Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Foreign«

Céline Sciamma, Jacqueline Lentzou, and the other women with films at the Berlinale

March 6, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/berlinale-2021-celine-sciamma-jacqueline-lentzou-and-the-other-women-who-competed-for-the-golden-bear-9384711.html Five of the eighteen titles that will compete for the Golden Bear, are directed or co-directed by women. A look at ‘Petite Maman’, ‘Moon, 66 Questions’, ‘Ballad of a White Cow’. Spoilers ahead… I’ll begin with a shout-out to the web site womenandhollywood.com. It was founded in 2007, and it “educates, advocates, and agitates […]

Luiz Bolognesi’s ‘The Last Forest’, playing at the Berlinale, takes us to the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon basin

March 5, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/luiz-bolognesis-the-last-forest-playing-at-berlinale-2021-takes-us-to-the-yanomami-tribe-in-the-amazon-basin-9381571.html This is a record of a rapidly vanishing home. In 1986, the discovery of gold deposits led to an invasion by 45000 prospectors and the death of 1500-1800 natives. Spoilers ahead… In Ex Pajé (2018), filmmaker and anthropologist Luiz Bolognesi captured the spirit, the essence, the modern-day conflicts of the Paiter Suruí, an indigenous […]

Hong Sangsoo’s ‘Introduction’ is at once wispy and profound, like eavesdropping on the universe

March 5, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/berlin-film-festival/berlinale-2021-introduction-hong-sangsoo-brothers-keepers-bad-luck-banging-or-loopy-porn/ Plus, the boarding-school mystery, ‘Brother’s Keeper’. And the marvellously titled ‘Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn’. Spoilers ahead… In the opening scene of Hong Sangsoo’s Introduction, a man is praying. He says he will do anything. He will give up half his wealth, give it to an orphanage even, if God gives him one […]

Berlinale 2021: Ted K tells the story of the Unabomber as a demented eco-activist

March 3, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/berlin-film-festival/berlinale-2021-ted-k-tells-the-story-of-the-unabomber-as-a-demented-eco-activist-taste/ If someone told you what ‘Taste’ was about, you may think of Zakariya Mohammed’s ‘Sudani from Nigeria’: a footballer from the African nation ends up in Asia… Spoilers ahead… While watching Tony Stone’s Ted K – as in, Ted Kaczynski, as in, the Unabomber (played by an excellent Sharlto Copley) – I kept thinking […]

Dekel Berenson’s superb short film ‘Anna’ sheds light on the “love tours” industry in Ukraine

February 27, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/dekel-berensons-superb-short-film-anna-sheds-light-on-the-love-tours-industry-in-ukraine-9344531.html This 15-minute film is about: meat. Rather, women treated as meat, ready to be picked up by American men who want someone to cook and clean. Spoilers ahead… The first scene of Anna, a 2019 short film written and directed by Dekel Berenson, is about two people inside a meat fridge. One’s a man, a […]

The 25th International Film Festival of Kerala: “The heart of the festival is Malayalam cinema”

February 16, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/interviews/malayalam-interview/malayalam-movies-the-25th-international-film-festival-of-kerala-bina-paul-talks-about-pulling-off-a-live-festival-in-these-virtual-times-baradwaj-rangan/ It takes a village to put together a film festival, but when it comes to the films themselves, the proof is in the programming. Bina Paul, Artistic Director of the International Film Festival of Kerala, talks about pulling off a live festival in these virtual times. Congratulations on pulling off two big premieres, with […]

Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu is out of the Oscar race, but it was always a long shot

February 10, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/opinion/hollywood-opinion/oscars-2021-nominations-jallikattu-india-entry-lijo-jose-pellisserys-jallikattu-is-out-of-the-oscar-race-but-it-was-always-a-long-shot-malayalam-movies/ The only way to hope for a shot at the Academy Awards is to make India matter in the eyes of Uncle Oscar as a “country that makes good movies”. As always, there was this dim hope that we’d make it to the shortlist, at least. After all, we’d picked a really deserving film, […]

Rotterdam 2021: The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet, A Corsican Summer, and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Suzanne Andler

February 6, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-the-dog-who-wouldnt-be-quiet-a-corsican-summer-and-charlotte-gainsbourg-in-suzanne-andler-baradwaj-rangan/ Charlotte Gainsbourg captures both the “First World Problem”-ness of her situation as well as the genuine quandary a married woman finds herself in. Spoilers ahead… In her acclaimed novel, Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf described a single day in the life of her titular protagonist. In his new movie, Suzanna Andler, Benoît Jacquot describes a […]

Rotterdam 2021: ‘Dear Comrades!’, Andrei Konchalovsky’s record of the Novocherkassk massacre

February 6, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/international-film-festival-of-rotterdam-in-dear-comrades-andrei-konchalovskys-record-of-the-novocherkassk-massacre-9276631.html The movie is based on a true story that happened on June 2nd, 1962, and kept secret until the Nineties. Culprits have never been convicted. Spoilers ahead… Andrei Konchalovsky has had one of the odder careers in world cinema. He began by writing a couple of Tarkovsky classics (Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev) in the […]

Rotterdam 2021: Talking automobiles in King Car, spreading HIV in Feast

February 4, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-talking-automobiles-in-king-car-spreading-hiv-in-feast-portugal-baradwaj-rangan/ Our ancestors tried to amplify the body’s ability by using a rock to split open a seed. The “tool”, therefore, was not just a rock – it was an extension of the body. Spoilers ahead… The Rotterdam Film Festival has a reputation for programming fascinating oddball fare, and Renata Pinheiro’s King Car (Portuguese) is […]

Rotterdam 2021: Reimagining Joseph Conrad in Lone Wolf, exploring motherhood in Aurora

February 3, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-reimagining-joseph-conrad-in-lone-wolf-australia-exploring-motherhood-in-aurora-costa-rica-tandav/ The fact that almost all the primary characters are seen through video footage becomes a distancing device, which is probably intentional. But it also makes it hard to invest in the stakes. Spoilers ahead… Jonathan Ogilvie’s Lone Wolf is based on The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. The outline is the same. The characters […]

Rotterdam 2021: Riders of Justice, with Mads Mikkelsen, is a philosophical revenge thriller

February 2, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-riders-of-justice-with-mads-mikkelsen-is-a-philosophical-revenge-thriller-baradwaj-rangan-denmark/ And yes, digital versions of film festivals are another reminder that all the ‘convenience’ in the world can’t make up for the theatrical experience. Spoilers ahead… Earlier this week, I was in conversation with Indranil Roychowdhury, who is doing the festival rounds with his Indo-Bangladeshi co-production, Mayar Jonjal (Debris of Desire). The film – […]

Dea Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning, on mubi, studies a suffering woman with a static camera

January 29, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/dea-kulumbegashvilis-beginning-on-mubi-studies-a-suffering-woman-with-a-static-camera-9251421.html When we talk of single-take shots, we think back to “how did they do that?” marvels like Martin Scorsese’s nightclub-entry shot in Good Fellas. It’s different here. Spoilers ahead… Some films, like Blue is the Warmest Colour or The Brown Bunny, become notorious for sex scenes. Some films, like Irréversible, becoming controversial talking points […]

Massoud Bakhshi’s ‘Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness’, which screened at IFFI, is an “eye for an eye” drama set in a TV studio

January 23, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/massoud-bakhshis-yalda-a-night-for-forgiveness-which-screened-at-iffi-is-an-eye-for-an-eye-drama-set-in-a-tv-studio-9232121.html The premise of this Iranian drama is almost farcical. A matter of life and death is being decided on a reality show with a garishly lit set. Spoilers ahead… The International Film Festival of India went virtual this year. One of the films I watched is Massoud Bakhshi’s Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (2019). […]

Mads Matthiesen’s Sundance-winner ‘Teddy Bear’, now on mubi, is a gently told male-emancipation story

January 16, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/mads-matthiesens-sundance-winner-teddy-bear-now-on-mubi-is-a-gently-told-male-emancipation-story-9204491.html Despite the “finding love” premise, this is not a rom-com. It’s more about a man trying to break free of psychological shackles, both self-imposed and mother-instilled. Spoilers ahead… The first image of Mads Matthiesen’s Danish short film, Dennis (2007), is that of a big man, a really big man, a hulk of a man […]

Pradeepan Raveendran’s ‘Soundless Dance’ dives into the war-torn mind of a Sri Lankan Tamil in Paris

January 7, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/pradeepan-raveendrans-soundless-dance-dives-into-the-war-torn-mind-of-a-sri-lankan-tamil-in-paris-9179171.html The director stages war as a sort of terrible virtual-reality “game”, if you will. Or maybe you could consider it a “performance” of some kind. Spoilers ahead… Pradeepan Raveendran was born in Jaffna, and he now lives in Paris. You might say he identifies with Siva (Patrick Balaraj Yogarajan), the protagonist of his debut […]

Ekwa Msangi’s ‘Farewell Amor’ is an immigrant drama about coming to terms with a father/husband who’s now a stranger

December 19, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/ekwa-msangis-farewell-amor-is-an-immigrant-drama-about-coming-to-terms-with-a-family-member-whos-now-a-stranger-9112601.html The protagonist’s situation is not very different from that of the Indians who go to the Gulf to work. They don’t have a “family life”, as such. It’s the waiting area at John F Kennedy International Airport, and our eyes are drawn to a man holding a white name card. There are others, of […]

Readers Write In #314: Kim Ki-duk’s Kerala connection is one of the strangest things Indian cinema has witnessed

December 16, 2020

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(by Alex John) Something unprecedented happened at the IFFK in 2013, which was held in the capital city of Kerala. An art movie maker who was largely obscure in his own country got literally stunned by the movie-star welcome the crowd gave him; to an extent that he said it was the most memorable experience […]

Maurice Pialat’s ‘The Mouth Agape’ looks at death in the eye without sentimentality or embellishment

December 12, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/maurice-pialats-the-mouth-agape-looks-death-in-the-eye-without-sentimentality-or-embellishment-9097031.html Pialat is asking: “Why should I — and by extension, my characters — be kind to Monique? Just because she is dying? But people die all the time, don’t they?” What is death? To the dying, it’s the end of a protracted period of physical pain and mental agony. To the people around, it’s […]

Hannes Stöhr’s ‘Berlin is in Germany’ is about a former ‘East German’ adjusting to life in a unified nation

December 5, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/hannes-stohrs-berlin-is-in-germany-talks-about-an-east-german-adjusting-to-life-in-a-unified-nation-9072441.html Martin was imprisoned before the fall of the Wall. When he is released in 2001, everything has changed. Mr. Brooks is perhaps modern cinema’s most well-known instance of a prisoner attempting to rebuild a life after release. The character appears in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). He’s an old man when he gets out. He’s […]