Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thoughts of a Film Festival Virgin

“This is my first time.”

“I don’t know what to expect.”

“What if I get bored?”

These were the words running constantly through my mind and mouth during the fortnight preceding my first film festival. I practiced and perfected a look of cold, intellectual indifference, to mask my nervousness! But more difficult to hide was my absurd, yet always present, fear of being left alone. What if I ended up alone, stuck inside a stuffy theatre, watching a “high-brow” movie, with absolutely no company? Little did I know then that when I walk out of the closing ceremony, I would be doing so in the company of a new, best friend, who, quote, don’t believe in the institution of best friends, unquote..!!

A Terminal Trust/Tsui no Shintaku(2012)

Director: Masayuki  Suo
Country: Japan

Synopsis: Internist Ayano Orii, having made a failed suicide attempt after a romantic breakup, finds herself unusually sensitive to the pain of her patient Shinzo Egi, whose severe asthma attacks will soon threaten to kill him. It helps that Egi, stoic about his own pain, finds indirect ways to assuage hers. The two have long, heart-to-heart visits that may look like fantasy to anyone who's ever fought for two more minutes of a busy doctor's time. Coming to feel that he can trust her more than his own family, Egi asks Dr. Orii to promise she will end his life once things get bad enough that his body can only breathe and be nourished through tubes. Orii sadly agrees, and some time later -- in a scene suggesting that "pulling the plug" can be a violent, terrifying thing even when done lovingly -- she helps him die. We see all this in flashback, as Orii sits, three years later, in the waiting room of a prosecutor investigating her actions. –hollywoodreporter.com

18 Days (2011)

Director: RETENTION by Sherif Arafa
                 GOD’S CREATION by Kamla Abou Zikri
                 19-19 by Marwan Hamed
                 WHEN THE FLOOD HITS YOU by Mohamed Ali
                 CURFEW by Sherif El Bendari
                 REVOLUTION COOKIES by Khaled Marei
                 #TAHRIR 2/2 by Mariam Abou Ouf
                WINDOW by Ahmad Abdallah
                INTERIOR/EXTERIOR by Yousry Nasrallah
                ASHRAF SEBERTO by Ahmad Alaa
Country: Egypt

Synopsis: A group of ten directors, twenty or so actors, six writers, eight directors of photography, eight sound engineers, five set designers, three costume designers, seven editors, three post-production companies, and about ten technicians have agreed to act fast and shoot, with no budget and on a voluntary basis, ten short films about the January 25 revolution in Egypt. Ten stories they have experienced, heard or imagined. –Official site

I.D (2012)

Director: Kamal K M
Country: India

Synopsis: Charu and her friends share a rented apartment in a sky-rise in Mumbai. All in their mid-twenties, and each hailing from different parts of the country, they have come here to make this bustling metro their home. One day a labourer comes to paint a soiled wall at her house. Irritated that her flat-mate did not inform her, she asks the man to hurry up. A few minutes later, she finds him unconscious on the floor. Charu, panicked and desperate to do what’s right, gets entwined in a series of incidents that take her through the city. Anywhere that might lead her to some identity of the man. Even a name. –Official site

With You, Without You/Oba Nathuwa, Oba Ekka (2012)

Director: Prasanna Vithanage
Country: Sri Lanka

Synopsis: When lonely, tortured pawnbroker Sarathsiri meets and marries the beautiful, enigmatic Selvi, he thinks he has finally found a way to put his past behind him. But a chance visit from an old friend opens up wounds that threaten to tear open the barely healing fabric of a mutilated nation coming to grips with the unspeakable cost of a thirty year civil war. Will love help them cross the bridge? Or will the past continue to colour the present? –Official site