October 17, 2011

Mumbai 2011 Day #2: The High I Could Die For...

On the 2nd day, after watching five amazing movies, I already feel satisfied with this year's festival. Anything more will just be bonus...

'Omar Gatalato' (1977): An Algerian film, unforgettable for its documentary style, and its protagonist who looked straight from a Godard film ... and also for the scene where Mehboob Khan's 'Aan' is being screened - a French dubbed version for the Algerian crowd. But the songs - 'Aaj mere mann mein sakhi' and 'Dil mein chhupa ke pyaar ka' were in Hindi! The protagonist Omar loved Hindi film songs!!!

'Swayamvaram' (1973): Finally I watched my first Adoor Gopalkrishnan film, one more filmmaker apart from Ray and Ghatak who can match the world standards. This film also reminding me of 'Apur Sansar' - aesthetically it was as good as that; plus the story revolved around a newly-wed couple trying to survive in the city life, the hero wanted to be a writer, and the actress at times resembled Sharmila Tagore!

'Generation P' (2011): an in-competition Russian film. I won't be surprised if it wins! It is extremely entertaining, its 'trips' have some incredible surreal imagery, and it very interestingly shares with us the changes in the Russian commercial society after the disintegration of the USSR. One of the must-watch movies of the year!

British master Ken Loach's 'Kes' (1969): perhaps the best film of the festival. Counted among the greatest films ever made, it tells the poignant story of a problem child who, despite his troubles and weaknesses, develops some amazing talents. The child actor David Bradley's unforgettable role would be my favourite performance of the day. And I would recommend this movie as a Must Watch Before You Die. (#22)

However, for me, as for many others, the movie of the day was 'The Artist' (2011). It is one of the most loved films of this year and will definitely score well during the upcoming awards season. For its overwhelming celebration of cinema (a tribute to the Silent Era, to the Hollywood Star and Studio System, and tributes to various classics) it wins the honour of the day over 'Kes', though in the long run I think I'll consider 'Kes' a better movie. Movies like 'The Artist' are the best illustrations for the sentiments and the spirit of this blog, and my life. Please watch it as soon as you can!

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