Boys don’t cry (1999)

Were you like me – a girl, girl?
Ya. Like a long time ago. Then I guess I was just more like a boy – girl. And I was just a jerk.

boys dont cry

Directed by – Kimberly Peirce

Rarely do you come across films that are based on real life incidents and given such authentic treatment that its almost believable. There has been controversy on the portrayal of the characters and the ‘truth’ behind their real lives, but that I think is quite inevitable.

Brandon Teena was a trans man. ‘A he’ but anatomically ‘a she’. It accounts Teena’s experiences as a man after he decided to embrace his sexual identity as a boy. He then started dating a girl, Lisa Tisdel – but became a victim to jealousy and hate-crime of Tisdel’s friends who were ex-convicts living in Falls city, Nebraska.

I found it very disturbing. But it also updated my knowledge on transsexuals around the world. Hilary Swank was absolutely stunning in her portrayal of Brandon Teena, the boy who was unfortunately born a girl. Loved it. These are the films that make history and it did.

All about my mother (1999)

all about my mother

Written and Directed by – Pedro Almodóvar

Opening in Madrid, it is a story of a single mother who loses her teenage son to a car accident and in grief, leaves the city for her hometown, Barcelona. There she reunites with her old friends who have become prostitutes now and meets new ones who again, make her reunite her with old, distant memories.

The film delves into various facets of human emotions and human beings in general, mostly around women and transexuals in Spain. People are subjected to a lot of pain and suffering in this world and its complicated. Some films make it simple for our better understanding and some, keep it the way it is. All about my mother is one of the later – keeping the humour of life intact. And its sort of epic.

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The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

“How did things go?”
Fine. I am even afraid that they went too well..

the-double-life-of-veronique

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by – Krzysztof KieslowskiKrzysztof Piesiewicz

Kieslowski has his own way of dealing with mysticism, characters stretched vast across and yet so similar, touching each other’s life is ways one cannot imagine. In this film, he tries to tell what people feel and why they feel what they do, by connecting the lives of two girls – Veronica and Veronique – one from Poland, other from France, both played by Irène Jacob.

Veronika feels the presence of “somebody” and wants to know that person and then one day when she sees Veronique, she is contented to know that its true. Later, she chokes and dies while singing. As Veronique sheds a tear for a unknown sadness somewhere, she eventually stops practicing singing too. It all makes sense in the end when Alexander (Veronique’s lover) makes two puppets of Veronica saying ‘During performances I handle them a lot. They damage easily.’ It was almost like God talking – our puppeteer talking.

There is a lot of debate on Kieslowski’s pattern and meaning with colors. Here also, he has used a lot of greens and reds – the famous complementary duos – as Veronica and Veronique. The pattern that I have seen in almost all his films – is the use of coincidences as characters themselves. He seems to really believe in them and doesn’t want to know or wants us to know why they happen if they do. They just do.

I loved The double life of Véronique. Loved it so much.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Lovers of the arctic circle (1998)

I’ll love you always and if the petrol runs out, I’ll die.

lovers of the arctic circle

Directed by –  Julio Medem

One of those typically beautiful storytelling. Its like reading your favourite book, a classic at that. The likes of Amelie or A very long engagement or Love me if you dare and an absolutely heart warming and heart wrenching film at the same time.

Otto and Ana meet and fall in love when they were kids but with Otto’s mother’s death, he leaves. The film is their search for each other and the denouement, the climax comes with a silent bang. Coincidences are a character in themselves in films like these but again they are not meant for the sake of ‘conveniences’. They are fairy tales and not all of them have a happy ending.

Watch it! The beauty of human emotions – their ways of expressing it.. Incredible.. The film itself is basically a palindrome, like the names of the protagonists – Ana and Otto. The story is the beginning and the end – but meets in the middle. In a metaphysical film as this, the characters provide a ground of reality.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Three colours – Red (1994)

Three colours - red

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski

The last film of the famous trilogy and also the most complex. That is explained from the theme itself i.e. red for fraternity. But then its not just the colour, its different shades that say different things. The film talks about the human nature of trying to connect ceaselessly. It doesn’t matter what we want, it doesn’t matter if we want to reach out or not. Every action of ours is affecting somebody or the other, somewhere we do not perhaps even know. And that Kieslowski has been brilliantly able to prove with peculiar co-incidences in Red.

The film is about Valentine, a part-time model and university student, a selfless person trying to see good in everything who meets Kern, a retired judge whose judgement on humanity is that they aren’t worth anything – a cynical sulker you might call. The narrative is a multi-layer reference to the meaning of fraternity – where people connect with each other in ways completely unimagined and where no one lives in isolation, shown from the perspective of two extreme opposites of human nature. I absolutely loved it.

PS – Its not the kind of film you watch and say how amazing it is. It is the kind of film that you watch, that takes time to sink into you. Its an unmatched experience. And I am glad it happened to me in my classroom at XIC. Thanks to Arun Sukkumar.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Three colours : White (1994)

Three colours white

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski

As mentioned earlier in the post about the first trilogy, Blue, Kieslowski wants you to follow his colour very, very carefully. Here, the theme of the film is equality – represented by white. The first time you see white in the film, Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) looks up to admire pigeons flying and its the white shit that falls on him. Equality is thus bullshit and he definitely doesn’t have it, at least not in France.

The film is about a couple who are getting divorced because Karol is not able to satisfy his wife, Dominique’s (Julie Delpy) sexual needs. He asks her to come to Poland where everything will be ok again, but being French, she doesn’t want to leave.

When Karol goes back to Poland finally, he strives everyday to get one step closer to be reunited with his ex-wife. Here again, as in “blue” – the one that is to be attained – equality has been predominately denoted by a plaster bust of Marianne (France’s national emblem for liberty and reason) that breaks during his journey back to Poland and which he tries to fix (efforts to get his equality – to get even with his wife by having her back after she broke his heart).

My favourite film in the trilogy, the most relatable as well. It talks about desires, love and hope in the most beautiful way, never missing the political agenda of the period i.e. reference of Russia occupying Poland in many places. Must watch.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here

Three colors: Blue (1993)

Three colours - blue

Directed by – Krzysztof Kieslowski

Blue is the first of the Three colours trilogy (other ones are white and red) which are supposed to be based on the revolutionary ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity, respectively. It is very important to watch each of there with the feel of colours which speak loud and clear throughout.

Within first 10 minutes of the film, the entire background is established and that too with minimum dialogues where Julie survives a car accident but loses her husband, a renowned music composer and five year old daughter, Anna. She shuns herself off the world out of immense grief, by running away from everything that tethered her to the past in an attempt to achieve freedom. Now, this freedom is represented by blue which keeps repeating in different forms in the film but predominately stays as a small blue chandelier which is the only thing she keeps from her past.

With the revelation of her husband’s pregnant mistress she eventually realises the need to embrace who she really is, by accepting her music and allowing herself to love again. The blue is finally achieved in the end.

Its majestic.

Kickass torrent link to download – click here