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IFFI Dairy: Day 4

Day 4 of the film festival and the enthusiasm level is at a lower-than-average level this year. The scheduling is atrocious and organisation is shoddy on many counts, and these factors compounded together don’t really help.

The third day was not so bad as far as movies are concerned. ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Ida’ made the day. ‘Ida’ is film shot in black and white with 4:3 aspect ratio, but the technical aspects aside, it is a film that will be etched in memory. A young catholic girl is all set to take her vows as a nun. As a necessity to complete the formalities, she has to find one of her relatives and that leads her to tracing her route. What she discovers, changes the course action. Beautifully shot, the film throws up several questions about one’s identity, especially with regards to religion.

‘The Monument to Michael Jackson’ was a lightweight film where a statue is to be erected of Michael Jackson and as the bloke who comes up with this idea discovers, nothing comes easy in this world, especially putting up a statue of Michael Jackson.

The French film maker rarely disappoints – couple of years back it was the documentary ‘Indignados’, which told the story of an immigrant along with footage from the revolutions that took place in the last few years.  Few directors use music in their films the way Gatlif does, and his latest offering ‘Geronimo’ is no different.  The plot has the West Side Story format, but that X factor from Gatlif makes it rise above the ordinary. One of the remarkable scenes in the film is a dance sequence which is filmed in a single take. During times when dance is presented with those quick MTV kind of cuts, it was refreshing to see Gatlif’s approach. I would love to see him direct the next sequel of Step Up, he will bring something new to the table.

‘Two Step’, an American indie film, had some rave reviews. While it was an engaging film, the whole setup was more suited for television.

The Salt of the Earth was the pick of the day. Directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Salgaldo, the well-known Brazilian photographer, it traces the cameraman’s journey where he has covered several conflicts and calamities in different parts of the world. Some of the pictures from the Africa in the Rwanda conflict would shake up even the most-stone hearted. Or maybe not, there were people who were responsible for all that evil and they didn’t flinch at all. Salgaldo makes disparaging remarks about the human race and you can’t help but agree with him in toto.


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