Tag Archives: Jacques Audiard

Best of 2015 you may have missed! (10+1list)

Best of 2015 you may have missed!

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of 2015 you may have missed: 2015 has given us an incredible variety of Cinema from around the world.

The LobsterYouthTangerine and Taxi Tehran are probably some of the most popular films of last year that you have seen for sure, but this particular list contains some of the best cinema from around the world that you may have missed (or not).

Brilliant story telling, breathtaking cinematography, superlative performances, soulful music,  – cinemas made by some of the best film makers from around the world!

A list of some of the Best of World cinema 2015 that you may have missed – let the fun begin!

10. Cemetery of Splendor

Rak ti Khon Kaen (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ohB_Y3z_Gk

cemetery-of-splendor-posterA mystical and spiritual movie which revolves around a group of soldiers in a small town with some strange sleeping illness which makes them sleep almost all the time!

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul this Thai film is a slow burner, dreamy and magical, almost meditative at times but so beautifully shot and executed. Needs patience but totally worth your time.

9. Mustang

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABNB3zw5BAo

mustang-posterThis Turkish film is about five orphan girls and how their lives get changed dramatically when found playing some innocent games with some boys from their school.

Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, the film portrays the the rural mentality, and how the society has this general tendency to suppress the freedom and independence of women. 

8. Aferim!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wMj2VwSHx8

aferim-poster19th century Romania! A policeman and his son are in pursuit of a Gypsy slave who is on the run after having an affair with his wealthy master’s wife.

An easy flowing story, shot beautifully in black and white and with intricate details on costumes and production design.

Directed by Radu Jude, one of the most unique ‘western‘ ever!

7. The Club

El Club (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8c2DYoF7lA

the-club-posterA brutal film that takes on the controversial subject of how the Catholic Church deals with their worst offenders – that is by secluding them in a house at some rural desolate area.

This is a film from Chile (language Spanish) that is dark and grisly, slow paced and arty, and yet so very dramatic and honestly portrayed.  

Directed by Pablo Larraín, a gripping tale that needed to be told.

6. The Second Mother

Que Horas Ela Volta? (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOrbWcObwR4

the-second-mother-posterThis Brazilian film (language Portuguese) is based on a woman, a live-in housekeeper/maid who has almost become the part of the family but of course knows her limits. But then the master-servant class barriers get blurred when her young daughter comes to stay for a few days.

Directed by Anna Muylaert, a brilliant portrayal of human emotions and sensitivities.  

5. The Assassin

Nie yin niang (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKFtNsQ78oI

the-assassin-poster1

Set in 7th century China, as the name suggests, it’s the story of a female assassin whose conscience comes in-between her ruthless missions.

From the acclaimed Chinese director Hsiao-Hsien Hou who won the ‘best director’ at the Cannes Film Festival for this film!

Brilliantly shot by Ping Bin Lee, this film is a visual treat for all cinema lovers.

4. Our Little Sister

Umimachi Diary (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtTeSQFce2A

our-little-sister-posterThe old house of their grandma is the home for the three sisters who live independently without the guidance of their parents.

But after the death of their father they unexpectedly meet their half-sister and invite her to their place.

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, this Japanese film is so full of love and innocence and beauty!

3. Dheepan

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N-8G4V-AjM

dheepan-poster1French film that narrates the story of a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior ‘Dheepan’ and his forged family (wife and a kid), as they flee to France in search of a new life. 

The film won the prestigious Palm d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival this year, a true gem directed by one of my favourite French director Jacques Audiard.

2. Victoria

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp8wcV3GjW0

victoria-posterThis German film is a unique crime thriller centred on a young Spanish woman who has recently moved to Berlin, her involvement with some local guys which soon takes some pretty unexpected turns.

Directed by Sebastian Schipper, with brilliantly orchestrated long takes (thanks to Sturla Brandth Grøvlen) and amazing performances this film is one of the best that 2015 could offer.

  1. Son of Saul

Saul fia (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj9H3Ot9T1E

son-of-saul-poster1Directed by László Nemes this Hungarian film won the Oscar, won the Golden Globes, won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for Palme d’Or!

(Click for review)

A Holocaust drama that have achieved something unique in its depiction of that dreadful era – it almost recreated reality!

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

+1. Embrace of the Serpent

El abrazo de la serpiente (original title)

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

embrace-of-the-serpent-posterA Spanish adventure drama that won the Art Cinema Award in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Ciro Guerra, this one is a biographical account of Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman who teams up with two scientists, firstly with German Theodor Koch-Grunberg in 1909 and American Richard Evans Schultes in 1940, in search of a mythical rare plant called ‘yakruna’.

Beautifully shot in black and white, inspired by the travel journals of both the scientists mentioned above, it is the first ever film to get an Oscar nomination (Best Foreign Language Film) for Columbia!

A few other films released in 2015 also very much worth your time: Mountains May DepartSweet BeanThe Other SideMia Madre,  A WarRight Now, Wrong ThenArabian Nights: Volume 1, 2 and 3.

Similar Interest: Best of 2017 you may have missed

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

Best French Thrillers of Recent Times (10+1list)

Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best French Thrillers of Recent Times: Bonjour mon ami! It’s time for some French toasts and French Thrillers!

Well, its common knowledge that the French are famous for their beards, windows and kisses, but did you know that they also specialize in Thrillers?

Suspense, mystery, action packed and even psychological dramas seem to be their favourite genres and thus, here, this list comprises of some of the Best French Thrillers of Recent Times! 

Au revoir! As you have guessed, my French is pretty limited but what I actually want to say is Enjoy the list!

10. With a Friend Like Harry… (2000)

original title: Harry, un ami qui vous veut du bien

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiSP7T0bf2o

French-ThrillersMeeting an old school friend is always a moment of joy, right?

Wrong. Specially when you meet the mysterious Harry, an old chum who makes sure to flip your life upside down.

Directed by Dominik Moll, and casting Laurent LucasSergi López and Mathilde Seigner – a mystery that soon turns into something unexpectedly sinister.

9. The Apartment (1996)

original title: L’appartement

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwapQhrZ-D0

French-ThrillersA mysterious take on love, a superb piece of story-telling and top quality acting; the result is this fine example of a French Thriller.

Romane BohringerVincent Cassel and of course Monica Bellucci, a combination played to perfection.

Directed by Gilles Mimouni, this one is a unique film with enough number of plot twists to keep the guessing game going till the finish line.

8. Anything for Her (2008)

original title: Pour elle

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

French-ThrillersA school teacher’s wife gets arrested and their family life is shattered. Now, he is ready to do anything for her, even if that means breaking the law!

Starring Vincent Lindon and Diane Kruger who gave very believable performances.

Directed by Fred Cavayéthis one is a powerful crime drama with a heart pounding climax.

7. Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct (2008)

original title: L’instinct de mort

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Ku-B5Gkws

French-ThrillersA biographical account of legendary french gangster Jacques Mesrine.

Vincent Cassel plays the mean and brutal goon who is stylish, egoistic and trigger happy! 

Adventurous and thrilling, desperate and unflinching,  a cool gangster flick directed by Jean-François Richet.

The story comes in two parts/films, so don’t you forget to watch Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1 (2008).

6. Tell No One (2006)

original title: Ne le dis à personne

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvvY1M8vjzI

French-ThrillersHow can there be signs of someone being alive even after their death?

Only few thrillers can keep the romantic involvements intact and still tell the story in a way that makes you sit up with tension.

Directed by Guillaume Canet, a novel based film that will keep you guessing till the end.

5. The Connection (2014)

original title: La French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx41FbyvSMw

French-ThrillersMarseilles, the South of France being the backdrop, the film is based on the life story of the infamous mafia boss Gaëtan ‘Tany’ Zampa.

Jean Dujardin is as usual brilliant, and Gilles Lellouche at his very best. 

Directed by Cédric Jimenez, a gangster film full of thrill and emotion. 

4. A Pure Formality (1994)

original title: Una pura formalità

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Li11QSlIJY

French-ThrillersA mysterious killing, a suspect and an inspector who collects the clues and tries to solve the case.

Brilliant performances by Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski who plays the game of guilty and innocence till the very end.

Directed by acclaimed Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore, this is one thriller that shouldn’t be missed.

From the same director The Unknown Woman (2006) and The Professor (1986).

3. A Prophet (2009)

original title: Un prophète

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l69ARbQt-Ko

French-ThrillersPrisons are always dangerous and a French prison is no exception.

Directed by Jacques Audiard, this is a thrilling tale of an Arab man who climbs the ropes and learns to survive inside the prison, and finally becomes the mafia boss.

Full of intense moments, real, gritty and violent. And Tahar Rahim gives his career best performance in this one.

From the same director The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005) and Read My Lips (2001).

2. Hidden (Caché) (2005)

original title: Caché

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ZtfuvxpEw

French-ThrillersDaniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche are seemingly a happily married couple but then, certain surveillance videotapes begin to appear from an unknown source and that terrorizes them to the core.

A French film by the renowned German director Michael Haneke, a superb thriller loaded with extreme tension, paranoia and suspense. 

From the same director The White Ribbon (2009) and Funny Games (1997).

1. Léon: The Professional (1994)

original title: Léon

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

French-ThrillersA professional assassin reluctantly shelters and protects a 12-year-old girl, who quickly learns the dangerous trade and becomes his protégée!

Jean RenoGary Oldman and young Natalie Portman – some performances to remember.

Directed by Luc Besson (before his plunge into more commercialized Hollywood films), this one is undoubtedly the most sleek and stylish action thriller ever made. My personal favorite!

From the same director La Femme Nikita (1990) and The Fifth Element (1997).

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

+1. Irreversible (2002)

original title: Irréversible

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

French-ThrillersStarring Monica BellucciVincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel, the film comes with some of the most disturbing visuals in the history of film making. So remember, it’s Adult only.

Directed by Argentinian filmmaker Gaspar Noé, a dark psychological thriller, extremely black in its content, and the way it has been shot (dizzy camera movements) only adds to the stress level.

Approach with caution, this one is definitely not everyone’s cup of cinema.

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