This is an outrageously gluttonous cinematic time, and I imbibe to the fullest. Nine films into the festival, here is a sample of “must sees”:
“La La Land”; USA. Gifted Director Damien Chazelle splays across the wide screen a vivid, reminiscent musical; shades of the 40’s with stunning performances by Ryan Gosling and especially Emma Stone. Light-hearted, beautifully poignant and a musical score that you exit humming!
“Junction 48”; Israel/Germany. Powerful film starring Tamar Nafar, originator of the Palestinian hip-hop movement. Directed by Israeli Jew, Udi Aloni, it addresses empathetically, Palestinians living in a bifurcated land.
“Un+Une”; France. Sensational film by Director Claude LeLouch (“A Man and a Woman”). Set in my most cherished country (after the US) India, where a brilliant film composer (glorious Jean Dujardin) is hired to score a Bollywood interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet”; he meets the French Ambassador’s wife (electrifying performance by Elsa Zylberstein) and the “art of conversation” leads to love. A truly wonderful, remarkable movie.
“The Commune”; Denmark. Director Thomas Vinterberg sets his scenario in the 1970’s; an affluent, intelligent couple decide to invite others into their sprawling mansion, lending diversity, financial support and entertainment to their droll existence. Sublime acting imbues this film with magnetic strength.
“The Teacher”; Slovakia/Czech Republic. Overwhelming interpretation by Zuzana Maurery as a manipulative teacher who uses the skills of her pupils’ parents to assure their progress in her class. Vibrates with the vicissitudes of living under a totalitarian regime.
“A Quiet Passion” U.K/Belgium. A phenomenal portrait of poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886); Cynthia Nixon’s celestial depiction is breathtaking, as is Jennifer Ehle’s as her sister Vinnie. Incredible, astute, pulsating poetry from a restricted time and society.
Off to the movies….