By Andréa Jean Baker
And so, the 63rd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is here. The opening gala featured the Australian premiere of Predestination, a thriller from Australian filmmaker twins Michael and Peter Spierig.
The brothers are known for the horror and science-fiction film debut Undead in 2003; they rose to fame with their second film Daybreakers (2010), which starred Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, and won Australian Film Institute Award for Best Visual Effects.
Predestination is based on the science-fiction short story All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein – it’s not about zombies, but rather the life of a nameless time-travelling US government Temporal Agent played by Ethan Hawke.
On his final assignment he must pursue a criminal, the Fizzle bomber, a terrorist from 1970s New York who has eluded him over time, despite the agent’s ability to jump backwards and forwards across the years.
We first meet Hawke, hidden beneath a trenchcoat and fedora, trying to disarm an explosive by the bomber. The device explodes in Hawke’s face – which necessitates intense reconstruction surgery. It is the first of many transformations.
Shot in the Docklands Studios in Melbourne and on location throughout the city, the film co-stars Adelaide actor Sarah Snook, who gives a standout performance as a cynical and tough-talking character – both male and female at different junctures.
Thematically, the film is about self-identity, humanity, emotional power and blurring lines between past, present and future.
Snook and Taylor attended the MIFF screening last night. Hawke sent an email – read aloud from the gala stage – praising the directors, in which he wrote: “Maybe in the future when time travel is real, I can sneak out of New York City and be with you here tonight”.
Predestination premiered in March at the South by South festival in Texas and is one of three crime-thriller Australian films to premiere at MIFF this year.
The others are Felony, directed by Melbourne filmmaker Matthew Saville, written by and starring Joel Edgerton, and Cut Snake, directed by Tony Ayres, who won acclaim for his work directing the TV adaptation of The Slap.
More that 341 films will screen at MIFF, including 168 Australian premieres and 28 world premieres.
This article has appeared on The Conversation.
Find out more:
The future of film studies in the age of media studies
Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism ran a workshop, The future of Film Studies … Continue reading The future of film studies in the age of media studies
Lillian explores the craft of journalism overseas
Since graduating from a Bachelor of Arts with a journalism major at Monash University in 2010, Lillian Altman has gained journalism experience around the world.
Getting to know … Tessa Dwyer
Dr Tess Dwyer joins the Film and Screen Studies academic team at Monash University, based … Continue reading Getting to know … Tessa Dwyer
Anderson launches press photography book
Shooting the Picture is the story of Australian press photography from 1888 to today, the … Continue reading Anderson launches press photography book
Getting to know … Ashlea Masters
Master of Journalism graduate Ashlea Masters is the Creative & Production Executive with Buchanan Group‘s European … Continue reading Getting to know … Ashlea Masters
Strong line-up at the Melbourne Writers Festival
Monash University academics are well represented at the Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF), a two-week celebration … Continue reading Strong line-up at the Melbourne Writers Festival
Shweta Kishore appointed lecturer in Vietnam
Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism’s HDR candidate and sessional lecturer, Shweta Kishore, … Continue reading Shweta Kishore appointed lecturer in Vietnam
Getting to know … Dylan Bird
Master of Journalism and International Relations graduate Dylan Bird is the Sponsorship Coordinator for Triple … Continue reading Getting to know … Dylan Bird
A Reflection on Unhip Cinema of the 1960s
A public lecture with New York University Cinema Studies expert, Professor Dana Polan Illustrated with … Continue reading A Reflection on Unhip Cinema of the 1960s
Press Freedom in the Arab World
Storyology presents … Press Freedom in the Arab World Lina Attalah (Mada Masr, Egypt) in … Continue reading Press Freedom in the Arab World
Getting to know … Whitney Monaghan
Dr Whitney Monaghan is an expert in Film and Screen studies. She enjoys her work at … Continue reading Getting to know … Whitney Monaghan
Getting to know … Eileen McInnes
Master of Journalism and International Relations graduate Eileen McInnes is a public relations and communications professional … Continue reading Getting to know … Eileen McInnes