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Cinema

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<b>P E R S O N A L R ECOM M E N DAT I O N </b><br><br><b>THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST </b><br><br>(2002) <b><br><br>Language: </b><br><br>Finnish <b><br><br>Director: </b><br><br>Aki Kaurismäki <b><br><br>Cast: </b><br><br>Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen A man is brutally assaulted in a Helsinki park. He loses his memory and survives on the kindness of Helsinki's homeless. He gets back on his feet, lives in an abandoned trailer, gets work, falls in love and builds a new life from scratch. <br>There is a sustained wistful humour in the interactions through the film. When the main character asks an electrician how much he owes him for a small job, the man replies: "If I am ever face down in the gutter, turn me over. " We have here director Aki Kaurismäki at his minimalist, sardonic, compassionate best. The Man Without A Past is a fairytale of the dispossessed, except that, as Kaurismäki's gruff words put it: ". . .  it's really soft. The reality is much harder. What would it serve if I showed the reality? Nobody gives a shit anyway. " <br>Despite the director's misanthropic comments and his minimalistic style - especially the deadpan acting - it is all so accessible, a film almost anyone can relate to and enjoy. And for film buffs, this is an exhilarating discovery of a unique approach to making films. <br>Every scene is inspired. In some, the plot moves gently forward, in others we get quirky insights into a character. The visual design of shots is so underplayed and yet so brilliant. There is always an element of strangeness, but yet you can just go with the flow. This is one of those rare films that is both delightful and profound. <br>The film was nominated for an Oscar. At Cannes, it won the Best Actress award and narrowly, and controversially, lost the Palme d'Or to Polanski's The Pianist.

Full Screen

Ashmaki Acharya | September 3, 2011


P E R S O N A L R ECOM M E N DAT I O N

THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST

(2002)

Language:


Finnish

Director:


Aki Kaurismäki

Cast:


Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen A man is brutally assaulted in a Helsinki park. He loses his memory and survives on the kindness of Helsinki's homeless. He gets back on his feet, lives in an abandoned trailer, gets work, falls in love and builds a new life from scratch.
There is a sustained wistful humour in the interactions through the film. When the main character asks an electrician how much he owes him for a small job, the man replies: "If I am ever face down in the gutter, turn me over. " We have here director Aki Kaurismäki at his minimalist, sardonic, compassionate best. The Man Without A Past is a fairytale of the dispossessed, except that, as Kaurismäki's gruff words put it: ". . . it's really soft. The reality is much harder. What would it serve if I showed the reality? Nobody gives a shit anyway. "
Despite the director's misanthropic comments and his minimalistic style - especially the deadpan acting - it is all so accessible, a film almost anyone can relate to and enjoy. And for film buffs, this is an exhilarating discovery of a unique approach to making films.
Every scene is inspired. In some, the plot moves gently forward, in others we get quirky insights into a character. The visual design of shots is so underplayed and yet so brilliant. There is always an element of strangeness, but yet you can just go with the flow. This is one of those rare films that is both delightful and profound.
The film was nominated for an Oscar. At Cannes, it won the Best Actress award and narrowly, and controversially, lost the Palme d'Or to Polanski's The Pianist.

<b>WO R L D LY W I S E </b><br><br><b>WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN </b><br><br>(1988) <b><br><br>Language: </b><br><br>Spanish <b><br><br>Director: </b><br><br>Pedro Almodóvar <b><br><br>Cast: </b><br><br>Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Rambunctious. That's what the film is. Is it kitsch, farce, melodrama, screwball comedy? Perhaps all of these - but it never seems to matter, as one flows with the many twists in this crazy story. <br>Jilted lovers, tears, madness and pain provide the unlikely platform for this dark comedy which opens with a melancholic singer singing Soy infeliz (I am unhappy)! The incredible performance of the cast keeps the story whirring wildly to the end. Carmen Maura, ah the eyes of Carmen Maura. . .  what can one say, and a young Antonio Banderas on the verge of international stardom with this film. And the strange, even disturbing, beauty of Rossy de Palma. Almodovar does a cameo as a taxi driver. <br>Despite the apparent farcical style, the film strongly reflects Almodovar's preoccupations with sexuality, desire, gender, subjectivity, self-discovery and his characteristic focus on, and celebration of, women - their relationships, sexuality, anxieties, strengths. His women are always vibrant and despite the sometimes tragic circumstances of their lives, they emerge as survivors. Almodovar's direction is very assured and therefore entirely unselfconscious despite being so stylised. The opening shots of Ivan walking past a number of pretty women, the tight close-ups of Ivan at the mike in the dubbing studio, the unexpected takes at the start of the airport sequence - all are a visual and cinematic delight.

Full Screen

Ashmaki Acharya | September 3, 2011


WO R L D LY W I S E

WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

(1988)

Language:


Spanish

Director:


Pedro Almodóvar

Cast:


Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Rambunctious. That's what the film is. Is it kitsch, farce, melodrama, screwball comedy? Perhaps all of these - but it never seems to matter, as one flows with the many twists in this crazy story.
Jilted lovers, tears, madness and pain provide the unlikely platform for this dark comedy which opens with a melancholic singer singing Soy infeliz (I am unhappy)! The incredible performance of the cast keeps the story whirring wildly to the end. Carmen Maura, ah the eyes of Carmen Maura. . . what can one say, and a young Antonio Banderas on the verge of international stardom with this film. And the strange, even disturbing, beauty of Rossy de Palma. Almodovar does a cameo as a taxi driver.
Despite the apparent farcical style, the film strongly reflects Almodovar's preoccupations with sexuality, desire, gender, subjectivity, self-discovery and his characteristic focus on, and celebration of, women - their relationships, sexuality, anxieties, strengths. His women are always vibrant and despite the sometimes tragic circumstances of their lives, they emerge as survivors. Almodovar's direction is very assured and therefore entirely unselfconscious despite being so stylised. The opening shots of Ivan walking past a number of pretty women, the tight close-ups of Ivan at the mike in the dubbing studio, the unexpected takes at the start of the airport sequence - all are a visual and cinematic delight.

<b>O U T O N DV D </b><br><br><b>THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES </b><br><br>(2009) <b><br><br>Language: </b><br><br>Spanish <b><br><br>Director: </b><br><br>Juan Josê Campanella <b><br><br>Cast: </b><br><br>Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino "He ran to the end of the train and watched as her figure once gigantic, now shrank in his eyes but grew more than ever in his heart. " <br>The film opens with these words written in a notebook. We see the writer (Ricardo Darin) struggling with a thought. Then he scribbles the date '21 June, 1974'. With that one sentence and a phrase, the two narrative threads are introduced to us. Twenty-five years ago, Darin was a crime investigator and is still haunted by one unresolved case. And then comes perhaps the most charming smile I have ever seen. Liliana (Carla Quevedo) smiling as she and her husband Ricardo (Pablo Rago) have - as the voiceover tells us - what will be their last breakfast together. It's just moments after the titles and we are drawn into a crime story and a romance so full of pain, obsession, revenge, put together so poetically by director Juan Jose Campanella. <br>A beautiful girl is raped and murdered. This has a profound impact on the lives of all the main characters - there is no closure till about 25 years after the crime. A police investigation, a fugitive, grief, wrenching drama, love, with every single character so sharply delineated. . .  This is superlative cinema. <br>The actors are among Argentina's best and they manage an incredible ensemble performance. Soledad Villamil in the female lead brings a luminosity to her performance that defies description - one can only watch, enchanted. The film, deservedly, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

Full Screen

Ashmaki Acharya | September 3, 2011


O U T O N DV D

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES

(2009)

Language:


Spanish

Director:


Juan Josê Campanella

Cast:


Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino "He ran to the end of the train and watched as her figure once gigantic, now shrank in his eyes but grew more than ever in his heart. "
The film opens with these words written in a notebook. We see the writer (Ricardo Darin) struggling with a thought. Then he scribbles the date '21 June, 1974'. With that one sentence and a phrase, the two narrative threads are introduced to us. Twenty-five years ago, Darin was a crime investigator and is still haunted by one unresolved case. And then comes perhaps the most charming smile I have ever seen. Liliana (Carla Quevedo) smiling as she and her husband Ricardo (Pablo Rago) have - as the voiceover tells us - what will be their last breakfast together. It's just moments after the titles and we are drawn into a crime story and a romance so full of pain, obsession, revenge, put together so poetically by director Juan Jose Campanella.
A beautiful girl is raped and murdered. This has a profound impact on the lives of all the main characters - there is no closure till about 25 years after the crime. A police investigation, a fugitive, grief, wrenching drama, love, with every single character so sharply delineated. . . This is superlative cinema.
The actors are among Argentina's best and they manage an incredible ensemble performance. Soledad Villamil in the female lead brings a luminosity to her performance that defies description - one can only watch, enchanted. The film, deservedly, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

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