3-iron

Kim-Ki-Duk

3-iron (Empty House) is a Korean modern-day folk tale tracing the development of a romantic relationship between a battered housewife and a homeless drifter who breaks into vacationing people's houses just to get some food and sleep, in exchange for performing household chores and mending their broken appliances. The total absence of dialogue from the two main characters reinstates the fact that love needs no words. The soft cinematography, bluish open-end frames, and electrifying musical score are very touching.

Amelie

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

This French romantic comedy is the story of a shy waitress Amelie Poulain (played by my favourite actress Audrey Tautou), who finds an old metal box filled with childhood memorabilia, in her apartment and tracks down the now-adult man to return it to him. On seeing his happiness, she becomes a secret matchmaker and guardian angel for people around her by solving their problems through complex but hidden schemes. However, she has to struggle with her own isolation as she is too shy to approach the young man who has captured her heart. The art direction and quick flipping cinematography provides immense visual appeal. The narrative sets a milestone in inter-weaving different time periods, locations and events in a coherent, closely-bound and well-paced structure.

Life Is Beautiful

Robert Benigni

The first half of this Italian movie is a whimsical and romantic comedy in which the funny and charismatic Guido Orefice romances a local school teacher, Dora and marries her. On the fourth birthday of their son they are taken away to a Nazi concentration camp where Guido convinces the child that camp life is just a game. With its ability to motivate and keep one's spirits high in the most challenging circumstances, the film deserved the three Oscars it won.

Bitter Moon

Roman Polanski

Aboard a ship to Istanbul, en route to India, a paraplegic, failed and self-loathing writer recounts to a fellow passenger how he and his wife fell in love and how they fell apart. The film has an intriguing plot, and traces the natural course that love takes when faced with sadism and cruelty.

The Boy Who Stopped Talking

Ben Somboggart

When young Memo's father hears of an imminent war in Turkey against the Kurds, he leaves for The Netherlands with his family. Memo misses his homeland and wants to return. Out of protest, he decides to begin a vow of total silence. His new friend Jeroen tries to make him happy. This moving Dutch film brings home the world of an innocent child.

Those that almost made it:

The Song of Sparrows: Majid Majidi

American Beauty: Sam Mendes

Hero: Yimou Zhang

In The Mood For Love: Wong Kar Wai

Nobody is Perfect: Joaquin Oristrell

All about Lily Chou Chou: Shunji Iwai

Vijeta Dahiya lives in Delhi and studied film-making at the Institute of Moving Images. He is a short-film maker, a blogger and a poet.

Keywords: World cinema