Tag Archives: Pablo Larraín

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.

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

Neruda Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

The tale of a fugitive poet and his flitting poetries; Cinema at it’s best!

My Ratings: 4.3/5

There is nothing as beautiful an experience as a blend of pure poetry in cinema; when the dialogues turn into lucid verses, and the visuals infuse with the rhythm of the poet’s manoeuvring voice.

Yes, that’s exactly what the film Neruda is all about!

Neruda ReviewEssentially based on two characters – “In this fiction, we all revolve around the protagonist. A hero and a supporting character.” 

‘The protagonist’ is none other than the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. But this is a story that dates much before the poet’s international fame, in the late 1940s when Neruda is being hunted in his own country for being a Communist!

And the ‘supporting character’ is Óscar Peluchonneau (played by none other than Gael García Bernal), the determined police officer who has the specific orders to hunt down Neruda – to ‘catch him and Neruda Reviewhumiliate him’.

Thus in between the priceless poetries and the endless humours, between the artist’s vulnerability and the stalker’s frustration – we experience a classic cat and mouse game, ‘a wild hunt’ that ends the way you would have least expected!

Directed by one of my favourite filmmaker Pablo Larraín, this one has already been selected as the official submission of Chile for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category for the 89th Academy Awards in 2017!

The performance of a life time by Luis Gnecco, as he plays the ever-popular, exotic, intellectual poet, Mercedes Morán as his aristocratic  wife and then of course the stunning Gael García Bernal, the man Neruda Reviewwho will chase down Neruda till the snowy surreal horizon.

Sergio Armstrong keeps the visuals artistic and beautifully wide-angled while Federico Jusid‘s music often adds a certain comic touch to the film.

Neruda, an unconventional biography, a poem in itself, a celebration of a genius and also a cinematic brilliance!

“Tonight, I can write the saddest lines.                                                                          I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.” – Pablo Neruda.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Best of World cinema 2015 – that you may have missed (10+1list)

Best of World cinema 2015 that you may have missed

written by Souranath Banerjee

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.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

JIO MAMI – DAY6 AND 7 (Nawazuddin’s Haraamkhor and much more)

JIO MAMI – DAY6 AND 7.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Every good thing in this world comes to an end and so did the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival.

Featuring 200 films from over 35 countries and this is what the last two days of the festival had in store for me.

 

Day 6 (4nd NOV)

The first film that was waiting for me on the sixth day of the festival was Haraamkhor (2015). A very interesting film to start the day.

haraamkhor1Directed by debutant Shlok Sharma, a film that though gives an impression of light comedy (specially looking at it’s poster) but then it’s not.

A few comic moments here and there, but essentially the film is based on the illicit relationship between a teacher and his student and it’s brutally realistic. 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is as usual the heart of the film, his acting skills are currently the best in the Indian film industry and we all know it. But Shweta Tripathi is one actress to look forward to. She is brilliant in the film and has all the potential of becoming a great actress.

 

And then there was this animated gem of a beautiful film called Belladonna of Sadness (1973).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdp85x9d0A4

Belladon-posterA peasant woman who has a pact with the devil and challenges the social norms!

Directed by genius Eiichi Yamamoto, a master of visual art and animation.

A film that is considered to be as a classic and why not? Extraordinary visuals and spectacular color play, powerful erotic imagery and a very thin narrative structure.

A must watch for people who are more into visual arts and animation.

 

And then there was The Club (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqv8PPDfiyw

club-posterDirected by Pablo Larraín, this is both an innovative and a disturbing film.

In a Chilean beach town, the disgraced priests and nuns (suspected of crimes in their past) are sent to stay in a house. And then one day a crisis counselor comes in and everything changes!

Beautiful images and great acting, a terrific story that is too real and hard hitting at times. Something that lasts an impact on you.

 

And the day ended with a superb film called Mia Madre (2015) aka My Mother.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWiFif96t3Y

mia-madre-posterDirected by Nanni Moratti, this one is a film so sensitive and emotional that it makes you miss your own mother/parents.

A film director whose mother in in the hospital, and in-between her busy schedule she visits her and try to comfort her.

Brilliant performances by Margherita BuyNanni MorettiGiulia Lazzaroni and some well deserved comic reliefs by John Turturro – a film that that is complete in it’s own unique way.

 

Day 7 (5nd NOV)

On the last day i watched the only 3D animated film in the festival, Monster Hunt (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR6JRIlf1jM

monster-hunt-posterThe monster’s world and the human’s world collide and two humans become responsible to protect a baby monster (the future monster king).

The film boasts of awesome animation and superb use of VFX.

Directed by Raman Hui, this Chinese animated film reminded me of my all time favorite film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

A bit kiddish of course but a good watch.

 

And then, there was this soulful film Ottal (2014) aka Trap.

Ottal-posterDirected by Jayaraj, this one is about a poor, young boy whose grandfather wants him to study and become somebody respectable.

But instead of going to a school, the boy ends up as a child worker in a distant town away from the love and protection of his grandfather.

The film is the voice of thousands of such children who are illegally being forced to work under inhuman conditions.

 

Well, this ends the spectacular journey of films and also the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival. I was glad to be a part of it and will eagerly wait for it the next year.

Thank you.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.ibnlive.comisammakesstuff.tumblr.comwww.cinenews.be.