Strict Standards: Non-static method BreadCrumb::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/tsiplanm/public_html/inc/config.inc.php on line 14
When Masters of The Moving Image Turned on The Magic - Saibal Chatterjee - The Sunday Indian
 
An IIPM Initiative
Monday, October 23, 2017
 
 

When Masters of The Moving Image Turned on The Magic

 

A wide array of must-see cinematic masterpieces and lively conversations with legendary directors – the 15th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival had much on offer for film lovers
SAIBAL CHATTERJEE | New Delhi, November 1, 2013 18:51
Tags : For the cineaste | the fare on offer at the 15th Mumbai Film Festival was wide and varied. Many buzzed-about films from around the world were screened during the eight-day event and those attending the festival hard pressed to make sure that they did not miss any of their favourites. But what stood out above everything else for genuine film lovers was the attendance of such personages as Costa-Gavras | Bruce Beresford | Leos Carax and Asghar Farhadi. Greek-born naturalized French director Costa-Gavras | 80 | was in Mumbai to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award | to take part in a conversation | and to present a retrospective of his films | including his latest feature | the financial thriller | Le Capital. The six-film Costa-Gavras retrospective | which included such celebrated titles as Z | Le Couperet (The Ax) and State of Siege | was among the high points of the festival and ran to packed houses. In a free-wheeling conversation that Costa-Gavras had with journalist and musician Daniel Kothenshulte | the veteran filmmaker regretted that Hollywood has changed beyond recognition and has no space for his kind of cinema anymore. "It is far easier for me to make films in France |” he said. The Mumbai Film Festival (October 17-24 | 2013) opened and closed with two American films inspired by real-life events – Lee Daniel’s The Butler and Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate respectively. But that apart the focus of the eight-day event was squarely on some of the less visible cinematic streams from around the world. A bunch of outstanding documentaries | a complement of restored classics | a package of films from war-ravaged Afghanistan | a celebration of Spanish cinema | a wide array of French offerings | and the latest works of acclaimed masters of world cinema | among a host of other sections | constituted the core of the festival this year. Also well received was a three-film tribute to the French maverick Leos Carax | whose last feature | Holy Motors | was one of the m |
 

For the cineaste, the fare on offer at the 15th Mumbai Film Festival was wide and varied. Many buzzed-about films from around the world were screened during the eight-day event and those attending the festival hard pressed to make sure that they did not miss any of their favourites.

But what stood out above everything else for genuine film lovers was the attendance of such personages as Costa-Gavras, Bruce Beresford, Leos Carax and Asghar Farhadi.

Greek-born naturalized French director Costa-Gavras, 80, was in Mumbai to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, to take part in a conversation, and to present a retrospective of his films, including his latest feature, the financial thriller, Le Capital.

The six-film Costa-Gavras retrospective, which included such celebrated titles as Z, Le Couperet (The Ax) and State of Siege, was among the high points of the festival and ran to packed houses.

In a free-wheeling conversation that Costa-Gavras had with journalist and musician Daniel Kothenshulte, the veteran filmmaker regretted that Hollywood has changed beyond recognition and has no space for his kind of cinema anymore. “It is far easier for me to make films in France,” he said.       

The Mumbai Film Festival (October 17-24, 2013) opened and closed with two American films inspired by real-life events – Lee Daniel’s The Butler and Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate respectively. But that apart the focus of the eight-day event was squarely on some of the less visible cinematic streams from around the world.

A bunch of outstanding documentaries, a complement of restored classics, a package of films from war-ravaged Afghanistan, a celebration of Spanish cinema, a wide array of French offerings, and the latest works of acclaimed masters of world cinema, among a host of other sections, constituted the core of the festival this year.

Also well received was a three-film tribute to the French maverick Leos Carax, whose last feature, Holy Motors, was one of the most admired Competition entries at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The Paris-based filmmaker was in attendance and, like Costa-Gavras, participated in a master class.

Australian filmmaker Bruce Beresford, 73, who directed the Oscar-winning Driving Miss Daisy, was the head of the international competition jury, while Iran’s Oscar-winning Asghar Farhadi chaired the jury for the India Gold section.

Beresford, regarded as one of the pioneers of new Australian cinema thanks to such critically acclaimed films as The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) and Breaker Morant (1980), has since made several successful Hollywood films, including Tender Mercies, Double Jeopardy and Evelyn.

Beresford has just completed a television version of Bonny and Clyde but he insists that his film is very different from the original. “The Warren Beatty starrer was romantic; my film is historically more accurate, if not as exciting,” he said.

Asghar Farhadi spoke of Iran’s cultural affinity with India. “We have a lot in common,” the maker of A Separation and Le Passe said. “In the Iranian travel literature that I read when I was growing up, Hindostan was always mentioned.”   

In his message in the catalogue of the 15th MFF, festival director Srinivasan Narayanan wrote: “The theme… simply is to showcase the best films from around the world. The endeavour has been to stimulate robust academic activity in the field of cinema through workshops, master classes, panel discussions and interaction with the masters of cinema.”

Among the most applauded films screened across three venues in the city – Liberty, Metro and Cinemax Versova – were Tsai Ming Liang’s Stray Dogs, Ethan and Joel Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Asghar Farhadi’s Le Passe, Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Grigris, Alex Gibney’s The Armstrong Lie and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Colour.

Also high on the must-see list many film lovers was Nicholas Refn Winding’s Only God Forgives and Takashi Miike’s Shield of Straw, both characterized by stylized violence.     

The international jury chose the Mexican film La Jaula de Oro (The Golden Cage), a road movie about three teenage Guatemalans trying to make it to the US, for the festival’s top prize, the Golden Gateway.

The four other members of the international jury were French actress Nathalie Baye, Japanese actor-director Masato Harada, Toronto-based writer-director Deepa Mehta and Indian actress Konkona Sen Sharma. 

La Juala de Oro, which screened in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section earlier this year, is the first feature from Diego Quemada-Diez, who began his career as an assistant to British director Ken Loach.

Another remarkable first film, the Marathi-language Fandry, directed by Nagraj Manjule, won the Jury Grand Prize (the Silver Gateway) for the second best entry in the international competition.

A powerful comment on caste dynamics in rural Maharashtra, Fandry is an unflinching probe into a Dalit schoolboy’s constant struggle to rise above his ingrained misgivings about his little dreams and aspirations as they come up short against the unforgiving social realities around him.

In the India Gold category, Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar’s Katiyabaaz, a lively documentary on electricity pilferage and its many ramifications in power-deficient Kanpur, won the Golden Gateway.

Anup Singh’s Qissa, a contemplative exploration of the deleterious effects of Partition on the mind and heart of a man uprooted from his land, was adjudged the second best Indian film and conferred the Silver Gateway award.

Assamese filmmaker Manju Borah’s Ko: Yad (The Silent Way), a film in the Mising language about a boatman fighting the elements and persistent poverty, won a Special Jury Prize.

The India Gold jury was headed by Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. The other members of this jury were former Hong Kong international Film Festival director Roger Garcia, Afghan filmmaker Siddiq Barmak, British-Indian film and television director Waris Hussein and Australian film editor Jill Bilcock.

The New Faces of Indian Cinema threw up a few noteworthy films, including Chennai-based Janaki Vishwanathan’s socio-political satire Yeh Hai Bakrapur and Batul Mukhtiar’s fine children’s film Kaphal (Wild Berries), shot in a  remote village in Garhwal.

Another Indian film that attracted positive notices was Sange Dorjee’s Crossing Bridges, set in the first-time director’s own village in Arunachal Pradesh.

Rate this article:
Bad Good    
Current Rating 0
Next Story

Next Story

 
 
Post CommentsPost Comments




Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017