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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.

JIO MAMI – DAY4 AND 5 (special attraction Christopher Doyle)

JIO MAMI – DAY4 AND 5.

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.

A brief description of the cinemas i have watched on the fourth and fifth day of the happening festival and also some exclusive snaps from the brilliant interactive sessions with film makers.

Day 4 (2nd NOV)

The first film of the day was relatively light hearted film, Umrika (2015).

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

umrika-posterSure Sharma (from Life of Pi)Tony Revolori (from The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Prateik – all gave decent performances.

Directed by Prashant Nair, this film is a sarcastic take on Indians who have a general tendency to settle in Umrika (America of course). 

A boy from a small Indian village goes to Umrika and the film is an aftermath of what happened to his family, specially about his younger brother’s struggle to find out the truth behind his brother’s journey.

The second one was Cartel Land (2015), a documentary on ‘El Doctor’, a physician who united common people and fought against the drug mafia.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYBbBK0qoM

cartel-land-posterMexico and drugs has a long tragic history that needs a resolution. But neither the police nor the military does anything to help.

Directed by Matthew Heinemann, the doc-drama tells the intense story of how the local people formed their own army (under Dr. Jose Mireles’s leadership) and fought against the drug cartels.

Scenes of brutal violence shown to portray the actual terrible situation through which the people of Mexico suffer. A hard hitting and very realistic documentary indeed.

And then there was Anomalisa (2015), a rare gem of a film.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_1qk6kRw28

Won several awards in many international festivals including the Grand Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

anomalisa-posterDirected by Duke Johnson and the genius Charlie Kaufman, a film that speaks so much about human emotions and that too in such subtle manner.

Stop-motion animation is used to it’s maximum limits and the film is also such a visual treat.

So brilliantly soulful and thoughtful and kind of melancholic in it’s own comic way – undoubtedly one of the best movie in this year’s Mumbai Film Festival.

And the day ended with another stroke of brilliance, called the The Lobster (2015).

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

Already won the jury award and nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival!

lobster-posterThe film tells us of the dystopian future where single people are officially taken to The Hotel, where they have to find a romantic partner within forty-five days or else they are transformed into their favorite choice of beasts!

Colin FarrellBen WhishawJohn C. ReillyLéa Seydoux and Rachel Weisz at their very best.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, a film so rich in dark humor and sarcasm, it’s about human tendencies and speaks volume about our basic human nature. But all that wrapped in comedy.  

Day 5 (3rd NOV)

My fifth day started with a sensitive Bengali film, known as Peace Haven (2014).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DB33EVnQmQ

Peace-Haven-PosterDirected by Suman Ghosh, the film is about three elderly men in their 70s (who are good friends too) planning to build a mortuary for themselves. And in the process of searching for a place they seem to understand the meanings of life and death.

Soumitra ChatterjeeParan Banerjee and Arun Mukherjee all at their very best. A film that is entertaining as well as though provoking.

Next in the line was a unique documentary Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO1Fodr71HA

hong-kong-trilogy-posterDirected by legendary cinematographer/filmmaker Christopher Doyle.

It’s the director’s take on his favorite city Hong Kong told by three generations of people – the ‘preschooled’ children, ‘preoccupied’ young people, and ‘preposterous’ senior citizens!

A cinematic way of showing the ideas and opinions of people who collectively become the voice of a city. A film that makes a strong statement indeed.

And then, the best part of the day, the interactive session with Christopher Doyle himself!

A genius with such inspiring words and brilliant mind. The man who Doyle and Me_lowresshot films like HeroIn the Mood for Love, and Chungking Express, the person who created poetry through his visuals – none other than the humorous and humble Christopher Doyle.

He narrated his experiences with different directors (including Kar Wai Wong and M. Night Shyamalan), who among them have influenced him and pushed him harder to create magic with his camera.

I am honored and thrilled to shake hands and interact with such a living legend. Respect!

And finally the last film of the day, The Second Mother (2015).

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

second-mother-posterClass barriers become visible when there is a new arrival of a person in the house, specially if that person is the young attractive girl of the house-keeper.

Directed by hong-kong-trilogy-posterAnna Muylaert, a simple theme, perfect script and exceptional acting. 

A film that comments on lot of social prejudices but in a subtle and intelligent manner.

Regina Casé is one actress who deserves many awards for her performance. 

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comblogs.indiewire.comtube.hk