This topic is part of the 2012 MUBI World Cup. If you have not already done so, please read the first post at the topic for an introduction to and rules about this year’s World Cup:
The purpose of this topic is to cast votes in the matchup listed above and also to be a forum for discussing the films in the match.
Anyone who has seen both of the films listed above may vote in this match. You must vote for whichever of the two films you personally like better. In order to vote you must post a reply to this topic containing one of the following sequences:
If you are voting for The Temptation of St. Tony: “Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) 1 – Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels) 0”
If you are voting for Mother Joan of the Angels: “Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) 0 – Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels) 1”
Your vote must contain the names of both films with a “one” after the film you are voting for and a “zero” after the other film. If your vote is not formatted in this way it will not be counted.
Along with your vote you are strongly encouraged to leave additional comments regarding your reactions to the films, your reasons for why you voted the way you did, and responses to other participants’ comments. Being able to have deep discussion about the films and different aspects of them is an important part of finding enjoyment in participating in the World Cup.
This match will end on Thursday, April 12 at 10:00 PM GMT. No votes attempted to be cast after that time will be counted. Shortly after the match ends the votes will be tallied and a winner of the match will be declared. If the films both receive the same number of votes, the match will be considered a tie.
The percentage of votes each film receives in a match will have an effect on whether or not the corresponding country will participate in the final round of the World Cup. Thus even if the film you vote for loses in this match, your vote will still be important.
The results of the matches as well as the schedule for future matches can be found here:
If you would like to participate but are unable to find sources to watch these films, please send me a personal message so that I can invite you to the private website featuring internet links to view the films.
I’d really like to vote in this one, especially since I submitted one of the films.
I’m sorry that none of us who submitted The Temptation of St. Tony. Although I see Jirin did post this topic tagged to the film a while back:
The futility of good
My goal is to watch Mother Joan of the Angels in time to vote and to go over St. Tony again to make some decent comments on why I picked it.
Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) – 1 / Poland ( Mother Joan of the Angels) – 0
Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) 1 – Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels) 0
What a fantastic match! Here we have two great films with almost identical themes. Both delve into the nature of evil and, if Mother Joan of the Angels looks a the struggle of religion to come to terms with it, The Temptation of St. Tony shows that modernity has no easy answers either.
Perhaps Mother Joan is the more original film. It’s influence can be seen in Ken Russell’s The Devils, with which it shares source material and, of course, The Exorcist. St. Tony, on the other hand was reminiscent of Eraserhead, Werckmeister Harmonies and, in one scene, Eyes Wide Shut.
Unforgettable imagery abound in both films.
As far as my vote goes, this is pretty much a toss up for me. I’m going with St. Tony because I generally don’t like surrealism, so when a film utilizing that style does appeal to me, in my mind it’s done something special. Yet Mother Joan offers that amazingly filmed mass exorcism scene and the priest/rabbi duality. This could go either way, but I’ll stick with my first instinct.
Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) 0 – Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels) 1
the flaw as i see it with tony is that it’s glossed up teenage goth gone flash. anything it might be trying to say about evil, gosh, or modern life, is totally coated in so much slick-style ‘dark shit’ that i can’t stop alliterating (always a bad sign) it’s like someone poured shiny black pitch in my eye for a couple of hours. (not even going to comment on what poor townes van zandt is doing on the soundtrack)…….on the other hand, there’s mad nuns (another bad habit of mine)
sorry, that’s quite harsh really. i just had an epiphany the other day that i really didn’t like the film and i guess the anti-hallelujahs haven’t quite settled down yet….
Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) – (0) vs. Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels) – (1)
As I commented on other pages, Mother Joan of Angels dwarfs St. Tony in terms of its depth and ideas. TwoDeadMagpies description of St. Tony as ‘slick-style ’dark shit’’ in hindsight does stick in the mind when looking back at it, and it neither helps that its memorable moments (especially the walking on the wall) are not that original or as profound as they should be. Its excessive surreal style – grabbing from anywhere from Lynch to even Aki Kaurismaki – fails when the more slimmed down and minimal Mother Joan… managed to get under my skin and terrify me with its ideas.
Mother Joan is one of my favorites from Poland. I first saw it around the same time as Marketa Lazarova, and can’t ever get either one of them out of my head (in a good way). The Kafka movie looked nice, and there’s usually a lot to be said for monochromatic filmmaking, but that’s about where it ended for me.
estonia (the temptation of st tony) 0 – poland (mother joan of the angels) 1
ditto what’s already been said. nice looking film but no match for joan
I didn’t like both of these films much so I vote for the one that I found a bit more entertaining(funny).
What’s so terrifying about Mother Joan of Angels? She looked sexy to me.
Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) – 0 vs. Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels) – 1
I’m back! I enjoy both of the movies in different ways. I found hard to compare them at first since they were thematically similar. However, what made it for me was that Mother Joan of the Angels had some really powerful moments that The Temptation of St. Tony couldn’t quite match with. Really good interpretations and the mood fitted just right with the directing,
What I really loved about Temptation of St Tony is the creativity of ways evil finds a way to corrupt his good intentions. Every time he tries to help somebody it turns into something evil and destructive.
Gertrude Stein had 4 Saints in Three Acts. Here we are severely short-changed with just two saints in two acts. Two films about how good and evil become reverse sides of the coin in a rather jaded view of Catholic symbolism and iconography. Two dark films from Eastern Europe, both with a cynical edge.
The Temptation of St. Tony had a dizzying plethora of images and symbols, but the whole was much less (for me) than the sum of its rather disconnected parts. With its black and white contrasts and story, it’s sort of an Estonian Tarr a go-go. Still, some nice images, especally at the beginning, with the funeral procession captured through the open window and the car crash following, that is acknowledged briefly, then ignored. It gets my lukewarm vote because of some of the imagery and the Tarkovsky-like black dog (while it still lived).
I’ll take Ken Russell’s The Devils more lively view of demonic possession (or Powell/Pressburger’s Black Narcissus, for that matter) in the convenant to this dry treatment, anyday. Not a fan of either, basically with Rohit in this.
It wasn’t Mother Joan herself which terrified me but more of a) the ideas of the existence of evil, and of God and the Devil being the same, ideas which effected me both as an agnostic and as someone fascinated by philosophy, and b) the possession in general leading to that unsettling and morally grey ending.
Hmm…well thanks for explaining. I guess I just don’t get Christianity and its obsession with the devil, posession, morbid suffering and the sex lives of priests and nuns at all. Maybe its because I come from a religion where even the demons used to worship Gods(mark the plural Gods; They are as attractive as a confectionery stall) , ask for powers and then wage wars with them :P. Obviously they were always vanquished in the end but it was fun in a way as that gave rise to multiple mythologies and epics for us to read and enjoy. Moreover, we have no restriction to priests getting married or having children. I should probably take this to the Religion thread but you can’t blame me for losing interest. Having said that, I do like some Bergman films on Christianity. I guess its the way you handle the subject that’s important. Films like Mother Joan are a yawn fest for me.
It also depends on how its presented in the film too whether the viewer engages with it or not. You can handle the religion the same way as in Mother Joan of Angels in any film but it depends on how you do so. Since The Devils has been mentioned, which I will get back to again now a DVD is finally available, you have two films based on the same historical event (The Devils during it, Mother Joan… in the aftermath) but very different presentations of the ideas even if the depth taken to the religious subjects was the same. The same goes with Black Narcissus even if its a very different film on the same religion.
Hey I have seen The Devils. I enjoyed its over the top style more than Mother Joan but apart from that it was nothing too serious for me.
i love the devils but i have to admit… i love mother joan more!
Mother Joan I feel is much more a love story than anything else. That’s what kept me engaged in the story.
^Are you trying to say that the priest was in love with that nun? I didn’t get any impression of that sort. I thought he just wanted to suffer more than he could with his masochistic rituals.
I got it, but it doesn’t seem most people did.
During the film, I didn’t think about it, but in hindsight to how the to characters interacted to each other it is obvious, alongside the sense of duty the priest has to do everything he can to stop the posession, which make the ending even more powerful.
I couldn’t see the film solely as a film about religion and good/evil. The ending seemed to suggest something more. The ending is devastating.
Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony) 0 — Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels) 1
Hopefully soon I can explain the impact Mother Joan has had on me. I don’t find it theological at all, not even the rabbi’s pronouncements—concepts are all discarded readily for the rare realities of love. Perhaps passing Satan back and forth between a couple’s corporal bodies and minds is better than sex, the ramifications seem to last longer too (longer than a cigarette anyhow). If I were a person with a large vocabulary, I’d use spelling bee words as adjectives to describe my admiration for, and gratitude to, Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s old master-styled lighting and composition. Tadeusz Konwicki is a world class writer and film maker, whose celebrated talents were a large contribution here. The camera, the cast, production design the locations, the compositions—remember the scene in which Mother Joan and Father Jozef Suryn share confidences in the laundry-drying court. Those poles on rope swinging east/west, while the principals move north/south in a dimensional grid of tension and exposure between the duet like a choreographed ballet of motion, language, development, employing great frames within which the actors embodied their characters’ constant parry and thrusting. And how about the BDSM pain and self-torture sequence at opposite ends of the upstairs room?. Pretty sexy for Catholics. Gotta Go. I’ll try to explain myself another time. If there is a God, he can prove his existence by allowing me to dream of those nuns tonight. If religious monastics were only so goofy and open to experiencing the great conundrums of human existence as our cast’s portrayal, I might consider their arguments with less bias, maybe even agree (if they don’t cut me to ribbons with an axe while the horses rage). How about those white Polish horses—even the barn animals were sexy, prancing all that contrast and muscular movement with tails shorn to bobs. Oh the concupiscence, the original sin, the asylumesque sensuality of lash and tears. Gotta Go.
Perhaps passing Satan back and forth between a couple’s corporal bodies and minds is better than sex
i love you, brotherdeacon.
i also love tadeusz konwicki. yay! he never gets enough recognition. he had his finger in a lot more polish pies than mubi here would have you believe…..
and rohit, don’t you remember in the voting secrets thread? we even posted a quote from kawalerowicz himself about how mother joan is about lurve above theology.
suddenly feel a need to watch the film again. gotta go rent a cat….
If it was about love, it sure didn’t get across to me. It felt more like duty and suffering above anything else.
For the life of me, I can’t quite get what the big deal is about The Temptation of St. Tony. At a very basic level, it wears its influences way too close to the sleeve. It’s also not weird or disturbing enough for its own good. It seems like it pulls its punches.
^Don’t get sleepless nights thinking about it, Mother Joan will win this match. Oh yea and St. Tony was as cheesy as they get.