Wael’s list of top 20 picks of films for Dubai International Film Festival 2013
Here’s a third and last list of recommended films to see at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival.
This is a list made by my friend Wael Hattar. We’ve been talking a lot over the past few days about the films and our schedule for this festival. So I invited him to share his list of films I can feature here.
Wael has a very interesting approach in selecting his films. It involves marker pens, notes – a lot more OCD compared to my research of films for the festival. His original list included a lot of titles I already shared with you, so I took the 20 titles that are different to share with you.
I also asked Wael why he chose these films. So instead of including the synopsis for each film here, you will read in Wael’s words why he recommends these films.
Over to you Wael.
The list below is mainly my personal taste plus some logical analysis (my logic, not global logic so not sure how that affects you). It is, mostly dark and gritty but do read the synopsis of each film on the DIFF website (click on each title below) for an actual view of the film, but this is why I want to see these films:
David O. Russell’s third recent film (after The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook) and they just seem to be getting better. For this, he got his favorite cast to make sure the hype isn’t just that. So I’m excited to see this if I can.
Always interested in Arab films when it’s not about politics or war or male melodrama.
Looks a little violent but seems interesting. Part real, part Bonnie and Clyde/Natural Born Killers romanticism - so lets see how South Africa does it.
Intrigued by the story and love Saoirse Ronan’s acting in general and believe she can carry a film.
From Jason Reitman, the director of Juno with a good cast including Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Tobey McGuire, so this an automatic watch.
Good director (Justin Chadwick), good actor (Idris Elba) and a seemingly un-romanticized story of Mandela’s life, so should be decent.
Risqué and dark so could be a good find. It was also banned after it’s first screening in South Africa…now unbanned, let's all judge.
Catherine Deneuve doing what I sense is a soft hidden tragic role and film.
Christian Bale in yet another dark film, but I can’t complain.
Looks harsh with a sprinkle of intrigue, and for an Arabic film that isn’t too common.
Again, I am always interested in non-war Arab films. Lives of others and a therapist. Seems light though, but that’s ok as I am not expecting to be blown away, but interested to see where it goes.
Very dark, very slow, VERY patient film that has already received lots of awards and seems to be heart breaking, no, devastating.
Comedy, drama, relationships, awkward silences in this non cliché road trip type film? (Can I even call it that if they are divorced but hadn’t interacted for 15 years until their kid got hurt?) With a funny cameo by a Serge Lopez thrown in with a director and writer who can mix emotions in a natural way will make this unique I think.
First feature for its director Jae-Han Kin. I’m not into the thriller aspect of it, yet in the past, films from the Far East have been very good and some of my favorites at the festival.
A trek across Africa by Senegalese director (Dyana Gaye) who’s older films have received good praise. I missed her last film at DIFF so this could be my chance to see her work.
Special Note - Short Films
I will end the list recommending the short films listed under Arabian Nights and Muhr Arab Shorts sections which look very decent. The calibre of the Arab directors selected this year has really developed.