Category Archives: 17th Mumbai Film Festival 2015

The best of Cinema from 17th Mumbai Film Festival

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

JIO MAMI – DAY6 AND 7.

written by Souranath Banerjee

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

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

 

Day 6 (4nd NOV)

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

And then there was The Club (2015).

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Day 7 (5nd NOV)

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

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

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

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

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

A bit kiddish of course but a good watch.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Thank you.

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

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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

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JIO MAMI – DAY 3 (Cinemas and interactive sessions)

JIO MAMI – Day 3 (Cinemas and interactive sessions)

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 third day of the festival and also some exclusive snaps from the brilliant interactive sessions with film makers.

 

Day 3 (1st NOV)

My third day in MAMI starts with The Assassin (2015), beautiful Chinese cinema with breathtaking visuals.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKFtNsQ78oI

assassin-posterDirected by Hsiao-Hsien Hou, who already won the best director at the Cannes Film Festival for this film!

As the name suggests, it’s the story of an assassin, whose conscience often comes in-between the path of her ruthless missions.

Set in 7th century China, the film is brilliantly shot by Ping Bin Lee.

Powerful performances by Qi ShuChen ChangSatoshi Tsumabuki, a film that needs your patience (as it’s slow paced) but it’s definitely worth the time.

 

The second film, my favorite film of the day is called Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM2tblIkL4g

TAXI-posterDirected by Jafar Panahi (of course), the Iranian director has taken up the challenge to make his new film even after a 20-year-ban was imposed on him that restricts him from making any movies in Iran.  

So, becoming a taxi driver he shot a brilliant satirical comedy that reflects the socio-political scenario of his country.

The innovativeness of the film and the natural performances by all the actors have made this a very enjoyable taxi ride indeed.

 

And then there was Girish Kasaravalli‘s documentary on one of the most prolific film makers of India, Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

It’s called  Face to Face: Images / Reflections.

The film is not like any other documentary where simply a rally of questions and answers continue mostly praising the film maker’s talent and career.

With this particular film Girish Kasarvalli have genuinely tried to MAMI-AdoorGirish-Pic1understand the thought process of Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan while he makes his masterpieces. Being one of the most intellectual mind of our country, Adoor Sir explains through this film his process of thinking and planning before he sets out to make cinema.

And a rare chance to meet the legends as well, as there was the interactive session after the film screening: Girish Kasarvalli in Conversation with Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

A pleasure to be just a part of the audience and honored to interact with the two masters of Indian Cinema.

 

And the last but not the least, the day ended with a very unusual film called Ludo (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJrYWZDF2Es

LUDO-posterDirected by Qaushiq Mukherjee (Q) and Nikon, the film is a horror flick and probably the most gory film ever made in India.

With great performances by Rii and an unexpected cameo by Tillotama Shome, the film is a good experiment of horror and gore within a very small budget. But unfortunately, for me, the film remains as an experiment only.

MAMI-Ludo-Pic2Ludo is best described by Q himself when he along with the cast of the film takes a round of questions from the audience after the screening – according to him ‘it’s the story of four teenagers who plans to get laid but are fucked instead!’

MAMI-Ludo-Pic1Again, it was great being an audience in this interactive session with the films cast and crew.

A day very well spent, full of enjoyable cinema and great chance of interactions with some of the best film makers of our country.

 

If you want to join me in this exciting journey of the best Cinemas from around the world – just get a registration and hop in. If you love Cinema JIO MAMI is the place to be.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comblog.thefilmstage.comfilmmakermagazine.comfilmschoolrejects.com

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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.

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JIO MAMI – an Introduction

JIO MAMI – an introduction.

written by Souranath Banerjee

MAMI-poster“We feel it is the need of the hour to disseminate and inculcate good cinema among Indian audiences” (-1997).

The above quote is a part of the Mission Statement from the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) Board of Trustees; a public trust established in 1997, by a group of film industry stalwarts spearheaded by master director Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

And indeed, MAMI has kept it’s promise.

MAMI-pic2Ever since it’s foundation, the non-profit seeking organization has been successful in bringing us the best of both Indian and World cinema every single year.

This year 2015, filmmaker Kiran Rao, the current chairperson of this prestigious trust, along with Festival Director Anupama Chopra and Creative Director Smriti Kiran has presented us with the 17th edition of the traditional Mumbai film festival.

A few other trustees, all well known figures of Indian Film Industry, the likes of Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Karan Johar, Siddhartha Roy Kapur, Vishal Bhardwaj, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Riteish Deshmukh and others.

MAMI-pic1And of course, thanks to Co-Chairperson Nita M.Ambani and Uday Shankar, the CEO of Star India for making 29 October to 5th November 2015 (the festival dates) a blessing for all film lovers in Mumbai.

5 venues chosen that includes PVR Juhu, PVR ECX Andheri, PVR Phoenix Lower Parel, PVR Ghatkopar and Regal Cinemas.

Three sections of competition as in ‘International’, ‘India Gold’ and
‘Dimensions Mumbai’; while some other film-categories comprise of ‘World Cinema’, ‘India Story’, ‘MAMI tribute’, ‘Discovering Cinema’, ‘Restored classics’, ‘Half ticket’ and such.

MAMI-pic4A total of over 200 films from over 35 countries, and on top of that special workshops and interactive sessions taken by renowned film-makers the likes of Girish Kasaravalli, Adoor GopalakrishnanSujoy Ghosh and Rajkumar Hirani.

As Kiran Rao mentioned ‘a world of images and coversations that could inspire and provoke’ – a complete package of cinematic experience that you simply cannot afford to miss.

Hope to meet you all film lovers at the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival, do enjoy the lovely days of uninterrupted Cinema.

MAMI-art-posterLink for the film schedule at www.mumbaifilmfestival.com.

And by chance if you still haven’t registered then please do it now.

Registrations and Bookings at in.bookmyshow.com

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