Our annual pilgrimage to the cinemas is round the corner. Like every year, the patrons of the Mumbai Film Festival have a tough time narrowing down on the films to finally watch from the wide array available. So, we thought of coming up with a day-wise list of films that shouldn’t be missed.
Here’s the list for Day 1 (21st October) across all venues.
PVR ICON (Infinity)
12:30pm – Neruda
Pablo Larrain is one of the most exciting young directors in the festival circuit. His unplanned Pinochet trilogy has been widely appreciated. The last of those films -No – which was screened at this festival a few years back also went on to get nominated at the Oscars. The presence of Gael Garcia Bernal is reason enough to watch a film.
Most interestingly, the film is touted as an anti-biopic. As in, the film’s protagonist is a police officer tasked with arresting the legendary poet Neruda. And through his chase of the poet we are told of the poet. It is a mix of fact and fiction with an invention in storytelling structure – a potent mix, i say!
4:00pm – Old Stone
Chinese laws impose a mere fine if the victim dies in a hit-and-run case, but if the victim is injured then it would mean lifelong payment of compensation to the victim. So, there have been cases when drivers after hitting a pedestrian have come back to run over him/her again to ensure that the victim is dead.
But a conscientious taxi driver once helps a pedestrian hit by his car and gets caught in the red-tapism and legal quagmire. It sounds like something we Indians can relate to.
PVR ECX (Citimall)
10:00am – Certain Women
A film about three women striving to make a mark in USA intersects in this film that has just won the Best Film Award at the prestigious BFI film festival! A great star cast comprising of Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams and Laura Dern.
1:15pm – Clash (We have chosen this over ‘After the Storm’ only because the Kore-eda film has a repeat show in ICON on Saturday.)
One of the most exciting films on offer this year, Clash is set entirely inside a police van during the recent clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and Pro- Egyptian Army supporters. Here’s the Guardian waxing eloquent about it –
5:30pm – Aquarius
Another relatable story. A resident of a building staging a lone war against land sharks hell bent on redeveloping the plot. Peter Bradshaw seems to have loved it :
7:00 pm – Donald Cried
Experience of film festivals tells us that a light film helps to unwind the mind and makes us ready for more intense films later in the day. Donald Cried is an indie comedy that shouldn’t be missed.
9:15 pm – Under the Shadow (Pick of the Day)
A quality horror film is a rarity indeed! This one comes at the back of rave reviews from all over the world. An Iranian mother and daughter are troubled by a seemingly supernatural force amidst the Gulf war of the 80s. yes, this film is available on Netflix but if there is one genre that is best enjoyed in a theatre, it is horror. More power to the programmers for having a separate section for horror films itself.
La Reve (Globus)
8:00 pm – Goodbye Berlin
The name Fatih Akin is enough for people to queue for this film. Also it is based on a bestseller German novel.
12:00pm – I Called Him Morgan
A deeply moving documentary about the slain Jazz musician Lee Morgan has been getting unanimously positive reviews.
2:30pm – Tower
The most tragic incidents in modern American history are the shootouts that take place in universities and schools by gun-wielding psychopaths. One of the earliest of such ghastly incidents was in 1966 when a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes.
Tower is one of the most fascinating documentaries in the festival. Unmissable!
7:30pm – Paradise
A black and white holocaust Russian drama that won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival this year. It follows three people whose paths cross during a terrible time of war: Olga, a Russian aristocratic emigrant and member of the French Resistance; Jules, a French collaborator; and Helmut, a high-ranking German SS officer.
Those planning watch films at this venue have their task cut out as all the films playing on the first day are recommended!
All – Road to Mandalay, Swiss Army Man, Neon Demon, Death in the Gunj.
8:30pm – Apprentice
Sample the plot: Aiman, a 28-year-old Malay correctional officer, is transferred to the territory’s top prison. At his new job, he is asked to become an apprentice to Rahim, the facility’s executioner. Aiman tells his sister of his new position, and she becomes upset when she realizes their father was actually executed by Rahim. Aiman knew this all along. Aiman must overcome his conscience and a haunted past if he wants to become the next chief executioner.
We are intrigued. Also the director has made a fine film called Sandcastle before.
8:30pm – Barakah meets Barakah
Saudi Arabia’s foreign language entry for the Oscars, it is a satirical comedy on the poor boy-rich girl romance.
Check out its trailer –