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BEST INTERNATIONAL FILMS TO WATCH AT MAMI 2017 (10+1LIST)

Best International Films to watch at MAMI 2017

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best International Films to watch at MAMI 2017.

As the Mumbaikars bid adieu to the colorful Navaratri and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and await for the dazzling Diwali fiesta to begin, there is another very important Festival that the film-lovers of Mumbai simply can’t afford to miss!

A unique festival of Cinema that promises to entertain us for seven days in a row, from 12 to 18 October!

Yes, the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is here, and it’s raining films from all across the globe! To be more specific there are in total 220 films from 49 countries and in 51 languages!

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Along with a number of prestigious International movies under the World Cinema and the International Competition category, MAMI also offers a great selection of Indian Cinema under the sections India Gold and India Story. Other categories are the Half Ticket (for children), After Dark (focused on the horror/fantasy genre), Spotlight, Restored classics and many others.

And then of course if you want a picture with Monica Bellucci, most welcome!

Too many good movies and not so many days, so be specific of which films you pick and I hope this list helps you to choose among some of the Best International Films to watch at MAMI 2017. 

Make sure you don’t miss any of these!

10. On Body and Soul (2017)

Teströl és lélekröl (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfGeMbSEx9k

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The setting being a slaughter house, this is an exceptional love story between two ordinary people wrapped in strange identical dreams.

Brilliant performances and a unique script, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, the Hungarian film has already won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival!

9. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9AYPxH5NTM

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.’

It is about an affair between two men, a young visiting student and the son of the American professor.

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival, the critics already raving about this one, directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film promises a heartfelt yet heartbreaking story of two people in love on a hot summer somewhere in a small town of Italy!

8. The Florida Project (2017)

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

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Set up just in the outskirts of Disney World this is the story of a mischievous 6-year old (Brooklynn Prince) and her friends, her mother, her neighborhood – basically the world around her!

Directed by Sean Baker (of Tangerine fame), and also featuring Willem Dafoe this film is attracting a lot of attention (mostly praises) from the critics as well as from the general audience.

7. On the Beach at Night Alone (2017)

Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7CP5ipqqwU

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017‘Where’s love? It’s not even visible. You need to see it in order to search for it.’

This South Korean cinema is about an actress who roams around a seaside town contemplating on her realtionship with a married man.

Directed by Sang-soo Hon, the protagonist Min-hee Kim already won the Silver Berlin Bear as the best actress for this year.

6. The Third Murder (2017)

Sandome no satsujin (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plr3V4TYBQE

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017A man with a criminal record gets accused and arrested again and this time it seems to be an open and shut case. But then a prominent lawyer turns around the facts and this will make all the difference between life and death!

Directed by aclaimed Hirokazu Koreeda, this Japanese film with two brilliant actors Masaharu Fukuyama and Kôji Yakusho looks promising court-room drama!

5. The Other Side of Hope (2017)

Toivon tuolla puolen (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85cyiMBvPXQ

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017A Finnish man who opens his own restaurant and a Syrian guy who comes to Finland in order to start a new life. The stories of these two men finally meet up and become one!

Realistic et with a comic touch, acclaimed filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki won the Silver Berlin Bear at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in the Best director category!

4. A Gentle Creature (2017)

Krotkaya (original title)

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

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, this Russian film is the story of a woman who investigates a return of a parcel that she sent to her husband who is serving prison time in an isolated town in Siberia.

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa, this one is an perfect example of superlative acting and brilliant story-telling, a slow yet highly cinematic experience.

3. 24 Frames (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBO0rqY4uQY

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017A collection of 24 short four-and-a-half minutes films inspired by still images, including paintings and photographs!

An experimental project directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami over the last three years of his life. I am sure this will be a film with great aesthetics, simple yet artistic like all the earlier films from the director.

2. Loveless (2017)

Nelyubov (original title)

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

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The film that won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the ARRI/OSRAM Award at the Munich Film Festival and was nominated ‘best film’ at the London Film Festival this year!

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, this one is about a couple who must team up to find their missing son although they are going through a divorce.

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

  1. The Square (2017)

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

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017“The Square” is the name of a unique contemporary show that has gained huge popularity

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

Along with many other wins in numerous film festivals, the film swept away the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year!

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

+1. Mother! (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpICoc65uh0

Best-International-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The peaceful life of a couple is disturbed by some uninvited guests.

Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer all together in a psychological horror thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky – this only should be reason enough to watch this film!

Though incredibly mixed reactions from the audiences, I guess it will be one of those films which you will passionately love or hate!

A few other films that are very much worth checking out are 

November directed by Rainer SarnetCity of Ghosts directed by Matthew HeinemanBeach Rats directed by Eliza HittmanIt Comes at Night directed by Trey Edward Shults.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

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 – 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.