Sunday, October 20, 2013

MAMI 2013: Day 2

On day 2 I witnessed the prestigious Palm d'Or winner from Cannes, an enticing Coehn Brothers flick. Michael Gondry's wildly imaginative feature & er...Sofia Vergara shooting bullets out of her bosom. 

Inside Llewyn Davis
Language: English
Director: Joel & Ethan Coehn

Any Coehn brothers feature is a must watch & this one is no different.

 Set in 1961 it portrays a week in the life of struggling  out of work folk singer Llewyn Davis played wonderfully by Oscar Isaacs (eerily resembling 60's era Cat Stevens). Any creative person trying to make a living with his art will relate with Llewyn. It's a classic case of how when one decides to stick by his principles the whole world seems to be selling out. The dialogue is funny & sharp especially during the early parts of the film. Cinematography is great. From the cramped spaces that struggling singers are living in, to plush studios to estranged highways everything is captured fabulously. Another aspect that is noteworthy is the taut editing & how the director's employ it to portray the passage of time in varying degrees. Of course music plays an essential part in the film and by cleverly casting actors who're pretty much established singers in their own right the makers make every performance scene raw & heartfelt. A special mention to Carey Mulligan who is a scene stealer as Llewyn's acerbic mistress, she's every guy's worst nightmare. ILD may not be one of Coehn brothers' best but it's still very good. Watch.

Mood Indigo (L'Écume des jours)
Language: French
Director: Michel Gondry

No matter how many words I write I cannot do justice to the visual spectacle of this film. You just have to watch it to believe it.To give you a vague example, try & imagine your wildest, most bizarre dream portrayed on screen. now multiply it by 10, that would probably be the starting point of Gondry's imagination. On the plot level it is a simple story of love & loss between a man & a woman but the treatment is dazzling. I was spellbound. Watch it to see how a simple story can be elevated to a completely new level owing to wonderful use of visuals, set design, VFX, colour etc. It exemplifies how fantastic visual storytelling can get. Absolutely loved it.

Watch the trailer to get only a small glimpse.

Machete Kills
Language: English (some Spanish)
Director: Robert Rodriguez

What can I say? I am a Rodriguez fan & I could not resist it. I knew Indian censors wouldn't allow this to release anytime soon so I shamelessly jumped on to the bandwagon to catch it. Film festival prestigiousness be damned ;)

Pretty much the same deal as it's prequel only this time the body count has increased, so have the celebrity cameos with a tad bit more badassery. It was good to see a film that did not take itself seriously at all for a change at the fest. 

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (La Vie d'Adèle) 
Language: French
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

Undoubtedly the film with the most amount of buzz at MAMI as it arrives after winning one of the most illustrious honour in cinema, the Palm d'Or at Cannes. 

I would love to do a detailed, longer post about the film perhaps sometime in the near future, for now though I'd just say the film is intense involving multiple layers dealing with themes of love, passion, sexuality, adolescence, youth & art. Aided by powerhouse performances by it's 2 leads. 

With a running time of 3 hours the film does test your patience but the pay off is well worth it. I didn't mind most of the films often long & elaborate scenes between the characters because the director creates an 'environment' such that I want to share head space with them. 

That said this might not be a film for everyone. The lovemaking scenes are very graphic & may seem a little drawn out. Also the film requires commitment and concentration on the viewer's part. 

The reason the acting for me is so praiseworthy is because (without giving much away) the lead character is a completely different person than she is at the beginning of the film, and throughout almost all of the film we see her through tight shots & close ups, & to bring about that change with facial expressions & body language gradually & convincingly is no mean feat. 

There's a lot more I had going through my head after watching this that is yet to be processed, but maybe I'll save it for that longer post. All in all though BITWC is bold, heartbreaking, heartwarming, disturbing, & moving & I believe any good piece of cinema is bound to make you journey through a range of emotions as you sit there in that chair. 

No comments: