MIFF 2012 episode 1 Monsieur Lazar


Monsieur Lazar…… this is NOT A Film Review.

This was my first movie of the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2012.
My wife had been away and was due back at 9pm that night.
I’m not too happy when she is away so I was just holding it together.
Parking was complicated because there was a game of Aussie Rules Footy going on that day and these games draw huge crowds. I had to drive around a bit but eventually got a spot, but with a bit of a walk.


I rang my son who had been too late for his morning movie and he was sitting in the park chillin’.


My dogs got a walk before I left which was extra important because they would be on their own until late that night.


After meeting up, my son and I walked to Collins Street which has the BEST chocolate shop, Haigs [from Adelaide South Australia]. Normally they are closed when I’m in the city but this day we were early enough and Matt made the most of it by stocking up on enough chocolate to last the slightly more than two weeks of MIFF.

the most delicious frog haigh chocolate frog

I bought a ten pack of dark chocolate frogs…..delicious. It was hard to ration them out over 14 days!
MIFF is one of the only places that I will queue up [it’s unavoidable] but on this occasion I got there as the line was going in… bonus!
Matt is a member and they go in first but then I had to find him. It took a while as he failed to notice me! He can be a bit dreamy at times!
He had held me a seat and I quickly settled in. This particular cinema is steeply tiered so I did not have to slouch [I sit high in the saddle] and the ladies behind me could see all the screen which was important because the film was sub titled.
I really had my hopes up for this movie and I was not disappointed. Matt was obviously impressed and as we gathered ourselves I asked the three ladies sitting behind us what they thought. They loved it. I asked if they were teachers; one was and one addmitted to be an ‘ex’ after I said that I was.


They wanted to know why I was an ‘ex teacher’ and I quickly said that it was a long answer requiring at least three red wines!
I got the feeling that the conversation could have finished elsewhere, or maybe I was just having a good day after feeling pretty bad for the previous few days.


I walked with Matt to his next venue and found an excellent Italian cafe, SPIGA*. I don’t spend a lot of time in that part of town so I had not come across it before. They had a wine list which I took advantage of and they make a good pizza.
On the way back to the car I was looking for a good cup of coffee [Melbourne is the coffee capital of the world]. I wanted somewhere to sit and write.

Little Red Pencil Stub

I had not brought a note book so I hit a series of 7Elevens where I found a note book but no pencils…. I wrote this with an emergency pencil I carry in my pocket which is actually just a stub…. your hand starts to ache after a while!
The coffee was good and it was fun listening to the conversations going on around me.
It was then time to go and collect my good lady from the airport.
Many more movies to come and a few adventures as well.



*[shop 2 Menzies Alley Melbourne Central]

19 thoughts on “MIFF 2012 episode 1 Monsieur Lazar

  1. Auckland International Film Festival on at the moment. Just seen ‘The Best Offer’ which I loved. Still thinking about the intricacies of the plot and the beautiful cinematography. Worth seeing if you haven’t already.


    • Thank you for the heads up. I’ll keep an eye out for it.
      Just checked it out. There are two sessions, they are both sold out. Might pick it up on standby… wish me luck.


      • No prob. I just read the review of The Best Offer from The Guardian. Glad I didn’t read it first; I don’t disagree with a lot of what the reviewer says, but I thought it kind of missed the point that the film is a fantasy and as long as your not going looking for a documentary about art, agoraphobia, or lifestyles of the rich and famous – it’s a very enjoyable film. Well that’s my two cents worth anyway.


        • Personally I’m sick of reviewers who mistake historical fiction for documentary. It’s really annoying.
          I was at a Q and A once with a director I really admired. The movie we had just watched missed on several points, particularly the ending. I got to ask a question so I asked why they went for the ‘Hollywood’ ending.
          The director was very annoyed at my question and she showed it. I was told that the story was a true story and that was what really happened. I had a go back but it was a waste of time. Just because it really happened does not mean that it makes for good cinema. She really should have made a doco instead.
          The movie bombed and I read a long article where she blamed the timing of the release for it’s poor showing.
          She chose the actors and wrote the script and directed the film. It had nothing to do with a bad release date. Her husband did the cinematography and this part of the film was excellent.
          This was a very experienced filmmaking couple who have been in the business for decades and they don’t get it. Movie goers want a story to be well told and they want to feel it without being manipulated……. at least I do. But that’s me.
          Wow, that went on a bit, didn’t it.


          • Nah; movies do that to me too. I did my Masters’ thesis (last century) on feminist film-making and although I’ve lost a bit of the energy for constant cinema-going over the years (or perhaps work, family, etc just got in the way), I still feel passionate about movies. I’m a really visual thinker, so I think part of my love affair is with the actual cinematography. I can forgive a lot if the camera work and editing work for me. I discovered a long time ago that I dream movies – tracking shots, close-ups, etc. My son thinks it’s hilarious! I even found myself in the middle of an argument with my partner recently thinking “now, if this was a movie …” and I was mentally constructing a scene and casting the actors. 🙂


          • Loved your comments.
            I’m supposed to be heading out the door to see my first movie of this festival but I had to reply.
            Wow, a Masters thesis on Feminist film-making!
            Your mates must have thought you were very cool. Being a bloke I feel slightly giddy just thinking about it!
            I know what you mean about dreams. Sometimes I go black and white and everyone smokes cigarettes and speaks French but somehow I know what they are saying. Camera angles and a good focus puller are very important for a good dream. My favourite is the slightly elevated long crane shot as I search fruitlessly for my car in a huge grassy car park! [recurring dream]. Don’t tell anyone but I have been known to use lines from a favourite film during an argument!
            Thanks for the comments….. you made my morning…… now, off to the adventure.


          • Thanks Terry; I hope you enjoyed your adventure! Hopefully your lost car is confined to dreams – it’s my reality (or was until I started taking photos of the parking spot number on my phone … call it electronic breadcrumbs). Cheers. Su


  2. Great that you get to share MIFF with your son. Can`t wait till my chooks are uncool enough to sit with me in the cinema again! Nice post. Looking forward to MIFF 13-through your eyes. Though, since it`s the coffee capital of the world, I might have to take a detour from all my running around Ireland to grab a Melbournian cappuchino.


    • I would even buy you one.
      My son and I connect at the ‘movie level’ and it is too good to pass up. When they grow up they get very involved with their own lives and there is not much space for us old timers. I grab whatever opportunities I can.


  3. What a great day – so many fun things – esp the Haighs chocolate – love it. Saw ‘Twenty feet from stardom’ at the closing night of the Sydney Film Festival this year about backing singers. Try and catch it when it officially comes out 🙂


    • Yes, yes and yes.
      And wasn’t I lucky to find that illustration of the stubby pencil? I love it too. I’m going to try and track it back to it’s source if possible.
      Thanks for the comment.
      Getting ready to head off to my first film for this festival [and to stock up on chocolate!]


  4. Love the idea of an “emergency pencil”! When I can’t find a pen, I usually end up with an emergency crayon or broken-tipped colored pencil from my daughter’s extensive collection or–if I have a really important idea that *must* be written down–I have been known to scratch it into the paper with said broken implement and later read it sideways in a strong light. Hurray for analog solutions, right!?


    • There is a story about the space program. The US spent a million dollars to invent a pen that would write in zero gravity………… The Russians took a pencil!
      Thanks for the comment.
      Love a bit of analog.


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