Stephen King, Annie Lennox, Werner Herzog, Iggy Pop. . . All of these people have one thing in common: they're all iconic.
Fitting, then, that they be included as part of this year's Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (MDFF), the 2023 theme being 'Iconic'.
The event, celebrating its eighth edition, features a star-studded line-up of more than 50 local documentaries and a cavalcade of some of the world's best documentaries. They're written by, produced by, narrated by and starring celebrities from all walks of life.
MDFF had humble beginnings, starting as a small, experimental film festival incubated at a local art space. . . And it has now become one of the biggest showcases of documentary in Australia.
Here, before things kick off, the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival team list five documentaries to catch at this year's event.
One'Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer'. Presents a comprehensive portrait of one of cinemas most enigmatic characters. With exclusive behind-the-scenes access into Herzog’s everyday life, rare archive material and in-depth interviews with celebrated collaborators – including Christian Bale, Nicole Kidman, and Robert Pattinson, we are given an exciting glimpse into the work and personal life of the iconic artist.
Two'King On Screen'. 1976, Brian de Palma directs 'Carrie', the first novel by Stephen King. Since, more than 50 directors adapted the master of horror's books, in more than 80 films and series, making him now, the most adapted author still alive in the world. Directed by Daphné Baiwir.
Three'Annie Lennox, from Eurythmics to campaigner, the journey of a pop icon'. Annie Lennox is the voice that marked the '80s with the group Eurythmics. A formidable performer, as well as a complex and tormented woman, she became both an icon and a committed citizen. We will discover what drives the woman, by plunging back into her singular musical universe. Directed by Lucie Cariès.
'Tell Me Iggy'
Four'Finding Her Beat'. A master of Japanese drumming and a Korean adoptee from Minnesota boldly convene an all-female troupe to perform Taiko, the Japanese drumming art that has been off-limits to women for centuries. As the early menace of COVID rumbles in the background, the group faces down hurdles to prepare for a historic performance in snowy St. Paul. Buoyed by dynamic drum performances and do-or-die spirit, 'Finding Her Beat' is an energising and uplifting story of music, cultural expression, and sisterhood. Directed by Dawn Mikkelson and Keri Pickett.
Five'Tell Me Iggy'. Sequences of life in his house in Miami, intimate interviews where Iggy Pop looks back on his incredible journey, testimonies from his relatives or great stars of pop culture, it is a brand-new Iggy who is revealed to us. Who really is the Rock Iguana? How did the myth influence the man? How does he view his tumultuous destiny? Directed by Sophie Blondy.
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival takes place from 1-31 July online, and 21-30 July in-cinema at Cinema Nova.