Tag Archives: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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 Asian Horror Films (10+1list)

Best Asian Horror Films

written by Souranath Banerjee

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

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

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

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

Boo!

10. Memento Mori (1999)

Original title Yeogo goedam II

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

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

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

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

9. Rigor Mortis (2013)

original title Geung si

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

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

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

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

8. Feng shui (2004)

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

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

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

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

7. 4bia (2008)

Original title See prang

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

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

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

6. The Eye (2002)

Original title Gin gwai

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

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

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

5. Three… Extremes (2004)

Original Title Saam gaang yi

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

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

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

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

4. Ring (1998)

Original title Ringu

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

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

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

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

3. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

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

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

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

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

2. The Grudge (2002)

Original title Ju-on

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

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

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

  1. Shutter (2004)

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

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

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

And no one can escape their past – can they?

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

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

Original title Loong Boonmee raleuk chat

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

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

 

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

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

Similar Interest: Best Japanese Horror Films

Similar Interest: Horror Anthology films

Similar Interest: Best Horror Comedies

Similar Interest: Best Horror Films of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Japanese weird films

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