And we have come to the last day of the festival. Continuing with our daily reviews and reccos, here are the notes from the last of Mumbai Film Festival, 2015.
Fassbinder – To love without demands by Christian Braad Thomsen
So implosive and concentrated, this one demands a second viewing and deserves a much longer post. The complexity and rich denseness of Fassbinder, the enfant terrible of New German cinema, is so attentively and contemplatively sketched, it is fascinating to delve into the mind and heart of the man and film-maker. It pieces together his life from childhood through rare interviews of Fassbinder and of his other associates and what emerges is an idea of a man as passionate, intense and complex as his films. I missed Junun for this but came back with no regrets at all.
Kothanadi – River of Fables by Bhaskar Hazarika
A German distributor of Bollywood films watching this Assamese gem called it the most original work he had seen in the fest and offered his contacts to the debutante director Bhaskar Hazarika. I couldn’t agree more. Brought up on Ukranian folk tales (like literally hugged the 1000 page book of fables to sleep for years), Kothanadi brought alive the magic realism and earthy ethos of folklore effortlessly. 5-6 stories intertwine with narrative threads and characters joining the dots weaving a mesh of parallel stories moving in the same direction. Rooted in its native and socio-political ethos, the film’s complete lack of need to comment or ‘share a message’ has been the most refreshing cinematic experience of recent times. This is my most favourite film at MAMI this year.
Mor Mann ke Bharam – Illusions of my mind by Abhishek Varma, Heer Ganjwala, Karma Takapa
Whimsical, imaginative and cryptic, Mor is a delight in more ways than one. It’s a film about the illusions of the mind that creates its narrative for the experience of the illusions. Illusions have a vague form and shifting functions and through the treatment of its themes Mor does something similar. The mystification is not self-conscious and touch of humour is refreshing. Especially, the tongue-in-cheek reflection on difficulties of a film artist. Such a pleasant experience!
Tag by Sion Sono
In another dimension of reality I would have avoided a film like this like plague. But clearly, and true to the film’s premise, I wasn’t in that universe and quickly Tag replaced Microbe as winner of the indulgence of the fest award. Horror cum slasher cum acid trip hallucination turned out to be the most fun at cinema halls I have had in the long time. The premise is there is a world of women where each one is slashed to death by the wind and only one survives. Until she realises she is in a parallel reality and is someone else at some other time. The killing and running continues and in each time she has to save herself. No point writing more about this one, check it out when you can, you know where!
Body by Małgorzata Szumowska
Contemplative document on sadness, broken hearts and troubled relationships, Body, completely desentimentalises pain and anguish and simplifies it. It cannot help take a jibe at the Spiritist school of thought emphasising on emotional healing through spiritual techniques and energy principles to arrive at a very human element of laughter and letting go as the simplest road to love and connection. I was hoping I could end the fest with the much-touted Tangerine but then this wasn’t bad at all. See you next year MAMI.