….I miss about Trivandrum, I miss the festival (’07 , ’08) the most. It could be seasonal, because it is the 2nd week of December and the film Gods have descended on IFFK’s 14th Edition. Now that I am not there, as always I’m trying to aggregate. Some of the best posts on IFFK 2009 came from Bangalore Film Society’s blog.

Some day by day accounts at Brown Country, Dear Cinema, and the IFFK Blog.

Excerpts from BFS’s capsule reviews

‘Monrak Transistor’ is an absolute joy.
‘Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl’ is exactly that.
“ËœSeasons’ is definitely not “Ëœthegreatestmalaylamfilminthelastfiveyears’. It checks in just about okay.
“ËœEk Tho Chance’ is an absolute wash-out.
“ËœHarishchandrachi factory’ is a classic of our times and should be given an all-India tax-free release.
“ËœAntichrist’ is passé.
“ËœThe Last Supper’ is one of the greatest political films of all time.
Mrinal Sen deserves a greater focus.
Raul Ruiz is some kind of master.
Arturo Ripstein is as supremely fucked up as it gets.
Everbody should watch Fransesco Rosi.

The last movie I watched in Trivandrum was Blessy’s Bhramaram at SreeKumar, which I would call a classic, and hence watched twice. So to say the least I left the city with a good taste in my mouth and a lot of hope about this nth renaissance in Malayalam movie. And a real renaissance it is I feel, when I hear about Kerala Cafe, Neelathamara, and Paleri Manickam.(though with a little regret about missing all the action).

Like Jiby put it in his post on many recent malayalam movies including Swa Le and Pazhassiraja,

I have ranted and raved for a long time on the need to undermine the star system. Let the star system stay. But let us audiences value the story, director and scriptwriter on par with the stars henceforth. Neelathamara released last week to favourable reviews – I am yet to see it. Oru Paathira Kolapathakathinte Katha, adapted from a novel, the novelist of which I had the chance to meet at a Calicut bar, releases today with pre-release reports promising a good fare. All of you who stayed off Malayalam films for a while can head right back home ““ we are back to making good movies!

And E Pradeep reviews Paleri Manikkam – Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Katha with elan, and ends on a similar optimistic note

My last four movies have been Bhramaram, Kerala Cafe, Loud Speaker and now Paleri Manikyam and if this is any evidence of Malayalam cinema slowly emerging out of its worst phase, then we are definitely in for exciting times. Renjith has once again shown (after Thirakatha and Kaiyoppu) that he is an exciting talent and the new generation (with the likes of Lal Jose, Renjith Shankar and others) is ready to revive the lost art called Malayalam cinema.

I agree on this one. I so understand where Ranjith comes from that Chandrolsavam is one of my favorite movies, and I did a favorable review of Rock n Roll. Don’t even ask about Kayyoppu, Thirakatha, and Devasuram. All in all a great year for malayalam cinema, and a fitting tribute to the stalwarts who left us – Murali, Lohi, and Rajan P Dev.