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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Top Ten Films - 2007 (Personal Preferences)

Here is the list of the top ten films seen this year (2007), ranked in the order of preference:

1. Trainspotting 

[This 1996 British film by Danny Boyle is a cult classic; disturbing, irreverent, tragic, dramatic, violent, sensuous, repelling and, even, maddening tale of youth gone waste....... it is a trip in itself, it is sure to make each viewer high....... high on life!]

2. The Departed 
[This 2006 film directed by Martin Scorsese is in fact one of the cleverest remakes in the history of cinema; William Monahan's screenplay helps Scorsese explore all his favorite elements at their finest and subltlest. Memorable performances from a stellar cast makes the film magical.]

3. Jarhead

[This Sam Medes film, made in 2005, was a revelation for me. I never expected the director best known for that acclaimed film called American Beauty to make a war picture, and make it so perfect and even fresh, thanks must be given to the robust first hand account of an ex- marine, depicting his desert war experiences in a book that itself is acccolades-worthy material; Jake Gyllenhaal simply rocks in this film, as do Chris Cooper, Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgard.]

4. A Very Long Engagement
[Un long dimanche de fiançailles - subtitled as A Very Long Engagement - is a French film which moved me because of being so typically French! It may sound biased, can't help it, I was stunned by the performance of Audre Tautou who plays a young woman relentlessly searching for her fiancée, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One. Made in 2004, this wonderful film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet is sensitive without being maudlin.]

5. Zodiac

[2004/Dir.- David Fincher/Based on the Robert Graysmith books about the real life notorious Zodiac, a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco with a string of seemingly random murders during the 1960s and 1970s, this film is much more than a thriller dealing with a serial killer/Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Chloe Sevigny, Anthony Edwards are in the cast.]

6. My Son the Fanatic 
[Based on the Hanif Kureishi novella, this 1997 film by Udayan Prasad stars Om Puri as a Pakistani taxi-driver in a British town forming a special bond with a local prostitute, in a British town, suddenly torn apart by sectarian violence.]

7. The Bong Connection 
[Made in 2006, but released in India in 2007, this film by Anjan Dutt is based on the lives of Bengalis across the world, especially on those settled abroad. It attempts to delineate the pain and dilemma of Bengali's estranged from their places of origin.]

8. Taare Zameen Par 
[Aamir Khan's debut as a film director, this 2007 film has an endearing story that's grounded in the everyday reality of a dyslexic child's trauma, travails and triumph, as he fights to make his difficulties known and silently cries for help.]

9. Ratatouille 
[Directed by Brad Bird, co-directed by Jan Pinkava, this 2007 animation film was an absolute delight for me; It tells the story of a young rat in the French countryside who arrives in Paris, makes an unusual alliance with a restaurant's new garbage boy, and the culinary and personal adventures begin.... in the rat-hating world of humans.]

10. Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd 
[Six newly-married, diverse, honeymooning couples face marital bliss and discord, finding out more about themselves, their significant others and life in this happy-go-lucky, quirky drama directed by first-time director Reema Kagti; Anurag Kashyap's sharp dialogues and the ensemble cast's finely tuned performances add extra zing to this intelligent post-modern romantic medley of 2007.]

The Bong Connection
The Departed
My Son the Fanatic
Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd
Taare Zameen Par
A Very Long Engagement

Monday, December 03, 2007

'Fur': An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Nicole Kidman as an actress has always intrigued me.
She has played some wonderful characters which are sure to leave a lasting impression on the viewer's mind. The most recent of her films which I had the opportunity of watching is 'Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus'.
I am still gushing from the experience of having watched it.