Ten Best International Movies of 2020, from Sound of Metal to I’m Thinking of Ending Things-Entertainment News, Firstpost
Sound of Metal I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Swallow, Ema, La Llorona – If one of your New Years Resolutions is to watch all the great movies you missed in 2020, you’ve come to the right place.
Without the virus that we will not name and if the year had gone as planned, we would probably be talking about Dune at present. The film may even have made it to that year-end list, alongside characters like Bergman Island, Memory, The green knight, and The French dispatch. Of course, this is not a list of what could have been.
Despite these notable absences, 2020 was still a pretty good year for cinema. Indeed, the absence of large-scale films and blockbusters has shaken the economy of exhibitors. The cinemas have been closed much of the year. When it reopened, most moviegoers were hesitant (and still are) about risking their lives, and that’s understandable. With that, Hollywood rushed to save all of its best superheroes and nostalgic bait for 2021. The only studio that dared to release a movie in the midst of a pandemic was Warner Bros., and PrincipleThe box office failure meant they had to explore other income-generating possibilities. Boy, did they come up with a disruptive model.
But the absence of tents allowed indies to assert themselves and new filmmakers to emerge. As a result, this list contains many first-time filmmakers. There was not just one highlight. Love has spread. So if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to watch all the big movies you missed in 2020, you’ve come to the right place.
Note: The following titles were shown on a streaming or festival platform in India. You may notice notorious absentees like Bean, Pain and glory, Parasite, and Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Although they came out in the country this year, they were excluded because
1.everyone has celebrated them enough since Cannes 2019, and
2. they were already considered for last year’s list.
10 | Baby teeth
On paper, Baby teeth sounds like just another entry into Hollywood’s tearful cancer industrial complex. You know: a boy and a girl fall in love, the girl has cancer and will die before the credits roll, but not before taking YOLO type classes. Only, this is not a Hollywood treatment. Australian debutant filmmaker Shannon Murphy breaks away from the overly sentimental incontinence of these stories by eliminating the explicit presence of the disease. Milla (Eliza Scanlen) doesn’t carry around her oxygen tank with a tube in her nose. Like Murphy, Milla wants to break the mold. She does this by bringing a bit of chaos to her overprotected life. Chaos is named after Moses (Toby Wallace). Their love is an ode to the euphoria that comes from losing control. Fleeting, yes. But also sublime. Just like the movie.
9 | The sound of metal
Another start. Another equally resounding drama. Darius Marder follows a metal drummer and a recovering drug addict who is slowly starting to lose his hearing. Ruben is a man who tries to wage his battle silently from within. So, it’s as much a battle to take control of what’s between his ears. Riz Ahmed finds the rhythm of this melancholy in a perfectly calibrated performance, which deepens the sounds of silence. The film is also an excellent showcase for Nicolas Becker, whose sound design injects a true echo to the drama.
8 | A sun
A Taiwanese family is trying to rebuild after the arrest of their youngest son and the death of their eldest in Chung Mong-hong’s new feature film. It’s a story of how the same motives can cause different choices. Within these choices is a broader and more powerful commentary on the socio-economic realities of a middle-class family, told with a Kore-eda-type sensibility. Mong-hong’s use of lighting illuminates a story full of contrasts, between violence and tenderness, grief and joy, fear and courage, sin and redemption, and love and tragedy.
7 | La Llorona
Former Guatemalan dictator Enrique Monteverde, recently acquitted of genocide, is haunted by the vengeful ghosts of his victims. Jayro Bustamante’s tale of Latin American legend is told from the perspective of all the women who had to suffer for the sins of Monteverde, from the native Mayans to his wife, daughter and granddaughter. Hiding from the masses of protesters demanding justice outside his home, Monteverde’s guilty conscience is manifested in his dreams and visions. Things take a supernatural turn with the arrival of a mysterious new maid. Slow, sinuous camera movements convey the unspoken and invisible, reinforcing atmospheric horrors.
6 | Ema
Pablo LarraÃn transforms a domestic drama about a young dancer (Mariana Di Girolamo) and her choreographer husband (Gael GarcÃa Bernal) into a sensory experience on the empowerment of women. Torn between the freedom of youth and the responsibilities of adulthood, Ema hatches a plan to find the child she hastily abandoned and rebuild her family in her own way. The film captures the pulse of a woman’s rebellion to the rhythms of reggaeton. Impromptu orgies and flamethrowers also make an appearance in his liberation hymn. Fire becomes a symbol of redemption and purification: a way of destroying the world in order to rebuild it.
5 | Bacurau
In a remote Brazilian village, residents begin to mysteriously disappear. The remaining population becomes the target of a group of hunters on some sort of human safari. Packed in an avant-garde western setting, Bacurau is gripping from start to finish, as even its most brutal scenes are undermined by satire. Followed by Kleber MendonÃ§a Filho (co-directed by Juliano Dornelles) at Aquarius is a sharp critique of American hegemony. Although it was shot before Jair Bolsonaro came to power, it is difficult not to see it also as a denunciation of the nationalist excesses that characterize his regime.
4 | Swallow
When a bored young housewife (Haley Bennett) gets pregnant, she begins to consume dangerous objects. In Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ feature debut, an eating disorder embodies the angst of a woman trapped in the suffocating routines of an insidious patriarchy. Similar to cannibalism and coming of age in Raw, pica in Swallow signals to her heroine a way to assert her free will by challenging the limits of her own body. As described in the Firstpost review, âEvery object she swallows gives her power, gives her a sense of ownership. They get bigger and sharper because she seeks physical pain to cushion her growing psychological torments. are the only things she can own, that she can control.
3 | About infinity
A priest in crisis of faith has the recurring nightmare of being crucified. A couple fly over a city in ruins. Adolf Hitler and his loyal assistants spend their last days in a bunker. A father ties his daughter’s shoes. Roy Andersson, the master of absurd lo-fi cinema, presents another assortment of tragicomic vignettes on life, love, existence and death. And it hits the nail on the head once again in yet another fascinating study of the eternal paradoxes of the human condition. Although they are all painted in his Nordic skepticism, they are never hopeless.
2 | Time
Filmmaker Garrett Bradley reflects on the meaning of time in the context of crime in Best Documentary of the Year. In 1997 Fox Rich and her husband Rob were arrested for attempting to rob a bank. Although she was released in less than four years, Rob received a much harsher sentence of 60 years. As she begins a bitter campaign to get him out of prison, she is also recording home videos of their six children. These videos not only fill the void left by their father, but also testify to their mother’s crusade against failing justice.
1 | I think to end things
Like Roy Andersson, Charlie Kaufman too is perpetually obsessed with lonely souls and existential evils. Their differences lie in the form. If Andersson uses static frames and a rigid format in the absurd vignettes of About infinity, Kaufman pushes the boundaries of narrative storytelling in I think to end things. Adapted from a novel by Ian Reid, Kaufman’s new film abandons linearity for mood and atmosphere. Jessie Buckley plays a young woman who joins her boyfriend on her parents’ isolated farm. It is the entry point of a vertigo of anguish, as Kaufman constructs a world that is both familiar and nightmarish. It’s a whim that really belongs to Netflix, because we can rediscover its magic over and over again and discover things that we missed the first time around.
Honorable mentions: A white and white day, Blow up man, Dick Johnson is dead, The quarantine version, man
Films to discover on DVD / Bluray: First cow, Kajillionaire, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Possessor, Shirley