Best Of Mumbai Film Festival 2012
The 14th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival, which is organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, will take place from Thursday, October 18 to Thursday, October 25. It will feature more than 200 movies, with spotlights on cinema from France, Italy, Afghanistan and India. You can register for a delegate’s pass (Rs1,400) by visiting Mumbaifilmfest.com (download the screening schedule from here). Among the several Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and Venice film fest winners, a few to bookmark:
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Dir: Benh Zeitlin (USA/2012/1 hour 32 minutes)
This fantastical allegorical tale has polarised critics, some of whom found a compelling hook in its protagonist, an African-American girl called Hushpuppy who recounts her life story in an apocalyptic American south, one populated by pre-historic beasts and prostitutes. Friday, October 19, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 3.30pm; and Monday, October 22, Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 5.45pm.
AFTER LUCIA (DESPUES DE LUCIA) Dir: Michel Franco (Mexico/2011/1 hour 43 minutes)
Michel Franco’s tense look at a father and his daughter acclimatising to life in a new city after the death of his wife won top honours in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes this year. Focusing particularly on the life of daughter Alejandra, After Lucia is an ugly look at the cruelty and violence of teen bullying after a sex video goes public. Friday, October 19, Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 10.15am; Saturday, October 20, Cinemax Sion, Screen 1, 12.30pm; and Wednesday, October 24, Inox Nariman Point, Screen 4, 3.45pm.
THROW OF DICE Dir: Franz Osten (Germany/1929/1 hour 14 minutes )
Franz Osten’s silent film is based on a story from the Mahabharata in which two kings, Ranjit and Sohan, gamble for the hand of Sunita. The German orchestra Tuten und Blasen will provide a live soundtrack during the screening. Friday, October 19, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 7pm.
OUTRAGE BEYOND Dir: Takeshi Kitano (Japan/2012/1 hour 50 minutes)
A sequel to the 2010 movie Outrage, Takeshi Kitano’s latest is a yakuza thriller in which a cop tries to control crime in the city by turning two syndicates against each other. Saturday, October 20, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 8.30pm; and Monday, October 22, Cinemax Sion, Screen 1, 8pm.
KALPANA Dir: Uday Shankar (India/1948/2 hours 2 minutes)
A film on dance by the legendary choreographer, Uday Shankar. The film was recently restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation thanks to the efforts of Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, whose documentary Celluloid Man is being screened at the festival. Saturday, October 20, Inox Nariman Point, Screen 3, 6pm.
RUST AND BONE (DE ROUILLE ET D’OS) Dir: Jacques Audiard (France-Belgium/2012/2 hours)
The follow-up from A Prophet director Jacque Audiard, Rust and Bone tells the loss-and love-stories of two adrift souls, Marion Cotillard’s killer whale-trainer, double amputated after a horrific accident, and Matthias Schoenaerts’s emotionally stunted single father who dreams of becoming an Ultimate Fighter. Saturday, October 20, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 6pm; Sunday, October 21, Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 5.45pm; and Tuesday, October 23, Cinemax Sion, Screen 1, 12.30pm.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY Dir: Alison Klayman (USA/2012/1 hour 31 minutes)
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is best known for being a pain in his Chinese government’s backside. This documentary by Alison Klayman delves deep into the dissident’s life, carving a portrait of not just an artist but an advocate fighting justly for what he believes. Saturday, October 20, Inox Nariman Point, Screen 3, 12.30pm.
MISS LOVELY Dir: Ashim Ahluwalia (India/2012 /1 hour 50 minutes)
Inspired by Mumbai’s C-grade film industry, the film follows two brothers who make sleazy horror flicks in the 1980s. Expect Ahluwalia’s stylish aesthetic, which was last seen in the critically acclaimed documentary, John and Jane. Saturday, October 20, Inox Nariman Point, Screen 5, noon.
AMOUR Dir: Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria/2012/2 hours 7 minutes)
Michael Haneke won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year for what has been described as a devastating and unsentimental drama about the ravages of old age, centred on Georges and Anne, a couple whose relationship is tested after Anne has a stroke. Sunday, October 21, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 12.30pm; Wednesday, October 24, Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 5.45pm; and Thursday, October 25, Cinemax Sion, Screen 1, 3.30pm.
REALITY Dir: Matteo Garrone (Italy-France/2012/1 hour 55 minutes)
The Italian director follows his taut mafia drama, Gomorrah, with Reality, in which a fish stall owner in Naples desperately wants to be on the local version of Big Brother. The film won the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Sunday, October 21, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 10am; and Thursday, October 25, Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 5.45pm.
COSMOPOLIS Dir: David Cronenberg (France-Canada-Portugal-Italy/ 2012/1 hour 48 minutes)
Robert Pattinson’s Eric Packer, a millionaire asset manager, travels across Manhattan in a stretch limo to get a haircut. On the way, he’s visited in his car by his doctor, his poet-wife and various advisers, while around him New Yorkers protest against capitalism. Cronenberg’s film, which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year, is based on Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel that in hindsight seems to presage the financial crisis. Monday, October 22, Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 3.45pm; and Tuesday, October 23, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 6pm.
THE HUNT Dir: Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark/2012/1 hour 50 minutes)
In this psychological drama starring top Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, the life of a kindergarten teacher is shattered when a false charge of sexual abuse is leveled against him. Monday, October 22, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 6pm; and Tuesday, October 23, Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 12.45pm.
SOMETHING IN THE AIR Dir: Olivier Assayas (France/2012/2 hours 2 minutes)
A coming-of-age film in which the May 1968 protest in Paris is viewed through the eyes of teenagers on the verge of adulthood. Monday, October 22, Inox Nariman Point, Screen 2, 8.15pm; and Tuesday, October 23, Cinemax Versova, Screen 2, 3.30pm.
CELLULOID MAN Dir: Shivendra Singh Dungarpur (India/2012/2 hours 44 minutes)
Filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur profiles P.K. Nair, the founder of the National Film Archive of India, who meticulously preserved thousands of reels of films and mentored several major Indian directors from Mani Kaul to Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Monday, October 22, Inox Nariman Point, Screen 3, 6pm.
HOLY MOTORS Dir: Leos Carax (France-Germany/2012/1 hour 55 minutes)
A dream-like pastiche of genres in which one man assumes various identities seemingly in a film of his own making, French director Leos Carax’s movie has been called “experimental, funny, deliriously original and occasionally maddening”. Monday, October 22, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 3.30pm; and Thursday, October 25, Cinemax Versova, Screen 2, 12.30pm.
THE ANGELS’ SHARE Dir: Ken Loach (UK-France-Belgium-Italy/2012/1 hour 46 minutes)
A group of Scottish delinquents (played notably by non-professional actors), trying to make good in the world, decide to give themselves a leg up by hijacking a valuable whiskey up for auction. Though some might struggle with understanding the thick accents, the 75-year-old Loach spins a funny caper that is “ultimately a heart-warming celebration of kindness, friendship and forgiveness”. The film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Tuesday, October 23, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 10am.
BEYOND THE HILLS Dir: Cristian Mungiu (Romania-France-Belgium/2012/2 hours 30 minutes)
The Romanian director of the 2007 Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days has won praise and more Cannes honours (best screenplay and best actress shared by the two female leads at Cannes 2012) for his drama about two girls who grew up in an orphanage. One is a pious nun, the other a staunch non-believer. Wednesday, October 24, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 12.30pm and Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 12.45pm.
SNOW WHITE (BLANCANIEVES) Dir: Pablo Berger (Spain/2012/1 hour 38 minutes)
A silent film, this one a version of the Grimm fairy tale, might come across as a gimmick so soon after the Oscar success of The Artist, but this Spanish re-working, set in the 1920s, has been called the “most original of the year’s Snow White makeovers“, in which a young woman, harassed by a cruel stepmother, joins a group of bullfighting dwarves. Thursday, October 25, Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, 6.30pm; Inox Nariman Point, Screen 5, 8pm; and Cinemax Versova, Screen 3, 8.15pm.