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 Illusion Travels by Streetcar: “Mexico (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) 1 – Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run) 0”
If you are voting for Tinpis Run: “Mexico (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) 0 – Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run) 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, May 3 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.
Sorry about the match title not featuring the names of the countries of films. For some reason MUBI wouldn’t let me post it that way. I’ll try to get it fixed.
Mexico (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) 1 – Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run) 0
Mexican streetcar vs Tinpis taxi: Two rather broad comedies, both with a political subtext, both dealing with issues revolving around transportation.
Illusion has Buñuel at his ‘red’ stage, with his trademark dark comic overtones, but no real hint of the brilliant surrealist we all know and love. Sort of journeyman work for him, I guess. This is no Exterminating Angel. We can see Buñuel’s political leanings throughout, however, such as the line from the lady with the fake American accent who got on the bus and was told she didn’t need to pay: “Are you all Communists?” A light-hearted, but very forgettable farce.
The New Guinea film was fun, but rather amateurish, to say the least, going from one story to the next without much real continuity, except the taxi itself. The comedy between the old man and his young soon to be son-in-law was the main saving grace. The old and new generations/ways of doing things collide, but the young generation has all the answers in this film. I liked the crazy taxi that kept going inspite of everything and the popping-up hood.
After a rather ho-hum coin toss, I’ll cast a faint vote for the Streetcar Named Illusion.
It’s impossible to vote against Lilia Prado, even if she was better in Subida al cielo.
-because the names of the films still aren’t in the title and I want people to hopefully check out the thread to see if it’s a match they want to participate in
Mexico (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) 0 – Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run) 1
Illusion Travels by Streetcar : This was a nice early Bunuel. An eventful day in the life of two streetcar personnel that starts with a satire on the management ethic: “Too much efficiency is not good”. Then we have a night of revelry with dance and theatre. The drunk personnel decide to take their “soon to be scrapped” streetcar for one final ride which turns out to be much too eventful than they would have imagined. In the end fortunately everything falls into place and the quintessential much too zealous ex- employee is sadly and yet comically resigned to curse himself.
Tinpis Run : This was a nice road movie from a country that rarely features on the film circuit. It was kind of cute as Ruby described on its page. The characters are endearing and there is also the moral lesson of ending the tribal fights for the greater good of the country. There were some very humorous moments and apart from the tribal fighting sequence(which was a let down) I enjoyed this film quite a lot.
I think I could vote either way in this match but in keeping with the spirit of this cup, I would like to encourage the film from Papua New Guinea and its less known director by casting a vote in its favor.
Illusion Travels is not my favorite among Bunuel’s Mexican films (I prefer Los Olvidados, and particularly the more wicked humor of Archibaldo or even Simon of the Desert), but I still enjoyed its breezy charms, and intimate evocation of the urban milieu. I’m also quite fond of movie characters that are unusually attached to a vehicle, be it an old streetcar or a ramshackle taxi, and on top of that, you have Lilia Prado saying “I don’t take anything seriously”. That’s my kind of woman!
Illusion has Buñuel at his ‘red’ stage, with his trademark dark comic overtones, but no real hint of the brilliant surrealist we all know and love. Sort of journeyman work for him, I guess. This is no Exterminating Angel.
Illusion is much more complex than Exterminating Angel. The latter is conceptual art where the idea is taken to its logical conclusion. Logic does not equal surrealism. Contrary to popular myth, Bunuel was a realist, rather than a surrealist. He rejected surrealism.
Illusion begins with materialistic mechanics: a streetcar in HQ goes where it’s supposed to go, whether it has to run over a live human being or not.
It then moves to capitalistic mechanics: a boss wields authority, whether it has to fire a live human being or not.
It then moves to religious mechanics: a Catholic play grants grace, whether it has to condemn a live human being or not.
The response to these threats is to drunkenly seize a tool that all three oppressive forces utilize and give it away for free to everybody.
That Bunuel can do all this within a studio system that sold it as “forgettable” and “nice” and “breezy” is a testament to Bunuel’s genius.
what a fun match. two transportation themed buddy comedies complete with romantic subplots. the film from new guinea was quite entertaining in spite of being a bit rough round the edges, but my vote has to go to my man buñuel, for the completely charming ‘la ilusión viaja en tranvía’. ¡viva méxico!
mexico (illusion travels by streetcar) 1 – papua new guinea (tinpis run) 0
Mexico (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) 1 — Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run) 0
Mexico (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) – (1) — Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run) – 0
Two solid films, but the one that I am voting for is the one that will stand out as great film for some time. In a fitting cross pollination of cinema, Buñuel’s film evoked the feel of an RKO feature (its opening credit sequence, the use of black and white), but it’s very much its own work, which can be placed alongside The Exterminating Angel as the films which may have introduced me to a period of his work which, if I dig deeper into, may be rewarding and allow me to finally appreciate Buñuel as a director. It can be viewed as a whimsical small film, a studio picture if you will, but you can still see his fingerprints in it. The religious play in the opening half cannot be viewed without a sense that Buñuel had his eyebrow raised and saw an absurdity to it will still appreciating the culture behind it, while glimpses of politics, especially the references to inflation, add to the main story. Even the plot with two men stuck in a streetcar has a surreal edge to it, The Exterminating Angel in a moving space and with the movements of public transportation, not an abstract force, keeping them within it.
Tinpis Run improves immensely when the narrative follows the shady politician who utters words of democracy, but is so disconnected from his island of birth (?) through his extravagant lifestyle that he is openly mocked and laughed at times. Strangely a moment with him at a pool, suggesting to the protagonists how he will pay them to help with his campaign, reminded me of Touki Bouki, another film from the Cup. The comedy, mixed with some melancholy and politics, becomes more upfront, especially with the tribal issues that take place, making the film more distinct. The issues of the traditional culture against Western modernity stick out especially, the amusing but tragic sequence of a meeting between two tribes being undermined by passing through traffic the centre point of the issue. That the tribal warfare sequence is presented as it is was not disappointing for me unlike for other voters in this match but on purpose, cultural traditions that are not only undermined by modernity but questioned as a sense of pointlessness between the tribes and within them about the point of the conflict came forward. The film is not just a single sided condemnation of modernity crushing traditional values but also questions some of the traditional ideas as well. The tribal celebration of the purchase of the Tinpis taxi, with full costuming and body paint, showed that both tradition and modernity can connect together.
If there is any problems with Tinpis Run though it’s that, partially funded by Film4, its sadly inherited some of tedious and ‘auteurless’ structuring that can be found in some of their produced films, a rigid plotting and narrative structure that sands out some of the exploration of its ideas or even its humour. The moments that stick out, the first person perspective of a rolling taxi, the tribal celebration of taxi purchase etc., stand out as the best moments because they briefly break away from the conventional plotting the film is jacketed into. Buñuel’s film, its Mexican culture, its ‘conventional’ plot and the clear evocations of RKO films, succeeds better because you can still see his vision within it and that the final work is more than its plot synopsis. Jerry Johnson’s points of the mechanics played within the story are clearly obvious, as are the surreal nature of being stuck in the moving room known as Streetcar no. 133 and the looks at religion and politics in the society the story is set in. Tinpis Run is admirable, but Illusion Travels By Streetcar stands above it.
I share with Jerry his admiration for Buñuel’s Mexican studio films. One thing not mentioned is that these films show LB’s remarkable technical skills, often despised in his European films (he is not so far from Hitchcock, after all).
Oh, and I have a good time seeing “Tinpis Run”, thanks.
Naaki and Curls get their girls but I just fell in love with that tramcar. Tinpis Run was a fun ride. I had given up on getting to this match and so pleased now that I made the effort.
(how precious was this scene!)
Car 133 is home for all of the picaresque characters around the world who work, sweat, swear, laugh at silly shit, get upset, get drunk, fall in love with the wrong one, fall in love with the right one, pay too much in taxes, have a favorite hat, we whose shoes need shining, the butcher, the baker, the crack-pipe maker, the rapscallion, the priest who has lost his faith, the little girl who just opened a gift with a doll inside, the poet, the tyrant, the soldier who follows orders with no personal thought, the soldier who refuses to follow orders because they’re immoral, the crank, the wimp, all the Kaurismaki (Mika & Aki) characters in the world and all the Bergman characters too, we all ride Car 133. And nobody knows where we’re headed. I’ve always had a very fond place for this film in my air-conditioned heart.
yep that’s it, the metaphor wasn’t too subtle, there’s a city in my mind, come along and take that ride, and it’s all right, baby, it’s all right
VOTING IS CLOSED
Mexico (Illusion Travels by Streetcar) – 8
Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run) – 1
The winner is:
Mexicans, at the cry of war,
make ready the steel and the bridle,
and may the Earth tremble at its centers
at the resounding roar of the cannon.
and may the Earth tremble at its centers
at the resounding roar of the cannon!
Rocket’s Red Glare ain’t got nothing on Mexico! That snake is fucked. ;)
9 voters. We need to make flyers and staple them to telephone poles, or stand around barrel fires on cold nights and hand them out to passers-by. Perhaps sky writing ads over the beach?
or something!!? i’m worried. this was one of the most fun matches too
If anyone’s interested, Subida al Cielo is the “country mouse” version of Streetcar (takes place on a bus) and is available with English subs here:
It’s my favorite Bunuel.