SWIFF Picks – What’s on Saige Browne’s 6 Pass

SWIFF Programs and Volunteers Coordinator Saige Browne's Top Films

Now that the festival line-up is out, you can feel a little spoilt for choice with which films to pick – which is why the SWIFF Festival Team provide their favourite films of the upcoming festival.

Here are Festival Programs & Volunteers Coordinator, Saige Browne’s Top 6 picks of the fest to fill up your first (or third?) pass. 

MINARI

Sweet, kind and calm, with the haze of an Arkansas summer and memories of an 80’s childhood fogging up the lens. The writing is unexaggerated, the performances by Will Patton and Youn Yuh-jung shine, and the earthy sound of the film is just made for the cinema. I love filmmakers who dive, clear-eyed into their youth (a comparison to Mike Mills comes easily) and Lee Isaac Chung does so excellently here. I highly recommend this interview for post film reading.
FILM INFO AND TICKETS HERE 

 

DAVID BYRNE'S AMERICAN UTOPIA

Yes, it’s really that good. Hopeful, joyful, infectious, awesome. If you love Talking Heads, if you think Talking Heads have ‘that one good song’, honestly, I think someone who hates Talking Heads couldn’t help but find this delightful. Supposedly Spike Lee saw American Utopia on Broadway 20 times before asking Byrne if he could direct it, and I’m on a mission to catch up. 
FILM INFO AND TICKETS HERE

KAJILLIONAIRE

Kajillionaire is so dreamy. Just, a cloud of a film. Unravelling slowly and quietly, until it all clicks. I love how Miranda July engages the audience – you always feel in step with her. It’s so exciting to see Evan Rachel Wood take this turn in her career. Plus, fun fact – Kajillionaire is, impressively, only the second film to be scored by Emile Mosseri (and his third, Minari has him already Oscar nominated!). Watch out for the achingly beautiful cover of Mr. Lonely.

NEXTWAVE YOUTH FILM AWARDS

There’s no denying that COVID-19, quarantine, and social distancing/isolation has impacted different groups and different places in unique ways. For young Australians, they’re now going into year 2 of the new normal – no gap year travel or city excursions, and less time with friends. This time last year, wondering how young regional creative types, who love to get together and make movies, were going to be affected had me worried – but the skills, stories and ingenuity displayed by the filmmakers who entered Nextwave in 2020 is once again pretty mind blowing. I love this program, and I can’t wait to celebrate at the Nextwave Youth Film Awards.
INFO AND TICKETS HERE 

SAINT MAUD

There are always films in the program that I wish we could replace the description with ‘just watch this one, okay?’, and this year that film for me is Saint Maud. Avert your eyes from the trailer, don’t read the reviews – just buy a ticket, a glass of red wine and get ready. For lovers of De Palma, classic British horror, and atmos-fueled rides under 90 minutes.
FILM INFO AND TICKETS HERE

 

SOME KIND OF HEAVEN

As the world of documentary seems to be moving toward overlong, ten-part miniseries, full of repetitive soundbites, sensationalism, and grit, the SWIFF’21 International Documentary program serves to remind me why I love documentary. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets with its truth-bending, Faith with its mind-melting, Stray, The Truffle Hunters and Gunda with their peaceful-pacing, and my pick of the bunch, Some Kind of Heaven. Dive into another world, don’t expect it all to be explained and absorb the Floridian blend of dreamlike nightmarishness that is The Villages. Much more feeling than fact, this is surreal, sweet, heartbreaking, and perplexing.
FILM INFO AND TICKETS HERE

 

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