MIFF 2013 Part Three: Talking Pictures – Real to Reel? + Prince Avalanche + What Maisie Knew
Tuesday 30th July
Talking Pictures – Real to Reel? Fitting True Lives to Film
These talks are always held in the same room at the Wheeler Centre. It’s really long and narrow, and not suited to such things. I found myself seated somewhere in the middle, but felt like I was right up the back – I couldn’t see a thing. This particular talk was about adapting real stories for the cinema [in terms of the biopic and “based on a true story” genres, rather than documentary] from a screenwriting perspective. The highlight was probably Shaun Grant, the man responsible for Snowtown [and my screenwriting course’s biggest success story]. He not only had some great tales from his own experiences, but was also the best at speaking to the crowd. His teaching past probably helped there.
In terms of these free events, I think it’s worth going to as many as you can. If they charged an entry fee, however, I’m not sure if they’d quite be worth it.
Thursday 1st August
MIFF + IMDb
I honestly had no idea what I was expecting with this film. I’d read nothing about it; all I knew was that it starred Paul Rudd – and, let’s be honest, that was enough of a selling point for me. Basically, Prince Avalanche is a quirky low-budget comedy about a couple of lonely guys painting the lines on a country road in the late 1980s, both of whom are experiencing their own personal crises. While the film is far from spectacular, I really enjoyed it for what it was: cute, funny, and more than a little odd.
Saturday 3rd August
What Maisie Knew
MIFF + IMDb
Yet another film that I chose based almost entirely on its cast [how could I possibly say no to a film starring both Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan?], but this one is probably my pick of the festival. I don’t want to say too much, because What Maisie Knew will be coming to normal cinemas soon, and I really think that everybody should see it. Also featuring Alexander Skarsgard [the second time I’ve seen him this festival], and a brilliant child actress by the name of Onata Aprile, the film tells the story of a bitter custody battle – from the perspective of the six year-old girl in the middle of it all. Funny but sad, What Maisie Knew manages to tell a very complicated story through a child’s eyes, and it deserves all of the awards. It really is a bloody good film.