Friday, 4 March 2016

Films; February 2016

Naked Among Wolves: Frank Beyer (1963)

About Nazi era - a child in the prison camp. Hitler is falling. American troops approaching. Some cuts are really good for that era. Like the two prisoners shrieking in pain, kid shouting in glee.
Every film made, fiction or non fiction (Night and Fog) on German invasion is damn valid. We need more and more literature from that period, yes.

Leviathan: Andrey Zvyagintsev (2014)

Second attempt to watch. Successful. Power destroying people. Liked how the wife and the lawyer were sleeping together at that shooting outing. When the younger child comes running saying lawyer uncle is choking aunty we first think that he is running because something happened to the other child. But the truth is that nothing wrong has happened. Again falls into the pattern of cheating woman getting killed. Didn't understand why the film was so celebrated. Because of the location?

Wild Tales: Damián Szifron (2014)

Liked only the first tale. Didn't really like the rest of the film. Felt all of it are superficial and lacking depth. The road part was good but the skeletons in the end ruined it for me.

13th February 2016
Fitoor: Abhishek Kapoor; 2016

What a load of shit. After a week nothing remains in my mind now except may be Tabu's beauty. Will have to read Great Expectations again to know how pathetic an adaptation it has been. Evident that it's pathetic but the extent. While talking to Han realized that from the abridged version i had read as a child i remembered the encounter with the prisoner in the graveyard and the woman in her wedding gown. The film is so apolitical. And bullshit.

The Wonders: Alice Rohrwacher (2014)

What a wonderful experience watching the film. It is true that there is something called 'Le'ecriture feminine' or the language of women. In this film the first thing i noticed is the language of the film. It was very refreshing, new and different. When you don't show what the thing is that is happening it is good. Like little by little you get to know that the people are honey makers. The touch comfort zone of a family where everybody sees everything. Girl pooping in front of everyone. Whistling- repetition. In the show she incorporates whistling and bee coming out. Later after spending the night with him she whistles. The sound of shoes on sticky honey floor (the guy from TV) They don't win. Good. After father getting very angry about the man coming he is next seen in the competition. Amazing progression in the edit. The girl and guy's shadows dancing in a magically real setting in a cave and then returning to spoon sleeping. The girl is the protagonist despite the father. Acting of children - changes everything. How to make children act. Aunt/someone trying to make the boy understand touch.

1st February
Deool: Umesh Kulkarni (2011)

Dutta Dutta song and Nana Patekar flirting with his wife. Had already seen. Think it was Kunju Thalona who showed that portion in Hyderabad to me. Not sure. Naziruddin Shah's cameo as a dacoit. In the beginning liked the shot taking. Fell flat towards the end. Too melodramatic

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker: Danis Tanovic (2013)

Documentary. Liked it. In the beginning only thought of her and pappu and baby especially the baking etc. Copy the following frame

Wife's miscarriage and struggle for money etc very nicely done. Cold. Snow. Family. Touch. Everything.
Holy shit. Just realized it's not a documentary. How the hell did they act that way! Holy shit! 

Red Sorghum: Zhang Yimou (1987)

Didn't like it. Didn't understand why it was so celebrated. What is so great about a story of such violence anyway. Remember vaguely that the cinematography seemed good. But what use is it if the film is not meant for it.

Baran: Majid Majidi (2001)

Liked it a lot. The girl is always shown through smoke. Even when the boy sees her in her girl form. The boy's last meeting with the girl. She cuts it short by putting in the veil. (Things fall. He helps her) Then when she runs her shoe gets stuck. He gives it back and helps her wear it. The film ends in the mark left by the shoe in the muck. How the boy changed from the beginning. Repetition of space [pigeon feeding first the girl and then the guy]. Evocative. Time lapse. The money plant that the girl planted in the kitchen growing over the mirror. [USE IN DIPLOMA]
[What you did in actuality beginning with Tipu should be used in Diploma]

Monkey Business: Norman Z McLeod (1931)

Funny but not enough. 

A Night at the Opera: Sam Wood (1935)


Child of God: James Franco (2013)

Violent crap. 
Too violent for me. Why was a film made to show people how a person killed and raped and finally escaped?

Woman in Gold: Simon Curtis (2015)

Didn't like it. One should not hollywoodise/carve into a popular format the Holocaust. [The film is British but the style hollywood] Night and Fog? Yes. Hollywood? No. May be not even Tarantino. Just not right in my opinion. 

Chauthi Koot (Fourth Direction): Gurvinder Singh (2015)

Loved the film. He makes you feel the dog is dead a lot of times. But till the end it is not confirmed. [Talk with Han. He identified himself with the dog. How he was fighting the sexual harassment battle for himself]. When asked what was the meaning of a shot, Gurvinder said that sometimes there was no meaning. Same with the title of the film. He said he never asked why the original text was called Fouth Direction. The structure of his narrative is very interesting and stealable. He started with one story and went to another story which happened six months ago and showed us a hindu husband and wife and child and then told us the whole dog story which is not about the dog at all and then he came back to the passengers getting off and the hindu passengers bring asked for help.
The shot of people going to AMritsar top angle and jimmy jib backwards to just making the sound of police warning.
Loved his style and pace in this one rather than Alms for the Blind Horse.
When he saw the house with the ladder he said that that was his house. Script changes so much after finding the location. Loved that frame which looked like people in the sky because of the ladder kept like that.

Gurvinder said that he had found one of the actors in a lift. He was the lift operator in a mall where Gurvinder had gone to watch a film.

THX 1138: George Lucas (1971)

Han asked to watch because of the sound person. Walter Murch. Apocalypse now. Editor plus sound. He said that his IMDB page has got more sound titles than editing. Film was not great but was unique. Sound was too good but conspicuous i felt.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie: Luis Bunuel (1972)

Got a feeling that i had watched it earlier.Not sure. About a lot of bourgeoisie trying to dine together. Never happens. Several dream sequences. Bunuel's film posters are something i like. Apart from that don't think i will remember this film for long. It was very sarcastic. Surely a political piece when seen in relation to the period in which it was made. Bunuel's interest in making fun of the bourgeoise practices is interesting and relevant.

Watchmen: Zack Snyder (2009)

Didn't like it a bit. Haven't read the graphic novel. Full of violence. For no reason. Didn't understand why the woman who was raped by one superhero later had a child with him and even witnessed him trying to hit on his own daughter. Watched the ultimate cut and had to leave the theatre ten minutes before the film ended because i was extremely sleepy. Seriously, i don't understand this superhero business.

The Phantom of Liberty: Luis Bunuel (1974)

Watched for the third time. Like it the same way i liked it the first time i watched it. It might look a bit overdone in some places, the girl's going missing for example, but still remains to be the purest form of satire as far as i am concerned. Liked the way in which he jumped from character to character and story to story. With Bunuel i think it is safe to say that one simply gets confused between reality and dream till the end.

Spotlight: Tom McCarthy (2015)

Didn't like the way in which the film was made but the issue it handled. This will remain an important record of how a massive injustice was brought to light by some people who i think have the right to call themselves responsible journalists. Fighting against the church is not easy and it had been portrayed clearly in the film. Some things which struck my mind and made me think. The gay person who was abused speaking of abuse and later telling the journalist how difficult it was when after getting abused he saw that he was getting attracted to men.
Another point was when the journalist talked to one of the abusers he calmly said that he never raped anyone, they liked it and that he was just 'fooling around'. Every now and then something or the other makes me aware of how important it is to know the abuser's psychology and language.
Major problem i felt that the film had was its inability to properly incorporate the personal lives of the journalists. McCarthy should have watched Court by Chaitanya Tamhane before making this. Or he could have avoided those bits altogether.
When there is power like  that from the church how easy it is to make people do things you want them to do. Church provides education, shelter, a god to pray to and in return the church wants to rape. [Remember how the woman remarks that they have stated all reasons for the priests going missing except 'rape']. I would like to do a documentary on this subject in india.

That Obscure Object of Desire: Luis Bunuel (1977)

Second time with the film. Liked it. The inability to get to the object of desire and how people go mad chasing it. It need not be sex. This time found some similarities with 'Gone Girl'. Now looking at Bunuel's film posters realize how he was successful in capturing the essence of his film in just a poster. Like in this one the sewn together lips immediately reminds the corset of sorts worn by the girl. Surprisingly even this time i couldn't tell the difference between the two female actors who played the same role. And like in Gone Girl the man is still stuck with the woman who tortured and tormented him so much. In this one at least everything explodes.

Rescue Dawn: Werner Herzog (2006)

Didn't at all understand why it was just another 'hail america' film. Why was the man made to look like a hero? Why was it pro war? Sometimes great filmmakers disappoint you so much. Complete wastage of the medium called cinema to exist as shitty american propaganda.

Mash: Robert Altman (1970)

What a load of shit squirming with maggots. Haven't witnessed so much misogyny in ages. The film is apt for the SRFTI male audience (oh don't get me wrong more than half of the women population also belongs to this male gang) which thinks rape is not possible in a relationship etc. This is the first time i detected even subtitles being misogynistic. After the terrible violence inflicted upon Major Margaret Houlihan in which the sounds from her sexual intercourse with a man on camp was played on loudspeakers in the camp, she earns the title 'hot lips'. The subtitles after that point starts calling her 'hot lips' rather than Major Houlihan. Ridiculous. The kind of violence that was inflicted upon that woman in the camp will never leave my mind. I will never forget the scene in which the criminal males pull the curtain up on her while taking bath. And what happens to her when she complains? A group of men arrive and they start talking about football. They bond over the fact that Ms Houlihan despises football. As though it was retribution she is last seen as a cheerleader who doesn't know a thing about football (which americans play with hands, of course) still tries to be part of the whole system which had abused her so much. The film is masturbation for the likes of the surgeons shown in the film who are basically people who think women are toilet paper. Wow! What an inspiring tale to tell!
Don't even get me started on the awards the film won. Apparently everyone loves a woman violated.

The English Patient: Anthony Minghella (1996)

Review in Malayalam here written after reading the book and then watching the film. Translation and experience of second viewing as a separate post here.

Synecdoche, Newyork: Charlie Kauffman (2008)

Watched one hour of the film before dozing off. Didn't like what i saw much. May be another time. [About a theatre director. The mention of 'The Dumb Waiter', and 'Death of a Salesman' attracted my attention. I love both these plays. Found the Pinter joke funny. Of how the director thinks Pinter died when the newspaper was actually reporting him being awarded the Nobel prize.]

Bottle Rocket: Wes Anderson (1996)

Liked it. Especially after knowing that it was the director's debut. Didn't know that those actors were brothers till now. What i liked the most about the film was how while telling the story it had taken Owen Wilson's side. Spirit of a human being, to live, to love, to survive...
The sad part is how Bob continues to be bullied by his brother and the only time he felt good about himself in front of his brother was when Mr Henry, a criminal stood up for him. In the end he is a typical victim who finds consolation in the small niceties that his brother occasionally decides to bestow upon him. This was my second Anderson after Moonrise Kingdom which i loved. Didn't like Bottle Rocket as much but like how Vai Vow who watched it for the second time said, 'there is something about the film'.

Ugetsu: Kenji Mizoguchi (1953)

Liked it. I think it is a classic. It was easy to tell that in the end the wife was dead even when she was shown giving food to her husband upon his return. Story of human suffering is always interesting.

Sansho the Bailiff: Kenji Misoguchi (1954)

Really good. Liked the song sung by the mother being transported to another land where her children are. Real use of music. How they establish that this song is very popular in that island. The change in the boy who turns out to serve the oppressors. The way the young girl saves her brother and commits suicide. How the boy later frees the slaves against all odds. The way the children were kidnapped and sold by the cunning old woman who pretended to be a priest. The whole scenario changes all of a sudden when the mother and children and the old maid are going to get on the boat. They suddenly become hostile.

There were two people who were constantly talking during the screening. After an hour i got really pissed and went up to the projection room and asked them to stop the screening and switch on the light. Han who was sitting next to me and who was equally disturbed by the constant talking was telling the people who were talking to not do that in main theatre. I was kind of disappointed seeing that they were outsiders and not students. I hope they don't stop watching films because of this. I don't think anybody should talk when a film is playing anywhere be it in main theatre, SRFTI or Inox, Hiland Park. Sadly, our audience culture is not such. May be it is fine too for certain films which cannot be separated from the reaction of the audience. Hero driven films might seem incomplete without the audience cheering at his introductory shot and such. But yes, i will take offense if somebody does that with a film i am making serious efforts to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment