Tag Archives: world cinema

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.

The Wailing (2016)

The Wailing Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A bit too long for a horror film and yet, it still manages to grip you by the fear! 

My Ratings: 4/5

There was a soaring anticipation for this latest horror flick made by the acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Hong-jin Na who had earlier given us a couple of brilliant movies like The Chaser and The Yellow Sea!  

the-wailing-poster1And I must say The Wailing (original title Goksung) surely lives up to our expectations!

In a remote village a series of unnatural deaths perplex both the villagers and the police.

Jong-Goo (Do Won Kwak), a police man soon suspects something beyond ordinary logic and reasoning; may be the rumours of a demonic stranger who have started residing near the village has to do something with all these grotesque murders. Or may be not!

Essentially a Korean folk lore and a mix of various religious beliefs and rituals, The Wailing creates a world so puzzling and disturbing the-wailing-posterthat we keep seeking for the answers till the very end frames of the film.

Visually pleasing or rather unsettling; dark images, often pretty violent and savage perfect for the mood of the film – thanks to Kyung-pyo Hong‘s cinematography.

And such brilliant acting – very believable performances by Do Won KwakJun Kunimura,  Jung-min Hwang, specially the little girl Hwan-hee Kim was superb in the film.

A must watch suspense-horror that reveals itself when you least expect it!    

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.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.