Kenji Mizoguchi's classic 'The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums'(1939) takes us to the journey of an actor's achievement of his true potential with the help of the woman of his love. Deeply moving, this was my third Mizoguchi film and I believe the warmth that his films have is very rare in cinema. In that aspect, he is certainly way ahead of Kurosawa. Also, this film was unique with the presence of long scenes rendered in one shot. Text-book stuff.
Jane Campion is the President of the Jury this year. Her film 'Bright Star'(2008), the kind of love story I have stopped watching, is about the great romantic poet, John Keats' love affair with the protagonist, Fanny Brawne. Beautifully shot, and with some great performances, this one is for you to watch with your girlfriend, especially if both of you love romantic poetry.
But the movie that made my day despite the above-mentioned disappointments was to come last. One of the most celebrated films in the last couple of years, 'The White Ribbon' from Germany, blends drama with mystery in an unusually affecting way. Unforgettable characters, and layers upon layers into the lives of a village community, full of sins, and still hopeful of purity and peace, this movie made me react (for the first time): Wish I could write something like this! It shouldn't be difficult to find it. Go for it. My first 'must watch' recommendation from the festival.
For the record: Must Watch Before You Die #5 The White Ribbon (2009)