Film in Cards

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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Shoplifters/2018/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) Powerful story that unveils the immanent power of bond, love and relationship.
2) Movie that depicts the beauty in imperfection, incompleteness and vulnerability in the dysfunctional family which has a dark but not so important truth wthin only untile they fall into the radar of society.
3) Top notch peformance by every cast members uplifts the viewing experience.

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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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Like Father, Like Son/2013/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) Is there something like ‘Good Parenting’ or ‘Bad Parenting’ or is it just a perspective ?
2) Beautiful story that raises questions and decision between valuing moral conflicts and hereditary lineage.
3) Delicate story on how parental figures imapact over child’s personality and behavioural carving meanwhile also sensitively depicting Japan’s competitive upbringing.

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Thayi Saheba/1997/Kannada

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Girish Kasaravalli
Why FiC recommends?
1) A unique story where the protagonist expresses her motherhood by sacrificing it.
2) The film speaks of transitions of mindsets in a new born modern post-independence era of India.

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Kraurya/1995/Kannada

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Girish Kasaravalli
Why FiC recommends?
1) An old woman indulged in her orthodox routine with a knack for storytelling from a small village feels left out in an Urban atmoshphere.
2) Though the film title literally means ” Violence ” in English, it does not explicitly show any kind of brutality. All the violence is internal.

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Dweepa/2002/Kannada

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Girish Kasaravalli
Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) Backed by a stunning performance by graceful Soundarya, the film effectively brings out the conflict between the faith and pragmatism.
2) The film is a powerful adaptation of Na Dsouza’s Novel by the same name.

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Ghatashraddha/1977/Kannada

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Girish Kasaravalli
Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) Based on eminent Kannada writer U R Ananthmurthy’s Short Story by the same name, the film deals with the ostracism of a young woman who transgresses the sexual system of a conventional Brahminical life.
2) The film moves with a perspective of a young protagonist at his puberty under the mean clutches of a forced faith, exposed to self-doubt.

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Manderlay/2005/English

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Lars von Trier
Why FiC recommends?
1) Manderlay is the follow up film by Lars Von after groundbreaking ‘Dogville’ as part of ‘Land of Opportunities’ trilogy.
2) The system of oppression and the unexpected consequences when an outsider tries to correct it is shown in an unapologetic manner.
3) Just like Dogville, this film is also made in an ultra-minimalist stage-like set up – allowing the audience to concentrate only on the ‘content’.

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Dogville/2003/English

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Lars von Trier
Why FiC recommends?
1) Dogville is ‘one of its kind’ cinema achievement in terms of making and storytelling technique. The whole film happens on a stage-like minimal setup. This intriguing crime revenge tragedy is told in 9 chapters and a prologue
2) In an interview the director Lars Von Trier said about the film “evil can arise anywhere, as long as the situation is right”. A film to be watched studied and remembered.

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Kattradhu Thamizh/2007/Tamil

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Ram
Why FiC recommends?
1) This film is a gripping emotional journey of the protagonist, wherein each event has a point to make.
2) The film lives up to the vision of the debutante director Ram (now he is an important Tamil filmmaker) – He is able to bring out his angst against the ills of the society quite effectively without any hesitation.

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Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu/2016/Kannada

Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu/2016/Kannada

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hemanth Rao

Why Fic recommends?
1) To be watched for its beautiful narration of father – son relationship as the time move, delicate potrayal of mental illness and being vocal about it is something rare in mainstream movies which is appreciable.
2) Anant Nag’s mesmerizing peformance is the major highlight of the movie, his transition into the skin of Venkob Rao truly makes the viewer connect with his every essence of emotions and innocence.
3) This is one such movie that anybody could keep revisiting as it makes its viewers slowly and steadily absorb in ones own nostaligic memory lane.

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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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Pratidwandi/1970/Bengali

Pratidwandi/1970/Bengali

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Satyajit Ray
Why Fic recommends?
1) Masterpiece by Master film maker who explores protagonist’s identity crisis amid his goal oriented siblings, meanwhile also holding a mirror to then Kolkata city that carried a title to be most advanced and educated society midst of its hidden grey area.
2) Unlike any other contemporary works Ray never hesitats to unveil the weaker side of the protagonist exploring his inner turmoil and conflict before settling and finding the conclusion.
3) This work of art is the clear example showcasing Ray’s ahead of time approach and style in filmmaking.

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Nobody Knows/2004/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why FiC recommends?
1) Honest potrayal of child modesty and innocence and self tackle between chilhood bliss and situational responsibility.
2) Specially to be watched for brilliant performance by all child artists, camera in the movie seems like just another character that captures everyday happeneing of the children.
3) Koreeda respects viewer’s intelligence with “Dont tell, Show” approach in course of giving importance to every intricacies especially while denoting fly of time.

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Breaking the Waves/1996/English

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Lars von Trier
Why FiC recommends?
1) A brutally realistic drama that revolves around religion, sex and obsession.
2) It should be noted that it is this film which made international star out of Emily Watson (and Stellan Skarsgård too!)
3) After successful dystopian trilogy, through Breaking the Waves Lars Von Trier started his new cinema journey of exploring human psyche.

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Antiporno/2016/Japan

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Sion Sono
Why FiC Recommends?
1) As a film that delves into the realm of kinks and fetishes emblematic to it’s assertive title, Antiporno is sexually provocative but a feeding frenzy of chaos that paints a nauseating portrait of exploitation of women at it’s core.
2) Nikkatsu Studio offered Sono to direct a film in the reboot of Roman Porno series which had quite a prolific run in the 70s and 80s and here is Sono charging his project with rage and anguish and presenting a scathing critique of the entire project in the impression of a sexual exploitation flick.
3) Antiporno is as much a howl of a director being disgusted with sexploitation flicks as it is an arresting visual essay about women’s liberty and fake perception of their freedom, Sono deconstructs cinema as a voyeuristic medium.

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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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Blue Valentine/2010/English

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir:Derek Cianfrance
Why FiC recommends?
1) Want to understand what’s ‘Marriage on the rocks’ and experience the pain? Simple: watch ‘Blue Valentine’. It’s a beautifully done study of cycle of love (start-progress-end) through cinema.
2) Be ready for the final scene- unapologetically heartbreaking yet realistically done. It is that kind of movie which you don’t want to watch again but at the same time you can’t forget, ever!
3) Special mention of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling for their amazing performance.

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Pather Panchali/1955/Bengali

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Satyajit Ray Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) A unique Indian footstep on the world of Cinema, subtly documenting common and raw human intricacies.
2) It brings out a family with adorable characters and how the young protagonist Apu’s sense of life evolves over a period of time.

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The Lives of Others/2006/German

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Why FiC recommends?
1) A socialist political drama which stresses out the importance of freedom of expression.
2) It celebrates the power and impact of art over human subconscious and deals with instances pointing out how art truly can turn the world into a much better place to live in.

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Melancholia/2011/English

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Lars von Trier
Why FiC recommends?
1) Pick any Lars Von Trier film, the main ingredient you find is the ‘suffering’. Melancholia has a celestial touch to it. I am not sure if it can be simply tagged to ‘sci-fi drama’. It seems weirdly more than that.
2) The scene sequence in the climax deserves a special mention. It is done extraordinarily and feels dreamlike.
3) Kirsten Dunst (as Justine) has pulled off one of the most complexly written characters.

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Naayi Neralu/2006/Kannada

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Girish Kasaravalli
Why FiC recommends?
1) Not all novel-based films do justice to the original work. But Kannada director Girish Kasaravalli has a track record of giving some of the greatest film adaptations of novels. This one is no exclusion. (It is a popular work by SL Bhyrappa)
2) Eventhough the central theme is ‘reincarnation’, what makes the film thoroughly engaging is the chain of incidents around the same.
3) Right from the beginning the film grabs the audience into its own world, thanks to the cast for their realistic and captivating performance.

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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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Whale Music (1994)

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Richard J. Lewis
Why FiC recommends?
1) As a cinephile, finding a movie this original is something to sing about. It’s weird movie, true; but this film has created a world that is wonderful and bleak. The direction is beautifully good, the cinematography is perfection, the screenplay is professionally written, and the connection between all of the characters are just so enduring. It is a film that you will not regret giving a shot.
2) The music in this alone is worth seeking this picture out for. The soundtrack of Rheostatics is brilliant, the moments that make this film a musical are the ones that keep the story alive with moments of joviality and enthusiasm.

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Le grand départ (The Grand Depart) / 1972 / French

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Martial Raysse
Why FiC recommends?
1) This is a cerebral experience with few dialogues and the music by Daevid Allen / Gong in particular is simply hypnotic. It is definitely not for everyone, but for appreciators of avant-garde / experimental films, looking for some stunning cinematography from a different and subversive perspective, I say check it out. Plus, I’m sure even the ones that might not like the film will at least dig the demoniacal noise soundtrack.

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Space Is the Place (1974)

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: John Coney
Why FiC recommends?
1) The earth cannot move without music. The earth moves in a certain rhythm, a certain sound, a certain note. When the music stops the earth will stop and everything upon it will die. -Sun Ra, Space is the Place.
2) A rare, unmissable trash-culture, sci-fi classic tantalizing glimpse into RA’s fantastical world. One of my favorite musical bios of all time which offers sharp social commentary and a stylish Afrofuturist vision.

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Tous les dieux du ciel (All the Gods in the Sky) /2018/ French

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Quarxx
Why FiC recommends?
1) Visually the film is one of the most stunning in recent memory, we are seized from these first moments by its aesthetic which evokes the scenes close to that of David Lynch films, the cinematography of Antoine Carpentier is simply sublime. The idea of insidious contamination of body and mind is at the heart of the film.
2) If you like horror films to be clear and unambiguous, you won’t have much fun here, as ” All the Gods in the Sky ” reveals a different result to almost every viewer. This French gem fits many genres into one film, and it pays off in the end.

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Copacabana Mon Amour (1970) / Portuguese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Rogério Sganzerla
Why FiC recommends?
1) One of the angriest movies I’ve seen. A rage-filled journey shot in CinemaScope, largely in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, it was not released commercially due to censorship. The film is one of the most radical experiments in Brazilian cinema also a milestone of the Cinema Marginal movement which was against the Cinema Novo movement.
2) A gem of Subversive cinema which plays out like a serio-comic experiment in Gonzo moviemaking. A must watch for the fans of New German Cinema movement, Art Theatre Guild (ATG) , Panic Movement and French underground film movement.

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Boli li? Prvata balkanska dogma (Does it hurt? -The First Balkan Dogma) / Macedonian/ 2007

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Aneta Lesnikovska
Why FiC recommends?
1) “Does It Hurt? The First Balkan Dogma” builds a compelling story of both courage and deceit. The experimentation offers a special ‘look’ that does not leave you indifferent and that can provoke interesting debates and reflections.
2) The film was made in response to the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Dogma manifesto. The film specifically highlights two things: In Macedonia, while arranging the idea of a dogme movie with fake situation which towards the end turns into a real film. The second issue is the secret filming with a mockumentary tone, where she captures the attention of the viewer through the use of both footage from the actual events involved and detailed re-creations with adding her narrative.

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