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:
Alana wins Sir Keith Murdoch Scholarship
Monash University journalism student Alana Mitchelson has won the Sir Keith Murdoch Journalism Scholarship, a…
MFJ student beats thousands to coveted graduate role
One of the School of Media Film and Journalism’s graduating students from the Masters of…
Promotion success by MFJ academics
The School of Media Film and Journalism extends its congratulations to Fay Anderson and Therese…
Journalism students and grads make their mark
Former and current Monash journalism students are kicking goals in newsrooms across Australia.
Journey to Mecca…but sporting obsession goes on
A Monash academic discusses the role played by rugby league in the lives of Sydney-based Muslims, and the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca.
Research on Asia showcased
The 2014 Monash Asia Institute research day demonstrated the breadth of research on Asia from…
How finals fever can make a footy player better – or worse
PhD candidate Julie Tullberg, who teaches sports journalism at the School of Media Film and Journalism, on the mountain of pressure faced by players as Melbourne hits AFL finals fever pitch
Monash staff, students at Writers Festival
Staff and students from the school of Media Film and Journalism have been heavily involved with the Melbourne Writers Festival.
On Death and Liberty
Dr Tony Moore‘s Melbourne Writers Festival talk at the Museum of Australian Democracy, Ballarat on the…
Moore on urban bohemia at Seminar on the City
The video of Romancing the City – Australian bohemia and the Urban presented by Dr…
Scanlan wins shooting gold at Glasgow Games
Monash journalism graduate Laetisha Scanlan has successfully defended her Commonwealth Games trap shooting title, winning gold at Glasgow.
India In Flux: Living Resistance presented at MIFF
India In Flux: Living Resistance at Melbourne International Film Festival 2014 is the first public…