The 22nd Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) got underway on Friday. And cine buffs can feast on an array of international films over the next seven days. Kolkata-based filmmaker Atanu Ghosh lists a few films, which are a must-watch this year. Atanu, who has directed Bengali films like Takhan Teish (2010), Rupkatha Noy (2013), Ek Phaali Rodh (2014) and Abby Sen (2015), too is looking forward to watching a few films by some of the masters. Atanu also explains why these films should be watched.
Summertime and Three Worlds: Three films of the French filmmaker and actor, Catherine Corsini, will be screened in the Special Screening section. Atanu says that two films of Corsini — Summertime and Three Worlds — are a must watch. Corsini was the president of the jury for the Caméra d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2016. “Corsini is a popular name now. Three Worlds was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, 2012,” he says.
Ugetsu and The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums: This year six films of Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi will be screened in the Great Master section. Atanu recommends cinegoers to watch Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu (1953) and The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939). Ugetsu also won the Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. “He is a master filmmaker, who is known for his long takes. An author and a screenwriter, I believe it’s important for every film lover to watch Mizoguchi’s films. I don’t remember when his films were screened in Kolkata for the last time. So, it’s a rare opportunity for filmgoers this time,” says Atanu.
Othello: Atanu advises cine goers to watch Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995), an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s work. Laurence Fishburne plays the title role in the film. “I think audience should watch this film because a lot of literary adaptations of Shakespeare are happening nowadays in Bengali cinema. Bengali theatre is also experimenting with Shakespeare. So, this film will be an interesting watch under the Literature and Cinema section,” says Atanu.
Ashes and Diamonds: Andrzej Wajda, one of the most celebrated Polish filmmakers, passed away on October 9 this year. Atanu highly recommends every film lover to watch Wajda’s films. Only one film of the master filmmaker will be screened at KIFF’s Homage section. “Ashes and Diamonds is a must-watch for every cinema lover,” says Atanu, a fan of the Polish filmmaker. Ashes and Diamonds is also one of the favourite films of filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.
Chinese films: Seven films from China will be screened at KIFF. China is the focus country this year and Atanu believes it’s important to watch a few Chinese films. “We don’t get to watch Chinese films in Kolkata on the big screen. This is a rare opportunity and I would encourage cine buffs to watch new-age Chinese films,” he says.
Pinneyum and Tope: Malayalam filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan is one of the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema. Atanu says it’s mandatory for every film lover to watch Gopalakrishnan’s films. His 2016 film Pinneyum, starring Malayalam actors Dileep and Kavya Madhavan, will be screened under the Special Tribute section. Atanu also recommends Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s new film Tope (Bait). “Both Gopalakrishnan and Dasgupta are important filmmakers of our time. So, their films are a must watch,” says Atanu.
A total of 156 films from 65 countries will be screened across 13 venues at the seven-day long festival .