THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Banner Film Society has come up with a new theme for their monthly film festivals - ‘My Favourites.’ The ‘My’ refers to various eminent film critics who will pick their favourite film from world films. Banner begins the series this Sunday with M F Thomas, one of the most experienced and senior film critics in India.
The fest that opens at 9.30 am on Sunday at Lenin Balavadi, behind the Tagore theatre at Vazhuthacaud, begins with the 1965 Hungarian film ‘The Round-Up’ directed by Miklos Jancso.
The film goes back to the year 1848. When the Lajos Kossuth’s revolution against Habsburg rule in Hungary was put down, prison camps were set up for people suspected of being Kossuth’s supporters. Around 20 years later, some members of highwayman Sándor Rózsa’s guerrilla band, believed to be some of Kossuth’s last supporters, are known to be interned among the prisoners in a camp.
The prison staff try to identify the rebels and find out if Sándor is among them, using various means of mental and physical torture and trickery.
‘The Round-Up’ will be followed by ‘The Tin Drum,’ an adaptation of the novel by the same name by Günter Grass. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and the 1979 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
If you’ve read the book you might recall the story of Oskar Matzerath who is promised a little tin drum as his third birthday present. When that day arrives, Oskar makes a firm decision not to grow anymore, to remain forever at age three, banging away on his tin drum and, occasionally, lifting his voice in a scream than can shatter light bulbs, thick glass jars, and windows. To give his parents a logical reason for his unusual lack of growth, Oskar stages a fall down the cellar stairs.
As Germany evolves towards Nazism and war in the 1930s, the unageing Oskar continues savagely beating his drum. Only after the Soviet invasion at the end of the war, when only his grandmother and his half brother/son survive, does he decide to grow up.
The film ‘The Tree of Wooden Clogs’, that will be screened at 2.30 p.m., has won fourteen awards, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the César Award for Best Foreign Film. Directed by Ermanno Olmi, the film tells the story of the life inside a farm in Italy at the beginning of the century. Many poor country families live there, and the owner pays them by their productivity. One of the families has a very clever child. They decide to send him to school instead of asking him to help them, although this represents a great sacrifice.
The film ‘Padre Padrone’ depicts a Sardinian shepherd who is terrorised by his domineering father and tries to escape by educating himself. He eventually becomes a celebrated linguist. The drama is based on an autobiographical book of the same title by Gavino Ledda. The film ends again in documentary fashion as Gavino Ledda himself tells why he wrote his book and what Sardinian children may expect as inhabitants of a rural area with close ties to the land.
The film directed by the Taviani brothers had won the 1977 Palme d’Or & FIPRESCI Prize Competition prize at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival.