Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Notes from IFFK - Part 3

Last set of films this year - first, Kiarostami's foray into the world of Japanese cinema - Like Someone in Love. You can take the man out of Iran, but you can't take him out of a car. Of the 109 minutes, as per my very unscientific count, more than 30 minutes was shot inside two cars. The film revolves around Akiko, a beautiful provincial girl at uni in Tokyo who does escort work on the side for extra cash. One night, her client turns out to be a shy, elderly academic (with a flat to kill for) who used to teach sociology and now, translates books. For a while, I thought this was going to be whore of Mensa but it didn't go there. Instead, a case of mistaken identity results with Akiko's boyfriend mistaking him for her grandfather and turns to him for advice. The end wasn't the most satisfying of endings but you don't go to see Kiarostami for the ending. The film has about a hundred or so K moments - the voicemails from Akiko's grandmother, the pointless call on translation that the academic takes when Akiko enters his flat, the whole neighborhood lady conversation - seriously, just go see it.

We will stay with Japan for one more film, Kurosawa's I Live in Fear. You didn't really think I was going to give the K retro a miss, did you? To be honest, however, I was bent on seeing The Hidden Fortress on the big screen (I admit it, I have not managed to see it on a real screen yet. BFI, do something about it!) but that did not work out, so I went and saw I Live in Fear instead. The film tracks the descent of an old man from paranoia (regarding nuclear war) to insanity, aided more than a little by those around him. This is not the most subtle of his films, but well, a young Mifune playing a cantankerous old man is so priceless that one could overlook subtlety and other such things.

Last of the lot - Pavlo and Vittorio Taviani's Caesar Must Die. The film follows inmates of a high security prison as they rehearse and then stage Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Film festival junkies may remember this film from Berlin where it caused some controversy for being too traditional (it won the Golden Bear). It is traditional alright but watching this film, it is easy to see how one can get carried away. I mean, really, carried away. It has nothing to do with real-life prisoners enacting Julius Caesar. This is Julius Caesar, the way it is meant to be enacted, in a language that lends itself to it more so than the one we are used to.

So. That is it for me in films this year. I do have a bunch of scattered thoughts on the festival overall but too lazy now. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never.

1 comment:

Space Bar said...

Such a short fest it was for you.

Here's something to extend it: http://thebigindianpicture.com/2012/12/the-tbip-take-2/