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BEST INTERNATIONAL FILMS TO WATCH AT MAMI 2017 (10+1LIST)

Best International Films to watch at MAMI 2017

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best International Films to watch at MAMI 2017.

As the Mumbaikars bid adieu to the colorful Navaratri and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and await for the dazzling Diwali fiesta to begin, there is another very important Festival that the film-lovers of Mumbai simply can’t afford to miss!

A unique festival of Cinema that promises to entertain us for seven days in a row, from 12 to 18 October!

Yes, the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is here, and it’s raining films from all across the globe! To be more specific there are in total 220 films from 49 countries and in 51 languages!

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Along with a number of prestigious International movies under the World Cinema and the International Competition category, MAMI also offers a great selection of Indian Cinema under the sections India Gold and India Story. Other categories are the Half Ticket (for children), After Dark (focused on the horror/fantasy genre), Spotlight, Restored classics and many others.

And then of course if you want a picture with Monica Bellucci, most welcome!

Too many good movies and not so many days, so be specific of which films you pick and I hope this list helps you to choose among some of the Best International Films to watch at MAMI 2017. 

Make sure you don’t miss any of these!

10. On Body and Soul (2017)

Teströl és lélekröl (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfGeMbSEx9k

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The setting being a slaughter house, this is an exceptional love story between two ordinary people wrapped in strange identical dreams.

Brilliant performances and a unique script, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, the Hungarian film has already won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival!

9. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9AYPxH5NTM

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.’

It is about an affair between two men, a young visiting student and the son of the American professor.

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival, the critics already raving about this one, directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film promises a heartfelt yet heartbreaking story of two people in love on a hot summer somewhere in a small town of Italy!

8. The Florida Project (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwQ-NH1rRT4

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Set up just in the outskirts of Disney World this is the story of a mischievous 6-year old (Brooklynn Prince) and her friends, her mother, her neighborhood – basically the world around her!

Directed by Sean Baker (of Tangerine fame), and also featuring Willem Dafoe this film is attracting a lot of attention (mostly praises) from the critics as well as from the general audience.

7. On the Beach at Night Alone (2017)

Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7CP5ipqqwU

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017‘Where’s love? It’s not even visible. You need to see it in order to search for it.’

This South Korean cinema is about an actress who roams around a seaside town contemplating on her realtionship with a married man.

Directed by Sang-soo Hon, the protagonist Min-hee Kim already won the Silver Berlin Bear as the best actress for this year.

6. The Third Murder (2017)

Sandome no satsujin (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plr3V4TYBQE

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017A man with a criminal record gets accused and arrested again and this time it seems to be an open and shut case. But then a prominent lawyer turns around the facts and this will make all the difference between life and death!

Directed by aclaimed Hirokazu Koreeda, this Japanese film with two brilliant actors Masaharu Fukuyama and Kôji Yakusho looks promising court-room drama!

5. The Other Side of Hope (2017)

Toivon tuolla puolen (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85cyiMBvPXQ

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017A Finnish man who opens his own restaurant and a Syrian guy who comes to Finland in order to start a new life. The stories of these two men finally meet up and become one!

Realistic et with a comic touch, acclaimed filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki won the Silver Berlin Bear at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in the Best director category!

4. A Gentle Creature (2017)

Krotkaya (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sun3D8VqkGY

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, this Russian film is the story of a woman who investigates a return of a parcel that she sent to her husband who is serving prison time in an isolated town in Siberia.

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa, this one is an perfect example of superlative acting and brilliant story-telling, a slow yet highly cinematic experience.

3. 24 Frames (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBO0rqY4uQY

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017A collection of 24 short four-and-a-half minutes films inspired by still images, including paintings and photographs!

An experimental project directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami over the last three years of his life. I am sure this will be a film with great aesthetics, simple yet artistic like all the earlier films from the director.

2. Loveless (2017)

Nelyubov (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLegoO4NdD8

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The film that won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the ARRI/OSRAM Award at the Munich Film Festival and was nominated ‘best film’ at the London Film Festival this year!

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, this one is about a couple who must team up to find their missing son although they are going through a divorce.

Official submission of Russia for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category of the 90th Academy Awards in 2018.

  1. The Square (2017)

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

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017“The Square” is the name of a unique contemporary show that has gained huge popularity

Swedish director Ruben Östlund (of Force Majeure fame) has made a brilliant satirical drama, absurd and surreal but very entertaining!

Along with many other wins in numerous film festivals, the film swept away the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year!

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

+1. Mother! (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpICoc65uh0

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The peaceful life of a couple is disturbed by some uninvited guests.

Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer all together in a psychological horror thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky – this only should be reason enough to watch this film!

Though incredibly mixed reactions from the audiences, I guess it will be one of those films which you will passionately love or hate!

A few other films that are very much worth checking out are 

November directed by Rainer SarnetCity of Ghosts directed by Matthew HeinemanBeach Rats directed by Eliza HittmanIt Comes at Night directed by Trey Edward Shults.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

A Most Violent Year (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

1981, statistically the crime rate in New York City at it’s peak, it was indeed A Most Violent Year.

most-violent-year-poster3And that was the year when the Morales family, Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) and Anna Morales (Jessica Chastain) were desperately struggling to maintain stability in their life (both professional and personal).

Targeted by his rivals (who hijacked his trucks and sold the oil) and harassed by the New York Police Department (who wants to investigate into his business) Abel Morales, an immigrant oil businessman seems to be in the verge of loosing everything he has worked so hard for in his life.

An unique combination of a ruthless business man and the protective family man, Oscar Isaac plays the role of his lifetime. And Jessica Chastain, currently being one of the best actress in Hollywood played her part to perfection. 

most-violent-year-poster2

A total contrast to most of the latest action-crime films – A Most Violent Year is a thriller that maintains the tension and suspense till the end without showing any excessive gory violence or bloodshed.

Directed by J.C. Chandor this is one of the most matured crime drama of the recent times. 

Similar to the Godfather trilogy, the film portrays the moral dilemma of those brooding mafia leaders who will do anything to protect their families from their business related hazards.

Be patient while you watch A Most Violent Year, then only you will really enjoy the film.

P.S. – Originally Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron were considered for the lead roles!

Best of Woody Allen

Best of Woody Allen.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Personally a big fan of Woody Allan – the man who redefined classy, witty comedy in the history of World Cinema.

He is a Writer, Director, Actor, Musician – directed more than 45 feature films and still going strong.

And here is a list of Woody Allen’s best films of all times. Do let me know if you agree with me or even if you don’t.

10. Bananas (1971)

WA - BananasThis is one of his early films where Woody is willing to do anything stupid and funny to make you laugh. His effort of slapstick comedy punched with clever sarcasm works fine and yes – it does make us laugh.

This film is packed with humorous one liners and jokes as Woody attempts to make fun of the third world political scenario.

Just sit back and get entertained.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyqm-wWnX0A

9. Take the Money and Run (1969)

WAWA - Take the money and run

I laughed my ass off while watching  this film. It’s Woody’s second film (in a way his first proper feature film) and it’s a laugh riot.

In a mock-documentary style Woody portrays the life story of a petty criminal who unfortunately couldn’t master the knack of stealing.

Superb story telling and probably one of his most funny films ever.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yNhsuxqMXk

8. Match Point (2005)

WA-Match-Point

Scarlett Johansson – one cannot help but fall in love with her.

In this film (besides Tennis) we learn  that it’s all about luck – as Jonathan Rhys Meyers says “I’d rather be lucky than good”.

But what happens when you are about to get lucky and love (or may be lust) threatens to ruin it all?

Suspense and drama, love and betrayal, cool and sexy. Just love it.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wISRAOb6xm0

7. Deconstructing Harry (1997)

WA - Deconstructing Harry

A person too neurotic in his real life can only survive through his art. One of Woody’s most criticized films perhaps but again hilariously funny. I love it.

Woody creates a strange world where – being ‘out of focus’ is the new illness, unfaithful couples fuck in-front of the blind grandma, therapists need therapies themselves, where hookers give the best advice and ‘hell’ seems to be a cool place to hangout.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9wYgL-Mglw

6. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

WA - Vicky Christina Barcelona

Love, passion, lust and romance all shaken and stirred to make this unique cocktail – a film that celebrates relationships of all kinds.

Rebecca HallScarlett JohanssonJavier Bardem, Penélope Cruz – all hot and happening in Barcelona.

I dig this film for it’s superb characterizations and the sexy story telling.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-RdUcXAKiw

5. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

WA - Crimes and Misdemeanors

An excellent take on infidelity, felony, guilt and justice (God’s justice to be more precise).

Woody presents us with the perfect fusion of wit and serious drama; undoubtedly one of his best screenplays.

The film was nominated for Oscars in  three categories including ‘Best Direction’.  On of my all time favorites.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wXqwL3akhw

4. Blue Jasmine (2013)

WA - Blue Jasmine

The very recent one and again a masterpiece.

Comic yet brutal, a story of delusional Jasmine who struggles to cope with her sudden climb down on the social ladder.

Script writing at it’s best by Woody  – great actors, fine music and the elegant Cate Blanchett ( she won the Oscar for her role and so well deserved).

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FER3C394aI8

3. Manhattan (1979)

WA - ManhattanOne of the best shot black and white films i have ever seen – a story of relationships and a lot more.

An insight into a love story between a 42 year old man and a 17 year old girl, now the same man also falls in love with his best friend’s mistress!!

How crazy can it go than this?

A treat to your eyes and one of the most classy works of Woody.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7N7aAFRIz4

2. Annie Hall (1977)

WA - Annie HallAnd now the film for which Woody Allen is best known for. Won four Oscars including ‘Best film’ and ‘best director’.

The ultimate romantic comedy – starts with the nervous attempts to find love, then a funny yet complicated relationship and finally to loose it all.

A film you can watch over and over … a genuine love story.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBzHphcc2Jw

1. Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

WA - Sweet and lowdownThe story of ‘the second best jazz guitarist in the world’ – Sean Penn and Samantha Morton at their best. This film engages you with the classic Chaplin like emotions – laughter with a hint of sadness in it.

Great music. Innovative story telling. Superb acting.

Probably the most underrated film of Woody Allen but for me – it’s his best creation till date.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6stUcaJx5f4

and

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

+1. Zelig (1983)

WA - ZeligA brilliant ‘mockumentary’ – very clever, sophisticated and of course funny. Woody plays the ‘human chameleon’ – a person with identity crisis, who resembles anyone in whose company he finds himself.

An unique idea and skillfully executed, a perfect satire of the current society.

The film was much ahead of it’s time; one of my personal favorites.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agkCEOHQVgg