Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu has had a good track record at Cannes,winning the Palme d’Or in 2007 for his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days as well as the Best Screenplay award in 2012 for Beyond the Hills. This year at Cannes he has won the Best Director award for his latest film Graduation (Bacalaureat) (he shared it with Olivier Assayas for his film Personal Shopper),a film which was also in contention for the Palme d’Or.Continue reading “Graduation: Trailer”
It was anyway not meant for you if you read and watch things based on their length.
I saw a movie this week. It was called ‘Beyond The Hills‘.
It didn’t win the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ Oscar this year. Instead, like we all knew it would, ‘Amour‘ did. I mean it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes already and and that in its self was halfway to O in Oscar. Screw Haneke – this one time, please.Continue reading “Beyond The Hills: A Rant!”
The Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts and Science announced the Short List for Foreign Film Category on December 21st 2012.The nominations are done in two phases, in the first phase the committee consisting of several hundred Los Angeles based members, who watched the 71 eligible films between mid-October and December 17. Continue reading “Oscars 2013 Foreign Film Nominations”
The Bangalore International Film Festival is slowly getting recognized as one of the better film festivals in India. Though the first edition was held in 2006 the Karnataka Chalan Chitra Academy hasn’t been able to organize the event annually. But after last year’s event they are back this year and with the impressive line-up of films on show the festival must not be missed by the movie buffs of Bengaluru. Choosing over 140 films will be quite a task for the attendees and hence we are trying to lend you a helping hand here by recommending films from the festival which MAM authors have happened to see before or have at least heard a lot about and feel that these films must not be missed.Continue reading “5th Bengaluru International Film Festival: The Must Watch(Part 1)!”
The 10th Chennai International Film Festival has already started and we thought of recommending some unmissable films for you from the festival. Here’s a list of International films that you shouldn’t miss:-
The most strange movie of the year. Most likely, you wouldn’t get all of what is being said in the film. Neither does Carax make much of an effort to help you solve the puzzle. But, be rest assured, you are sure to get blown away by the film and Denis Lavant‘s epic performance. The expansiveness of Holy Motors is summed up quite perfectly by this gif image. These lines from the New York Times review also give you a good idea about the film:
” Holy Motors, from the French filmmaker Leos Carax, is a dream of the movies that looks like a movie of dreams.”
“You want three acts? How dull. A pretty protagonist? Oh, please. The triumph of the human spirit? Go away.”
One episode after another, the film just keeps sweeping you off your feet. Sure, there will be quite a few who won’t like the film but no self-respecting film buff should miss an opportunity to watch this crazy piece of art on the big screen.
Rust and Bone
Jacques Audiard wowed everybody with his last film Un prophète (A Prophet) that won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes in 2009. His latest venture Rust and Bone is based on a short story collection of the same name written by Craig Davidson. It tells the story of an unemployed, destitute single father who falls in love with a killer whale trainer and how their relationship and personalities evolve as they face adversities with each others support. Though it doesn’t match the excellence of Un prophète, Rust and Bone, with a searing performance by the lovely Marion Cotillard, is a powerful romantic drama that shouldn’t be missed.
Gangster film Gommora which explored crime in Naples, Italy was one of the most acclaimed movies of 2008. Matteo Garrone, the director, this year again comes up with a film based in the same city but with a plot that explores the effect of Reality TV on the Italian middle class. It is a darkly humourous film that has Luciano, a charming and affable fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on the reality show “Big Brother” leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia. So overcome by his dream of being on reality TV, Luciano’s own reality begins to spiral out of control. The film might seem predictable and hasn’t garnered rave reviews, but it is the affable performance of Aniello Arena, who lends the character of Luciano just the perfect pitch, that mainly makes the film a memorable watch.
The film accounts the struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West when the police launches a full-scale crackdown on organized crime and ignites a national yakuza struggle. It is a sequel to Takeshi Kitano‘s Outrage (2010). If you are a fan of Kitano and have liked Outrage there is no reason why you won’t like this too.
Beyond The Hill
This Romanian drama premiered at Cannes this year where Mungiu won the Best Screenplay Award and the 2 actresses Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan who play the main leads, shared the Best Actress Award.The film is also the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013. Based on the 2 nonfiction books written by Tatiana Niculescu– Deadly Confession and Judges’ Book, the films talks about two young women-Alina and Voichita who grew up together in the same orphanage and drew close to each other. At the age of 18 both of them have to leave the orphanage and while Alina goes to Germany and takes up a job there Voichita is taken in by a monastery and becomes a nun. Things turn around when Alina comes back and asks Voichita to come along with her to Germany whereas Voichita doesn’t seem to be keen to do so. It is an intense drama that’s more or less multilayered, there’s an undercurrent of thrill throughout the film.
It’s not very difficult to figure out why Mungiu won the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes as the narrative is kept simple yet effective. While some people might wonder why the film drags for 150 minutes, we can surely say that every single minute spent watching the film is well spent. The film also exposes some harsh realities of society and asks some poignant questions as well. This is definitely one of the best films of the this year. Must Watch!
Veteran filmmaker Ken Loach comes up with a bittersweet comedy of a young Glaswegian father, Robbie who narrowly avoids a prison sentence. Along with a few others he is sentenced to few hours of community service and becomes friends with that group. Promising his new born baby a better life than his, Robbie is determined to turn over a new leaf and is aided by Harry, the guide to the group. Harry takes Robbie and his friends from the same community payback group to visit a whisky distillery and unexpectedly a route to a new life becomes apparent for Robbie.
The film takes some time to get adjusted to thanks to the Scottish accent that a lot of the characters sport but you get hooked on to the tale, slowly but surely. The actors are all wonderful and the film is high on humour but not of the slapstick variety. Whether you are onto whisky or not, this is a film which will work for one and all and would also be a refreshing change from the usually heave dose of films on offer at a festival.
Beast of the Southern Wild
Hushpuppy, a fearless six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in a bayou community on an island surrounded by rising waters. Wink teaches her to survive on her own, preparing her for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. Hushpuppy’s strength is tested when Wink contracts a mysterious illness and a massive storm floods the community. The film is a visual delight and the way it literally transports you to a different world is easily the best part about the film. No wonder the film won the Camera d’Or at Cannes 2012 and also the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2012 in addition to other awards. It won’t be surprising if the toddler Lucy Alibar earns a Nomination at the Oscars, if not the coveted award itself. This one is a must watch friends, you won’t regret it.
Michael Haneke has become popular over the years for exploring the violence in modern urban society. This film, though, is unlike any film Haneke has made before. In Amour, Georges and Anne are retired music teachers who live a contented life by themselves. Their only daughter is married & lives abroad. One fine day Anne suffers an attack which paralyses her and slowly but surely things are never the same for the couple. An intense emotional tale, Amour works and works well primarily aided by the lead actors who do a stellar job. The film moves along at a very leisurely pace and is almost lifelike. But therein also lies the strength of the movie. It has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year. Need we say anything more?
This is prolific South Korean director Kim Ki Duk’s 18th film and the acclaim it has garnered clearly shows that he is not going to fade away any time soon. Pieta depicts the mysterious relationship between a brutal man who works for loan sharks and a middle-aged woman who claims that she is his mother, mixing Christian symbolism and highly sexual content. It has won the Golden Lion at Venice this year and seems to be totally simply unmissable.
Lars Von Trier is a maverick director who many describe as a sadist. His last year’s film Melancholia does live up to his reputation. It is about two sisters who find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with the Earth. If you still haven’t watched it go for it but be ready to feel depressed. Kirsten Dunst won the Best Actress at Cannes last year for her performance.
Once Upon A Time in Anatolia
This one is a beautifully shot crime drama that tells us a lot about modern Turkey too. Leisurely paced with a 157 minutes running time this one by Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan does test your patience. But it is that kind of a film that will stay with you for long.
The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “A moving celebration of life through showing reverence for death. “, an apt description of the film. It is about a newly unemployed cellist who takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. Might be a little too sentimental for some but this one did win the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2009.
Well, the Kolkata Film Festival has already started strangely during Diwali days and has already courted some controversy. We were a little busy with our Yash Chopra Blogathon but thought it is better to be late than never. These are the international films playing here which we saw at the Mumbai Film Festival and feel are an absolute must watch and not to missed at any cost! So here we go:
Come October and film enthusiasts in Mumbai and elsewhere know that its time to look forward to Mumbai Film Festival and this year the 14th chapter of the same, scheduled from 18-25 Oct seems to be very promising indeed. One of the most important things that bother delegates is to understand and choose the top films. Though a lot of people end up making their own lists, its heartening to see the organizers themselves come up this time with their recommendation of top 20 films to watch out for this year.
So without much ado here we go with the list-
Love (Amour) is a 2012 French-language drama film written and directed by legendary filmmaker Michael Haneke. It narrates the story of an octogenarian couple Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges ( Jean-Louis Trintignan ), both cultivated, retired music teachers whose bond of love is severely tested when one day Anne suffers a stroke which paralyses her on one side of the body and confines her to their Paris apartment.Co-produced by companies in Austria, France, and Germany, the film was screened at Cannes 2012, where it won the Palme d’Or making it Haneke’s second in a span of three years, The White Ribbon winning him the first in 2009. The film has also been selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.
Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os), is a 2012 French-Belgian film based on a short story collection of the same name written by Craig Davidson. It tells the story of an unemployed, destitute single father who falls in love with a killer whale trainer and how their relationship and personalities evolve as they face adversities with each other’s support. Directed by two-time Cannes Film Festival award winner (Best Screenplay in 1996 with A Self-Made Hero and Grand Prize in 2009 for A Prophet) Jacques Audiard, the film received rave reviews when it competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2012 and won the Golden Swan for Best Film at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival 2012.
Acclaimed Canadian writer/director/actress Sarah Polley weaves together a beautifully assembled tapestry of home movies, interviews, and narration in Stories We Tell to examine the repercussions of long-held family secrets finally coming to light, allowing the audience to reflect on each of their own family histories, both real and fabricated.
Renowned Danish director Thomas Vinterberg returned to his trademark brand of intense cinema with The Hunt, a film about the life of Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a primary school teacher accused of sexual inappropriateness and the situation escalates out of control. The film takes a close look at how family and community, supposedly the bulwarks against chaos and unhappiness, can turn in on themselves through group hysteria and remorseless anti-logic.
Having premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Cosmopolis a film by David Cronenberg, tells the story of billionaire asset manager Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) who trudges slowly across Manhattan in his stretch limousine that he uses as his office while on his way to his preferred barber, and how his day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.
The Angels’ Share a British comedy-drama film directed by Ken Loach tells the story of a young father who narrowly avoids a prison sentence and is determined to turn over a new leaf, discovering a route to his life he aspires when he and his friends from the same community payback group visit a whisky distillery. Starring Paul Brannigan, Johan Henshaw, William Ruane, Gary Maitland, Jasmin Riggins, and Siobhan Reilly, the film won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and was nominated for the Palme d’Or.
A masterpiece by Cristian Mungiu, Romania’s first Director to be awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, Beyond The Hills (Dupa Dealuri) is a drama film centered on the friendship between two young women who grew up in the same orphanage; one has found refuge at a convent in Romania and refuses to leave with her friend, who now lives in Germany. The film starring Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan premiered at Cannes 2012, where Mungiu won the award for Best Screenplay, and Flutur and Stratan shared the award for Best Actress. It has been selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.
On the Road (Sur la route) is a 2012 film adaptation of the Jack Kerouac cult classic novel of the same name directed by Walter Salles narrates the story of Sal Paradise, a struggling young writer whose life is shaken following the death of his father and ultimately redefined when he embarks upon a journey across America with his friend and hero, Dean Moriarty, a free-spirited, fearless, traveler and mystic and his girlfriend Marylou. Boasting of executive production by Francis Ford Coppola, the film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and for the Official Competition Award at the Sidney Film Festival 2012.
A prominent figure in the contemporary Iranian cinema, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami takes another trip abroad to explore the depths of unrequited desire in the Japanese language drama, Like Someone in Love. The film trails the life of a young Japanese woman Akiko (Rin Takanashi) who finances her studies through prostitution and her enchanting affair (of sorts) with a retired, elderly sociologist, Takashi (Tadashi Okuno). A play between what’s seen, what’s heard and what’s really happening becomes the modus operandi for their relationship, and the film constantly toys with the expectations of both its characters and the audience, transforming a classic three-way tale of mistaken identities into something much more mysterious and troubling.
Privileged with a special jury mention at Cannes Film Festival where it was screened in the Un Certain Regard Section, Children of Sarajevo (Djeca) is a 2012 Bosnian drama film written, produced and directed by former Cannes Critics Week Grand Prix award recipient, Aida Begic. The film follows the lives of orphans of the 90’s Bosnian war, Rahima (Marija Pikic) a Muslim woman who after her crime-prone adolescent years has found solace in Islam and works long hours in a restaurant kitchen to provide for her teenage brother Nedim (Ismir Gagula) who lives with her, but is drifting into bad ways. Set in the present-day city, the film conveys a sense of tension and fear, echoes, and re-echoes, of the terrible detonations that have not entirely died away. The film won two awards, Best Actress and Cineuropa Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival 2012 and is the official Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.
Credited as one of the founding fathers of French New Wave and still creating cinematic magic at the ripe age of 90 with his latest film You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is veteran French – German film maker Alain Resnais. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2012, the film is based on two plays by Jean Anouilh. The film’s protagonist Antoine d’Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play ‘Eurydice’. These actors watch a recording of the work performed by a young acting company, La Compagnie de la Colombe. During the screening, Antoine’s friends are so overwhelmed by their memories of the play that they start performing it together, despite no longer being the appropriate age for their various roles.
Ace Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza presents yet another riveting drama film with Captive, a film recreating the 2001 kidnapping and torturous life of hostages during their 377 day ordeal, focusing on Therese Burgeoine (Isabelle Huppert), a Christian missionary, by the Abu Sayyaf. The multi-national production was nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2012.
Me and You (Io e Te) the latest film by Italian cinematic genius and maker of cinematic gems such as Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, Little Buddha, Besieged, The Conformist goes to establish that Bernardo Bertolucci is still a force to reckon with. The film is the story of an introvert teenager Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori), a disturbed 14-year-old boy who hates school, and whose mother Arianna (Sonia Bergamasco) sends him to a psychotherapist and is relieved when Lorenzo shows an interest in going on a week’s skiing trip organized by his school. Instead of getting on the bus, Lorenzo sneaks back and hides out in the house’s manky basement to which he has the separate entrance key, glad of the chance to be on his own for a week but is horrified when his twenty something half-sister, Olivia (Tea Falco) shows up, needing a place to stay. During their week long confinement in the basement, Olivia fascinates and horrifies Lorenzo with her attitude problem, her smack addiction, her artistic aspirations, and some dark hints about her (and Lorenzo’s) father.
In competition for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, Outrage Beyond is a 2012 Japanese yakuza film directed by Takeshi Kitano and sequel of Kitano’s 2010 film Outrage . The film accounts the struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West when the police launches a full-scale crackdown on organized crime and ignites a national yakuza struggle.
Based on a play by Raul Brandão, Gebo And The Shadow (Gebo et l’ombre) is a film by Manoel de Oliveira, who at 103 is the oldest active filmmaker in the world. Set in the late 19th century, the film is about an honoured but poor patriarch who sacrifices himself to protect his fugitive son. With a film career that began in the 1920s, the celebrated Portuguese filmmaker has won 43 awards and 23 nominations at film festivals across the globe and been at the helm of films such as Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997), Os Canibais(1988), La Lettre (1999), Je Rentre à la Maison (2001) and the Magic Mirror (2005).
Exiled from his homeland, Iranian New Wave director Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s film The Gardener explores how different generations view religion and peace. Filmed in Israel in collaboration with his son Maysam, the film adopts an experimental approach of both father and son conversing while filming each other.
Writer-Director Olivier Assayas‘ French drama film Something in the Air (Après mai) will enthrall audiences with its depiction of Paris in the early 1970s. The movie narrates the story of a young high school student completely swept up in the political and creative effervescence at the time and the oscillation of his beliefs between radical commitment to the leftist cause and the pursuit of more personal aspirations, a conundrum not understood by his girlfriend or schoolmates. The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival where Assayas won the Ostella for Best Screenplay.
Blancanieves a film by Spanish director, publicist and professor of management at NYFA (New York Film Academy) Pablo Berger chronicles the story of Carmen, a beautiful young woman with a childhood tormented by her terrible stepmother, Encarna. Running from her past, Carmen, will undertake an exciting journey accompanied by her new friends: a troupe of dwarves Toreros. The film is the official Spanish entry for the the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.
Having competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival 2012, Renoir by distinguished filmmaker Gilles Bourdos is about the twilight years of illustrious painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir who is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy.
Alex de la Iglesia returns with As Luck Would Have It, yet another darkly comic exercise in capricious causality about an out-of-work publicist Roberto Goméz (José Mota) who suffers an accident looks to sell the exclusive interview rights to the highest bidder in an attempt to provide for his family. The film also features Mexican screen scorcher Salma Hayek.
The list of the promising documentaries at the festival along with their trailers can be found here.