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Best films of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

BY SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE

At its dawn, the Cannes Film Festival was rather a prestigious secular event attracting plenty of tourists. However, at the late 60s, the Festival became a significant mark in the schedule of the grand representatives of the industry, a smoothly running machine with the developed infrastructure and planned intrigue. We see a barrage of people talking about the inherent quality of films and movie lovers seldom miss out on the abundance of good cinema that comes out every year which goes unnoticed by the mainstream audience. Taking stock of what’s been a particularly strong year for movies, we present our definitive countdown of the best films from the Cannes Film Festival of the year 2015:

The Lobster

As we progress through the narrative we find ourselves on the other side of the spectrum, in a group known as the loners who cannot have intimate relationships whatsoever. The way this story concludes is deeply disturbing but is very poetic, which acts as an underlining of the film’s major themes. The film’s an oddity that is as strange as it is beautiful. Colin Farrell fully commits to the character which is deeply moving and he is our guide into this dystopian future.

Carol

Carol unfurls into the universal anxieties about love and relationships as an intoxicating fever dream in which volcanic emotions play out with great restraint; but while it builds to a scene of intense eroticism there’s a lot that’s conveyed through looks and innuendo. Every performance of the ensemble – from extras to bit parts – give incredibly nuanced, heartfelt acting.

Arabian Nights

As each story isn’t firmly attached to a single protagonist, the film frequently has irreverent tangents with subplots briefly taking the foreground and slowly unfurling its metaphoric underpinning and meaning in modern Portuguese politics. There is a fine line between delving into the mysteries of life and engaging in mystification and the subplots are enchanting for their sardonicism, their mortality, and their reflexiveness.

Embrace of the Serpent (El Abrazo De La Serpiente)

Considering the gorgeous black & white cinematography, and the theme of white men being guided to heightened consciousness by a shamanic character, the film focuses into a psychedelic and violent territory, creating a perspective that is equally unreal and unforgettable. Colombian director Ciro Guerra conjures the mesmeric tones of Joseph Conrad with gusto.

THE ASSASSIN

From the brocade draped interiors to the mist moving over a landscape in the benign light, the film summons a strangely rapturous experience from its ostensibly bewildering narrative. The Assassin was inspired by “Nie Yinniang,” a “chuanqi” tale of the strange set in the later part of the Tang dynasty.

YOUTH

Film-maker Sorrentino seems to have mastered the art of mixing gravity with levity and the nostalgia often comes across as a sense of regret for the loss of innocent love experienced by the central characters during their youth. Though built on aging bones Sorrentino’s eagerness to elicit swoons from the audience is done through a string of powerful images (that linger long after the credits have rolled.)

TALE OF TALES (IL RACCONTO DEI RACCONTI)

The film balances sublimity and grotesquery, wonder and horror, otherworldliness and banality. Using a traditional folklore anthology as guideline (XVII century “Lu cunto de li cunti” by Gian Battista Basile) director Matteo Garrone puts on screen three gorgeous intertwined stories that have for protagonists various Kings and Queens facing huge obsessions.

Inside Out

While the film touches some interesting aspects of the human psyche, the film is also a highly self-reflexive, daring and though-provoking feature. Pixar returns to form with the delightful ‘Inside Out’ following the story of 11 year old Riley and her emotions (joy, anger, disgust, fear and sadness.)

Honorouble Mentions:

Mad Max: Fury Road

Macbeth

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