This is my second post after “I Hired a contract Killer”. Here I want to write about some of the films (World Cinema), I saw in the month of February.
As I mentioned in my previous post I have got enough films with me which will last for atleast next 6-8 months. Below is the list (not in any order, except for the top 3 of my favorite films amongst the 20 films, I saw last month.
1) Ai no mukidashi (Love Exposure) 2008 –
This inarguably is one of the best films, I have ever seen in recent times. Those of you are familiar with the controversial Japanese filmmaker Shion Sono must have atleast heard of this film if not seen it. This 4 hour epic film of Sono deals with teenage love & angst, jealousy, hate, religious cult , pop culture, Sexual perversion & abuse. I do not know what genre can one club the film into. This is the first film of Sono’s “Hate trilogy” others being the highly successful Coldfish & Guilty of Romance. Characters are so well developed and story is so greatly narrated through mind blowing camerawork that you won’t understand how those 4 hours flew(The original version, I read on wikipedia is 6 hours long, can’t wait to watch!).I don’t want to discuss the plot as it is very complex and I might divulge more than necessary thereby defeating the purpose of asking you guys to watch the film. One Advise: Ignore the 4 hour runtime because it is the fastest 4 hour movie you will see.
2) Jisatsu sâkuru (Suicide Club) 2001 –
Another Japanese masterpiece by Shion Sono. The plot of the film is very simple. 54 high school girls throw themselves in front of a train. What follows is the beginning of a string of suicides around the country. Detective Kuroda(Ryo Ishibashi) tries to find the answer, and finds himself entangled in the case.
This film is GORY. Those of you who found the violence in Kill Bill too much to handle please stay away from this film. The suicide scenes have been shot so realistically that you feel that you actually are seeing those suicides live. This is one of the rare films where there is a perfect blend of ‘craft’ and ‘content’. Just to drive home the point of how ‘GORY’ the film is just watch this opening Scene.I don’t know why this is rated at 6.6(Talk about IMDB and its ratings).This move deserves a rating of more than 8.The film is highly recommended and needs multiple viewings to understand.
3)Uzak(Distant) 2002 –
This is my first Nuri Bilge Ceylan film I have seen and boy I loved it. The film has a very simple story. Mahmut (Muzaffer Özdemir), a photographer, is a “village boy” who made himself big in Istanbul. Due to some differences his wife leaves him and he is in a sort of anguish. His cousin, Yusuf comes over to stay with him for few days so that he can find employment as he was laid off from the factory he was working before in his native village. The contrast between rural and urban life styles is portrayed in this film. The cousins don’t relate well to each other. What follows is the struggles and tribulations which these two men encounter amongst themselves. This is an out and out emotional film. It shows the contrast of life & human relations, complexity of human emotions, & about loneliness. The closing scene will remain in my mind forever. A film that will remain close to my heart for the rest of my life. I now need to check out more of Ceylan’s films. This could be easily remade in Hindi as you can figure out that this sort of story features in almost every household. ( but then we are too busy watching and salivating over Sallu bhai’s porn)
4) Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok: JSA(Joint Security Area) 2000 –
JSA (Joint Security Area) was the highest grossing Korean film of it’s time. The story follows an investigation into a shooting incident at the DMZ (zone at the border of South and North Korea) that has resulted in the death of 2 North Korean soldiers. While North accuses South of unprovoked hostility, the South claims one of it’s soldiers to have been kidnapped by the North and the incident being the result of the rescue mission. A Swiss team comes to investigate the matter and discovers that truth is something else. This film establishes Chanwook Park as one of the most talented Korean Director. I feel that after Oldboy this is one of the best films he has ever made.
5) Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, the Bad, the Weird) 2008
If you are a fan of Spaghetti westerns you will end up watching this film multiple times. The film story is banal to core: There are two criminals and a lone bounty hunter(both of them fierce enemies) in Manchuria who are in search of a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits. Sounds hackneyed? But still the movie keeps you engaged
This film has mind-blowing action scenes and superb cinematography & a great soundtrack. This is like watching a modernized version of Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. I believe that this film has one of the most mind blowing opening sequences ever. Please click here to check the opening sequence of the film. A must watch for spaghetti western lovers and a visual treat. Highly recommended.
6) z ( 1969 )
This is a French political thriller directed by Costa Gavras, based on the novel by Vassilis Vassilikos. The film depicts a fictionalized account of events surrounding the assassination of a Greek politician. We get to see the investigation into the murder, exposing how the generals devise various ways to conceal it. The film won 2 Oscars for best editing and the best foreign film respectively. Costa-Gavras gives us a top-class fast paced direction & it has one of the best BGM by Mikis Theodorakis. Please click here to listen to the super awesome BGM.
The film has some incredibly funny dialogues laced with sarcasm.
For example: “Always blame the Americans, even if you are wrong.”
I also saw other film’s ranging from Martin Scorsese’s classic “The Last temptation of Christ to the pathetic “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” to the not so good Korean film “I am cyborg but that’s ok”.I will write about them some other time.
P.S :I would have not seen these films had @nagrathnam not shared the films. So thank you sir :).Please keep sharing and recommending.