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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.

The Salesman (2016) – Best of 18th JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2016!

The Salesman review

written by Souranath Banerjee

 A Cinema that tends to alter the definition of ‘Justice’! 

My Ratings: 4.3/5

Is Cinema only a medium for entertainment? As a filmmaker how much social responsibility one is ready to accept? How successful is a film in depicting a certain time, an era, a place and its people and their circumstances? How close is it to reality?

Surprisingly enough a few filmmakers still reflects on these aspects of Cinema and takes upon the burden to create something that represents a particular culture and also the people bound by it.

Asghar Farhadi is one such filmmaker, who in his films not only portrays his country Iran in the true light but also delves in such depths of human psychology that the characters in his films become The Salesman reviewalive and their problems unique yet genuine and tangible for the whole world!

After making a brilliant film like A Separation (for which he won an Oscar) it’s difficult to create something at per or even better, but Asghar Farhadi has accomplished that impossible! The acclaimed Iranian writer/director who has given such amazing movies like About EllyFireworks Wednesday and The Past is ready to woo us with his latest – The Salesman; original title – Forushande.

A simple plot to start with – soon after the couple Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) gets shifted to a new neighbourhood Rana gets assaulted by a mysterious stranger. She doesn’t have enough courage to go to the police, and neither does her husband. But Emad being a man with his ego and pride wants justice and desperately looks for the stranger responsible for turning their lives upside down. And finally … ok, you better now watch the movie!

But by the end of the film I am sure you will question the real meaning of ‘Justice being served’.

Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ is being intelligently used as a backdrop of The Salesman, a unique way to create a layer of The Salesman reviewadditional drama on the current plot.

Even there is reference of another famous play – ‘Cow’ by Gholam Hossein Saedi. “How does a man become a cow?” – “gradually”. This dialogues have a profound inner meaning on the characters in the film.

Even the status and obligations of women in Iran is being interpreted in such subtle yet profound manners throughout the film.

An exceptional team effort where every department of filmmaking comes together and creates something magical. Winner of ‘best actor’ and ‘best screenplay’ award at Cannes 2016 and according to me the ‘best actress’ award was also very much deserving.

In a way a satire that too on a very serious note on the current Iranian social structure, The Salesman is an Iranian Cinema that will soon be termed as a classic. Watch it!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.