Each July, a significant portion of Melbourne's population gets obsessed with time management and their daily schedules. Personal leave is taken, appointments are missed, and children and the elderly are neglected as the city tries to see a billion movies in two weeks. Annually the Melbourne International Film Festival provides dozens of reasons to sit in a dark room with strangers and argue over whether popcorn is improved by the mixing in of lollies. FYI, it is.
For those of you who haven't already blocked out those 408 hours, here are VICE's picks for what to check out at the festival.
Ecco Homo – Directed by Lynn-Maree Milburn and Richard Lowenstein
A lot of biopics about creative people are about chaos and destruction. Ecco Homo is no different. But unlike Asif Kapadia's Amy, this story is also a mystery. The film profiles Australian artist and performer Peter Vanessa Davis. He worked with INXS and U2 at their height, but his journey into their inner circle is littered with lies, abuse, incest, and gender fluidity. Ecco Homo is the first real attempt to answer the questions that have surrounded Peter for years.
The Wolfpack – Directed by Crystal Moselle
One of the most hyped films of the festival, the Wolfpack is about the Angulo brothers who grew up shuttered in a New York apartment. Kept apart from the outside world by their father, they were home-schooled, and actively discouraged from engaging with non-family members. Their only connection to another life was their DVD collection.
Crystal Moselle spent five years with the six brothers, documenting their coming-of-age as they stepped into the real world for the first time.
Foodies – Directed by Henrik Stockare
Considering fashion bloggers have already evolved into celebrities, food bloggers were bound to follow. Foodies joins five self-made critics on a culinary epic looking at people who drool over obscure dishes—including a meal wrapped in an edible condom. Yum.
Dope – Directed by Rick Famuyiwa
Toying with the "fresh out-of-the-ghetto" movie trope, Dope is packed with cute dorks and good students. It follows the life of a straight-A "hoodrat" with plans to get into Harvard. But of course, things don't pan out right when you piss off a drug dealer and that drug dealer is A$AP Rocky.
Iris – Directed by Albert Maysles
Iris Apfel is the eccentric auntie who lets kids drink wine of the fashion world. The 93-year-old icon has held the industry in a trance with her humour and style for decades. Consider this your chance to get acquainted—as there is no way you're interesting enough to ever be in an actual room with her.
Heaven Knows What – Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie The Safadie brothers managed to make a film about drug abuse and homelessness without making a "drug movie", and it's thanks to Arielle Holmes. The brothers met Arielle when she was a homeless New York teenager and encouraged her to write about her experiences. The whole film is based off her story and is a rare authentic portrait of this world. Like what you see? VICE is giving away tickets to see all these movies at MIFF. To grab one head here. Follow Alan Weedon on Twitter: @alnwdnalnwdn