves a happy marriage between commercial savvy and artistic integrity in its hard-hitting depiction of Seoul as a city of corruption.” - Hollywood Reporter

2097 – BEING ELMO “There are Piggy people in the world, and Kermit people, and Grover people, but Elmo people are everywhere.” – Variety

8105 – VIVA RIVA! Violent, kinetic and sexy, crime thriller Viva Riva! stares down the barrel of Kinshasa’s savage criminal underworld, shattering staid preconceptions of African filmmaking.

3112 – BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST Hollywood actor Michael Rapaport brings the story of hip-hop’s finest to the screen with a fan’s devotion.

9118 – CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS Cinematic legend Werner Herzog presents an astonishing glimpse of our prehistoric forebears.

3128 – EXPORTING RAYMOND An attempt to export the hit US TV show Everybody Loves Raymond to Russia makes for a front row seat to a comedic culture-clash.

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