Friday, 18 December 2009

IFFK - '09

Once every year during the hot wintry month of December in Kerala comes the visual treat of movie splendor - IFFK. I chanced upon being part of the fest only twice, but both times it gave me immense pleasure to see the world through the movies.

Being back in hometown only for a brief period and spending the first few days in cinema halls, it almost became a fashion asking me the question- have you come home to watch movies. But if those asking the question had gone for the fest, they would've known why. The film fest took my breath away the first time and didn't disappoint this time too. I got to see just 10 movies this time around, due to various reasons. So I'm not in a position to make any authoritative appreciation/criticism about the fest. But who cares I'm blogging. Now START CAMERA ACTION...

The movies I liked the most were My Secret Sky, Broken Embraces and Rithu. My Secret Sky talks about the life of two children in the farms of Africa after their mother dies. How they come to town to fulfill their mother's dream of entering a hand-crafted mat in a competition. The movie had all the elements - a serious theme, moments of joy, beautiful shots etc.. The spanish master Almodovar is back this year with Broken Embraces. The movie has complicated relationships akin to the directors style. And the whole mesh of relations unravel amongst awesome camera-work. Watching the movie in first row of the theatre, the areal scene in which the camera zooms in onto a car driving in a deserted highway - unforgettable.

Rithu is the latest offering by renowned malayalam film director - Shyamaprasad. The movie tells the story about 3 friends in the current generation mallu youth. Although the movie might not have garnered as much critical acclaim as the directors previous movies, I hold it close to my heart cuz I'm part of that group and could connect with the movie so easily. Some readers might've noticed that I borrowed the title of previous blog from tag line of Rithu. Another movie which I felt is very good is About Elly. The movie captured the tension of characters during a catastrophic incident very realistically.

One thing different from the previous IFFK was that this time we went for desi films too, instead of the all phorein policy. That was a revelation in itself. Watching Thaniyavarthanam and Dev D felt as good as watching movies from abroad. But somehow we failed to catch the French New Wave. The two movies in that category that we saw - Cleo from 5 to 7 and Pierrot goes wild felt pretty ordinary. Cleo had it's good moments, but the comedy in Pierrot was completely beyond us. Looking for Eric is an ok movie, the best parts being replay of goals being scored by Cantona. I'm still confused about the ending of Divine. If someone watches it, please explain.

Overall, the film festival was a very satisfying event. Last time the mix of movies were better cuz we got to see more movies which were purely entertaining. Maybe we got our selection of films to watch a li'l wrong. But that doesn't take anything away from how much we liked it. And would love to watch many more films... next December. CUT!

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