Jio MAMI 2016: 'Restored Classics' section has interesting films from Poland, Taiwan, Dhaka - Firstpost

Jio MAMI 2016: 'Restored Classics' section has interesting films from Poland, Taiwan, Dhaka

The 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is touted to be one of the biggest film festivals of India. The festival has been surviving for two years under the leadership of the experts Kiran Rao and Anupama Chopra.

This year MAMI is slated to take place from 20 October to 27 October 2016, with Konkona Sensharma's directorial debut, A Death in the Gunj, opening the fest. Another popular segment is the Restored Classics segment which screened the restored version of Pyaasa in 2015.

This year there are films from all over the world which are (re)debuting on the screen after a long time. Restoration for a film means returning it to its original glory in digital form, and restoration has helped revive the likes of films like Satyajit Ray’s classic Apu TrilogyPather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959) by the Criterion Collection.

This year there's a film from Pakistan, a surrealist film about ghosts from Poland, and many more films that have been brought back to life through the wonderful art of restoration.

Here's the list of restored films to watch out for:

The Day Shall Dawn/Jago Hua Savera (1958)

Director: Aaejay Kardar
Genre: Drama
Language: Urdu/Bengali
Watch out for: The film is almost a quasi-documentary that provides insight into the lives of the people of Dhaka.

The film was a co-production between the now divided Pakistani state (now independent Pakistan and Bangladesh). The film is shot in Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) by Aaejay Kardar who had left the merchant navy to follow his passion of making films.

Jago Hua Savera tells us the tale about life in a small fishing village where everyone dreams of owning their own boat. The film was met with worldwide critical acclaim, and was even pre-selected for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1960. The film is seen as the first ever Pakistani melodrama – a genre that was more highly developed in neighbouring India.

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The Saragossa Manuscript/ Rękopis Znaleziony W Saragossie (1965)

Director: Wojciech Jerzy Has
Genre: Surrealist/Comedy
Language: Polish
Watch out for: Krzysztof Penderecki, the highly regarded polish composer provides the films soundtrack which elevates the film from brilliant to spectacularly mind blowing.

The film traces the journey of Alfonse Van Worden to Madrid (he is a captain of the Walloon Guard of the King of Spain). The journey is full of adventures as he comes across mysterious inns and ghosts which allows the film to have out of the box imaginary and story-lines. 

These surrealist elements in the film were clearly inspired by the imagery in the film is clearly inspired by artists like Max Ernst and Salvador Dali, as well as 18th century contemporaries of Potocki like Francisco Goya.


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Multiple Maniacs (1970)

Director: John Waters
Genre: Avant-garde/Black comedy
Language: English
Country: USA

Watch out for: The notorious Lobster scene, which will leave you startled because of its graphic imagery. (That's all that we can say without giving away too much)

What can be said about Waters's Multiple Maniacs?

Waters, who is also known as 'The King of Bad Taste' and 'Pope of Trash' is back to maximize our aversion to everything in the 70s. Criterion Collection has restored a version of Multiple Maniacs with the tagline 'Restored! Reviled! Revolting!'

The film, which is a parody on the '70s peace moment, features Waters's long time collaborators, drag queen Lady Divine, who plays the role of an ex wanting to avenge herself after discovering her lover's affair. It also stars Waters's regular cast of Dreamlanders which include the likes David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Edith Massey and Cookie Mueller.

If you have an aversion to all things icky, we suggest you avoid this film completely. Here's a look at the trailer:

Taipei Story/Oing Mei Zhu Ma (1985)

Director: Edward Yang
Genre: Taiwanese New Wave
Language: Taiwanese
Watch out for: Acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-hsien plays the lead role and is also a producer of the film. Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edward Yang are the two directors responsible for bringing about the New Wave in Tainwanese cinema.

Though the film centers around the relationship of a former Little League baseball star (played by famed director Hou Hsiao-hsien) who works in a clothing store and his long-time girlfriend Chin, the film also has another protagonist: the city of Taipei. The bustling metropolis is put in the center of the romance and is showcased with grandeur that is only possible with Yang's excellent cinematography.


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On the Silver Globe/Na Srebrnym Globie (1988)

Director: Andrzej Żuławski
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Country: Poland
Language: Polish
Watch out for: Andrzej Jaroszewicz’s extraordinary camerawork  uses extreme wide-angle lenses all the time which are constantly moving.

The film was originally filmed over a two-year shoot that ended in 1977 courtesy Poland's Ministry of Culture that shut down its' production. The restored version , then released in 1988 has some additional footage and Zuławski at the start telling us that what we’re about to see is 'a shred of a film,' a work of which one fifth is missing, since the film was 'murdered.'

The story follows a small group of space exploeres who leave Earth to start a new civilization. When they reach a new planet, they eventually die one by one, while their children revert to a primitive native culture, creating new myths and a new god.

Some time later, a space bureaucrat, running from a broken heart, arrives and finds the colonizer's descendants enslaved by a ruling class. Society is divided into numerous classes, and everyone is waiting for the arrival of a messiah. The newcomer is considered a suitable candidate, and for some time he lives as a god.

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