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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.

Most sexually explicit violent films (10+1list)

Most sexually explicit violent films

written by Souranath Banerjee

Most sexually explicit violent films: A complete contrast to the earlier sexually explicit erotic films listthese movies are those which portrays sex in a much more Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsaggressive and violent fashion.

Not for the weak-hearted, sensitive audience since the films in this list invariably contain multiple scenes of graphic sexual violence, brutality and sadism in some form.

Definitely NOT recommended for any non-adults.

Fetishes, obsessions, extreme fascinations and manias – these films probably represent all the grim sufferings, sickening chaos and intolerable disturbance in our world.

So, the most sexually explicit violent films – let the madness begin.

10. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Day of the Woman (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkCTSn8gcL4

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsGang-raped, humiliated and left alone to die – but one should never underestimate the strength of a woman!

A revenge flick portrayed never before with such graphic violence and cold blooded reality.

Directed by Meir Zarchi, this is one of the most brutal films ever, completely unapologetic, savage and sexually violent.     

A few remakes has been made more recently keeping the story-line pretty much the same I Spit on Your Grave (2010), I Spit on Your Grave 2 (2013).

The Last House on the Left (2009) is another such flick that revolves around the same lines of vengeance and extreme sexual violence.

9. Eden Lake (2008)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g1wYEAWOrs

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsThis is the story of a couple on a romantic weekend to a remote lake but then a gang of troublesome local kids starts terrorising them, turning their holiday a living hell.  

Directed by James Watkins, raw and unexpectedly brutal, the ending of this film is probably not what you will expect it to be!

8. Audition (1999)

Ôdishon (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR1DnkweK5U

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsA very special audition that takes place, through which a wealthy widower expects to find his new wife. But the introvert, mysterious girl he falls for unfortunately turns out to be a psychopath!

‘Does it hurt?’

Directed by acclaimed Takashi Miike, yes, this Japanese film certainly hurts in many unimaginably violent ways. 

7. Crash (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNi80K5sTco

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsAfter a car accident a man discovers an underground cult of car-crash victims and their weird world of sexual fantasies – scarred, wounded, trapped and yet intensely sexual!

Dangerously psychotic, deranged and demented – this is one film that tackles sexual violence in a completely different level.

Directed by the master director David Cronenberg, fetishism redefined.

6. American Psycho (2000)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YnGhW4UEhc

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-films

An investment banking executive has a secret life and some unique raving fantasies that better be kept under the rug.

Christian Bale in one of his best performances ever, the perfect ‘American’ psycho – egoistic, brutal and ruthlessly violent!  

Directed by Mary Harron, this film defines the term ‘hedonistic fantasies’ and takes it to a different level altogether.

5. Trouble Every Day (2001)

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

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsOne of the most dangerous films I have seen in my life, danger that turns obsessions into reality.

This French horror treats cannibalism in its most frightening form. Scenes that are so sensual but then there is always that danger lurking around, the terrifying obsession that turns people into animals!

Directed by Claire Denis, it’s about lust and the fetish for human blood!

4. Antichrist (2009)

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

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsGrieving the death of their child, and also trying to restore their troubled marriage, a couple retreats to their cabin in the woods for a change.

The change does happen but unfortunately on a negative scale.

Directed by acclaimed Danish director Lars von Trier, the film is about the catharsis of a troubled marriage, of a vividly documented disastrous relationship, highly sexual yet violent to the core!

3. Irreversible (2002)

Irréversible (original title)

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

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

The infamous 10 minute long rape scene (performed by Monica Bellucci) in the film is probably the most vicious and raw exploitation scene ever shot in the history of cinema!

2. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLdO-qkY1pQ

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsBased on the actual events recounted by the stories of Dante and De Sade, four dignitaries who claimed to be fascist libertines round up sixteen perfect specimens of youth and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture!

Directed by who else but Pier Paolo Pasolini, this Italian film portrays some of the most macabre things that seemed to have happened in real in the Nazi-controlled, northern Italian State of Salo in around 1944!  

  1. A Serbian Film (2010)

Srpski film (original title)

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

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsA man will go to any length in order to protect his family, or at least try to.

In this film, an aging porn-star’s life takes a somersault when he agrees to sign  what seemed to be an ‘art film’ but later turned out to be something awfully grotesque and disturbing.

Pedophilia and necrophilia, rape, torture and incest – directed by Srdjan Spasojevic this film is a whirlpool of everything disturbing and deranged  that exists in this world.

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

+1. Cannibal (2006)

Film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10hnrX_nAc4

Most-sexually-explicit-violent-filmsDirected by Marian Dora, this German film is probably the most odd and gory one in the list – considering this list that already says a lot about the movie. 

Based on a man’s cannibalistic obsession he puts an internet ad looking for someone to agree on an obsessive fetish for willing to be eaten alive!

And guess what, he actually finds a man ready to be the victim (voluntarily), and believe it or not, this film is based on a true story!

Similar Interest: Most sexually explicit erotic films.

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Poster courtesy: www.imdb.comwww.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.

Similar Interest: Best French Suspense Thrillers of all time

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Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.themoviedata.commovies.prettyfamous.com

Spectre (2015)

Spectre review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Few spectacular action sequences that struggles to patch up a very disoriented plot line.

My Ratings: 3/5.

spectre-poster6In 1953, novelist Ian Fleming created the fictional British spy James Bond (code name 007), and ever since, the daring MI6 special agent has managed to entertaining us (through his books and films) by taking up some of the most dangerous missions while valiantly serving his country!

And it’s early Christmas for all the James Bond fans out there (including me), the 24th Bond film is finally released, it’s called Spectre.

James Bond played by the dashing Daniel Craig (his 4th Bond film till date), along with renowned actors Christoph Waltz, Ralph FiennesBen WhishawAndrew Scott and the sizzling Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci.  

From talented director Sam Mendes, who also directed the last super hit Bond film Skyfall and is rumored to be directing the next one as well, Bond 25.

spectre-poster2Spectre starts with a thrilling helicopter sequence in Mexico that promises a power pact film but unfortunately, by the end of it’s almost two and a half hours run time, the film struggles to keep you entertained.

An intense Bond and Blofeld confrontation drama was expected from Spectre but instead, mostly due to the lack of a strong script, there seems to be a complete absence of emotional storytelling.

And even the dialogues, the witty punch lines (which is one of Bond’s speciality) are rare to find.

The extreme action sequences, the numerous chasing stunts, the visually appealing titles in the beginning, the explosive destruction in the end, the theme music, the M, the Q, the car, the gadgets, the bond spectre-poster4girl, the villain with a master plan – you get everything as expected from a Bond movie but without much of emotions in them!

After a point of time the film kind of goes into an auto-pilot mode and lets you cruise through the so called Bond theme-park and then finally, when it comes to an end, there is No surprise, No twists – nothing!

Though music by Thomas Newman is as usual effective and blends well with Hoyte Van Hoytema‘s cinematography.

On the acting department nothing extraordinary but everyone pretty much did their part. I think brilliant actors like Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes are wasted because they didn’t have much of a role to show off their talents.

spectre-poster3Overall, definitely not the best Bond movie i have seen.

Then again, the sheer excitement of watching the iconic black-suited man walking through the circles and then shooting at you, the red curtain of blood coming down with the classic bond theme music in the background – all that in the big screen is always something to look forward to.

And now, a long wait for Bond 25. Hope it’s worth the wait.

P.S. – Thank God, we ‘sanskari’ Indians are prohibited from viewing all the sinful kissing scenes which were so abruptly edited out; our protective and caring Indian Censor Board have saved our moral and culture once again! Applause.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.