Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) International Film Festival 2008 - II

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MAMI International Film Festival 2008 - II

28 movies in 7 days - What more could one ask for? The 10th film festival conducted by MAMI was a very satisfying experience overall. I don’t think it would be fair to review all these movies when I have seen 4 a day. I will just list the movies I watched and how I enjoyed them. I have also added a list of movies that I missed and would love to watch soon.

Not to be missed!!!

My post at the end of day 2 was out of both, frustration at having watched one bad movie after the other, and out of exhilaration after seeing 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days. This last one remains my favorite movie at the end of the festival too. It’s morose, it’s gut-wrenching, and yet it would be a crime to miss it.

Unique Experieces

I doubt many would be fortunate enough to have watched a silent movie along with live music - just like it was done in the silent era. We experienced Pinnochio (1911, Italy) with live Jazz played by Italian musicians and it was surely one to die for.

Another such experience was watching a collection of short films To each of his own cinema. 35 great contemporary directors paid a tribute to cinema to commemorate 60 years of Cannes.

Get them on your “must watch” list

While Caramel (Lebanon) and Hokkabaz (Turkey) are light, sweet movies, Katyn, the opening movie, and Kanal are war movies. They featured in the “Retro of Andzej Wajda” section of the festival. I don’t like war movies and Katyn did feel like war for the sake of war, a build up towards “this particular” way people were killed. But it was shot well and Kanal was a powerful movie too. Conductor, A Wajda yet non-war movie, and Carlos Saura’s Carmen (Spain) are well-made dark romantic stories with a backdrop of music/dance. Pan’s Labyrinth (Spain) is a unique combination of politics and fantasy - truly one of it’s kind. Good bye Bafana (South Africa) narrates the story of a White racist and his interaction with Nelson Mandela. Day and Night (Denmark) is about a man and how he has managed to mess all his relationships. The claustrophobic feeling built by shooting most of the film in a car is sensed both by the characters and the audience. Texas (Italy) is a very interesting movie because of the structure of the narration. It is truly amazing how Tsotsi (UK, South Africa) makes the audience feel for a good-for-nothing wannabe gangleader.

I missed these, but they are highly recommended by friends and therefore have made my “must watch” list -
Savior’s Square (Poland)
Fados (Spain)
A home in the sky (Marathi)
Tingya (Marathi)
Frozen (Hindi)
4 women (Malyalam)
I served the King of England (Czech Republic)
My Brother is getting married (Switzerland, France)
Mother of Mine (Finland)

Of course, Red Desert (France), Chak De India (Hindi), Taare Zameen Par (Hindi), Meghe Dheke Tara (Bengali) would have increased the average rating of the festival by a notch. Just that I had already seen them.

A little for everybody

The eighth day of the week (Hungary), Brick Lane (UK), Adam (Iran), Gun of Mercy (China), The Woman of My Life (Norway), In Passion and Love (Egypt) fall in the list of “nothing great, but not a total loss”.

Hmmm…I really don’t know

While Sound of Tibet (China), and the closing movie,Mourning Forest (Japan, France) were beautiful to look at and left you with a serene feeling, they had very little in the name of story. Whatever little happens, does so at a sluggish pace. So, unless there was something sublime, something metaphorical that I completely missed, these are for people who can enjoy a movie without a significant story.

Next, please

Then there are these that can be completely skipped. Some of them were not that bad, but am not sure they are worth the trouble.
When father was away on business (Serbia)
Immensity of justice (Poland)
Crossing a Shadow (Peru)
Flirt (Serbia)
Monkeys in winter (Bulgaria)
A World Without Thieves (China)
Relatives (Hungary)

So, that’s meetu reporting at the end of MAMI! Adios amigos…

- meeta, a part of the audience

Comments (2)

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Sunit:

Love world cinema and have just started watching it. Time constraints don't permit going for festivals though.

All time favourite - Majid Majidi. I would rate Children of Heaven as the best movie that I have ever seen.

Thanks for the names though. Will catch them whenever I can. Hopefully sooner than later.

meetu:

My introduction to world cinema is fairly recent too. Thus haven't watched Children of Heaven yet. Criminal! I know...but will be corrected, hopefully soon.

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