With films like Family, Mo and Losing my Religion, Dami Orimogunje has shown his fine taste in cinema, referencing obvious influences in his personal project from a diverse appreciation of global cinema.
When Filmkaku spoke with him about his work, he expectedly punctuated some of his points with references to his favourite films listed below. The cumulative total reflects a deep interest in foreign language dramas, usually about couples facing external and internal crises.
Amour by Michael Haneke
This German film tells the story of an Octogenarian couple, George and Anne grappling with a debilitating stroke. Slated as a painful and personal drama, Orimogunje references this film more than any other film as an example of simple but powerful storytelling. Check our trailer here
Ida by Pawel Pawlikoski
Set in 1962 Poland, Ida is about a young woman about to take vows as a nun when she learns from her only relative that she is Jewish. Both women embark on a journey to discover their family story and where they belong. Photographed in beautiful black and white and in 4:3 aspect ratio to evoke nostalgic moods of Poland in the 60s, Ida is a masterpiece that doesn’t excite audiences with special effects and glorious stunts, but engages the keen mind, forcing contemplation with sparse dialogue and very slow pacing. Check trailer here
In The Mood for Love by Wong Kar Wai
Dami Orimogunje’s favourite filmmaker, this film tells the story of a man and a woman whose spouses have an affair together and who slowly develop feelings for each other. Wong employs lush and evocative visuals so effectively that every frame is painted and rife with meaning. Check trailer here
A Separation by Asghar Farhadi
A couple file for a divorce in the midst of difficult family crises, but the state becomes a snag in their relationship and life. It is powerful art cinema about modern day Iranian societal worries, a reminder that films can contribute effectively to national discourse and yet retain solid entertainment value. Check trailer here
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Christian Mungiu
This lesser known Romanian film is a gripping portrayal of life in Communist Romania in the late 80s.It tells the story of two students, roommates in a university dormitory, trying to procure an illegal abortion. The modestly budgeted film was a critical and commercial hit outside Romania, with three Cannes awards at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, winning critics over with its realistic minimalism. Check trailer here
Mother of George by Andrew Dosunmu
Mother of George is the story of a young Yoruba couple in New York, grappling with fertility issues and the cultural struggle that ensues .This film is a visual accomplishment by Andrew Dosunmu and his DP, Bradford Young, so much it draws comparisons with Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood for Love. Check trailer here