Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Films; January 2016

Ek Hasina Thi: Sriram Raghavan (2004)

Didn't like it much. What i failed to understand was why people were saying that Aashiq Abu had copied this film while making 22 Female Kottayam. Didn't look like it to me. May be he drew inspiration.

Flight of the Red Balloon: Hou Hisao-Hsien (2007)

Liked it. The actress. Her mood swings etc. The young film student. Keeping the number of characters down looks like a good idea but how far is it achievable, especially in the Indian context? Think.

The Assassin: Hou Hsiao-Hsien (2015)

Not really my area of interest. Have forgotten most of it already except the girl's pregnancy.

Ahl-e-Suluk[People of the Sufi Path]: Abdul Rajjak (2015)

Documentary about the various traditions of Sufism in the country. Didn't like the film. There was no life to it.

The Secret in Their Eyes

Retired police officer writing a book. Revisits a case of rape and murder. My biggest problem with the film was the way it portrayed rape. First of all Why is it important to show the body (naked) of the woman who was raped (and in this case killed)? After showing the body for real the filmmaker goes on to show the photographs of the same in various places in the film. Why is it necessary? To generate sympathy? I strongly believe that when somebody says that they have been raped it means that something brutal had happened. We don't have to show brutal naked pictures to show the brutality. Rape is inherently brutal. Another point where i disagree is when the male sex organ is showed on screen. I am not against nudity in films. But i don't think that anything is achieved by showing an erect penis or penis in the process of attaining an erection or a penis which the story has described as 'huge'. This is all part of body shaming. What is a big penis? Is there something called the standard length of a penis? Above all what i hated was the portion where the woman is trying to get a confession from the suspect. She says that the woman had vaginal wounds which were very deep and by looking at the accused it was clear that he was not 'well endowed'. Let me get this clear. That the vaginal wounds were deep is not proof that the man was 'well endowed'. If it is proof to anything it is to the fact that she was raped. Period.

Invoking Justice: Deepa Dhanraj (2011)

What a world of women. Reminded me so much about the ICC. Especially the meetings they have. How beautifully they tackle problems. They never get angry. I need to learn from them. What Deepa Dhanraj told after the screening, That it was the first time there was absolutely no comments after the film. [It happened in SRFTI main theatre. None of the students had anything to say to the director who was ready to face their questions] It was epic, Ms. Dhanraj said.
Then she talked about the time when the group had supported Sania when some people had criticized the length of her skirt. They had asked why they were looking Sania's skirt instead of her tennis. They supported actress Khusboo when she spoke in support of pre marital sex. When SIMI arrests were going on the group of women had gone to Chennai, the capital city to hold a press conference regarding the death of a Muslim woman. People kept on asking them about SIMI. They said, 'just because we are Muslim you think we are here to talk about SIMI? We are here to talk about a Muslim woman whose body they are refusing to bury'. One of the reporters told them that they were not interested in dead Muslim prostitutes. The group handled him appropriately.
Didn't like the phone conversations in between scenes with the director. Director's voice in phone conversation could have been avoided. But i still believe that in women's stories women's voice should narrate something or the other.

Certified Copy: Abbas Kiarostami (2010)

Second time with the film. More beautiful than the first time. I like how directors play with mirrors in shot taking. Her trying to catch the attention of her husband. Her acting especially in the first scene where the author is giving the speech and she is asking her son to be quiet. The way the film ends. Wow. Beautiful. Reminded me of the abusive relationship i was in when this film was screened at IFFK.

Sex and Lucia: Julio Medem (2001)

What a load of crap. All people are beautiful. All people have beautiful bodies and all of them have a lot of sex. I still haven't understood why  erect male sex organ is shown in films. If one wanted to see that one only had to watch some porn. Why go prepared for cinema. In this one they are even showing an erection in process with the foreskin moving backward. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? How would they have auditioned actors or dupes in case they were used. Still haven't understood where Lucia was in the film except the title. The ending was like a typical bollywood/mallu film. First the friend appears while the woman waitswith bated breath thinking whether or not Lorenzo would appear. What was the meaning of the whole thing about the daughter's death. Shit. Load of shit.

Like Someone in Love: Abbas Kiarostami (2012)

What a film. The way it begins is very very interesting. A conversation happens. We see a girl who is talking in whispers looking at someone. She is not the owner of the voice. After a long time the girl talking on the phone is revealed. The girl constantly changing places. How the girl is trying to convince her paranoid boyfriend that she is not lying. Her grandmother. Again the scene in the taxi. The voice messages playing on the face of the driver. Then we see the girl with earphones. The grandmother mentioning seeing her photo. [Later we see this photo also]. The sight of grandmother staying there and waiting waiting. She asks the driver to take one more round. Ending: One more in the Fandry, Ankur genre. Stone breaking in and hitting/nothitting the old man.

Close-Up: Abbas Kiarostami (1990)

About a man who pretended to be Makhmalbaf. Starts with a reporter who is excited about the story. The shot in which a police guy waiting collects flowers from a waste can and puts in the car. Kicks a tin can on the road and follows it till it stops. [Any object rolling like that is good to excite audience] Later the journalist kicks it more after getting tape recorder. The scene in which he comes out and sees actual Makhmalbaf. Makhmalbaf says he gets tired of being himself sometimes. The court scenes. Kiarostami explaining two types of lenses. Zoom and wide. Him bringing flowers and giving the family in the end. He cries in the end also. When he rings the bell and they ask who and he says who and adds Makhmalbaf. She cuts the call. The actual Makhmalbaf says it's him. Feel good film. The common person who has a passion for art. He thinks Makhmalbaf's films are about human suffering. Mic. not working properly in the whole portion of real Makhmalbaf meeting his dupe. It's good.

The Wave: Dennis Gansel (2008)

Didn't like the way it was filmed but the experiment and therefore the film are very contextual. Even though in the real experiment no student was killed it is a good thing that itwas shown in the film because that is what it is capable of. Good move that way. It is also interesting how the teacher's personal life becomes increasingly violent through the experiment.

Sancharram (The Journey) Ligy J Pullappally (2004)

In detail here 

The Song of Sparrows: Majid Majidi (2008)

Didn't like much. The children and their acting. Acting in general is brilliant. The fish dying rescuing scene is really good. The man pretending to be an ostrich is good. The first time we see it we for once feel that he has found the ostrich which ran away. Otherwise it didn't really enter my heart.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John: Taggart Siegel (2005)

Documentary about how a farmer saved his farm through community farming. Image of dying mother. Cancer- it really kills. Her skeleton like figure. Funny in places. Vegetables-good to look at.

26th January 2016
Clouds of Sils Maria: Olivier Assayas (2014)

Didn't like the film. Lacked depth. The actress as an actress. Doing a play. The P.S going missing just like in the play was nice. Need to go to that place and see those snake clouds one day.

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