Screenings of Cinephile Film Club
Film: Nobody Knows (2004, Japanese with English subtitles)
Directed by: Hirokazu Koreeda
Duration: 2 hrs 15 mins
Date: 17th January 2019 6.30 p.m
One of the masters of contemporary world cinema, director Hirokazu Koreeda has been consistently scaling new heights with every film he makes. His last film Shoplifters (2018) won the prestigious Palm’d’or at Cannes.
Koreeda’s forte is people and relationships and he portrays them with a certain humanity that is rarely seen. Based on a true story,Nobody Knows is about four young siblings, with the oldest being a 12 year old boy. One fine day, their mother leaves them with a note and some money and doesn’t return. Caught in a desperate situation, the children have to fend for themselves and look after each other.
Like all Koreeda films, the story is told in the most simplistic and even mundane manner – but like all his films, the devil lies in the detail and there is a certain meaning behind the simplicity. Among several awards that the film won globally, the 14 year old Yuuya Yagira won the Best actor at Cannes (ahead of the likes Tom Hanks, Geoffrey Rush, Gael Garcia Bernal and Tony Leung), at the young age of 14.
Film: Rear Window (1954, color)
Cast: James Stewart, Gene Kelly
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Duration: 1 hr 52 mins
Date: 10th January 2019 6.30 p.m
One of Hitchcock’s all time great films, Rear Window has the director’s favorite actor James Stewart who plays a photographer who is wheelchair bound, after an accident. Sitting in his apartment, he uses his camera with a telephoto lens to look into other people’s apartment, when he sees something fishy in the opposite apartment. He is convinced that the neighbor has murdered his wife. Grace Kelly plays his girlfriend who becomes an integral part of solving the mystery.
The film was a huge success when it was released and over the years, it is recognized not just as Hitchcock’s but one of the best films made and is often found in the list of Greatest Films. The screening is an unique opportunity to watch the masters work on the big screen.
Film: A Cold Summer Night (Konkani /Marathi)
Cast: Keatan Jadhav, Vinita Velip, Gauri Kamat, Rajeev Hede
Directed by: Yash Sawant
Duration: 21 mins
Date: 20th September 6.30 pm
It is fair to say that never before has a short film made in Goa won the kind of laurels that A Cold Summer Night has. Directed by the 21 year old Yash Sawant, it premiered at the Locarno Film Festival, had its Asian premiere at the Busan Film Festival and subsequently will travel to festivals at Georgia and UK. Sawant was pursuing Fine Arts till cinema became his calling. A Cold Summer Night is his debut feature and the review of the film at Lucarno says “With an incredible hold on the dramatic side of things, Sawant is sure meant for bigger and better things from here on out”
Set in the by lanes of Mapusa, the story is about a migrant from Maharashtra who is caught with his lover when an accident takes places outside his house. Deftly shot by Sawant who has also written and edited the film deals with multiple issues from morality to the attitude towards migrants.
This film screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director and the cast and after that, Aki Kaurismaki’s The Match Factory Girl will be screened.
Film: The Match Factory Girl (1990, Finnish with English subtitles)
Directed by: Aki Kaurismaki
Duration: 66 mins
Date: 20th September 7.15 pm
Aki Kaurismaki is hailed as one the great among contemporary film makers and has an unparalleled style of film making. His films are humorous, sardonic, empathetic and characters that are usually hapless occasionally desolate but always utterly convincing.
When he made The Match Factory Girl in 1990, he had already established himself as an auteur. The story is about Iris who leads a rather dull and lonely life and works in a match factory and has no social life to speak of. But that changes when she meets a man at the dance club, they spend the night together but from there on her life is not the same any more. He rejects her and on the account she wants to settle scores with him. The film stars Kati Outinen, who worked in many of Kaurismaki’s film and won special praise for her performance in this film.
Date: 6th September 6.30 p.m, Thursday
Movie: The Train
Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins
Inspired by the book Le front de l’art by Rose Valland, who documented the works of art that had been robbed by the Germans from museums and private art collections during WWII, the film is inspired by true events.
Burt Lancaster plays Paul, a member of the French Resistance who is pitted against German Colonel Franz von Waldheim (Pal Scofield) who is escaping to Germany in a train which is full of precious artifacts and paintings. The precious cargo cannot be damaged and the members have to ensure that the train doesn’t reach Germany setting it up for a great thriller. At one point, they even have to change the signage of stations to fool the enemy.
Jeanne Moreau has a cameo but a rather important one. This American-French-Italian production has some spectacular action and thrills – the train wrecks are real and a French yard was actually bombed with dynamite to achieve a desired effect.
Date: 2nd August 6.30 p.m, Thursday
Movie: Ganashatru (Bengali with English subtitles)
Duration: 1 hr 39 mins
Ganashatru is a 1990 Indian film directed by Satyajit Ray. It is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People, and was released under that title in the UK. The cast includes Ray’s favourite actor Soumitra Chatterjee, and veteran actors such as Dhritiman Chatterjee, Shubhendu Chatterjee, Manoj Mitra and Ruma Guhathakurta. Ray adapts the play to an Indian setting: a flourishing township in which a temple attracts devotees as well as tourists. When a health problem is discovered Dr Ashok Gupta, played by Soumitra Chatterjee, finds his popularity flagging. The film was screened out of competition at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival
Date: 26th July 6.30 p.m, Thursday
Movie: Akaler Shandhaney (1982,Bengali with English subtitles)
Duration: 1 hr 53 mins
Akaler Shandhaney is a film within a film co-written and directed by Mrinal Sen, it swept the National awards that year winning the Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Editing. Besides, it also won the Silver Bear (Special Jury Prize) at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival. The story revolves around a film crew that have come to a village to shoot a film on the 1943 Bengal famine. Dhritman Chatterjee plays the director of the film with Smita Patil playing the actress. The interactions and experiences of the villagers and the film crew makes the crux of this extraordinary film by Sen, who was at the peak of his prowess.
Date: 19th July 2018, Thursday
Movie: My Dinner with Andre (1981, English)
Duration: 109 minutes
Synopsis: In this film, two actors, Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn play themselves and share a conversation at a restaurant in New York. That is it, the basic premise of this audacious film is a conversation between the two but what a conversation it turns out to be! Gregory does most of the talking narrating his ideas and experiences and importantly, the conversation flows very naturally without any superficial elements in this cerebral film.
Date: 5th July 2018, Thursday
Movie: Offside (Iranian with English subtitles)
Duration: 1 hr 27 mins
Synopsis: Offside is a 2006 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, about girls who try to watch a World Cup qualifying match but are forbidden by law because of their gender. Female fans are not allowed to enter football stadiums in Iran on the grounds that there will be a high risk of violence or verbal abuse against them. The film was inspired by the director’s daughter, who decided to attend a game anyway. The film was shot in Iran but its screening was banned there.
Date: 28th June 2018, Thursday
Movie: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Duration: 2 hrs 35 mins.
Synopsis: After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men’s construction of a railway bridge for their captors – while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Date: 21st June 2018, Thursday
Movie: Victoria (2015,German with English subtitles)
Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins.
Synopsis: Victoria is a Spanish girl who moved to Berlin three months earlier. She works in a cafe for a meager wage, and does not know anybody in the new city. In addition, she does not speak much German, and her only common language with the people around her is English. Leaving a club at around 4 o’clock in the morning after a night of dancing and drinking, she meets four young men who are denied entry to the club. They are “Sonne” (sun), “Boxer”, “Blinker” (turn signal), and “Fuß” (foot). The men invite her to take a walk through the city and she agrees. After stealing some alcohol from an all night shop, they all get on the roof of an apartment building where they drink and smoke marijuana together, while Boxer reveals that he spent time in jail for hurting someone.
Date: 14th June 2018, Thursday
Movie: A Hard Day’s Night
Duration: 87 mins.
Synopsis: Bound for a London show from Liverpool, The Beatles escape a horde of fans (“A Hard Day’s Night”). Once they are aboard the train and trying to relax, various interruptions test their patience: after a dalliance with a female passenger, Paul’s grandfather is confined to the guard’s van and the four lads join him there to keep him company. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr play a card game, entertaining some schoolgirls before arriving at their desired destination (“I Should Have Known Better”).
Date: 10th May 2018, Saturday
Movie: Still Life
Duration: 1 hr 46 mins.
Synopsis: Still Life is set in Fengjie, a city upstream of the massive Three Gorges Dam. Now marked for flooding, the city undergoes a process of self-deconstruction. Into this dying town comes Han Sanming, a coal-miner from the province of Shanxi who has returned in search of a wife who ran away sixteen years ago. Upon arriving, he asks a local motorcyclist to drive him to his former address on “Granite Street.” The driver takes him to the river bank, revealing that his entire neighborhood has been flooded since the building of the dam. After a failed attempt to obtain his wife’s information from the local municipal office, Han Sanming settles into a local hotel. Sanming’s next stop is a rickety boat owned by his wife’s elder brother. The brother informs Sanming that his wife and daughter (the real reason for his return) work downriver in Yichang but that if he remains in the city, they will eventually return there.
Date-26th April 2018
Cast: Rishikesh Naik, Sudesh Bhise, Barkha Naik, Gauri Kamat, Prashanti Talpankar
Directed by: Miransha Naik
Time: 6.30 PM
Synopsis:This stark story of social injustice revolves around Santosh (Rishiskesh Naik), a teenage boy who lives with his grandmother in a small hut, among migrant workers in a village in Goa. The neighborhood is terrorized by Juze (Sudesh Bhise), the landlord who does as he pleases leaving everyone at his mercy.
Date: 17th August 2017, Thursday
Movie: Riding the Stallion of a Dream (2010).
Duration: 1 hr 44 mins.
Time: 6.30 PM
Synopsis: The story revolves around Irya, a grave digger who believes in Siddhas, liberated souls. According to Irya, if a Siddha appears in his dream, it signifies a death in the village.
Screening Date: 10th August 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Film: Departures (Japanese with English subs)
Directed by: Yōjirō Takita
Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins
Winner of the Oscar for the Best Foreign Film in 2008 Departures(Okuribito) has won several other awards and critical acclaim. The story is about a cellist who loses his job in Tokyo and returns to his home town where he takes up a unusual profession of preparing for funerals, which is dying Japanese tradition.The film won universal praise with American critic Roger Ebert giving it four out of four stars.
Screening Date: 3rd August 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Considered to be one of the greatest war movies ever made, Full Metal Jacket displays director Stanley Kubrick’s mastery, like many of his other films. Based the novel The Short-Timers, by Gustav Hasford, the story is about a platoon of US marines at a boot camp where Sergeant Hartman (Lee Ermey) job is to train the youngsters in the most harsh conditions. While the first half of the film covers the training, the second is about the war itself. The film also has two extraordinary performances by Matthew Modine and Lee Ermey.
Film: Rififi (French with English subtitles)
Directed by: Jules Dassin
Duration: 1 hr 55 mins
The film won Dassin the Best Director at Cannes in 1955 and Francois Truffaut called it the Best noir film he’d seen.
Screening Date: 20th July 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Another significant film by German master Werner Herzog, Stroszek was made in 1977 following the success of The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) and Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972). The story revolves around three people – an ex prisoner, an old man and a prostitute who leave Germany and head to Wisconsin for a better life. With an unpredictable plot laced with unique humor, Stroszek shows Herzog’s versatility as a director.
Screening Date: 11th May 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Film: In The Mood For Love (2000, Chinese with English subtitles)
Directed by: Wong Kar Wai
Nominated for the Palm d’Or, the film won Tony Leung as the Best Actor at Cannes back in 2000. Critics all around the globe have heaped praise on this Wong Kar Wai film calling it ravishing beyond words. This is a story of two neighbors, a journalist and a secretary who suspect the infidelity of the respective spouses and the story delves on their unique relationship. Stunningly shot by Christopher Doyle with some haunting music, In The Mood For Love has a special place in the annals of cinema.
Screening Date: 4th May 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Film: Blind Chance (1987, Polish with English subtitles)
Directed by: Krzysztof Kie lowski
Duration: 2 hrs
Even though the film was made it 1981, it saw the light of day only in 1987. The “What if” scenario was explored in Blind Chance directed by the legendary Polish director Krzysztof Kie lowski and the film has gone on the inspire the likes of Run Lola Run, Sliding Doors and several others films. The central character is Witek who runs after a train – there are three different scenarios that are explored in the film, as to what happens if he catches or misses the train.
Screening Date: 27th April 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Film: Kes (1969, English)
Directed by: Ken Loach
Directed by Ken Loach (whose last film, I, Daniel Blake won the Palm d’Or at Cannes in 2016), Kes is one earlier films with which didn’t get a very wide release but over the years it is considered to be among his best films. Shot on a shoe string budget with non professional actors, the story is about a young boy who has trouble in school and at home. One day he finds a kestrel hawk and trains it. There is a special bonding between him and the hawk about which he even delivers a speech. The film which is based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines, helped develop Ken Loach a style of narrative which was uncommon for the films of that era.
Screening Date: 20th April 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Film: Notorious (1946, English)
Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Duration: 1 hr 41 mins
Starring two big stars, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, Notorious is a spy thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Over the years, the film has been recognized as one of the most visually appealing film made by the master film maker, with several remarkable shots. Ingrid Bergman plays an American who is recruited by an agent (Cary Grant) to infiltrate a spy ring led by Sebastian (Claude Rains) who once loved her. A love story with espionage as the backdrop, this engaging film has everything, including Hitchocks trademark MacGuffins.
Screening Date: 13th April 2017, 6.30 p.m.
Film: Sansho The Bailiff (1954, Japanese with English subtitles)
Directed by: Kenji Mizoguchi
Duration: 2 hrs 3 mins
Regarded as a masterpiece of world cinema, Kenji Mizoguchi’s Sansho The Bailiff remains an evergreen classic. Set in medieval Japan, a district administrator is exiled while his wife and kids are sent to another province. The story revolves around the children who grow in difficult surroundings hoping for a better future. Delving on virtues like kindness and mercy, the film won an award at the Venice Film Festival in 1954. The power of the film is best described by these lines Anthony Lane, the film critic for The New Yorker, “I have seen ‘Sansho’ only once, a decade ago, emerging from the cinema a broken man but calm in my conviction that I had never seen anything better; I have not dared watch it again, reluctant to ruin the spell, but also because the human heart was not designed to weather such an ordeal.”
Opening Film – Masaan (2015, Hindi with English subtitles)
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Richa Chadda, Shweta Tripathi
Directed by: Neeraj Ghaywan (who will be present for the screening) Duration: 1hr 50mins
Date: 6th April 2017, 6.15 p.m.
The debut film of director Neeraj Ghaywan is the only Indian film to have won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival (the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard section and a ‘Promising Future’ prize (Prix de l’avenir) for debut film).
Set in the city of Varanasi, the story has two parallel narratives –Devi (Richa Chadda) who is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up with a stigma attached against her and is left to fend for herself. The other story is of Deepak (Vicky Kaushal)who belongs to the low caste Dom community, he lends a hand to his family who work at the creamation ghat, burning funeral pyres. He falls in love with Shaalu (Shweta Tripathi) who comes from an upper caste family. Masaan is about life, love, death, loss and heartbreak making it one of the most appreciated contemporary Indian films.