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10 all time must watch films

Film critic and selection committee member Rashid Irani picks 10 titles that cinephiles should watch out for at the upcoming Mumbai film festival.

bollywood Updated: Oct 16, 2013 16:25 IST
Rashid Irani

An eclectic range of over 200 films, fiction features as well as documentaries, will un-spool at selected auditoriums across the city (Liberty and Metro in south Mumbai, Cinemax at Andheri west) as part of the 15th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) that takes place from October 18 to 24.

The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image’s (MAMI) event will see directors of international repute be represented alongside a roster of first-time filmmakers from around the world. The films are programmed under 16 diverse sections enabling participant directors to share their stories, ideas and hopes for the future.

This shortlist of top 10 attractions has been culled from the International Competition and Above the Cut sections, both of which are restricted to the work of debutant directors. Gratifyingly, movies from several lesser-known film producing countries such as Guatemala, Singapore and Philippines are competing as are a few films by promising first-time women filmmakers.

Here are the titles you should make sure you watch.

1. Another House (Canada): A deeply affecting meditation on ageing, loneliness and family ties, Mathieu Roy’s film focuses on two brothers attempting to cope with their octogenarian father who’s suffering from dementia.
Showing at: Metro (Screen No. 5)
October 22 (Tuesday) at 6 pm ; Cinemax, Versova (Screen 3) October 23 (Wednesday) at 8.30 pm.

2. The Golden Cage (Mexico): An example of Mexico’s flourishing new wave cinema, Diego Quemada-Diez’s epic is a harrowing portrait of illegal immigrants fleeing from their dirt-poor existence in Central America to the promised land, namely USA. The journey, mostly on trains, is as peril-fraught as it is
full of suspense.
Showing at: Metro (Screen No.5)
October 20 (Sunday) at 8 pm Cinemax, Versova (Screen 3) October 22 (Tuesday) at 8.30 pm.

3. For Those In Peril (UK): Set in a remote Scottish fishing village, Paul Wright’s fanciful fable is about the trauma faced by the lone survivor of a shipwreck. A work of transcendental beauty, it features a blistering performance by George MacKay in the lead role.
Showing at: Metro (Screen 5) October 22 (Tuesday) at 3.30 pm
Cinemax Versova (Screen 3) October 21 (Sunday) at 6 pm.

4. Giraffada (France): A clear-sighted approach to the dilemma faced by ordinary people on both sides of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Rani Massalha’s deeply moving film centres around a 10-year-old Palestinian boy, his veterinarian dad and their efforts to find a mate for their despondent giraffe, even if it means transporting the animal from an Israeli zoo.
Showing at: Metro (Screen 4)
October 20 (Sunday) at 3.30 pm
Cinemax Versova (Screen 1)
October 18 (Friday) at 6 pm.

5. Ilo Ilo (Singapore): Winner of this year’s Caméra d’Or at Cannes, Anthony Chen’s film deals with a Filipino woman who takes up a job as housemaid with an affluent Singaporean family. The deceptively simple narrative is a showcase for the terrific ensemble, especially Koh Jia Ler as the errant young son.
Showing at: Metro (Screen 5)
October 23 at 8 pm Cinemax Versova (Screen 3) October 24 at 6 pm.

6. Mamay Umeng (Philippines): Not every viewer will find it easy to invest in the film’s languid pace, but those who do will be amply rewarded. The titular protagonist is a grandfather who has recently celebrated what could turn out to be his last birthday. Dwein Baltazar uses her minimalist narrative for a poetic contemplation of death and life.
Showing at: Metro (Screen 5)
October 19 at 3.30 pm Cinemax (Screen 3) October 20 at 6 pm.

7. Medeas (Italy): Visually reminiscent of the early work of Terrence Malick, yet utterly unique in its vision, Andrea Pallaoro’s drama is set in an American small town and focuses on a couple (the wife is a deaf-mute) and their five children. Their quotidian existence is disrupted by the revelation of a family secret. Nothing can prepare one for the devastating climax.
showing at: Metro (Screen 5)
October 23 at 6 pm.

8. The Plague (Spain): Shooting on the sun-scorched outskirts of Barcelona, Neus Ballus’s docudrama offers an insightful account of the lives of five disparate individuals (all non-professional actors) who attempt to maintain emotional equilibrium while going about their day-to-day work.
showing at: Metro (Screen 5) October 20 at 6 pm Cinemax, Versova October 24 at 12.30 pm.

9. The Strange Little Cat (Germany): One of the strongest films to emerge this year, Ramon Zurcher’s sparingly-framed first feature presents a series of images of a Berlin-based family over the course of a single day. Mysterious and structurally complex, it marks Zurcher as a revelatory presence in new German cinema.
Showing at: Metro (Screen 5) October 21 at 6 pm Cinemax, Versova (Screen 3) October 23 at 12.30 pm.

10. The Voice Of The Voiceless (Guatemala): Maximon Monihan tells the real-life inspired story of a hearing-impaired young girl who is lured into slave labour upon arrival in New York. The style is a tad gimmicky but it does encourage the viewer to look (and listen) in new ways.
Showing at: Metro (Screen 5)
October 21 at 8 pm Cinemax Versova (Screen 3) October 23 at 10 am.