Tag Archives: Palme d’Or

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.

Elle (2016) – BEST OF 18TH JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016!

Elle review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

If a rape victim desires to return to the act itself, then the next time, does she still remain a victim?

My Ratings: 4/5

Quality erotic thrillers are hard to find but then Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven often comes to our rescue.

elle-reviewHis latest French thriller Elle was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and also has already won the Golden Globe Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language and the lead Isabelle Huppert won for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama!  

The film starts with a disturbing rape scene that makes the audience uncomfortable enough but then the alarming normality maintained by the ‘victim’ as she continues to perform her daily routine becomes even more disturbing. Why doesn’t she complain about her violation? How can she be so inert about her abuse? Does she know the attacker or will she track him down?

Multiple relations and several interesting plot lines crisscross their paths, and one has to admire the Dutch director’s subtle use of comedy throughout the movie, but then again, the erotic undercurrent is what makes the film so special!

elle-reviewAnd of course Isabelle Huppert‘s brilliant performance!

Actually “Elle” means “She” and so the whole film is seen from the perspective of the central character Michèle and Isabelle Huppert simply owns the part. Her beautiful, sexy looks, her cold and courageous character, her raw animal desires and her level of supreme confidence – no doubt she is the spine of this film.

Though according to me the ending of the film doesn’t justify her character at all but then again a performance to cherish for sure.

Based on the novel “Oh…” by Philippe Djian, I think the best compliment for this film would be that it feels very much like a Michael Haneke film, a lighter version may be with a hint of comedy in it!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Most Influential Films Banned in India (10+1list)

Most Influential Films Banned in India

written by Souranath Banerjee

In India it is not always enough to make good Cinema; the more challenging part for the directors and producers is to make sure that their movie gets released on big screen!

This year only, the producers of Udta Punjab (a film based on drug udta-punjab-posterabuse in Punjab) had the most highlighted and controversial court fight with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) headed by Pahlaj Nihalani. Finally Anurag Kashyap (representing the Phantom productions) did win the legal battle and the film was cleared with only a single cut. 

But movies being banned is nothing new in India. Due to reasons that may be political or social, it can be for abusive language, use of narcotics or due to explicit sexual content, numerous films have been delayed and some unfortunately have never seen the light of a movie theatre yet!

Here is a list of some of the most influential films Banned in India. Do watch them to know the importance of these films and the real reasons for them being out of reach of their audience.

10. Sikkim (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmSeVvA61xU

Sikkim-PosterDirected by legendary Satyajit Ray, this is a documentary on Sikkim commissioned by the then King of Sikkim Chogyal.

The brilliantly made film is about the sovereignty of Sikkim. But in 1975 when Sikkim became a part of India the documentary was banned by the Indian Government. 

Recently, in 2010 the ban was lifted and the classic is now available for all you film lovers!

9. Fire (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnshN0wqiCo

fire-poster1Directed by Deepa Mehta, this is one powerful Indian film that tells the story of two wives from a middle class family who being frustrated by their loneliness and dissatisfied sex-life ignites a lesbian relationship among themselves.

Bold and thought provoking – though globally appreciated and well received but was predictably banned in India right after its release!

8. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqztmYen6co

kama-sutra-poster1With numerous candid sexual scenes throughout the film, although artistic and sensual in a very royal-Indian way, this film of course couldn’t manage to pass the morality test of the Indian Censor board.

Directed by Mira Nair, a brilliant piece of storytelling which was too offensive for the audience of a country from where the whole concept of ‘Kama Sutra’ was actually originated. What an Irony! 

7. Parzania (2005)

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

parzania-posterA brilliant film that dares to portray the horrific and painful genocide that took place in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, commonly known as the Gujarat riots!

It was banned in Gujarat because of it’s sensitive subject even though director Rahul Dholakia and lead-actress Sarika won the National award for the film!

Great performances by Naseeruddin Shah and Corin Nemec as well.

Another film on the same subject that was banned too was Nandita Das‘s Firaaq (2008)

6. Black Friday (2004)

Film scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1mkPQI9z0

black-friday-posterThe 1993 serial Bombay bomb blasts that shook the entire nation and then, it’s aftermath – a film that managed to portray it all and that too in a brilliant graphic manner.

This Anurag Kashyap film was too dark and realistic to release at the time specially since the trail decisions of the many arrested were pending.

5. Bandit Queen (1994)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66uIVFb6ATA

bandit-queen-posterAbusive language, nudity, sexually offensive content – the biopic on the media-hyped woman-bandit Phoolan Devi was banned by the Indian Censor board due to all those reasons!

But then again the film directed by Shekhar Kapur, is one of the most courageous and dramatic Indian biopic that I have seen till date!

Seema Biswas won the National Award for her stellar performance as Phoolan Devi while Shekhar Kapur won the Filmfare Best director award!

4. Garm Hava (1974)

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

garm-hawa-posterScorching Winds, the film that depicts a Muslim family struggling to find their identity as our country was reeling through the repercussions of the partition.

Directed by M.S. Sathyu, and brilliant performance by Balraj Sahni, but the film was banned since the subject matter was considered to be too sensitive for the time. Finally, after 8 months it got released, and yes – the film was also nominated for the Palme d’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film festival!

3. Aandhi (1975)

Film song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-HnmVg0-O8

aandhi-posterDirected by Gulzar, this one was banned during the time of it’s release due to the fact that the lead character played by Suchitra Sen seemed to have similarities with the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Later in 1977 the movie finally got it’s theatrical release; the film won the best critic award and Sanjeev Kumar won the best actor at the Filmfare Awards!

2. Amu (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqGGM8xl3Qw

amu-posterA film based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a brilliant story woven around the genocide that once shook our country.

Directed by Shonali Bose and superb performance by Konkona Sen Sharma, the film got banned of course because of it’s sensitive subject matter but it did get a release with an adult rating  and some specific audio-cuts. The film won a National Award that year!

  1.  Water (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7uM-CbzIAI

water-posterAnother one from the highly acclaimed director Deepa Mehta, a stunning portrayal of the widows in India who are forced into a life of extreme sacrifice and poverty. 

The film was not only restricted from the release by protesters who felt it was too controversial a topic for the Indian audience, even the sets of the film were attacked by fanatics while the film was being shot!

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

+1. Gulabi Aaina (2003)

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

gulabi-aaina-posterThe Pink Mirror – a 40min short directed by Sridhar Rangayan which explores homosexuality in India. Through this unique film the concept of trans-sexuality was addressed probably for the first time in our country.

Needless to say a bold film on gender issues has to be banned by the Censor Board even when it was screened in more than 70 film festivals and been appreciated by the critics all across the globe!

Similar Interest: Best Concentration Camp films during the Holocaust

Similar Interest: Best Jew-Nazi dramas during the Holocaust

Poster courtesy: sikkimnow.blogspot.inwww.imdb.com.

Best International Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016 (10+1list)

Best International Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

And finally that moment is here, that very event for which we all Cinema-Lovers have been impatiently waiting for – the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016 starts from 20th Oct!

And so, it’s time to check out the best of World Cinema – International films (Fiction) that demands your attention while you get busy with the festival!

1. I, Daniel Blake

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: UK, France, Belgium | Year: 2016. Language/s: English | Time: 100 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahWgxw9E_h4

i-daniel-blake-posterA middle aged carpenter who after a heart attack requires state welfare, befriends a single mum and her two kids and it’s their brilliant emotional story of friendship and survival.

Directed by Ken Loach, the film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year!

Dave Johns incredible performance, certainly one of the must watch films of this festival!

2. Personal Shopper

Fiction | Section: RendezvousCountry: France | Year: 2016 Language/s: English | Time: 105 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIRGyoyBHS8

personal-shopper-posterThe fashion underworld of Paris, a young American woman making her living as a personal shopper for a celebrity may have some psychic ability to communicate with the spirits!

A brilliant performance by Kristen Stewart, and directed by Olivier Assayas who shared the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year along with Christian Mungiu!

3. The Salesman

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Iran, France | Year: 2016. Language/s: Farsi | Time: 123 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPdkCB7sKY

the-seperation-posterEmad and Rana, a young couple who happen to be performers rehearsing for Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” living in Tehran had to move to a new apartment, a rented one.

But then their relationship gets complicated in more ways than you can imagine.

Directed by Asghar Farhadi, one of the most anticipated films in the festival!

4. Graduation

Bacalaureat (original title)

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Romania | Year: 2016 Language/s: Romanian | Time: 128 Mins.

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

graduation-posterA unique father-daughter drama that circles around various intricate emotions and compromises related to parenthood.

Brilliant performances by Adrian Titieni and Maria-Victoria Dragus as the father daughter duo.

Directed by Cristian Mungiu who shared the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year along with Olivier Assayas.

5. The Woman Who Left

Ang babaeng humayo (original title)

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Philippines | Year: 2016 Language/s: Tagalog | Time: 226 Mins

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

the-woman-who-left-posterA stylishly shot black and white revenge drama directed by Lav Diaz.

A woman plans to take revenge on her former lover, after she had to endure 30 years of wrongful imprisonment.

Incredibly slow, extensive long takes, a nearly four hours long movie – but this one won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival this year!

6. Aquarius

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Brazil, France | Year: 2016. Language/s: Portuguese | Time: 145 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zln78CcFkA

aquarius-posterAquarius, a two-storey old building and Clara, a 65-year-old widow is the only resident left in that apartment. And she is not ready to sellout at any cost to the company desperate to buy out the whole building.

Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes – directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, a superbly engaging drama and a brilliant performance by Sonia Braga.

 

7. The Wailing 

Goksung (original title)

Fiction | Section: After DarkCountry: South Korea | Year: 2016 Language/s: Korean | Time: 156 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43uAputjI4k

the-wailing-posterA stranger appears and the horrific rumours starts to spread throughout the village. And then there is death – a series of gruesome killings without any logical reasons!

(Click for Review)

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Hong-jin Na, this is a perfect horror thriller which will keep you guessing till the end! 

8. The Red Turtle

La tortue rouge (original title)

Fiction | Section: RendezvousCountry: France, Belgium | Year: 2016. Language/s: French | Time: 80 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw7BggqBpTk

the-red-turtle-posterAn animation film without dialogues!

It’s about a shipwrecked man on a deserted tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds – a brilliantly beautiful film like a fable or a fairy tale!

Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, this is one of the prime attraction in the festival since it is the first non-Japanese film to be produced by Studio Ghibli.

9. Under the Shadow (2016)

Fiction | Section: After DarkCountry: Jordan, Qatar, UK | Year: 2016. Language/s: Farsi | Time: 83 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVFP80Upxw

under-the-shadow-posterSet in Tehran, 1988 during the Iran-Iraq war, a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the war. But then the war is not the only horror they have to endure.

Great acting and superb storytelling, directed by Babak Anvari; this one is a slow paced horror film that lets the tension built up in its own time and yes – the effect is damn scary. 

10. Swiss Army Man

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: USA | Year: 2016 Language/s: English. Time: 97 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrK1f4TsQfM

swiss-army-man-posterA young man named Hank (Paul Dano) gets stranded in an island all alone – yup, exactly like Tom Hanks in Cast Away but instead of a floating Volleyball named Wilson, Hank gets a farting dead-body named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe)!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert comes an imaginative, humorous and cinematic satire.

 

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

+1. Madly

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: USA, UK, India, Australia, Japan, Argentina. | Year: 2015. Language/s: English, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish| Time: 105 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJbO8FY3o9U

A global anthology consisting of six short films made by filmmakers madly-posterrepresenting Japan, Argentina, the UK, the USA, India and Australia with a common goal to dissect love!

Directed by Gael García Bernal,  Anurag KashyapNatasha KhanSebastián SilvaSion Sono and Mia Wasikowska – definitely one of the prime attractions of this festival.

A few other films that are totally worth your time are Endless PoetryAfter the StormNerudaThe Lovers and the DespotElleManchester by the SeaAusterlitz and Hounds of Love.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com and mumbaifilmfestival.com.

Son of Saul (2015)

Son of Saul review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A poetic portrayal of horror – and also of the best in human nature.

My Ratings: 4.3/5.

Won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film of 2016 (Hungary), won the Golden Globes Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for Palme d’Or – just a few mentions among the numerous awards and accolades that the film has received yet!

Son of Saul (original title Saul fia) is a film made on the backdrop of Holocaust.

The Holocaust – the most inhuman times in the son-of-saul-posterhistory of mankind when under the close watch of Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler and his associates, a planned genocide took place and about six million people (mostly Jews) were systematically executed over a period of four years!

Over the years many acclaimed films have managed to portray that particular shameful and disastrous period, films such as Schindler’s List (1993) and The Pianist (2002) just to name a couple. But then again, Son of Saul probably for the first time have achieved something unique in its depiction of that dreadful era – it almost recreated reality!

The dark underbelly of a concentration camps, the sheer horror of those routine massacres, the heaps of bodies, the smell of the poisonous gas, and of course the constant fear of death – director László Nemes have made it all come alive.

Son of Saul is entirely based on two consecutive days taken from the life of Saul Auslander a Hungarian prisoner at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums working as a Sonderkommando (those who were forced to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims).

son-of-saul-poster1Brilliantly played by debutant Géza Röhrig, it’s about how Saul Auslander risking his own life tries to give a proper Jewish burial to the corpse of a boy whom he takes for his son!

Shot entirely with a 40mm lens, Through many long shots and handheld camera movements, cinematographer Mátyás Erdély made sure that the camera stays with the main character Saul throughout the film for the audience to encounter exactly what Saul experiences!

Stunning recreation of that period by production designer László Rajk; and exceptional sound design by Tamás Zányi – five months to create such a realistic background sound-environment.

Music score by László Melis on the other hand is kept intentionally very subtle.

Only a few rare films makes you use not only your eyes but all the other senses as well; to experience, to suffer, to appreciate, to endure – Son of Saul definitely counts as one of the purest form of Cinema!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Best Asian Horror Films (10+1list)

Best Asian Horror Films

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Asian Horror Films: One time a good friend of mine who claimed (probably still claims) to be a horror junky casually told me that she didn’t feel a bit scared while watching the much anticipated ‘the no. 1 film’ of today’s list!

I was surprised and curious but then she confessed, that actually she was watching the film on her Ipad without headphones, while traveling on a bus on her way to office, and that too in the early morning!

Now to really enjoy a good horror film and to get the desired kick out of it, one must follow the three simple rules while watching 1. preferably watch it alone in a dark/semi-dark room 2. with headphones or make sure there is no external sound disturbance and 3. absolute concentration.

I hope you will watch all the horror flicks following the above rules as these are indeed the Best Asian Horror Films till date.

Boo!

10. Memento Mori (1999)

Original title Yeogo goedam II

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYDOS73D-aU

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsA South Korean horror film directed by Tae-yong Kim and Kyu-dong Min.

A girl reads a mysterious dairy of her two senior fellow-students who seem to have an unusually close bond.

Supposed to be the second installment of the Whispering Corridors (1998) but it’s definitely a much better version. 

9. Rigor Mortis (2013)

original title Geung si

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd-GUUREFB8

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsThe dead are not allowed to die in a public housing tower!

A disturbing horror flick from Hong Kong that takes the vampire/zombie concept to a totally different realm.

Directed by Juno Mak, this is one film that stands out specially for it’s amazing visual effects among all other Asian horror movies released in the recent years.

8. Feng shui (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWVd8rA1OMs

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsA Filipino horror film that revolves around a cursed Bagua mirror and whenever a person stares at it dies!

This is the story of how a wife desperately tries to save her family from the curse of this “bagwa” bound to them.

Directed by Chito S. Roño, this is one creepy film that really deserves to be in the list.

7. 4bia (2008)

Original title See prang

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy5YsWGYRoA

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsA of four short films directed by Banjong PisanthanakunPaween PurikitpanyaYongyoot Thongkongtoon and Parkpoom Wongpoom.

Each film has their own unique ability to scare you out of your wits and if you seem to be not getting enough, then make sure to watch Phobia 2, the second horror anthology following this one!

6. The Eye (2002)

Original title Gin gwai

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoA6dxLeWFo

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsThe story of a blind girl who after a successful cornea transplant can finally see, but then she realizes that she has the power to see the unseen as well!

Directed by Danny Pang and Oxide Chun Pang (as Pang Brothers), a terrifying Hong Kong-Singaporean horror film that boasts of superb editing and a chilling background score.  A must watch for the horror fans.

5. Three… Extremes (2004)

Original Title Saam gaang yi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-lnf01j7kw

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsDumplings“, “Cut” and “Box“, three individual South Korean horror films clubbed together and rightly named as the ‘Three… Extremes’

Not only they are horrifying and disturbing, they also have this amazing creep factor that makes them score ahead of any other films in this genre.

My personal favorite is Dumplings though it makes me sick each time i watch it.

4. Ring (1998)

Original title Ringu

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Z-MOqAvtY

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsDon’t you dare watch it because if you cannot solve the mystery of this scary video – you have probably enlisted in the future dead list!

Directed by Hideo Nakata this film has bunch of sequels and remakes but none of them scares you as much as the original Japanese version.  

A terrifying film – I guess the poster says it all!

3. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anF5XiN8QY8

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsAs the title suggests, it’s the story of two sisters who returns home from the mental institution and desperately struggles to cope up with their lives.

A superbly intense film by Kim Jee-woon – suspense, horror or simply a nail-biting thriller, this one serves all your cravings.

This South Korean horror film will creep you out for sure.

2. The Grudge (2002)

Original title Ju-on

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

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsDirected by Takashi Shimizu who also directed the american version of the same The Grudge (2004), this unique film tells the story of a haunted house and a spirit with vengeance! 

Endless number of sequels and remakes made, this film is probably the most successful and scary Japanese Horror Film and it ended up scaring people from all around the world!

  1. Shutter (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwy8QSQliGk

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsDirected by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom – a Thai horror film takes the first spot!

A photographer notices peculiar shadows in his snapshots, and while trying to solve the mystery along with his girlfriend, he gets haunted by something/someone related to his past.

And no one can escape their past – can they?

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

+1. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

Original title Loong Boonmee raleuk chat

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlPRe9peigI

Best-Asian-Horror-FilmsA Thai horror film directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul who won the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival!

 

Instead of being high on the fear-quificient, the film has more of a slow, creepy and philosophical touch that stays on with you much longer than expected.

A unique horror film that is more of a dream, a complete contrast to all those films with their quick snappy edit moments and music jumps to make you feel scared.

Similar Interest: Best Japanese Horror Films

Similar Interest: Horror Anthology films

Similar Interest: Best Horror Comedies

Similar Interest: Best Horror Films of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Japanese weird films

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.fanpop.comwww.best-horror-movies.com

Youth (2015)

Youth review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

You say that emotions are overrated. But that’s bullshit. Emotions are all we’ve got.

My Ratings: 4.4/5.

Since the time I have seen a movie called The Great Beauty (2013), the name Paolo Sorrentino has become synonymous with extraordinary cinematic experience; I think he is the Fellini of our time.

Youth-poster2And recently, the eminent director’s next venture got revealed, Youth.

A highly anticipated film casting Michael CaineHarvey KeitelRachel WeiszPaul Dano and Jane Fonda among others. It was screened at the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival and indeed, the film lived up to its expectations and much more.

Nominated for the acclaimed Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the film (as the name suggests) glorifies Youth and also, in a more subtle way manages to humor and honor Old age!

Set in the backdrop of an exotic hotel at the foot of the Alps, the story revolves around two friends Fred, the renowned composer and Mick, the famous film director (Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel), who are on a vacation, reminiscing and contemplating about the little details of their lives. 

Youth-posterTheir friendship is almost as old as they are; and moreover Fred’s daughter (Rachel Weisz) is married to Mick’s son. But instead of getting involved into the chaos and confusion of their children’s lives, they prefer to indulge in their past, precisely in the days of their youth.

Those wistful memories, the remembrance of many laughter and amusements, some unfinished arguments and a few age old secrets never to be unlocked.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!

And then of course, with the arrival of the sensuous Miss Universe (Madalina Diana Ghenea), youth is envied and relived at the same time!

The film also boasts of Paul Dano playing a celebrated actor observing people for a particularly challenging future role, Rachel Weisz as the ‘daughter’ going through an emotional turmoil, a Youth-poster6brilliant short yet powerful appearance of Jane Fonda and interestingly enough, a tribute to the football legend Maradona played by Roly Serrano.

With a hint of surrealism, the film flows through various emotions, often spoken and mostly felt.

Soulful dialogues and haunting images, brilliantly orchestrated by the music of David Lang and a visual treat – thanks to Luca Bigazzi.

Though I personally liked The Great Beauty better than Youth but never the less, this is Cinema at its highest form!

Young or old, you must not miss Youth at any cost.

Poster courtesy: www.traileraddict.com

The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

It’s dangerous when you are entertained by such an extremely twisted and dark comedy, sick and revengeful at times – but again you cannot help but chuckle and giggle helplessly through out the film! 

My Ratings: 4.4/5.

Many filmmakers, over the years have attempted to make futuristic dystopian films (most of them have been zippy action based adventures), but with The Lobster, the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (of Dogtooth fame) has achieved something unique in that genre.

And that too with mostly fine-tuning the exclusive comic timings in some of the most absurdly realistic situations!

lobster-poster1The basic premise of the film is simple yet weird – imagine a dystopian world where all the single people are sent to this hotel where within a limited number of days they are expected to choose their partner, or else they’ll be transformed into an animal of their choice.

And when David (Colin Farrell), arrives at this peculiar hotel, he declares that his choice of animal (if he fails to find a partner) would be The Lobster!

David soon befriends with a few other guests John C. Reilly (the Lisping man) and Ben Whishaw (the Limping man), and he also desperately tries to fix a match with an emotionally disturbed woman Angeliki Papoulia (the Heartless Woman). 

lobster-poster2But then, David meets Léa Seydoux (the Loner Leader) and Rachel Weisz (the short sighted woman) and his life changes forever.

Brilliant acting by each and every one, specially by Colin Farrell, probably his career best performance.

But the best thing about the film is it’s brilliant concept and the powerful script (written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou)

Real human characters/emotions put in a surreal situation, an ideal way to question our human behaviors in context with the current social and political scenario. For example, how any society tends to fight against those who doesn’t fit-in or doesn’t respect the rules in general, and then these so-called misfits and rule breakers form their own society where they make their own rules and then again, a few have a problem to fit in there!

Fortunately The Lobster was part of JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival and it was among my list of films that shouldn’t be missed.

A brilliant black comedy, a take on ‘love’ and ‘life’ in the most quirky and entertaining way possible. The film has already won the ‘Jury Prize’ at the Cannes Film Festival and is now nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or.

Best of luck!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.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

JIO MAMI – Day 1 and Day 2 (Cinema at it’s best)

JIO MAMI – Day 1 and Day 2.

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.

Registrations and Bookings at in.bookmyshow.com

A brief description of the superb cinemas i have watched in the first two days of the festival, detailed review coming up soon.

 

Day 1 (30th OCT)

Youth (2015), my first film in MAMI and it’s an absolute work of brilliance.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c

youth-posterDirected by genius Paolo Sorrentino, the film is already competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

A film that makes the old become nostalgic of ‘youth’, a film about friendships and relationships, it’s about remembering them, respecting them and appreciating them.

Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel suits their roles so well and has such a great chemistry. Paul DanoJane Fonda and Rachel Weisz at their best.

Roly Serrano playing the part of Diego Maradona and also, you can’t miss the super hot Madalina Diana Ghenea as the Miss Universe.

 

Sunset Song (2015) was the second film of the day and it was such a contrast to the first one!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MYnCDEAfiE

Though i must confess that this film was not my first choice for the Sunset-Song-posterafternoon, but since The Lobster show got cancelled/rescheduled I decided on this one.

And i won’t particularly say i regret my decision.

Directed by Terence Davies, it is a story of a girl (Agyness Deyn), the daughter of a farmer who wants to live her life to it’s fullest.

Though she makes a few tough choices and become successful in turning her life better, but the people and their circumstances keep changing and it’s a hard task to keep up with it.

Set in the early 1900, (before the WW1) in the vastness of the Scottish landscape, the film has brilliant sets and perfect costumes. And awesome camera work by Michael McDonough, most of the frames look like classical paintings of the era.

 

And the third one is one outstanding film Mountains May Depart (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzkKT2wzCXk

Mountains-may-depart-posterDirected by legendary Chinese director Zhangke Jia, a film also competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Three primary characters and how their lives changes in three different time periods: 1999, 2014, and 2025.

The story has such powerful emotions flowing through the different time-periods, through the ages of time. And each character is unique in it’s own way.

Tao ZhaoYi ZhangJing Dong Liang and Zijian Dong – outstanding performance by all of them.

 

Day 2 (31st OCT)

Was ready to watch acclaimed director Amit Dutta‘s film Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya (2009) but due to some problem with the nainsukh-posterprint Nainsukh (2010) was shown instead. Another film by the same director and it’s such a beautiful film!

A biography of an 18th-century master painter named Nainsukh from Himachal Pradesh.

The film is a visual treat, detailed to perfection. Hardly a few words spoken throughout the film but the impact of it is profound.

The film has been screened and appreciated in many festivals around the world including the 67th Venice film festival and regarded as a masterpiece of Indian modernism.

 

The second of the day was Placebo (2014), an intense hybrid of docu-drama, animation and fantasy!

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrdLPrZzjh8

placebo-poster

India’s toughest grad school, extreme academic pressure, vulnerable young minds and a tendency of self inflicted violence!

Director Abhay Kumar explores the mind space of the restless youth, their dreams, their expressions, their frustrations, and their madness.

A documentary that has managed to focus on a lot of unsaid and often ignored matters that actually affect the lives of our next generation. A very unique film and also probably the most important cinema in the festival.

 

And finally, the third one, the last but not the least of the day, a film called Krisha (2015).

Actually planned to watch Guy Maddin‘s The Forbidden Room, since i loved one of his earlier film My Winnipeg but somehow his latest work couldn’t hold my attention for long. It may be a great film but not my kind of film.

So, along with my new friend Zeena (who was also leaving the hall), krisha-posterwe went next door to watch Krisha, a film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults.

A Thanksgiving dinner party threatened to be ruined when Krisha (who is in her 60s) decides to join her beloved family members after a time gap of 10 years.

And it turned out to be a superbly dramatic film, and what a great performance by Krisha Fairchild!

The tapping music along with quick camera movements and very realistic acting makes this film a great watch.

 

My second day of MAMI ends with this film. Eagerly waiting for the next few days of uninterrupted cinema. Bring it on.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.recentmovieposters.comwww.imdb.commrinaldesai.com.