Comedy

Our Little Sister/2015/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) A tale of acceptance and welcoming that beautifully brings varied characters on its canvas reflecting a thorough character study.
2) Koreeda is the master in bringing up intricate nostaligic references in the narration, this piece of work is rich in similar references.

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I Wish/2011/Japanese

FiC Rating 4/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) Unsnarling the world of children Koreeda here explores the innocence and modesty of children in which he has become the master with each of his works.
2) Story that builds its pillar upon the foundation of belief and innocence slowly also touches the innate urge of children to live with family happily.
3) As always child artists in Koreeda’s movie are very natural and effortless with their performance here too.

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Kumbalangi Nights/2019/Malayalam

Kumbalangi Nights/2019/Malayalam

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Madhu C. Narayanan
Written By: Syam Pushkaran
Why Fic recommends?
1) This gem is an endearing tale of bond, family and relationship that beautifully and slowly unveils magnificent characters with its narration.
2) Primarily to be watched for Fahad Fasil’s captivating performance along with Soubin, Shane, Anna Ben, Srinath almost every cast fill life to their characters with their extraordinary acting prowess.
3) In surface what seems to be as a feel good beautiful drama about dysfunctional family deep inside also highlights various social issues like toxic musculinity, mental health, family bond in its core.
4) Music by Sushin Shyam is an added jewl to this beauty.

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Hill of No Return/1992/Taiwan

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Wang Tung
Why FiC Recommends?
1) The sprawling epic takes place at a mining village dwelling on the human rights abuse and labor exploitation during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan contrary to most of the Taiwan New Wave films that deal with post independence contrasting identity crisis.
2) Tung’s poignant exercise in humanism brings forth a staggering conflict between the institutionalised subservience and the burning desire for liberty, life at it’s primitive and most unsophisticated state marinated in existential malaise meets a poet’s romanticism.
3) Hill of No Return lands compensates it’s technical limitations and quite effectively blurs the gap between viewer’s conscious and fictional reality.

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Mr. Freedom (1968)

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: William Klein
Why FiC recommends?
1) The American in Paris William Klein has made many films in his lifetime, but none of them have the unique, distinctive edge of “Mr. Freedom” a brilliant satire that is relevant to this day. His arthouse satire on American chauvinism portrays the arrival of an eponymous superhero (John Abbey) in France who is assigned to destroy the enemies of US imperialism.
2) It’s hilarious of course because of the characters and the deliberately over the top absurd dialogues, but in the back of your mind you know that it’s not the characters that you are laughing with but the megalomaniacal stupidity. And there’s a lot of human stupidity in this film. Watch it, have fun, but above all think. William Klein manages with a lot of wit and humor to warn the viewer about what happens if you give a fascist a free hand.

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Frances Ha/2012/English

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Noah Baumbach
Setting: Urban

Why FiC recommends?
1) Kids or teenagers are often at the heart of every coming-of-age story depicted in films.The beauty of this film is that it follows the same trajectory but this time for a 27 year old Frances.

2) The character of Frances is portrayed beautifully by Greta Gerwig in what is a semi autobiographical depiction of her struggles while building her career. Frances is not a role model but she is the portrayal of all of us.This is not a film.This is life and all of us needs the indomitable spirit of Frances to rise above the challenges thrown to us.

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Hadduta misrija (An Egyptian Story) / 1982 / Arabic

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Youssef Chahine
Why FiC recommends?
1) I finished Youssef Chahine’s Alexandria Trilogy ALEXANDRIA…WHY? (1979), AN EGYPTIAN STORY (1982), ALEXANDRIA, AGAIN AND FOREVER (1989). My favourite is the Egyptian Story, a cornucopia of motifs, a self-therapeutic experimental arrangement, a pioneering cinematic primus.
2) Chahine had a unique style as he was as influenced by classic Hollywood and Italian Neo-Realism and didn’t follow the 3rd world template to appeal or catnip the festival audience. The theme about finding happiness outside of society’s constraints blended with postmodern styles almost Felliniesque at times. The kind of film most people don’t have the attention span for anymore and that’s a shame. If you’re familiar with Youssef Chahine ‘s work, and appreciate it, it’s a must see.

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Xala / 1975 / Senegalese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Ousmane Sembene
Why FiC recommends?
1) ‘Xala’ discusses many important themes that we have discussed in class, particularly the balance between Western practices and “traditional” ones. While this starts from Senegal’s official El Hadji’s sexual incompetence on his wedding night with his third wife, it plays out throughout the film.background is given, but their actions say all the more. I was full of awe after enjoying this utterly majestic work of art. Highly recommended!

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Eeb Allay Ooo!/2019/Hindi

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Prateek Vats
Setting: Urban

Why FiC recommends?
1) A brilliantly layered satire astutely putting forward the tragic reality in which we live today. It points out how misplaced our priorities are through the eyes of a misfit migrant trying to earn a living in the cauldron of political activities in Delhi.
2) Never do you feel a tinge of artificiality seep into the performance of the cast, specially the protagonist played by Shardul Bharadwaj. In fact, the brilliant acting chops is what will keep you riveted and invested in the trajectory of the characters from the start to finish.

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Manasarovar / 2004 / English, Hindi

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Anup Kurian

Why FiC recommends?
1) A rare stroke of luck from a film is this brilliantly cast and staged by director Anup Kurian. There was plenty of wry humor, pathos, and atmosphere to keep any thoughtful viewer interested.
2)  This is genuinely a masterpiece rich with feelings, emotions, social commentary and visual artistry. An absolute must-watch, if you don’t love it, then check for a pulse.

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Naked/1993/English

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Mike Leigh

Why FiC recommends?
1) It was controversial when it released because of its raw portrayal of very human nature through it’s protagonist Johnny (amazingly performed by David Thewlis).
2) The film is filled with scenes which leave the audience confused with some magical mix of fun, pun and philosophy. It’s a great ride, you just have to stick to it.

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Sulemani Keeda/2013/Hindi

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Amit V Masurkar
Setting: Urban

Why FiC recommends?
1) The story of two friends who are trying their luck as script writers and hoping to make it big in Bollywood films. A very simple story yet very engaging.
2) Through pun and satire, the director wants to tell the world how absurd and unstructured the film industry usually runs in India.

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Pepperminta / 2009 / German

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Pipilotti Rist
Setting: Universe

Why FiC recommends?
1) A Surreal Adult Fairy Tale! Blends Pippi Longstocking with Daisies!
2) Pepperminta is like a cross between characters from films such as Poppy from Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Liegh), Maries from Daisies (Vera Chytilová), Eunince from Butterfly Kiss (Michael Winterbottom), Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) and Honey Whitlock from Cecil B Demented (John Waters). It is beautiful, dark, bizarre, and dreamy film! My favorite place to be!

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King Of Hearts (Le roi de coeur) /1966 / French

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Philippe de Broca

Why FiC recommends?
1) As an anti-war theme film, “King of Hearts” does not use cold, blood and violence to show the blood red line. This film conveys that message while being utterly charming, it hides the cruel incidents that have happened and using mental institutions as a metaphor for the world outside.
2) King of Hears is a cult film full of absurdness, love and warmth, but also full of cruelty, but its process is beautiful which is an absolute joy to watch.

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Vampires in Havana (Vampiros en La Habana) /1985/ Spanish

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir:  Juan Padrón

Why FiC recommends?
1) Juan Padrón who passed away during the coronavirus pandemic, was more than a master, he was a pioneer in the field of animation in Latin America. Now that you are all on a streaming binge, you should seek out his work.
2) Fans of Ralp Bakshi, Michael Schaak (Felidae), Rene Laloux and 70’s euro horror will be entertained and amused as the plot is so fresh.

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Peepli Live/2010/Hindi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Anusha Rizvi, Mahmood Farooqui
Setting: Rural

Why FiC recommends?
1) Satire is a difficult genre. It’s delicate but when curated properly in a film, it just beats other genres. Peepli live is a film to be studied in this regard.
2) It addresses multiple formal and known issues as a country we’re facing. That too how? This amazing screenplay starts as a comedy plot, starts growing – it steps into politics & media, then it makes you sympathetic- it steps into poverty and innocence of people in that drought hit village, by now you start empathizing with these people. It’s a pure win to a cinema as a medium.

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Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota/2018/Hindi

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Vasan Bala
Setting: Urban

Why FiC recommends?
1) It’s a laughter-capsule cinema. From the very beginning you’ll understand it’s going to be a fun ride.
2) The cliches here are intentional, powerful and when watched carefully we learn that writer/director is trying to address lot more than what it looks like on the surface.
Note: The title in English: ‘The Man who Feels No Pain’

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Lars and the Real Girl/2017/American

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Craig Gillespie
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) Lars begins to introduce Bianca, a sex doll as his girlfriend to the townspeople, and they decide to play along, just because they care!
2) This is no comedy, it’s a solid drama, especially for those who can relate to Lars. A great movie to watch, just don’t forget that those laughter tears will make you a bit sad too!

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Raghu Romeo/2003/Hindi

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Rajat Kapoor
Setting: Urban
Why FiC recommends?
1) Smart, sensible and funny. Not logical!! But it’s not always about logic. This is Vijay Raaz’s best performance ever seen. He makes Raghu feel like a person more than a character.
2) Although this is only a light hearted satirical cinema without any heavy duty message, this is the kind of film at end of which you come out as more empathetic and loving human being.

P.S. This is the first movie to be made with money of common man. The director Rajat Kapur had asked for finance from people like us through internet. He got fabulous response and therefore the film could be made.

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The Truman Show/1998/American

The Truman Show/1998/American
FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Peter Weir
Setting: Revealing it would be a spoiler
Why FiC recommends?

1) Funny, tender, thought provoking.
2) The film has its own flaws, but what they made in 1998 this is the story of 90% of us in today’s scenario.

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Supermen of Malegaon /2008/Hindi,Marathi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Faiza Ahmad Khan
Setting: Small Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) Aspirations don’t have any pre-conditions where it should arise from. A man from a small town wants to make movies and he makes it. He re-creates none other than ‘Superman’! He with his team runs a local movie industry.
2) It starts off as a funny take on the efforts by these amateur filmmakers, but slowly it starts growing on you and by the time it reaches the end you’ll be moved!

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Elizabeth Ekadashi/2014/Marathi

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Paresh Mokashi
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) A heartwarming film about children just being children, with all their cares and carefree abandon. And adults just being adults, with all their idiosyncrasies, quirks and secret anguish.
2) The high-point are the sterling performances and in the end, it is the kids who walk away with all the laurels

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Creep/2014/American

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Patrick Brice
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) Right from the first scene to the end, “Creep” primes viewers to suspect that nothing is what it seems. We keep guessing something and then something else happens, followed by some other, far more unexpected things.
2) The film does not play by the rules of the game they chose to play.

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Groundhog Day/1993/American

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Harold Ramis
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?

1) If a person could live forever, if a person was immortal, how would they change over time? Well… watch Groundhog Day!
2) Uncommonly sweet, the perfect blend of comedy and romance, charming and intelligent humor, great lines like “I am ‘a’ God, not ‘the God’, this film is an underrated masterpiece.

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A Serious Man/2009/American

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Joel and Ethan Coen
Setting: Urban/Vintage
Why FiC recommends?

1) In the way that Coen brothers can see the humor behind the tragic face of commonality, they have delivered another darkly comic, absurd and well-acted film which deals with the huge themes of alienation and nihilism.
2) You don’t see comedy mixed with such deep and heavy themes in every film, do you?

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Slacker/1990/American

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Richard Linklater
Setting: Urban
Why FiC recommends?

1) When you don’t have budget, professional actors and script (literally!), but you have an extraordinary mind, you end up making Slacker!
2) The director himself defines slackers as ‘spending their whole lives in their own heads, paralyzed by the problem of making any difference’. That seems as good a definition as any.
3) The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”

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Thodasa Roomani Ho Jaayen /1990/Hindi

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Amol Palekar
Setting: Remote Place
Why FiC recommends?

1) Outstandingly beautiful and charmingly poignant tale of a conman that stays with you and keeps giving you a good feeling!
2) A poetic blend of Dreams and Reality, the film is real and surreal at the same time! The story unfolds with much poetry and a dreamlike quality that is magical.

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