24 July

Program announced for Melbourne Writers Festival 2015 (and it’s a beauty)


Melbourne Writers Festival 2015, our annual celebration for writers, readers and thinkers, kicks off Thursday August 20, and tickets for its biggest program to date go on sale noon today.

Each year the festival highlights the talent and ideas of hundreds of writers from Australia and around the world, through a thought-provoking program of storytelling, conversation and debates, music and art events. In fact, this year brings together over whopping 530 events.

Celebrating its 30th birthday, this year’s festival takes us on a literary tour of Australia and all corners of the globe. Here are our highlights:

Opening night address by Louis de Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Thu Aug 20, 6.30pm).
Rob Thomas, creator of arse-kicking teen-detective series Veronica Mars and new show iZombie, talks about how pint the sized PI made it from tele to silver screen (Thu Aug 20, 9pm).… Read more

13 July

Melbourne is getting its own mini Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Naomi Klein

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, or FODI – as it is known in Sydney – is making its way to Melbourne, where a selection of five leading thinkers from around the world will have us getting fired up over hot issues like addiction, climate change and shame culture at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

“We hope these incredible international names encourage Melburnians to save the date for MWF this year,” says festival director Lisa Dempster.

Stay tuned for the full program announcement for the festival on Friday July 24, which is also the date that tickets go on sale.

Tariq Ali: The Twilight of Democracy. In a climate where politicians must cater to the ‘Extreme Centre’ to be elected, this leftist English Pakistani commentator questions the future of true democracy. 4pm. Fri Aug 28.

Jon Ronson: Shame Culture. The recent author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed divulges what he learned from speaking to real-life targets of virtual mobs.… Read more

7 July

The 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival program is out, with films to break your heart, change your life and make you mad as hell

Donut Time

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, people went to the movies to be challenged, thrilled and see things they’d never seen before. Not anymore: glance down the multiplex movie times and it’s all same-same, sequel-sequel, high-concept romcoms, rogue agents and alien invasion

So thank heavens for the Melbourne International Film Festival. Their 2015 program is here and it’s got more to be excited about across 18 days than you’ll find in a year’s worth of regular cinema viewing.  The festival will held at various venues across Melbourne (Comedy Theatre is a new addition). Opening night will be held at Hamer Hall. Tickets go on sale July 10.

To help you narrow down your selection, Time Out has surveyed the field and chosen this year’s must-sees – plus the one film that we’re calling compulsory viewing. (Forget sleep, film lover!)

Melbourne International Film Festival. Jul 30 – Aug 16.Read more

7 July

Let’s Dance: Bowie Down Under doco to premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival

Bowie Down Under

In the early ’80s, David Bowie ventured 651 km north west of Sydney to film his videoclip for ‘Let’s Dance’: his single from the album of the same name, in an outback Aussie pub in Carinda. The clip is a powerful comment on racism, and while a bit dated in terms of technique, its message is about as relevant today as it was then.

It’s such a kick watching Bowie perform in an old-school Aussie pub and it’s equally as entertaining watching the locals gawp at him (bless the old dude who busts a move). Through its portrayal of racial discrimination, the groundbreaking clip hoisted Australia’s racial prejudice onto the world stage.

The story of Bowie’s fascination with the outback and drive to target inequality in a land so far from his own so intrigued Ed Gibbs and Rubika Shah, two journos turned film-makers, that they spent three years digging into its fascinating story of conception.… Read more

26 May

First Glance at the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival’s killer program


This year marks the 64th Melbourne International Film Festival and we have a feeling it’s a going to be a doozy. The First Glance selection has just been released and included is an exciting program of eye-opening documentaries, tear-jerkers, slow-burning dramas and cinematic feats to keep you on the edge of your seat.

With the aftermath of recent earthquakes still a very difficult reality for many in Nepal, the documentary Sherpa will be an enlightening glimpse into the lives of sherpas who die every year whilst accompanying climbers up Mount Everest. Part of the Next Gen program, Being 14 is an unabashed look into the lives of girls at the cusp of womanhood.

Six Australian-made films will be screened as part of the MIFF Premiere Fund program. Putuparri and the Rainmakers tells the story of a man’s fight for his family’s native title and the survival of Aboriginal law and culture, while Downriver is a confronting debut film by director Grant Scicluna.… Read more