Yup it has been a week, a great week I should say. Getting away from the daily rut and stress and witnessing some of the finest films the year has given us. It is coming to an end tomorrow. What I will miss the most until next year other than the watching part is writing about them. I have made a strict regimen for myself and I must say I am loving it! Watch four movies a day, come back and write about them. Anyway, today has been no different. Four Great Films, and 3 Amazing films from Cannes. Here goes:
Rock the Casbah
In countries such as Israel where military service is mandatory, soldiers deal with metaphorical battles more than the actual ones. When I say metaphorical, I am referring to a battle with oneself, emotional introspection and coping with it. Directed by Yariv Horowitz, this tale about a group of soldiers on the Gaza border is mostly a personal film deals with complex themes almost incidentally. It is almost like Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket with regard to style and narrative. It is a little film about some big issues. Deriving sly humour from tragic culture clashes between the Arabs and the Israelis, it strikes remarkable balance between both perspectives. With an ensemble cast, it gets almost everything right, almost poetic.
I don’t know much about Iran films apart from Jafar Pahani and a couple of Abbas Kiarostami films. After watching Le passé(The Past), I am convinced Asghar Farhadi is spearheading Iran to becoming a superpower in World Cinema. Similar to his previous film, the Oscar winning A Separation, this film too deals with relationships, guilt, doing the right thing and moral choices. And I must mention, it probably has one of the finest last shots in film history ever. It leaves you haunted. This ins definitely one of the best films of the year and I am running out of superlatives to praise this film. This is probably how good relationship dramas are ever going to get. Brilliant twists and suspenses, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
The Great Beauty
I am a stranger when it comes to the neorealism of Italian films. Yes, I have seen the classics, apart from that I have no knowledge of Italian Cinema. I would have missed this one too had it not been for all the hype around it. Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty is a remarkable case study of all things cultural and rich. The director is often being compared to Fredico Felleni, and I could see why. He deals with passion through the intellect often juggling between the Past and the Present, contemporary and non-contemporary, sacred and profane. The lust and gorgeous imagery of the beautiful Rome is what attracts the audience the most. It often plays out like a character and it’s effect in people’s lives. I
Anthony Chen directed Ilo Ilo is more than just a comedy in a period setting. This Camera d’Or winning film is a Singaporean Comedy-Drama brims with Love Heartbreak all filled with the kind of Humour you would never see in a Hollywood film. It centres on an almost inseparable bond between a 10 year old boy and his Filipino maid/Nanny. The director gets it spot-on with his depiction of middle class issues and racial tension. He makes the characters so accessible that you can’t help but find warmth underneath all of them. This little gem is probably one of the best films you will watch from around the world. It will leave you invariably moved with a lump in your throat.