October 19, 2014

Mumbai 2014 Day #4: The French Connection

Had to miss one movie today because of something that came up at the last moment. I was really upset with the thought that I would be not scoring 35 movies this time as well, but then a friend said: "Make room for life" and that brought a smile on my face that erased all doubts. I will never regret missing one movie. And I think I will always remember this one line, when ever in doubt.

So, 19 movies in four days. Not a bad score at all. And the fours movies of today were all in the French language.

Two Days, One Night (Belgium/ 2014) by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne: '12 Angry Men' meets 'The Bicycle Thief' in modern Belgium, with the impeccable Marion Cotillard as the protagonist. How a character apparently good only to evoke pity rises and unfolds into a tremendously admirable human. How a plot that does not have too many options and only one of two possible endings plays with the expectations of the audience. Writing text-book.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (France/ 1964) by Jacques Demy: Classics will be classics. Film will be film. This kind of a musical may not be palatable for many in the audience, but I loved it unconditionally. Had won top prize at Cannes and was nominated for five Oscars.

Party Girl (France/ 2014) by Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq, Claire Burger, and Samuel Theis: Camera d'Or winner at Cannes this year, which is the award for Best Debut film for the director(s). Such well-developed characters, so effectively shot. Generated unanimous praise.

Life of Riley (France/ 2014) by Alain Resnais: Winner of FIPRESCI prize and Alfred Bauer (for opening 'new perspectives in cinematic art') award at Berlin this year. Last film by the legendary Alain Resnais.

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