6. The Atticus Institute
Presented through declassified footage and first-hand survivor accounts, this film is an authentic blend of esoteric science and paranormal. The story begins by showing us glimpses of the scientific work being done by a group of scientists who have set up an institute (of the same name) in the 70s to study Telekinesis, Clairvoyance and other such psychic phenomena in subjects, through 35mm video clips and systematic documents. Things appear to be reasonable and logically explicable until one subject starts showing high-levels of psychic abilities as compared to others. As they start to study her more closely, they find that she is able to do things which defy the laws of physics and probably ‘paranormal’. The story takes an interesting turn when the army gets an inkling of this and try to weaponize her abilities to gain strategic military advantage. This one’s a breath of fresh air when it comes to the same old boring plots of possessions and exorcisms.
7. Steve Jobs : The Man in the Machine
Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney (for Best Documentary Feature Film Taxi to the Dark Side in 2007), this is one of the most balanced takes on Steve Jobs’ life and work that we have seen till date. In this film, Gibney manages to gather first-hand accounts from people who had closely worked with him and had closely known him throughout his life including his first wife Chrisann Brennan. The result is an intimate portrayal of a man who has been immortalised through the world-changing products he helped create and has since become a pop-icon even after his death. Gibney takes us through his evolution from a young pirate and a rebel to an humbled man who could finally understand his flaws and could value the people around him. Even though he has been one of the most documented and filmed personalities in the world, Steve Jobs brings a whole new perspective to the man who still lives in our machines in a way.
8. The Age of Adaline
This amazingly written Woody Allen-esque story revolves around a woman named Adaline (played by Blake Lovely, uh…Lively) who stops ageing after a freak mishap. Reminiscent of The Man from Earth, this story actually delves into the shortcomings of such a life when your daughter is in her 70s while you are still in your early 20s. Even though Adaline avoids forming any intimate relationships for obvious reasons, she finds herself falling in love with Michiel Hulsman (otherwise known as Daario Naharis from GoT). If you find the story becoming too mellow and romantically mushy right about now, there’s an amazing twist in the tale which suddenly makes you sit up and pay attention. The Age of Adaline redefines the concept of the transcendence of love and sends across a beautiful message.
9. Me and Earl and the dying girl
This film with the most un-subtle title ever, is a quirky and heartwarming coming-of-age story of three teenagers. Greg Gaines and his friend Earl are film enthusiasts who love making amateur parodies of famous movies and starring in them. Gaines is a lanky wallflower who is a misfit in his school and seems to take life as spontaneously as it comes. One day, through his mom, he comes to know about a former childhood friend Olivia who has been diagnosed with cancer. His mom feels sad about Olivia and demands that Gaines spend time with her so that she doesn’t feel lonely. Even though they have never interacted much with one another, Gaines tries to strike a conversation with a very morose Olivia who has lost all interest in life. Through his extremely random and sometimes insightful perspective of the world in his films, Gaines tries to make her laugh and what follows is a true-to-life lesson on how important friends are and how they grow apart as time goes by, making us value them even more.
Genre: Classic adaptation
With a stellar cast of Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, its surprising how little reception it got, maybe due to the fact that its an adaptation from a writer who is understood only by a select few. However, Macbeth is considered one of the most celebrated creations from the ambit of Shakespeare’s monumental work and has been adapted no less than 18 times (including this one) since 1908 across the world. Directed by Justin Kurzel, this particular adaptation takes on a much grittier visage than its earlier theatric predecessors. The cinematography is dark and tends to project a world torn apart by war and ruled by evil as shown by the infamous witches. Fassbender plays an accurately balanced act as he feels both loyalty towards King Duncan and a tinge of hubris brought on by the prophecy of the witches which pollutes his mind. Cotillard is the prodigal seductress who is blinded by her husband’s might, further poisoning his mind by instigating him to kill the King and grab the throne for himself. Although the dialogues are mostly old English and poetic, the screenplay is powerful and haunts you long after you’ve watched it.
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