1/17/11

PIFF JOURNAL 2011- PART THREE

The third and concluding post on the PIFF 2011 is here. We wish we could have seen many more films, but, alas, it never is enough! This final compilation consists of only three films, but we really liked all of them and thought they deserved a special mention and space.

SOMEWHERE (2010, USA)

Johnny Marco, a hard-living Hollywood star leads a life of meaninglessness, booze and strippers. He gives it a shot to reviewing his life after his 11 year old daughter comes to visit him. How the reviewing of your own life helps you change for the better is the theme of Somewhere.


Sofia Copolla (Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides) choses to narrate this film in a very slow fashion, probably in an attempt to relate it to the slowness and dullness of the life of this Hollywood star. The film might test your patience with its slowness, but is a film about details. Copolla incorporates the transformation of the protagonist in a very subtle way and suggests it only in the form of minute details and not direct narration. Elle Fanning plays the daughter, Cleo, and does a great job. So does the protagonist played by Stephen Dorff. A very slow movie, yet a good watch if you can appreciate such a narration.

BIUTIFUL (2010, Mexico)

A man, connected with the afterlife of the just dead, is himself dying. He is a no-nonsense family guy whose family is not in the best state either. A very dark take on how guilt surrounds and suffocates our protagnoist Uxbal (Javier Bardem) and how he has such a short time before he sets everything right prior to his death.

A spiritually bold and very dark take on a rather unusual story line, Biutiful stands out not only because of Alejandro Gonzalez's (21 Grams, Babel) gripping direction but also Javier Bardem's career best performance. We would love to do a separate post on this later, hence would not divulge much of the details in this space.

CERTIFIED COPY (2010, Iran/France)

Juliete Binoche, the French beauty, plays Elle, the mother of a young boy who attends a book signing by author William Shimmel  played by James Miller. She invites him to her place and then leads him to a nearby village of Lucignano. The film is comprised of their day spent together and their conversations. The most important part of their conversations is the one where they argue about whether certified copies in art should be as respected as the original, which also forms the theme of Shimmel's book; Certified Copy.

As the film progresses, the viewer is left in confusion and it is inevitable that he feels he missed out on some part. But that is the whole point of the film as it leaves the plot totally to interpretation. It is possible that the two were married years back and got back together or they met for the first time and then created certified copies of their previous partners. We intend to do a better reading of the film and do a full fledged post on this one too.


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