We picked out the most interesting films that you can watch for free at the IFFC, this month.
If you're a cinephile, you're in for a treat from Saturday (7) to Wednesday (11). The International Film Festival Colombo is on and they've got films screening across 7 different locations. You can view the full schedule on their website. Don't forget to grab your pass from Sri Lanka Foundation.
We decided to sift through the list of 100 or so films and selected one stellar film per day. Here's 5 films that YAMU recommends you check out. Also, given that these locations will be quite difficult to park at, this being a festival and all, we recommend using the PickMe app to get there and back.
A Yugoslavia film from 1981, Do You Remember Dolly Bell? is set in 60's Sarajevo. If you're intrigued by Leftist politics and the whole Communist vibe, then you might enjoy this film. So, the government let's people do what they want, and this sudden freedom leaves citizens unsure of how to handle themselves. Once 'sheltered' from Western culture, a group of young Slavs take in the whole gamut of the 60's "West". There's also the sexual revolution that comes into play here, so this is a film suited for adults. This film won the Golden Lion award for Best First Film at the Venice Film Festival, and it was director Emir Kusturica's first award. He'd later go on to win at Cannes for his second film When Father Was Away on Business.
This debut film from Cambodian director Sotho Kulikar won the Spirit of Asia award at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014. It's not the kind of film you watch for the director's style, and we wouldn't call Sotho Kulikar an auteur, by any means. He is, however, a good story-teller. This tale of love and hate spans across generations, touching on the loss of cultural heritage and identity inflicted by the Khmer Rouge. If you're not familiar with Cambodia's history, moviemaking was outlawed and this an entire national industry was turned to shit. So, the synopsis is that a disenfranchised movie star, her husband, and the owner of a cinema who has the hots for her, get caught up by a young girl’s desire to reshoot an ending to an unfinished film. We won't say more. Go see.
This movie won the Palme d'Or award at Cannes, this year. It's a French film about Sri Lankan diaspora. The soundtrack is done by Nicolas Jaar, whose music we love. It's about how a former soldier, a young woman and a little girl pose as a family in order to get out of war-stricken Sri Lanka. They settle at a housing project just outside of Paris. They don't know each other, but they build a life together. Well, they try. Their main threat, in this new environment, is the gang violence that comes with the location. We're excited that a film about Sri Lanka won one of the most prestiguous awards in the film industry, and we think that's enough reason to check it out.
Jafar Panahi, an exiled Iranian filmmaker poses as a taxi driver in Tehran. The film is essentially a series of portraits of everyday characters hiring his driving services. We'd actually love to fit a GoPro onto a PickMe trishaw and see what kind of film that would make, but that's for another day. Panahi is known to be defiant with his work, so there's that badass reputation that's incentive to go see the film. The idea seems cool. And the reviews seem quite positive. Why not?
If you just want to be entertained, and if you like zombie movies that are funny (think Zombieland), then you need to check out Shinagawa Hiroshi's new film. Takashi, a Yakuza thug ends up in prison after most of his clan ends up dead after being hit by a competing clan. When he gets out, he meets his former boss who's been working a blue collar job and raising Takashi's daughter (one of those nicer bosses). Oh, and there's also an island full of flesh eating zombies that his daughter, for whatever reason, runs away to and Takashi tries to go save her and be a real father. It's been called Japanese horror comedy. Sounds promising.
We think Boodee Keerthisena is cool. He announced winners at the Derana Music Video Awards, earlier this year, and he seems to be in with the cool kids. This film of his, that seems to have been a long time coming, is about an ad man who's stuck at office working on a campaign as his wife's water is about to break. It's something of a psychological thriller, mostly riveted by the encounters the protagonist faces on his way to the hospital. We won't give anything away. There's only a few Sri Lankan films showing at the festival, and we think this is one to check out.
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