Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cinefan 2007

As long-time readers of this blog will know, I’ve been covering/rigorously attending the Cinefan film festival for many years now (a few earlier posts here, here, here, here, here and here). This year’s edition is on between July 20-29. Some of the films on my to-see list:

From the Kenzi Mizoguchi tribute sectionSansho the Bailiff, Street of Shame and The Woman of Rumour (have seen the first two but need a refresher course).

From the Arab competition sectionFalafel, Tender is the Wolf. (Deciding what to watch at Cinefan can be a hit-and-miss affair – which is inevitable for a festival that shows more than 120 films – but I’ve found the movies in the Arab section to be consistently rewarding over the years.)

Indian competitionPodokkhep, Kayyoppu, Shoonya.

Films on IntoleranceShame (a documentary about Mukhtaran Mai's fight for justice), Iraq in Fragments, The Colour of Olives.

Hymns to FreedomThe Battle of Algiers (haven’t seen it on the big screen), Children of Fire.

From the whimsically titled “Spotlight Filmcraft” section, two old favourites that I haven’t seen on a big screen: Ozu’s Tokyo Story and Hitchcock’s The Birds (no, don't ask me what it's doing in a festival of Asian cinema; maybe some of the starring birds were immigrants), though the latter is being shown in the tiny Siri Fort 4 auditorium so might give it a miss.

Focus on JapanTaboo (directed by Nagisa Oshima, who made the fascinating Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and In the Realm of the Senses), Hiroshi Inagaki’s four-hour epic Chushingura/Samurai.

Of course, I’ll probably only be able to see a few of these films, and maybe a couple of others based on convenience, and hopefully I won't see anything as faltu as some of the stuff I stumbled into last year. Check out the full schedules here.


  1. so many good many good books.... so little time to enjoy them!

  2. looks like my junior Suman Ghosh's movie 'Footsteps' is being shown. If you see it, let me know how it was. I have read good things about Mizoguchi's 47 Ronin movies. Let us know if you get a chance to see them. And I am sure you will find Hitch an even better filmmaker on the big screen. He uses space very well, & that scene in The Birds where the umm birds cover the sky is especially terrifying.

  3. Huh?Is 1971 and Honeymoon Pvt. Ltd. really film festival stuff?

    But then again,Krissh was shown at the International Film Festival last year,so I guess Cinefan can be excused.

    And I am guessing Players of Chess is Shatranj ke khiladi.

  4. Abhinav: not sure what you mean by "film festival stuff". Surely it's okay to show some mainstream movies at a fest that showcases 140 films (and besides, they've bunged them in the "Box-office" section anyway). Maybe I'm prejudiced because many of the low-profile movies I've seen at Cinefan over the years (the ones that supposedly need festivals to bring them to audiences) have been utter trash.

  5. how has your experience of mizoguchi been so far? asking just to know is it worth catching them all. slow, boring??

  6. Anu: I enjoyed the films of his that I've seen (especially Sansho and Ugetsu), but yes, they can be regarded slow-moving if you're comparing them to, say, the action films of Kurosawa (who was a much more West-influenced director than Mizoguchi or Ozu).

    Also forgot to mention one of his oldest films, the silent Water Magician, which I'm hoping to see at the fest.