Tag Archives: Cannes Film Festival

Elle (2016) – BEST OF 18TH JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016!

Elle review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

If a rape victim desires to return to the act itself, then the next time, does she still remain a victim?

My Ratings: 4/5

Quality erotic thrillers are hard to find but then Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven often comes to our rescue.

elle-reviewHis latest French thriller Elle was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and also has already won the Golden Globe Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language and the lead Isabelle Huppert won for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama!  

The film starts with a disturbing rape scene that makes the audience uncomfortable enough but then the alarming normality maintained by the ‘victim’ as she continues to perform her daily routine becomes even more disturbing. Why doesn’t she complain about her violation? How can she be so inert about her abuse? Does she know the attacker or will she track him down?

Multiple relations and several interesting plot lines crisscross their paths, and one has to admire the Dutch director’s subtle use of comedy throughout the movie, but then again, the erotic undercurrent is what makes the film so special!

elle-reviewAnd of course Isabelle Huppert‘s brilliant performance!

Actually “Elle” means “She” and so the whole film is seen from the perspective of the central character Michèle and Isabelle Huppert simply owns the part. Her beautiful, sexy looks, her cold and courageous character, her raw animal desires and her level of supreme confidence – no doubt she is the spine of this film.

Though according to me the ending of the film doesn’t justify her character at all but then again a performance to cherish for sure.

Based on the novel “Oh…” by Philippe Djian, I think the best compliment for this film would be that it feels very much like a Michael Haneke film, a lighter version may be with a hint of comedy in it!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

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Most Influential Films Banned in India (10+1list)

Most Influential Films Banned in India.

written by Souranath Banerjee

In India it is not always enough to make good Cinema; the more challenging part for the directors and producers is to make sure that their movie gets released on big screen!

This year only, the producers of Udta Punjab (a film based on drug udta-punjab-posterabuse in Punjab) had the most highlighted and controversial court fight with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) headed by Pahlaj Nihalani. Finally Anurag Kashyap (representing the Phantom productions) did win the legal battle and the film was cleared with only a single cut. 

But movies being banned is nothing new in India. Due to reasons that may be political or social, it can be for abusive language, use of narcotics or due to explicit sexual content, numerous films have been delayed and some unfortunately have never seen the light of a movie theatre yet!

Here is a list of some of the most influential films Banned in India. Do watch them to know the importance of these films and the real reasons for them being out of reach of their audience.

10. Sikkim (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmSeVvA61xU

Sikkim-PosterDirected by legendary Satyajit Ray, this is a documentary on Sikkim commissioned by the then King of Sikkim Chogyal.

The brilliantly made film is about the sovereignty of Sikkim. But in 1975 when Sikkim became a part of India the documentary was banned by the Indian Government. 

Recently, in 2010 the ban was lifted and the classic is now available for all you film lovers!

9. Fire (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnshN0wqiCo

fire-poster1Directed by Deepa Mehta, this is one powerful Indian film that tells the story of two wives from a middle class family who being frustrated by their loneliness and dissatisfied sex-life ignites a lesbian relationship among themselves.

Bold and thought provoking – though globally appreciated and well received but was predictably banned in India right after its release!

8. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqztmYen6co

kama-sutra-poster1With numerous candid sexual scenes throughout the film, although artistic and sensual in a very royal-Indian way, this film of course couldn’t manage to pass the morality test of the Indian Censor board.

Directed by Mira Nair, a brilliant piece of storytelling which was too offensive for the audience of a country from where the whole concept of ‘Kama Sutra’ was actually originated. What an Irony! 

7. Parzania (2005)

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

parzania-posterA brilliant film that dares to portray the horrific and painful genocide that took place in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, commonly known as the Gujarat riots!

It was banned in Gujarat because of it’s sensitive subject even though director Rahul Dholakia and lead-actress Sarika won the National award for the film!

Great performances by Naseeruddin Shah and Corin Nemec as well.

Another film on the same subject that was banned too was Nandita Das‘s Firaaq (2008)

6. Black Friday (2004)

Film scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1mkPQI9z0

black-friday-posterThe 1993 serial Bombay bomb blasts that shook the entire nation and then, it’s aftermath – a film that managed to portray it all and that too in a brilliant graphic manner.

This Anurag Kashyap film was too dark and realistic to release at the time specially since the trail decisions of the many arrested were pending.

5. Bandit Queen (1994)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66uIVFb6ATA

bandit-queen-posterAbusive language, nudity, sexually offensive content – the biopic on the media-hyped woman-bandit Phoolan Devi was banned by the Indian Censor board due to all those reasons!

But then again the film directed by Shekhar Kapur, is one of the most courageous and dramatic Indian biopic that I have seen till date!

Seema Biswas won the National Award for her stellar performance as Phoolan Devi while Shekhar Kapur won the Filmfare Best director award!

4. Garm Hava (1974)

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

garm-hawa-posterScorching Winds, the film that depicts a Muslim family struggling to find their identity as our country was reeling through the repercussions of the partition.

Directed by M.S. Sathyu, and brilliant performance by Balraj Sahni, but the film was banned since the subject matter was considered to be too sensitive for the time. Finally, after 8 months it got released, and yes – the film was also nominated for the Palme d’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film festival!

3. Aandhi (1975)

Film song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-HnmVg0-O8

aandhi-posterDirected by Gulzar, this one was banned during the time of it’s release due to the fact that the lead character played by Suchitra Sen seemed to have similarities with the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Later in 1977 the movie finally got it’s theatrical release; the film won the best critic award and Sanjeev Kumar won the best actor at the Filmfare Awards!

2. Amu (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqGGM8xl3Qw

amu-posterA film based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a brilliant story woven around the genocide that once shook our country.

Directed by Shonali Bose and superb performance by Konkona Sen Sharma, the film got banned of course because of it’s sensitive subject matter but it did get a release with an adult rating  and some specific audio-cuts. The film won a National Award that year!

  1.  Water (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7uM-CbzIAI

water-posterAnother one from the highly acclaimed director Deepa Mehta, a stunning portrayal of the widows in India who are forced into a life of extreme sacrifice and poverty. 

The film was not only restricted from the release by protesters who felt it was too controversial a topic for the Indian audience, even the sets of the film were attacked by fanatics while the film was being shot!

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

+1. Gulabi Aaina (2003)

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

gulabi-aaina-posterThe Pink Mirror – a 40min short directed by Sridhar Rangayan which explores homosexuality in India. Through this unique film the concept of trans-sexuality was addressed probably for the first time in our country.

Needless to say a bold film on gender issues has to be banned by the Censor Board even when it was screened in more than 70 film festivals and been appreciated by the critics all across the globe!

Poster courtesy: sikkimnow.blogspot.inwww.imdb.com.

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Son of Saul (2015)

Son of Saul review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A poetic portrayal of horror – and also of the best in human nature.

My Ratings: 4.3/5.

Won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film of 2016 (Hungary), won the Golden Globes Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for Palme d’Or – just a few mentions among the numerous awards and accolades that the film has received yet!

Son of Saul (original title Saul fia) is a film made on the backdrop of Holocaust.

The Holocaust – the most inhuman times in the son-of-saul-posterhistory of mankind when under the close watch of Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler and his associates, a planned genocide took place and about six million people (mostly Jews) were systematically executed over a period of four years!

Over the years many acclaimed films have managed to portray that particular shameful and disastrous period, films such as Schindler’s List (1993) and The Pianist (2002) just to name a couple. But then again, Son of Saul probably for the first time have achieved something unique in its depiction of that dreadful era – it almost recreated reality!

The dark underbelly of a concentration camps, the sheer horror of those routine massacres, the heaps of bodies, the smell of the poisonous gas, and of course the constant fear of death – director László Nemes have made it all come alive.

Son of Saul is entirely based on two consecutive days taken from the life of Saul Auslander a Hungarian prisoner at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums working as a Sonderkommando (those who were forced to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims).

son-of-saul-poster1Brilliantly played by debutant Géza Röhrig, it’s about how Saul Auslander risking his own life tries to give a proper Jewish burial to the corpse of a boy whom he takes for his son!

Shot entirely with a 40mm lens, Through many long shots and handheld camera movements, cinematographer Mátyás Erdély made sure that the camera stays with the main character Saul throughout the film for the audience to encounter exactly what Saul experiences!

Stunning recreation of that period by production designer László Rajk; and exceptional sound design by Tamás Zányi – five months to create such a realistic background sound-environment.

Music score by László Melis on the other hand is kept intentionally very subtle.

Only a few rare films makes you use not only your eyes but all the other senses as well; to experience, to suffer, to appreciate, to endure – Son of Saul definitely counts as one of the purest form of Cinema!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

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Youth (2015)

Youth review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

You say that emotions are overrated. But that’s bullshit. Emotions are all we’ve got.

My Ratings: 4.4/5.

Since the time I have seen a movie called The Great Beauty (2013), the name Paolo Sorrentino has become synonymous with extraordinary cinematic experience; I think he is the Fellini of our time.

Youth-poster2And recently, the eminent director’s next venture got revealed, Youth.

A highly anticipated film casting Michael CaineHarvey KeitelRachel WeiszPaul Dano and Jane Fonda among others. It was screened at the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival and indeed, the film lived up to its expectations and much more.

Nominated for the acclaimed Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the film (as the name suggests) glorifies Youth and also, in a more subtle way manages to humor and honor Old age!

Set in the backdrop of an exotic hotel at the foot of the Alps, the story revolves around two friends Fred, the renowned composer and Mick, the famous film director (Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel), who are on a vacation, reminiscing and contemplating about the little details of their lives. 

Youth-posterTheir friendship is almost as old as they are; and moreover Fred’s daughter (Rachel Weisz) is married to Mick’s son. But instead of getting involved into the chaos and confusion of their children’s lives, they prefer to indulge in their past, precisely in the days of their youth.

Those wistful memories, the remembrance of many laughter and amusements, some unfinished arguments and a few age old secrets never to be unlocked.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!

And then of course, with the arrival of the sensuous Miss Universe (Madalina Diana Ghenea), youth is envied and relived at the same time!

The film also boasts of Paul Dano playing a celebrated actor observing people for a particularly challenging future role, Rachel Weisz as the ‘daughter’ going through an emotional turmoil, a Youth-poster6brilliant short yet powerful appearance of Jane Fonda and interestingly enough, a tribute to the football legend Maradona played by Roly Serrano.

With a hint of surrealism, the film flows through various emotions, often spoken and mostly felt.

Soulful dialogues and haunting images, brilliantly orchestrated by the music of David Lang and a visual treat – thanks to Luca Bigazzi.

Though I personally liked The Great Beauty better than Youth but never the less, this is Cinema at its highest form!

Young or old, you must not miss Youth at any cost.

Poster courtesy: www.traileraddict.com

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The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

It’s dangerous when you are entertained by such an extremely twisted and dark comedy, sick and revengeful at times – but again you cannot help but chuckle and giggle helplessly through out the film! 

My Ratings: 4.4/5.

Many filmmakers, over the years have attempted to make futuristic dystopian films (most of them have been zippy action based adventures), but with The Lobster, the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (of Dogtooth fame) has achieved something unique in that genre.

And that too with mostly fine-tuning the exclusive comic timings in some of the most absurdly realistic situations!

lobster-poster1The basic premise of the film is simple yet weird – imagine a dystopian world where all the single people are sent to this hotel where within a limited number of days they are expected to choose their partner, or else they’ll be transformed into an animal of their choice.

And when David (Colin Farrell), arrives at this peculiar hotel, he declares that his choice of animal (if he fails to find a partner) would be The Lobster!

David soon befriends with a few other guests John C. Reilly (the Lisping man) and Ben Whishaw (the Limping man), and he also desperately tries to fix a match with an emotionally disturbed woman Angeliki Papoulia (the Heartless Woman). 

lobster-poster2But then, David meets Léa Seydoux (the Loner Leader) and Rachel Weisz (the short sighted woman) and his life changes forever.

Brilliant acting by each and every one, specially by Colin Farrell, probably his career best performance.

But the best thing about the film is it’s brilliant concept and the powerful script (written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou)

Real human characters/emotions put in a surreal situation, an ideal way to question our human behaviors in context with the current social and political scenario. For example, how any society tends to fight against those who doesn’t fit-in or doesn’t respect the rules in general, and then these so-called misfits and rule breakers form their own society where they make their own rules and then again, a few have a problem to fit in there!

Fortunately The Lobster was part of JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival and it was among my list of films that shouldn’t be missed.

A brilliant black comedy, a take on ‘love’ and ‘life’ in the most quirky and entertaining way possible. The film has already won the ‘Jury Prize’ at the Cannes Film Festival and is now nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or.

Best of luck!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

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JIO MAMI – Day 1 and Day 2 (Cinema at it’s best)

JIO MAMI – Day 1 and Day 2.

written by Souranath Banerjee

JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival, 200 films from over 35 countries – it’s happening right now, right here and it’s a heaven for film lovers.

Registrations and Bookings at in.bookmyshow.com

A brief description of the superb cinemas i have watched in the first two days of the festival, detailed review coming up soon.

 

Day 1 (30th OCT)

Youth (2015), my first film in MAMI and it’s an absolute work of brilliance.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c

youth-posterDirected by genius Paolo Sorrentino, the film is already competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

A film that makes the old become nostalgic of ‘youth’, a film about friendships and relationships, it’s about remembering them, respecting them and appreciating them.

Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel suits their roles so well and has such a great chemistry. Paul DanoJane Fonda and Rachel Weisz at their best.

Roly Serrano playing the part of Diego Maradona and also, you can’t miss the super hot Madalina Diana Ghenea as the Miss Universe.

 

Sunset Song (2015) was the second film of the day and it was such a contrast to the first one!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MYnCDEAfiE

Though i must confess that this film was not my first choice for the Sunset-Song-posterafternoon, but since The Lobster show got cancelled/rescheduled I decided on this one.

And i won’t particularly say i regret my decision.

Directed by Terence Davies, it is a story of a girl (Agyness Deyn), the daughter of a farmer who wants to live her life to it’s fullest.

Though she makes a few tough choices and become successful in turning her life better, but the people and their circumstances keep changing and it’s a hard task to keep up with it.

Set in the early 1900, (before the WW1) in the vastness of the Scottish landscape, the film has brilliant sets and perfect costumes. And awesome camera work by Michael McDonough, most of the frames look like classical paintings of the era.

 

And the third one is one outstanding film Mountains May Depart (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzkKT2wzCXk

Mountains-may-depart-posterDirected by legendary Chinese director Zhangke Jia, a film also competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Three primary characters and how their lives changes in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025.

The story has such powerful emotions flowing through the different time-periods, through the ages of time. And each character is unique in it’s own way.

Tao ZhaoYi ZhangJing Dong Liang and Zijian Dong – outstanding performance by all of them.

 

Day 2 (31st OCT)

Was ready to watch acclaimed director Amit Dutta‘s film Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya (2009) but due to some problem with the nainsukh-posterprint Nainsukh (2010) was shown instead. Another film by the same director and it’s such a beautiful film!

A biography of an 18th-century master painter named Nainsukh from Himachal Pradesh.

The film is a visual treat, detailed to perfection. Hardly a few words spoken throughout the film but the impact of it is profound.

The film has been screened and appreciated in many festivals around the world including the 67th Venice film festival and regarded as a masterpiece of Indian modernism.

 

The second of the day was Placebo (2014), an intense hybrid of docu-drama, animation and fantasy!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrdLPrZzjh8

placebo-poster

India’s toughest grad school, extreme academic pressure, vulnerable young minds and a tendency of self inflicted violence!

Director Abhay Kumar explores the mind space of the restless youth, their dreams, their expressions, their frustrations, and their madness.

A documentary that has managed to focus on a lot of unsaid and often ignored matters that actually affect the lives of our next generation. A very unique film and also probably the most important cinema in the festival.

 

And finally, the third one, the last but not the least of the day, a film called Krisha (2015).

Actually planned to watch Guy Maddin‘s The Forbidden Room, since i loved one of his earlier film My Winnipeg but somehow his latest work couldn’t hold my attention for long. It may be a great film but not my kind of film.

So, along with my new friend Zeena (who was also leaving the hall), krisha-posterwe went next door to watch Krisha, a film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults.

A Thanksgiving dinner party threatened to be ruined when Krisha (who is in her 60s) decides to join her beloved family members after a time gap of 10 years.

And it turned out to be a superbly dramatic film, and what a great performance by Krisha Fairchild!

The tapping music along with quick camera movements and very realistic acting makes this film a great watch.

 

My second day of MAMI ends with this film. Eagerly waiting for the next few days of uninterrupted cinema. Bring it on.

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

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Sven Nykvist – the greatest cinematographer of all time?

Sven Nykvist – the greatest cinematographer of all time?

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Winner of two Oscar awards, a career spanning over half a century, orchestrated over 120 films, being Ingmar Bergman‘s favorite cinematographer for more than three decades and also collaborated with other renowned film-makers including Andrei Tarkovsky, Philip Kaufman, Woody Allen, Bob RafelsonRichard Attenborough, Lasse HallströmRoman Polanski and Louis Malle – if anybody is eligible for the title of ‘Best cinematographer of all time’ then i am sure the Swedish genius Sven Vilhem Nykvist will be given the very first preference.

Sven Nykvist shot images which where simple yet profound, most natural yet meaningful and significant.

A brilliant camera operator and also the ‘master of light’ – he preferred to use more of natural light or soft bounce lighting and favored geometrically precise shot compositions. 

In his own words “When you are operating the camera, you forget all about the other people around you. You just see this little scene and you live in that and you feel it. For me, operating the camera is a sport and it helps me do better lighting. I prefer to shoot on location because in the studio you have too many possibilities, too many lights to destroy your whole picture.”

He was nominated thrice for the Oscars – in 1973 for Cries & Whispers, in 1983 for Fanny and Alexander and also in 1989 for The Unbearable Lightness of Being. He won the award in the first two occasions.   

His simple imagery speaks volumes and creates such depths and intensity.

He also won a special prize ‘Best Artistic Contribution’ at the Cannes Film Festival for the film The Sacrifice (1986) which was also the last film made by the famous Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky.

By the way Sven Nykvist also directed five feature films out of which his last film Oxen (1991) was nominated at the Oscars in the ‘Best foreign Language Film’ category from Sweden that year. 

The greatest cinematographer of all time – yes probably so but more importantly Sven Nykvist’s talent, his mastery on lights and camera, his authority on capturing beauty and his high professional ethics will always be considered as legendary.

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Best Japanese Horror Films (10+1list)

Best Japanese Horror Films.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Japan has long been a major contributor to the Horror genre.

The subtle movements of the white curtains, the rustle of the wind in the dark, sudden ringing of the phone, a thin beam of torch light illuminating a shadowy figure; be it the eerie natural outdoors or the uncomfortable corners of your rooms – these Japanese horror films explores every possibility to scare you out of your wits.

Most of these Japanese Horror Films are remade in Hollywood and in many other languages but for me the originals are always the best bet.

So let’s get ready for some scream!

(Also check out Best Japanese Weird films of all times).

1. The Grudge (2002)

ju-on-the-grudge-poster

Original title “Ju-on”

Directed by Takashi Shimizu who also directed the american version of the same The Grudge (2004), the film succeeded in scaring people all around the world. 

Endless number of sequels and remakes, this film is one of the most successful Japanese Horror Films. And probably the most scary one too.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbWpwkCJRg

2. Kwaidan (1964)

Kwaidan-poster

Original title “Kaidan”.

A classic collection of Japanese folk tales – the film consists of four separate and unrelated stories based on supernatural elements.

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi – the most popular Japanese Horror film winning the ‘Special jury prize’ at 1965 Cannes Film Festival and also an Academy Award nomination.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG5mvupo9Wc

3. Ring (1998)

ringu-poster

Original title “Ringu”

Don’t you dare watch it because if you cannot solve the mystery of this mysterious video – you are dead.

Directed by Hideo Nakata this film has bunch of sequels and remakes but none of them scares you as much as this one.  

I guess the poster says it all!

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Z-MOqAvtY

4. Infection (2004)

infection-kansen-poster

Original title “Kansen”

One error made by a doctor in the hospital sets forth a chain of incidents with disastrous consequences and also there is this weird infection that needs to be checked before it begins to spread.

Directed by Masayuki Ochiai this one is a slow and creepy film that surely gets to your nerves. Suspense and horror at it’s best.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUuQWyvN0oA

5. Noroi: The curse (2005)

Noroi-the-curse-posterOriginal title “Noroi”

Directed by Kôji Shiraishi, made entirely in documentary style this film gives the most real feel of horror.

A film maker trying to track down a series of paranormal activities eventually discovers something too dangerous to handle.

Creepy and disturbing.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A5VNsEeAMY

6. Onibaba (1964)

Onibaba-poster

A classic by it’s own right, the film is a historical horror drama directed by Kaneto Shindô.

The story of two women in the business of killing samurais and selling their stuff for food; the film has some of the most eerie surroundings and a deadly looking mask. 

Probably the most disturbing film in this list.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JWRKNU_7Tg

7. Pulse (2001)

pulse-poster

Original title “Kairo”

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa the film was screened at 2001 Cannes Film Festival and was critically appreciated.

A promise to interact with the dead, Japanese university students commit suicides linked with some internet Web cam mystery.

Also remade in Hollywood.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyDf4igNJ38

8. Dark Water (2002)

Dark-Water-poster

Original title “Honogurai mizu no soko kara”

Directed by Hideo Nakata, it’s the story of a mother-daughter duo who moves into an apartment that has a mysterious water leakage. 

One of the scariest and most popular Japanese Horror Film. Director Walter Salles remade it in 2005 by the same name.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM_5hGBKqbE

9. Kuroneko (1968)

Kuroneko-poster

Original title “Yabu no naka no kuroneko”.

Two women who were raped and killed by a bunch of samurai soldiers decide to seek revenge.

They turn into ghosts (ghostly black cats) and start seducing and murdering samurais.

A japanese classic directed by Kaneto Shindô.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmNhYzQMQtU

10. One Missed Call (2003)

one-missed-call-poster

Original title “Chakushin Ari”

Mobile phones can lead to Violent deaths (even if you are not using them while driving) and this film takes this unique concept to a different level.

Directed by Takashi Miike, this voice-message killer film was remade in Hollywood – One Missed Call in 2008. But again the original one is much more scary. 

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RIIEjG4gBM

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

+ 1. House (1977)

Housu-poster

Original title “Hausu”

Directed by Nobuhiko Ôbayashi this is one of the most weird Japanese Horror films with a huge cult following.

A group of seven school girls on vacation and a house with an appetite!

Watch it to believe, it will alter your perception of horror films forever.

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ_Yo06kIIA

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Pride (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

Pride is not only an unique story told but it’s also a true one.

Establishing a political background during the times of Margaret Thatcher the film Pride revolves around the British miners’ strike in 1984 and how a group of Lesbian and Gay activists wholeheartedly supported the families of the jobless miners. 

pride-poster2The miners and the LGBT activists, both were fighting for their voice, their respect and their identity.

And so they managed to join hands and stand side by side, help each other (both emotionally and financially as well).

Pride is about accepting ‘who you really are’ and also about recognizing and embracing your true friends ‘whoever they are’.

Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton leads the way as Dominic WestJessica GunningPaddy ConsidineBen SchnetzerGeorge MacKay – basically everybody out there have given there best.

pride-poster4Superb casting, thanks to Fiona Weir.

Directed by Matthew Warchus Pride is a film of human connection and trust, it’s about self belief and respect as an individual as well as a community. 

Nominated and won in several award functions including Golden Globes and BAFTA, it’s also won the Queer Palm award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

Overall Pride is a perfectly well-executed drama dipped in blissful British humour. Enjoy.

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Winter Sleep (2014)

Winter Sleep film review

My Ratings: 4.5/5.

Most directors make Films but only a few can really create Cinema. And Winter Sleep (original title – Kis Uykusu) is such a rare cinematic experience.

Thanks to the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan for once again sharing his remarkable vision with us; his latest film Winter Sleep is yet another extraordinary accomplishment.

winter-sleep-poster2This year Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the prestigious Palme d’Or award for Winter Sleep at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

And he is probably the only director who has never left the Cannes Film Festival empty handed. His earlier films Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Three MonkeysClimatesDistant – all of them have been received with immense critical appreciation and awards too.

Set in the picturesque backdrop of central Anatolia, Winter Sleep is the story of an aged, rich, philosophical hotel-owner named Aydin (Haluk Bilginer).

The film (adapted from the short story “The Wife”, by Anton Chekhov) basically revolves around Aydin’s relations with his young, beautiful wife Nihal (Melisa Sözen), his nagging, divorced sister Necla (Demet Akbag) and also with a particular poor family of tenants who couldn’t pay the rent.

Superlative performances by all the actors.

winter-sleep-poster1There are many sequences of lengthy conversations between the characters but the beauty of the film is that all these intense dialogues help to expose and reveal the characters. We tend to see the authenticity of these people, the contrast between their status and outlook, their achievements, their intentions and most importantly the flaws in them.

Human psychology exhibited and analysed to perfection.

Just like any other Nuri Bilge Ceylan films, Winter Sleep also has breathtaking visuals and again cinematographer Gökhan Tiryaki is the man behind such brilliance (their fourth film together).

Winter Sleep portrays the Turkish people, their struggle being in the epicenter of both Eastern and Western influences; their vast economic differences and also their proud traditional culture.

A 3hrs 16min film that demands your patience. A must watch. 

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