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Get critical at MAMI

With the 13th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival well on its way, we ask film experts to share with us their top picks. Stack up on that popcorn

Khalid Mohamed
Screenwriter, director and film critic

Khalid Mohamed has reviewed films for a number of national dailies and magazines. He also wrote and directed Hrithik Roshan-starrer Fiza in 2000, following it up with films like Tehzeeb in 2003.


A still from the film George Harrison: Living in the Material World, a
must-watch according to film critic Khalid Mohamed

Tabloid
Directed by Errol Morris
On October 16, 12.30 pm at Big Cinemas, Metro
In 1977, Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming, was arrested in Devon for the kidnapping, rape, and false imprisonment of a Mormon missionary, Kirk Anderson. McKinney claims that they were lovers, and that she had flown to England to help her beau escape from the powerful grasp of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. During the ensuing court case, the stunning and voluptuous McKinney received thousands of fan letters from men begging her to kidnap and rape them. What followed were a string of media reports, many with strong headlines using words like SCANDAL, LOVE, SEX, etc.

You should watch it because:
"I've never worked at a tabloid, though all newspapers now are beginning to go that way. Nevertheless, I've always been fascinated to know what it's like to work in a tabloid and I'm sure others share my curiosity."

George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Directed by Martin Scorsese
On October 19, 8 pm at Cinemax, Versova
Inter-cut with archive material, friends, family and associates of the musician tell the story of his life and how spirituality became such a major part of it.

You should watch it because:
"Scorsese is brilliant at everything he does. This is a lengthy film about the 'quiet' Beatle and I think that's why it will be interesting. I met him (Harrison) once at the Taj, and I'm glad he is finally getting his due."

Las acacias
Directed by Pablo Giorgelli
On October 16, 8 pm at Cinemax, Sion
This Argentine film is about the journey of a truck driver who gives a lift to a mother and her baby.

You should watch it because:
"There is hardly any dialogue and it's a slow-paced film. I like to encourage films that explore the relationship of a mother and child."

Manisha Lakhe
Writer, published author and film critic

Manisha Lakhe's tip for film festival newbies is to look at the categories in which the movies have been slotted before deciding whether to watch them. 
 
Fear of Falling
Directed by Bartosz Konopka
On October  19, 10 am at Cinemax Versova
The film is about a 30 year-old TV reporter. After receiving a call from the psychiatric hospital in his hometown, he dutifully visits his long-estranged father. Against his fear and the advice of his closest friends, Tomek decides to reach out to his father. He gets involved in a relationship on the edge of craziness and normalcy, which makes him re-evaluate his life.

You should watch it because:
"Bartosz Konopka is one of the most frequently awarded Polish directors. His Rabbit a la Berlin was nominated at the 2010 Academy Awards."

Toast
Directed by S J Clarkson
On October 16, 12.30 pm at Cinemax Versova
This delicious BBC Films biopic is about food writer and TV cook Nigel Slater, based on his 2004 autobiography. The film follows Nigel through his mother's disastrous cooking, his death, the entry of Helena Bonham Carter as the house cleaner and the realisation of his homosexuality.

You should watch it because:
"From the opening credits printed on boxes and tins of a 1960s grocery store to the beautiful food shots and finally the cameo by Slater in the end, the film is the classic tale of finding oneself."

Sridhar Rangayan
Filmmaker, festival director of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

Sridhar Rangayan has made award-winning festival hits like Gulabi Aaina, Yours Emotionally and 68 Pages that offer sensitive and positive portrayals of gay and transgender people. KASHISH brings international queer films to India and provides a mainstream platform for Indian queer films.

She Monkeys
(Apflickorna)
Directed by Lisa Aschan
October 19, 12.45 pm at Big Cinemas, Metro
When teenager Emma joins a group that is learning to perform gymnastics on horseback, she meets the slightly older Cassandra, a circus rider and the two begin a relationship that is laden with physical and psychological challenges. Soon, lines are crossed and their relationship turns into a battle for supremacy and control.

You should watch it because:
"First time director Aschan works magic that is both a pleasure and torment and elicits convincing, naturalistic performances from her young actors. The film won the Best Narrative Feature at Tribeca Film Festival and Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. It takes a hard, uncompromising look at gender and sexuality in a subverted twist to the coming-of-age genre films. It could be unsettling to many, but its intense complexity could be a challenge to decipher."

Mountain (Fjellet)
Directed by Ole Giever
On October 17, 3.30 pm at Cinemax Versova and October 19, 5.30pm at Cinemax, Sion
Nora and Solveig, a young lesbian couple go on a hike through a snow-covered, starkly beautiful mountain to rediscover their love and rebuild their relationship. Two years ago, their five-year old son Vetle died on a mountain hike and Nora, the biological mother, has never been able to get over the loss, blaming Solveig for her carelessness in letting Vetle out of her sight. Now Solveig is pregnant and is upset that Nora hasn't even touched her belly.

You should watch it because:
"Tender and touching, this first film by Norwegian director Ole Giever, is a bit slow and stretched, but if you are one of those movie buffs who like to soak it in, then you will be rewarded with an enchanting experience. Carry a shawl and coffee, because the air-conditioning in the theatre along with the cold blue mountains could be a bit more chilling than you would like!"

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