Saturday, March 24, 2007

movies update

Starting with Water, for which, inspite of the touted Academy Award nominations, I didn't have much expectations. It was my first Deepa Mehta film and not even up to whatever little expectations I had. I cannot imagine what she has been trying to get at with this film. Plight of widows in the India of fifty years ago? What were Greek god/goddess-like actors doing there then? There even is a dancing-around-the-trees routine! I found the film was a tad too frivolous for such a theme and the suffering depicted seemed imposed as if trying to force an emotional reaction from the audience. The only part I liked was the portrayal of an India facing the dualities of British domination.

Now that I am done with what I didn't like, I'm looking forward to write about the ones that I did.

Pan's Labyrinth is a must watch if you like fantasy. It interleaves the ordinary and the extraordinary worlds in a remarkable plot. It is imaginative and real at the same time and as it takes you through the tribulations of a little girl coming to terms with her fantasies there is a strong sense of connection with the bridge between two worlds.

Then there was Hayako Miyazaki's Castle In The Sky. If you've been brought up on a regular dose of cartoons and animation as I have, you'll love all of Miyazaki's films. He is the pioneer in animated films and Disney and Pixar today take inspiration from his artwork.

What can I say about In The Mood For Love. Wong Kar Wai is perhaps the greatest director ever. Although I had already seen 2046 (the sequel) before this, it didn't make much difference. You fall in love with the cinematography as the director uses colour, sound and imagery at once leaving all your senses hopelessly hooked! It is one movie I wish I could forget and watch again, and forget again and watch yet again...

After the brilliant Smiles Of A Summer Night I was a little wary of the next Ingmar Bergman movie - high expectations generally lead to a let down. But Wild Strawberries held its own and magnificently at that. Quite unlike the former, Wild Strawberries is a serious film, a little depressing at times. The stark black and white contrasts accentuates the mood. The eloquent silences were pulled off marvelously by Victor Sjöström's acting. And the movie starred one of the most beautiful actresses I've seen - Ingrid Thulin. She's pretty close to edging out Natalie Portman from the top slot today!
It so happened that this DVD was a Criterion Collection DVD and I ended up watching the commentary feature on the film. I must say that this is the first time I've watched any commentary on a film and I quite enjoyed it. It was very entertaining finding out how much of the film has been taken from Ingmar Bergman's life and trivia about the actors and certain scenes. More movies should have such commentaries available.


srikanth thunga said...

Where can I buy/rent miyakazi's dvds in bangalore? Around an year ago, I had searched for those dvds in national market and landmark, but was not able to find them.

Umang said...

I bought these from National Market. If you want to rent, I think Habitat (on Church St) might have it.