Posts Tagged ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’

To know more about Varun Grover and to read his Day 1 report, click here.

Disclaimer: I don’t think I’ve turned into that post-1990-born creature that thinks, reads, and writes only in English but since am short of time, decided to file this entry in English today. Not because I think (faster) in English, but because English typing is faster and as a related brain function, when you type faster, crisper words come to you. (Or so I think.)

Also, quick notes today. (‘Amour’ calls tomorrow morning.)

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry/2012/Alison Klayman/USA:

– Behind the iron curtain, there is an artist struggling to retain his freedom, and in the process turns his protest into art, and curtain into an art-installation.

– A very ‘upbeat’ documentary (mainly ‘cos so many frames are full of his artistic creations, and his calm, about-to-smile face) about  a very angry but very optimistic man that took a few years in the making, and hence capturing Ai Weiwei at very crucial moments in China’s recent history. (The 2009 Earthquakes, Nobel for Liu Xiaobo, post-Olympic demolition of his studio over his criticism of Chinese government).

– Hope they put it out online for free distribution because that goes totally with the spirit of Ai Weiwei.

– After seeing this and Michael Moore’s ‘Bowling for Columbine’, I started loving India more. See both of these to know what words like freedom, liberty, human rights, angst, and censorship may mean in different contexts, countries, and times.

– Also, the best advertisement ever for Twitter. They should just sponsor it and show it to the world. Ai Weiwei uses twitter like Gandhi used Satyagraha, and to great results. “Don’t retreat. Retweet.”

– Can your cat open the latch door? If yes, are you fascinated by it?

The Bay/2012/Barry Levinson/USA: 

– Another ‘found footage’ film with elements of creature-based horror and zombie.

– Goes on for too long after having made the point.

– Not a fan of found footage genre anyway. Also the most difficult genre I guess. Stripped of visual grandness, technical finesse, and controlled-environment drama (and most of the background score), Cinema is tough to please.

– More creepy and gory than chilling.

Rust and Bone/2012/Jacques Audiard/France-Belgium

– 2nd watch hence less satisfying but still, so many terrific moments created and captured so well.

– Marion Cotillard is that rare female – thinking man’s sex symbol as well as non-thinking man’s sex symbol too. She’s in top form in this, and is on top too in one scene.

– Audiard’s previous one ‘A Prophet’ was more gritty, more abstract and complicated too, but this one is fairly straightforward, on the verge of feelgood, and dealing with a less complex world/character(s). So yes, slightly less ambitious, but never mind, he still makes high-cinema out of the material at hand. Some of the best romantic repartee in a world of non-romantics is here, and in a way, this could be called Audiard’s attempt at interpreting a ‘romance drama’.

– Just like in ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, lots of shadows and light-play, another subtle ‘homage’ to Malick may be?

Last few years of Mumbai Film Festival have been wet dreams for any film buff. The game was simple – they picked up all the winners and nominees from all the top film festivals of the world. This year’s list is yet to be out but some titles have been confirmed. And going by these titles, it seems like they are on right track this year too.

  • Among the big ones are Rust and Bone by Jacques Audiard (was in competition at Cannes), Walter Salles’ On The Road and Blancanieves (Snow White) by Pablo Bergera, a reinvention of the Brothers Grimm classic.
  • Nandini Ramnath’s report in Mint Lounge has confirmed few more titles. This includes Michael Haneke’s Amour, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share, Danish films A Royal Affair and The Hunt, Kauwboy and this year’s fest favourite Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild.
  • Almost all the films have been doing the festival rounds. Amour won the Palme d’Or and Loach won the Jury prize at the Cannes film festival this year. A Royal Affair was in competition at the Berlin Film Festival and The Hunt was in competition at Cannes where its actor Mads Mikkelsen bagged the trophy for the best actor. Kauwboy bagged the best First Feature award at the Berlin Film Festival.
  • Among the documentaries are Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s Celluloid Man which we have been tracking for a long time. Klayman bagged a special jury prize at the Sundance Fest.
  •  There’s also going to be a long list of classics, black & white gems and silent films. Some of the confirmed titles are Franz Osten’s A Throw of Dice (1929), Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (1963), Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America(1984), Dhundiraj Govind Phalke’s Kaliya Mardan, Osten’s Shiraz, Baburao Painter’s Muraliwala (1927) and Sati Savitri (1927), Robert Rossellini’s The Machine That Kills Bad People (1952), Visconti’s Senso (1954), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Accattone (1961), Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist (1970), Federico Fellini’s Roma (1972), Quo Vadis (1913), and Nanni Moretti’s Dear Diary (1993).
  • Indiewire’s report has also confirmed few more titles which have been restored. The Twentieth Century Fox Archive will present 8 films spanning 40 years in the ‘Fox Classics’ series. This includes Sunrise (1928), How Green Was My Valley(1941), Laura (1944), Leave Her to Heaven(1945), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Wild River(1960), The Leopard and Two for the Road(1967).
  • Seven other films which have been restored will also be screened. This includes Satyajit Ray’s Charulata(1964), The Chess Players (1977), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1945), Uday Shankar’s Kalpana (1948), Once Upon A Time In America and The Cineteca Bologna will present two silent Italian silent classics.
  • Festival Dates : 18-25 October, 2012.
  • Venue : NCPA and INOX. Can anyone confirm if Cinemax Versova will also have screenings or not?
  • Shifting the venue to South Bombay is a strange decision when the film industry and related people seems to be mostly from suburbs. If you had been to Cinemax Versova for last year’s fest, you know the kind of crowd it attracted. And at the same time screenings at Metro and Cinemax Sion were going almost empty. I might be biased because Andheri (west) suits me best and travelling in Bombay is quite exhausting. So putting up a poll here.