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Best of World Cinema 2017 so far (10+1list)

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Film-lovers take a deep breath – relax. It’s flashback time!

Midway through the year, here is a list of movies from all across the world, made by globally acclaimed directors, actors and the best technicians, visually stunning, exquisite story-telling and that too from all varied genres!

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far – let the fun begin!

10. Away

Language: English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CGCkYKRq2U

Best-World-Cinema-2017The north English seaside town of Blackpool as the backdrop, this one is an emotional tale of two very contrasting souls (different both in age and in their mentality) and then of course their unlikely friendship!

Directed by David Blair, and tremendous performances by Juno Temple and Timothy Spall.

A heart wrenching British drama, underrated as it deserves much more praise and attention.

9. Heartstone

Hjartasteinn (original title) Language: Icelandic

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Tcw-_SrcA

Best-World-Cinema-2017A classic ‘coming of age’ story of a group of children enjoying their summer holidays in a remote fishing village of Iceland – their friendships, their affairs, their sexual orientations, all twisted and tangled together.

Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, this movie is superbly arty yet realistic and the characters and their confusions are so well executed.

8. Land of Mine

Under sandet (original title) 

Language: German, Danish, English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kao3t0NBMU

Best-World-Cinema-2017After the defeat of Germany, a group of teenage German prisoners of war have been assigned the deadly task of clearing the Danish West Coast, removing thousands of land mines under the strict watch of a Danish Sergeant.

Directed by Martin Zandvliet, amazing plot, superb performances and full of suspense – a film so thrilling and yet so very emotional. A must watch!

7. Lost in Paris

Paris pieds nus (original title) Language: French, English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1uT5mWbpdI

Best-World-Cinema-2017A girl visits Paris in search of her Aunt but then she is lost and soon in company of a weird homeless man who is in love with her!

Directed and acted by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and not to forget Emmanuelle Riva and Pierre Richard – such performances!

Slapstick with a hint of fantasy, but overall a thoroughly entertaining comedy – an absolute laugh riot!

6. Raw

Grave (original title) Language: French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvZ6nB3cl1w

Best-World-Cinema-2017What happens when a young staunch vegetarian girl is forced to taste meat for the first time – she gets hooked to it, her repulsion turns into an addiction!

Garance Marillier and Ella Rumpf – brilliantly realistic performances.

Directed by Julia Ducournau, this is a film that doesn’t shy away from gore, blood or violent cannibalistic scenes. NOT for the soft-hearted.

5. Toni Erdmann

Language: German, English, Romanian

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0uwi5EPnpA

Best-World-Cinema-2017A father’s practical jokes are often too much for his busy daughter to handle. And yet the bond between them is exceptional!

Directed by Maren Ade, one of those unique films that takes comedy into a different level – subtle yet outrageous!

Top notch performances by Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek – the best father-daughter drama of recent times.

4. After the Storm

Umi yori mo mada fukaku (original title)

Language: Japanese

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPW8QJ4N5PE

Best-World-Cinema-2017A soulful story of a man struggling to collect the pieces of his life as he desperately attempts to move back with his ex-wife and young son. Will there be happiness after the storm?

From the brilliant Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda, a perfect combination of emotions and humour. Believable characters, natural performances and the simple yet blissful story-telling is what makes the film so very special!

3. Neruda

 Language: Spanish, French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neUwXV_cSwM

Best-World-Cinema-2017An unconventional biographical take on the life of the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who was being hunted in his own country for being accused as a Communist!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Pablo Larraín, masterfully enacted by Gael García Bernal and Luis Gnecco – a sublime experience as poetry blends into Cinema!

2. The Salesman

Forushande (original title) Language: Persian, English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHHZjuQB3zU

Best-World-Cinema-2017From the acclaimed Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi comes a unique revenge drama where a man seeks justice and retribution after his wife faces an assault from an unknown invader.

(Click for Review)

Exceptional performances from Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini, as by the end the film questions the real meaning of ‘Justice being served’. This Iranian film won the Oscar as the ‘Best Foreign Language Film of the Year’!

  1. Okja

Language: English, Korean, Spanish

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nhz9ctHR0k

Best-World-Cinema-2017On the surface this is a simple story of the friendship between a young girl (Seo-Hyun Ahnand her pet Okja – an oversized pig. But then this movie is so much more complex and layered, and very much socially relevant for today’s world.

Tilda Swinton, Paul DanoJake Gyllenhaal all at their best. From the acclaimed South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, probably the most powerful film of this year that makes a statement of it’s own!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. My Life as a Zucchini

Ma vie de Courgette (original title) Language: French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nRwYWVxjRU

Best-World-Cinema-2017The sweet emotional story revolves around a young boy who after losing his mother goes to a foster home and meets the other orphans – and his life changes forever!

Directed by Claude Barras, this heart touching stop motion animated feature was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and also the official submission from Switzerland at the Oscars last year!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Best International Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016 (10+1list)

Best International Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

And finally that moment is here, that very event for which we all Cinema-Lovers have been impatiently waiting for – the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016 starts from 20th Oct!

And so, it’s time to check out the best of World Cinema – International films (Fiction) that demands your attention while you get busy with the festival!

1. I, Daniel Blake

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: UK, France, Belgium | Year: 2016. Language/s: English | Time: 100 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahWgxw9E_h4

i-daniel-blake-posterA middle aged carpenter who after a heart attack requires state welfare, befriends a single mum and her two kids and it’s their brilliant emotional story of friendship and survival.

Directed by Ken Loach, the film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year!

Dave Johns incredible performance, certainly one of the must watch films of this festival!

2. Personal Shopper

Fiction | Section: RendezvousCountry: France | Year: 2016 Language/s: English | Time: 105 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIRGyoyBHS8

personal-shopper-posterThe fashion underworld of Paris, a young American woman making her living as a personal shopper for a celebrity may have some psychic ability to communicate with the spirits!

A brilliant performance by Kristen Stewart, and directed by Olivier Assayas who shared the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year along with Christian Mungiu!

3. The Salesman

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Iran, France | Year: 2016. Language/s: Farsi | Time: 123 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPdkCB7sKY

the-seperation-posterEmad and Rana, a young couple who happen to be performers rehearsing for Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” living in Tehran had to move to a new apartment, a rented one.

But then their relationship gets complicated in more ways than you can imagine.

Directed by Asghar Farhadi, one of the most anticipated films in the festival!

4. Graduation

Bacalaureat (original title)

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Romania | Year: 2016 Language/s: Romanian | Time: 128 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VimmuogOOks

graduation-posterA unique father-daughter drama that circles around various intricate emotions and compromises related to parenthood.

Brilliant performances by Adrian Titieni and Maria-Victoria Dragus as the father daughter duo.

Directed by Cristian Mungiu who shared the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year along with Olivier Assayas.

5. The Woman Who Left

Ang babaeng humayo (original title)

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Philippines | Year: 2016 Language/s: Tagalog | Time: 226 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiciSsltTFw

the-woman-who-left-posterA stylishly shot black and white revenge drama directed by Lav Diaz.

A woman plans to take revenge on her former lover, after she had to endure 30 years of wrongful imprisonment.

Incredibly slow, extensive long takes, a nearly four hours long movie – but this one won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival this year!

6. Aquarius

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Brazil, France | Year: 2016. Language/s: Portuguese | Time: 145 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zln78CcFkA

aquarius-posterAquarius, a two-storey old building and Clara, a 65-year-old widow is the only resident left in that apartment. And she is not ready to sellout at any cost to the company desperate to buy out the whole building.

Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes – directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, a superbly engaging drama and a brilliant performance by Sonia Braga.

 

7. The Wailing 

Goksung (original title)

Fiction | Section: After DarkCountry: South Korea | Year: 2016 Language/s: Korean | Time: 156 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43uAputjI4k

the-wailing-posterA stranger appears and the horrific rumours starts to spread throughout the village. And then there is death – a series of gruesome killings without any logical reasons!

(Click for Review)

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Hong-jin Na, this is a perfect horror thriller which will keep you guessing till the end! 

8. The Red Turtle

La tortue rouge (original title)

Fiction | Section: RendezvousCountry: France, Belgium | Year: 2016. Language/s: French | Time: 80 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw7BggqBpTk

the-red-turtle-posterAn animation film without dialogues!

It’s about a shipwrecked man on a deserted tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds – a brilliantly beautiful film like a fable or a fairy tale!

Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, this is one of the prime attraction in the festival since it is the first non-Japanese film to be produced by Studio Ghibli.

9. Under the Shadow (2016)

Fiction | Section: After DarkCountry: Jordan, Qatar, UK | Year: 2016. Language/s: Farsi | Time: 83 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVFP80Upxw

under-the-shadow-posterSet in Tehran, 1988 during the Iran-Iraq war, a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the war. But then the war is not the only horror they have to endure.

Great acting and superb storytelling, directed by Babak Anvari; this one is a slow paced horror film that lets the tension built up in its own time and yes – the effect is damn scary. 

10. Swiss Army Man

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: USA | Year: 2016 Language/s: English. Time: 97 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrK1f4TsQfM

swiss-army-man-posterA young man named Hank (Paul Dano) gets stranded in an island all alone – yup, exactly like Tom Hanks in Cast Away but instead of a floating Volleyball named Wilson, Hank gets a farting dead-body named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe)!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert comes an imaginative, humorous and cinematic satire.

 

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most interesting one. A must watch)

+1. Madly

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: USA, UK, India, Australia, Japan, Argentina. | Year: 2015. Language/s: English, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish| Time: 105 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJbO8FY3o9U

A global anthology consisting of six short films made by filmmakers madly-posterrepresenting Japan, Argentina, the UK, the USA, India and Australia with a common goal to dissect love!

Directed by Gael García Bernal,  Anurag KashyapNatasha KhanSebastián SilvaSion Sono and Mia Wasikowska – definitely one of the prime attractions of this festival.

A few other films that are totally worth your time are Endless PoetryAfter the StormNerudaThe Lovers and the DespotElleManchester by the SeaAusterlitz and Hounds of Love.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com and mumbaifilmfestival.com.