A zombie apocalypse is coming to Brisbane

IF YOU have a sick fascination with zombies the folks at the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) have just the program for you.

Tickets have just gone on sale for this year's BIFF which is on QAGOMA again this year and at a select number of other cinemas around town from October 3 to 13.

The program includes a selection of films under the banner The Walking Dead Have Brains!!!

That selection includes Dark Place, an indigenous Australian horror anthology featuring five twisted tales, Ghost Town Anthology, a French Canadian film, The Dead Don't Die, Jim Jarmusch's ghoulish offering starring Bill Murray and Little Monsters, a zombie comedy which recently wowed them at Sundance.

There will also be a panel discussion about zombies.

A scene from Little Monsters.
A scene from Little Monsters.

BIFF artistic director, Amanda Slack-Smith, says zombies are a must.

"I think zombies are popular again because of the current state of the world," Slack-Smith says. "The zombie has been a fixture in our cinematic imaginations since the 1930s when the first ghouls stumbled across the screen in Victor Halperin's White Zombies 1932. Reinvigorated time and again the zombies, like all good filmic monsters, are the personification of our deepest fears played out on the screen … one slow step at a time."

But hey, there's more to BIFF than zombies. There's the dynamic duo.

No not Batman and Robin … we're talking about BIFF 2019 patrons acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann and his costume and production designer wife Catherine Martin.

Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. Picture: Getty
Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. Picture: Getty

The filmmaking power couple are now working on a new film about the life of Elvis Presley, which will be shot at Village Roadshow studios on the Gold Coast. Amanda Slack-Smith says she is working on getting them to BIFF for a public appearance but can't reveal the timing or location of that just yet.

"Baz is keen to come," Slack-Smith says.

He has already collaborated with BIFF which will be running a program entitled Baz Luhrmann + Catherine Martin Films including Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, Australia and The Great Gatsby.

Paul Mercurio and Tania Morice in Strictly Ballroom.
Paul Mercurio and Tania Morice in Strictly Ballroom.

The Baz Luhrmann Selects program will feature the acclaimed director's favourite films, the ones he wants to share with BIFF-goers.

That includes ​8 1⁄2 (otto e mezzo) by Italian director Federico Fellini, All That Jazz, starring Roy Scheider, Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, the latest iteration of Francis Ford Coppola'; s classic Vietnam War film and the seven-and-a-half-hour Russian epic War and Peace, made in the mid 1960s.

"This is the one the Russians threw everything at says Slack-Smith. "At the time it was the most expensive production they had ever made.'

That one will show, with multiple intermissions, at GOMA's Australian Cinematheque and will be an all day screening on October 7.

There will be more than 110 features, documentaries and short films by emerging and established talent from around the world as well as events celebrating film with live music, food, workshops, discussions and other events.

Over 11 days highlights will include Pedro Almodovar's Pain and Glory, for which Antonio Banderas won the Cannes Best Actor Award, two new Australian films starring Hugo Weaving - Hearts and Bones and Measure for Measure, and the new film Memory: The Origins of Alien, an investigative ode to Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic.

The popular science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin, who died last year, will be celebrated in the documentary The Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin.

Ursula K Le Guin.
Ursula K Le Guin.

The 1924 silent Russian science fiction classic Aelita: Queen of Mars will be screened with a new live score to be performed by world renowned Brisbane beat boxer Tom Thum and friends.

The opening night film is Judy & Punch, from Queensland director Mirrah Foulkes who played forensic cop Soroya Dass in Harrow and the closing night film is the Turkish-French co-production Sibel, a portrait of a young woman who can only communicate in the unique whistling language of her Turkish village.

For program details and tickets; biff.com.au


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