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5. Western

Director: Valeska Grisebach
Country: Germany, Bulgaria, Austria | Language: German, English, Bulgarian
Cast: Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Waldemar Zang, Detlef Schaich.

Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann) who plays the protagonist in Valeska Grisebach’s slow-burning clash of male testosterone & cultural ideologies, resembles the mustached, stoic main-man in most Sergio Leone films. Riffling its title to encompass a varied number of juggling themes, genre and a sidelined border that still prevails in contemporary Europe, Grisebach’s film is a subtle, life-like documentations of a set of men (composing both sides of the language barrier) and the quotidian life that faces a cross-over when a horse, water-distribution & a young woman come into the mix.

Also, Read – Western [2017]: ‘NYFF’ Review.

4. Beats Per Minute

Director: Robin Campillo
Country: France | Language: French
Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel.

In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organisation is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.




3. MOTHER!

DIRECTOR: DARREN ARONOFSKY
COUNTRY: USA | LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
CAST: JENNIFER LAWRENCE, JAVIER BARDEM, ED HARRIS.

“Mother! in its way reminded me of the musical The Book of Mormon: it could be about the birth of a new religion with all the irrational absurdity, vanity and celebrity worship that this entails. Or it could be a satirical portrait of a marriage and the humiliation involved in catering for a sleekly pompous man old enough to be your father. But maybe it is just about the gleeful anarchy involved in the destruction, in simply taking the audience on a series of stomach-turning quantum leaps into madness. As horror, it is ridiculous, as a comedy it is startling and hilarious, and as a machine for freaking you out it is a thing of wonder.” – Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian).

Also Read – Mother [2017]: Review.

2. LOVELESS

DIRECTOR: ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV
COUNTRY: RUSSIA, FRANCE, BELGIUM, GERMANY | LANGUAGE: RUSSIAN.
CAST: MARYANA SPIVAK, YANINA HOPE, ALEKSEY ROZIN.

Shuddering with a spine-chilling mystery that is wrapped in an unsettling tensive drama, like a thick fog slithering on a window pane, and spreading like a lovely dead tree in the hearts of heartless people, “Loveless” wanders helplessly in the hearts and consciousness of the characters in search of a sense of belonging and love. Andrey Zvyagintsev seeds the heart-wrenching drama in the modern day society plagued with impatient & pseudo love consumed by selfish motives. Just like Leviathan that takes a closer look at the socio-political crack paving the path for eternal human suffering, Loveless delves into the shallow & superficial human consciousness where “love” exists only in Instagram posts.




Also, Read – Loveless [2017]: ‘Mumbai Film Festival’ Review.

1. THE SQUARE

DIRECTOR: RUBEN ÖSTLUND
COUNTRY: SWEDEN | LANGUAGE: SWEDISH, ENGLISH.
CAST: CLAES BANG, ELISABETH MOSS, DOMINIC WEST.

“The Square” is more a performance piece than a film in itself. It works on the ordinance of puppetry. The one where Östlund is the puppeteer and everything else just follows the distinctive, glamorous & hilarious world that he has created. At times both fractured and well-constructed, the film evokes all possible reactions towards any art form. Mostly delivered through an array of vignettes that never break the flow of the initial narrative of a lost phone and the aftermath –  the wild, translucent and idiocentric scenario in which the film unfolds has almost lost its human empathy. So when the film tracks down to its critic on the society, the result is extraordinarily effective.

Also, Read – The Square [2017]: ‘Mumbai Film Festival’ Review.

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