Tag Archives: The Lobster

Best of World Cinema 2017 (10+1List)

Best of World Cinema 2017

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of World Cinema 2017: Every year before making this list I have this strange feeling of missing out some good ones, films which I may not have seen or even not know of. And this year is no exception!

And on top of that 2017 has such a variety of good Cinema to choose from, brilliant directors across the globe covering so many genres and what amazing films!

But finally I have made my choices, do let me know if you agree with me (or not). And here is my list of Best of World Cinema 2017. Enjoy!

10. Thelma

Language: Norwegian

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgQMHG9SGlU

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017A strictly raised religious girl explores life on her own for the first time – but little did she know that her subconsciously controlled psychokinetic powers will soon change everything around her!

Directed by Joachim Trier, a unique concept based around a lesbian love affair. Brilliant performance by Eili Harboe, certainly the best fantasy mystery of the year!

9. The Square

Language: Swedish, English.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

“The Square” – a unique contemporary show that has gained huge popularity but what does it say about our current society?

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

Along with many other wins the film swept away the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

8. Okja

Language: Korean, English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nhz9ctHR0k

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017On the surface 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 and important film of this year!

7. The Florida Project

Language: English.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Set 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 and Bria Vinaite, a film that focus on human relations – the innocence and the complexities of it. Absolutely brilliant to watch! 

6. On Body and Soul

Teströl és lélekröl (original title). Language: Hungarian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gZw6GVf2eY

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Is it possible for two people to dream the same dream?

The setting being a slaughter house, this is an exceptional love story between two ordinary people wrapped in identical dreams.

A unique script and such brilliant performances, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, this Hungarian film has won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival!

5. A Gentle Creature

Krotkaya (original title). Language: Russian.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Nominated 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.

4. The Shape of Water

Language: English.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017An amphibious creature in a hidden high-security government laboratory gets to befriend a lonely janitor (Sally Hawkins) but their friendship will be tested soon.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, emotional and highly engaging, a fantastic story and powerful performances – overall a visually stunning fairy tale like never before!

3. Call Me by Your Name

Language: English, Italian.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.’

An erotic love affair between two men, a visiting student and the young son of the American professor.

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival, directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film is a heartfelt yet heartbreaking story of two people in love on a hot summer somewhere in a small town of Italy!

2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Language: English.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017The concepts of Revenge and Redemption have always been the favourite themes for movies but this film manages to twist these notions into a whole new level of awesomeness!

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (of The Lobster fame), a dark psychological thriller that takes its unique stand on morality and justice! Highly odd yet satisfying – just like the previous works of the director.

  1. Loveless

Nelyubov (original title). Language: Russian.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

The 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 nasty divorce.

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

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

+1. The Other Side of Hope

Toivon tuolla puolen (original title). Language: Finnish

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtiFG6utst8

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

A Finnish man who opens his own restaurant and a Syrian guy who comes to Finland in order to start a new life. Two stories finally converge and give us one emotional and often hilarious drama!

Realistic yet 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!

Similar Interest: Best of 2017 you may have missed!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Best Comedy Films of recent times (10+1list)

Best Comedy Films of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Comedy Films of recent times: Overdose of sex and violence. Overdramatic celebrities and never-ending super-hero battles. Best-Comedy-FilmsExcessive use of computer graphics and 3D glasses. At the end of the day it all feels so artificial and commercial and unreal.

Sometimes all you want is a good sensible film with believable characters and a realistic story line, an easy going comedy that simply makes you laugh – but nowadays such movies are pretty hard to find.

Well, you don’t have to look any further!

Here’s a list of the Best Comedy Films of recent times which will simply make your day a happy one! Enjoy.

10. Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6raUs0CiCQ

Best-Comedy-FilmsA cool freshman pitcher who steers his way through various new life experiences, making friends and finding love!

(Film Review)

Directed by Richard Linklater, a classic take on college bonding!

May be considered as a continuation to either Dazed and Confused (1993) or may be even a follow-up of Boyhood (2014).

9. Captain Fantastic (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1kH4OMIOMc

Best-Comedy-FilmsResiding inside a forest, a devoted father has a very different idea of parenting (home schooling his children). But his life philosophies are soon challenged by the regular norms of our modern society!

Directed by Matt Ross, a brilliant comedy with such a powerful embedded meaning to it all.

This movie though pretty differently conceptualized still reminds me of Little Miss Sunshine (2006).

8. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zru-1DbbcsA

Best-Comedy-FilmsThe epic story of a legendary concierge and his lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend!

(Film Review)

Memorable performances by Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray AbrahamAdrien BrodyJude LawBill MurrayEdward NortonHarvey KeitelWillem Dafoe and Tilda Swinton among others.

Directed by Wes Anderson, by far the most stylish comedy I have seen!

7. The Lobster (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU29VfayDMw

Best-Comedy-FilmsAn extremely twisted and dark Greek comedy set in a dystopian near future where being single is forbidden by the laws of The City!

(Film Review)

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, John C. Reilly and Ben Whishaw among others; a gem of a comedy, quirky and entertaining in the best way possible!

6. The Nice Guys (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVd-EuoEf3U

Best-Comedy-FilmsA missing girl and a dead porn star kicks off an investigation lead by a mismatched pair of private detectives none other than Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.

Directed by Shane Black, underrated and yet a superbly subtle and dark, often a bit violent but overall a solid comedy that perfectly sets up the mood for some good laughs. Cool performance by Angourie Rice.

5. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

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

Best-Comedy-FilmsBowled over by this brilliant vampire comedy where a documentary team follows a group of vampires trying to make a sense of their unique lifestyle!

Directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this film from New Zealand has such a unique concept and some of the most funny characters, dialogues and situations that guarantees a continuous flow of laughter!

4. Deadpool (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xithigfg7dA

Best-Comedy-FilmsPersonally not a fan of superhero flicks but this one is special!

Directed by Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds comes out as the most witty and raunchy superhero ever and that too with a quest for vengeance.

(Film Review)

Hilarious dialogues with perfect comedy timing, complimented by lot of violence and foul language! Eagerly waiting for the sequel Deadpool 2 (2018).

3. Frances Ha (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBn5dgXFMis

Best-Comedy-Films

The combination of director Noah Baumbach and actress Greta Gerwig presents one of the most endearing film of recent times! 

A brilliant black and white comedy drama that tells the tale of an ordinary yet hilarious New York girl named Frances. She is quirky, childlike but superbly entertaining!

Beautifully shot by Sam Levy, the film is as spontaneous and free-spirited as it’s leading lady.

Don’t miss another cool comedy from the same director-actress combo is Mistress America.

2. The Hangover (2009) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcdUhdOlz9M

Best-Comedy-FilmsThe most commercially popular Hollywood comedy of this decade and certainly one of the best laugh riots ever made!

Directed by Todd Phillips, the story of four friends and their memorable bachelor party in Las Vegas of which they don’t seem to remember anything!

Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha – they absolutely rock the show!

Don’t you miss out the two awesome sequels The Hangover Part II (2011) and The Hangover Part III (2013)

  1. The Intouchables (2011) 

Intouchables (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34WIbmXkewU

Best-Comedy-FilmsThis french film is about a young man from a difficult background who takes up a job to look after a rich paralytic aristocrat – and then of course it’s about their eventual bond of friendship.

Directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, and such brilliant performances by François Cluzet and Omar Sy; this film is undoubtedly the best comedy film of this era!

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

+1. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (original title) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7pna4laaAk

Best-Comedy-FilmsThis Swedish film is an altogether different kind of comedy (don’t expect any periodical gags or laughs), this is humor so dry and often tragic even!

Directed by acclaimed Roy Andersson, a series of absurdist episodes maintaining a thin line between reality and fantasy, apparently nonsense but then again it’s deeply philosophical, in a way questioning the very essence of our human existence!

Similar Interest: Best horror Comedies

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Comedy Dramas of 2015

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

Best of 2015 you may have missed! (10+1list)

Best of 2015 you may have missed!

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of 2015 you may have missed: 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.

Similar Interest: Best of 2017 you may have missed

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

Best weird Greek New Wave Cinema (10+1list)

Best weird Greek New Wave Cinema 

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best weird Greek New Wave Cinema – Probably the most intriguing moment for a film enthusiast is to notice a certain mutation in the movies produced from a lobster-posterparticular country over a specific period of years. And then, be able to link that unique transformation of cinema with the contemporary social and economic scenario of this nation!

Greece has always been a country of great cinematic heritage, home-ground of master filmmakers like Costa-Gavras and Theodoros Angelopoulos

But recently, say over the past five-six years, the Greek movies which are interesting enough to grab the attention of the international festivals are not only very unusual (both in form and content) but also pretty dark, often highly sexually explicit and abusive, and above all exceptionally weird!  

attenberg-poster2Keeping in mind that Cinema has always been the true reflection of a  country and it’s socio-economic scenario, and Greece obviously still reeling from a recent global financial crisis, i have no doubt that these weird yet unapologetic, low budget yet highly artistic movies are directly mirroring the awkward uneasiness of a post-recession society.

But then again, most of these Greek films are a great insight to human psychology, and it is no surprise that the contemporary avant-garde style of the alternative Greek New Wave is having such a shocking effect on the global audience!

As some call it the Greek Weird Wave, here is a list of films that contains the Best weird Greek New Wave Cinema.

Enjoy! 

10. Boy Eating the Bird’s Food (2012)

To agori troei to fagito tou pouliou (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mdrg7jGZKY

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaA boy who has a bird as his beloved pet, all caged up. But other than that, he has no company; neither he has any money/job nor any food to eat.

Directed by Ektoras Lygizos, this film depicts three days in the life of this lonely boy; how he manages to survive and more importantly how he desperately tries to feed his pet canary and keep it safe.    

9. Wasted Youth (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdAN7MMU4gU

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaDirected by Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel, this is the story of a teenage boy and a middle-aged cop and how their lives get intwined by the end of the film. 

The film simply mirrors the life of the general day to day life of the young crowd of Athens through the aimlessness of a young boy and the overall frustration of the low income middle aged men through the cop character.

8. Knifer (2010)

Macherovgaltis (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ4EA97XNhY

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaA man comes to the city and takes up a new job to guard the dogs at his Uncle’s place. But then the relationships start changing and things get difficult as he gets too close to his Uncle’s wife!

Directed by Yannis Economides, this is a visually stylized film made in black and white, a great drama that feeds on injustice; somehow it relates with the current socio-political scenario of the country.  

7Alps (2011)

Alpeis (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i2xl_vo88w

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaAn unique business conceived by a group of people who is ready to impersonate a recently deceased person for the benefit of their loved ones (their clients), basically to help them go through the grieving process with ease.

As odd and weird the concept may seem like, this is one intriguing film directed by none other than Yorgos Lanthimos (of the recent The Lobster fame). 

6. A Woman’s Way (2009)

Strella (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNP6IeO8cDw

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaDirected by Panos H. Koutras, probably the weirdest in the list.

A man released from prison have sex with a young transsexual prostitute and they soon fall in love, only to find out later that they are related to each other in more ways than just lovers!

Brilliant performances and great cinematography that makes this weird film work.

5. What If… (2012)

An… (original title)

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

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaA simple choice made by a man leads him to his love of life! Now what if he didn’t make that choice?

Directed by Christopher Papakaliatis, this unique film shows both sides of the man’s life (if he made that choice or not) and how much his life alters because of it. 

Most importantly the film also comments on the impact of a severe economic crisis and it’s effects on the people of the country.

4. The Enemy Within (2013)

O ehthros mou (original title)

 Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4lTTQu0LYE

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaA sudden act of violence from some unknown intruders disrupts the peace of a family and now it is up to the man of the house to bring back things into proper perspective. But how?

Directed by Yorgos Tsemberopoulos, this is one terrific film that deals with the social instability of Greece and also touches the sensitive subject of immigrants and refugees and their effects on the country.

3. Miss Violence (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dFFN0igjJY

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaAn eleven year old girl jumps off her balcony on the day of her birthday, she dies with a smile on her face!

Apparently a case of suicide and the family insists it to be one but as the investigation proceeds some dreadful facts comes to surface.

Directed by Alexandros Avranas, an insanely weird family drama.

2. Attenberg (2010)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2582qyfXOSs

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaDirected by Athina Rachel Tsangari, this is the strange story of a girl who at one side deals with her father’s illness and on the other tries to learn to become more affectionate to other human beings (physically as well).

Awkward yet direct, shy yet explicit, uniquely distant yet deeply bounded with love – and obviously weird. A film that will be with you for a long time but not entirely for the right reasons.

  1. Dogtooth (2009)

Kynodontas (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFtDzK64-pk

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaLocked up, overprotected and completely unaware of the outside world, three teenagers are being brought up by their authoritative parents in an isolated house, where incest and violence is a natural day to day affair!

Yorgos Lanthimos creates this uniquely disoriented world where even the regular vocabulary looses it’s sense.

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

+1. Worlds Apart (2015)

Enas Allos Kosmos (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Czt-FCxp4I

Weird-Greek-New-Wave-CinemaDirected by Christopher Papakaliatis, this is a film that tells us three different stories, each one is about a love affair between a Greek and a foreigner, and how these stories entangle themselves into one by the end of the film.

All the tales are of different generations, and their attitude towards the recent socioeconomic calamity in most of the South European countries including Greece.

Similar Interest: Best Japanese weird films

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.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.