The End of Time

Visionary filmmaker Peter Mettler (Gambling, Gods and LSD) traverses the globe to explore (and explode) our conceptions of time, in this entrancing combination of documentary and mind-expanding philosophical speculation. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Mao’s Last Dancer

At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao’s cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he fell in love with an American woman. Two years later, he managed to defect and went on to perform as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet and as a principal artist with the Australian Ballet.

Wake in Fright

John Grant (Gary Bond) is a schoolteacher stationed reluctantly in a desolate outback town. As the Christmas holiday approaches, his dreams of a surfing vacation back in Sydney with his beach-bunny girlfriend are disrupted when he stops over for the night in the one-horse mining community of Bundanyabba , or “the Yabba” — a town that won’t be so easy to leave. It’s clear from the outset that the Yabba moves to its own rules and rhythms, a rhythm punctuated by the sputtering of draught pumps, clinking beer glasses, the ringing of cash registers and gruff, bawdy sing-songs. John’s determination to remain aloof is challenged at every turn by sweaty country folk for whom not sharing in loud displays of drunken idiocy is considered a grave slight. When he relents, participating in a penny-tossing gambling match in which he quickly loses all his money, he finds himself at the mercy of the town’s “aggressive hospitality,” effectively stranded there. He falls in with the town’s most boisterous good ol’ boys, including then-unknown Jack Thompson (on the verge of regional stardom) and a disturbingly sex-obsessed Donald Pleasence. During one of many drunken binges, John brags about being a target-shooting medalist, which leads to the film’s epic, highly controversial kangaroo-hunting sequence, which utilizes graphic footage from an actual licensed pursuit. While dread is palpable throughout the film, it is through these scenes that John’s physical and moral degradation is cemented. [Synopsis courtesy of Fantastic Fest]

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

(22 Years Before Episode IV) Ten years after the events of the Battle of Naboo, the galaxy has undergone significant changes. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are assigned to protect Padmé from political separatists. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact the destiny of the Republic.

The Good German

An American journalist played by George Clooney arrives in Berlin just after the end of World War Two. He becomes involved in a murder mystery surrounding a dead GI who washes up at a lakeside mansion during the Potsdam negotiations between the Allied powers. Soon his investigation connects with his search for his married pre-war German lover.

Mystery Road

An indigenous detective returns to the Outback to investigate the murder of a young girl.

Around the Block

A young Aboriginal boy is torn between his unexpected love of acting and the disintegration of his family.