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 Runner: “Bosnia and Herzegovina (No Man’s Land) 1 – Georgia (Small Town of Anara) 0”
If you are voting for Lust for Gold: “Bosnia and Herzegovina (No Man’s Land) 0 – Georgia (Small Town of Anara) 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 Wednesday, May 9 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.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (No Man’s Land) 0 – Georgia (Small Town of Anara) 1
No Man’s Land : This is not a bad film on the face of it but for some reason, it smells of mediocrity. It has the features of a big budget Hollywood film that are toned down to make them more critically attractive.
Small Town of Anara : This is a very funny film that lost some of its humor due to the mismatching subtitles but still I could sense how much fun it could have been on a better print quality. I enjoyed watching this.
hmmm. considering the furore and rumpus the last match resulted in, i’m going to declare the neutrality of my operating bias under the title ‘men’. on the one hand there were yet more fine mustaches, on the other, some rambos doing red colander impressions in a ditch. seeing as neither film contained mads mikkelsen (get with it round 2 denmark), it’s too tough to call. i’ll have to access an even more stupid bias, in that i never saw a georgian film i didn’t like. they can do funny, like anara…or stunningly gorgeous, like i’m hoping will turn up in the next round…till then, since i know of the people i canvassed, no one submitted any films from him, here’s some lovely little shorts by another georgian filmmaker (not yet on mubi) also working on the gentle, absurd and amusing side of things (for those that might be missing the presence of early iosseliani) – mikhail kobakhidze
Sorry for the pure subs, but Riss and me done our best to translate lines from Georgian, over Serbian, to English. Thank you, again, Risselada, for your help. Also, there are Russian version, but we took this one, cause of the original sound, and without narrative monologues of some Russian actor.
Sorry for the pure subs, but Riss and me done our best to translate lines from Georgian, over Serbian, to English.
We appreciate your efforts. Is there anything more you can tell us about this film considering that it did not have an intro page?
well, i don’t know if pedja wants to write anything, but here’s some context for georgian cinema, take from this KinoKultura article: Georgian Cinema before and after Independence
“Unlike the 1930s and 1940s, when a series of super-heroes were created in the context of Socialist Realism, the 1950s and 1960s were dominated by a rebellious approach to art. The mythological “we” of the collective art of the 30s returned to the individual “I,” revealing the inner human features, searching for something unique and special, something that was close to the individual and society, but also to the nation he represented. The times of nihilism were over, and new ways of creation had to be found.
The uniqueness of mythological characters turned into the uniqueness and individuality of a creative person. Old systems were destroyed, and new ones began to emerge. The historical reality in which artists had to live acquired new dimensions.
The new voices of the revolution in Georgian art, a group of rebel artists, were aware of their function and had precise aims. The first film setting a sign for the restoration of Georgian cinema was Magdana’s Donkey (Magdanas lurja, 1956) by Tengiz Abuladze and Rezo Chkheidze, based on a story by Ekaterine Gabashvili. The film was awarded a special prize at the Cannes International Film Festival, along with Albert Lamorisse’s Red Balloon (Le ballon rouge, 1956).
In 1962 Giorgi Shengelaya made the film Two Stories (Alaverdoba), which was a kind of creative manifesto of the 60’s generation. It was an expression of a civic position, offering creative stimuli and discoveries. The film set the path that would be pursued by Shengelaya and his contemporaries.
These directors, as well as their colleagues of the 1970s, Eldar Shengelaya, Otar Iosseliani, Aleqsandre Rekhviashvili, Tengiz Abuladze, Rezo Chkheidze, Lana Gogoberidze, Mikheil Kobakhidze, Merab Kokochashvili, Rezo Esadze, Nodar Managadze, and Irakli Kvirikadze spoke of problems which concerned them personally and society at large. They managed to circumvent the authorities and censorship by using “Aesopian language” and resorting to fables, legends, and myths, and sticking to genre conventions of comedy or tragicomedy. This freed them from their responsibility, as their films had no direct links with the reality that surrounded them: the truth was expressed in an allegoric manner
The main feature of this individual, poetic cinema was the independent mind of its authors, leading to new discoveries in style and form, as is evident in the best-known films of this period: Abuladze’s Magdana’s Donkey, Children of Others (Skhvisi shvilebi, 1959), and Prayer (Vedreba, 1967); Giorgi Shengelaya’s Two Stories, He Didn’t Want to Kill (Matsi Khvitia, 1966), Pirosmani (1969) and Voyage of the Young Composer (Akhalgazrda kompozitoris mogzauroba, 1986); Aleqsandre Rekhviashvili’s Georgian Chronicles of the 19th Century (XIX saukunis qartuli qronika, 1979) and The Way Home (Gza shinisaken, 1981); Nodar Managdze’s Uprising (Amaghleba, 1976); Merab Kokochashvili’s Big Green Valley (Didi mtsvane veli, 1967); Eldar Shengelaya’s An Unusual Exhibition (Arachveulebrivi gamopena (1968) and The Eccentrics (Sherekilebi, 1973); Otar Iosseliani’s Falling Leaves (Giorgobistve, 1966) and Lived Once a Song-Thrush (Iko shashvi mgalobeli, 1970); Rezo Chkheidze’s Father of a Soldier (Jariskatsis mama, 1964), Lana Gogoberidze’s Under One Sky (Erti tsis kvesh 1961), Rezo Esadze’s The Nylon Christmas Tree (Neilonis nadzvis khe, 1985), Mikheil Kobakhidze’s Wedding (Qorcili, 1964) and Umbrella (Qolga, 1967); Mikheil Kobakhidze’s short Musicians (Musikosebi 1969); Soso Chkhaidze’s Shepherds of Tusheti (Tushi metskhvare, 1978), Rezo Khotivari’s Adventures of Lazare (Lazares tavgadasavali, 1973); and Irakli Kvirikadze’s The Swimmer (Motsurave, 1981). In these films the individual consciousness was freed from the collective sub-conscious. These films opposed ideological and political, as well as social cinema. The narration of these films was poetic rather than prosaic and the filmmakers developed multiple plot lines.
The action takes place in an arbitrary world that has no definite historical link. The films are characterized by the abstraction of truth and indefinite contours. No realistic elements destroy the integrity, yet life (with its material and temporary characteristics) is one of the main acting powers. The anesthetization of the shooting object, picturesque and literary reminiscences, the arbitrary world and the poetic manner of narration are the key features of these films. The film world is metaphoric, symbolic, and unreal; it is a modeled microcosm.
The main ideas of these films are national and universal problems, moral issues, traditions, personal ethics the and struggle to retain moral principles, as well as the ability to make one’s choice which turns an ordinary human being into a hero.
The generation of the 50s and 60s won their unequal struggle because they had faith, and they pursued a goal. They knew that the change in the world view should be accompanied by a change of language. The generation defeated old ideals and celebrated new ones; they justified their existence in the given epoch by going far beyond it"
Thanks for that magpies. It does give some context to this film. I think in this film through the archaic tradition of drinking wine from the horn and its eventual destruction, the film does point towards the futility of it all. There is no honor left in it as people are found cheating to acquire the horn. Even the missile launching sequence seems to be a satire on the Georgian’s trying vehemently to keep-out outside influence as well as to protect their traditions that have actually lost their original significance.
Looks like I need to watch more Georgian films! It’s been some time since I watched Lived Once a Song-Thrush which was a fascinating discovery.
acquire the horn……missile launching
hahaha! pointless phallic antics! :)
^That sums it up.
Small Town of Anara was a lovely film and while some of the humour did pass me by (maybe the subs or the cultural differences) I still found myself having a bloody good time. Some great images like the man buried up to his neck in the earth or the rocket launching at the end. This is why this cup is totally amazing because this film completely unknown beforehand has seen the light of day and at least a few can appreciate its beauty……
No Man’s Land has some good moments but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work as a whole. When viewed alongside other films from this area about the war such as Kusturica’s Underground, Dragojevic’s Pretty Village, Pretty Flame, Manchevski’s Before the Rain or Grlic’s Border Post this film doesn’t quite hold up. I think Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams would make an interesting next choice for Bosnia. A take on the war without the absurdist humour thrown in for effect……….
Bosnia and Herzegovina (No Man’s Land) 1 – Georgia (Small Town of Anara) 0
We’ll see if I’m the only one who votes for No Man’s Land. Check out my intro thread if you haven’t already:
2012 MUBI World Cup Film Discussion: No Man’s Land
Like I said there I knew we’d get some complaints of it having a kind of Hollywood tone more so than some of the other films in the cup, but I didn’t really sense the film toned anything down to compromise itself in anyway. I genuinely was blown away when I first saw it and wanted to share the experience. Any comments in the discussion thread would be welcome, but I feel like this is a great film because it can be rewatched so many times from different angles.
It is so fantastic that we can find something like Small Town of Anara. This is really something that I figure must have such a small and localized distribution that it’s remarkeable that Pedja could unearth it. I know it’s not the best quality recording and the subtitles seem pretty akward, but something about that make it feel all the more magical and privaleged to watch.
I’m the only one who suggested any films from Bosnia for the World Cup so you’ll be seeing another one of my suggestions for the next Bosnian film, but I think it will be a huge contrast. While No Man’s Land was probably one of the most well known films used in the cup, I think the next Bosnia selection will be virtually unknown. I might be totally wrong about this, but no one else has made it as a suggestion to me yet and it isn’t even in the MUBI database. So we’ll see. Hopefully I can regain some face if it turns out no no one liked No Man’s Land. ;)
Small Town of Anara was a great little gem, but No Man’s Land resonated with me more. I’d seen it before this cup and loved it, so maybe the revisiting and familiarity gave it an advantage. Nevertheless, both films were great; one of my favorite matches of the whole cup so far, personally.
Bosnia and Herzegoving (No Man’s Land) 0 – Georgia (Small Town of Anara) 1
Though I bristle at joining what some mubites likes to term group think, I agree with many people above who also find Small Town of Anara irresistible. I saw No Man’s Land on its release and was somewhat disappointed, perhaps for what Risselada mentioned as the Hollywood sheen to it all, the western actors, the international release, the incredible success in film festivals, even taking an Academy Award for best foreign film, best screenplay at Cannes. Ordinarily, the pedigree alone might win any match, but probably not here, and probably not against the Georgian film it’s pitted against, Small Town of Anara. Though one never knows.
Irakli Kvirikadze wrote and directed this Georgian gem, and while cursorily researching a little imdb background, I noticed that although he only directed a handful of films, he wrote many very popular films for other directors and was a very active producer as well. I’m one who believes writers make the best directors. If I ever need a case in point, Small Town of Anara could certainly fit the bill. For such a broad slapstick style of humor, Kvirikadze gives us so many perfect details to key upon, each actor’s face, clothing, the production design, reminds me of a great stage play, but the camera gets closer than a wide proscenium, utilizing the slightest grimaces, rolling eyes, twitches, snores, exasperated slaps. The timing of the actors, the editing, the charming use of the village theater productions as interludes of still more comedy, in which the great wine guzzler’s son plays a rotund Diogenes, or a chivalric dandy losing a duel on stage, with an extended dying scene. Though I can’t profess to knowing what makes humor work, I have to believe that Kvirikadze and his actors do. Was there a political subtext? Probably. The grand photo portrait of the dolibasha hanging prominently in the house after his demise, was reminiscent of other patriarchs, perhaps Stalin, perhaps local rulers of Georgian Communist regimes; the huge wine horn itself, so similar in shape to the iconic sickle of Soviet workers. We watched a rural tradition centered in the dolibasha as wine king, Demeter perhaps or Bacchus, served faithfully by the core of women and older family, those to whom it falls to continue his legacy. And perhaps like political ideas which are vibrant and exceptional upon their birth, over time and with the fallibility of powerful leaders, we watch decay sets in, missused power, corruption, loss of freedoms and obvious limitations in the body politic. Mere complaint can become a heresy to mention . The missile launchers which bookend the piece, protecting the local or family vineyards seemed odd, but certainly mirrored the martial Soviet propaganda of the day. Once again, we see how clever and resourceful great film makers had to be to cajole censors and production bureaucrats, when walking that thin line of satire.
Luckily, I don’t need to know the politics involved, it’s an afterthought, since the top layer of comedy is so raucous and beguiling. Christ, I want a mustache like those guys had, but alas it will never be. Funny, that lately I’ve been missing some of the old American madcap films from the 1930’s and 40’s. They can always elevate my spirits, causing me to remember it’s not all so fucking serious. Now I can search for Georgian goodies when I feel a bout of sanctimonious film ire coming on. From the few other Georgian movies I’ve seen, food always seems to carry an esteem and great attention—similar to France perhaps. I so enjoyed the feasts which were prepared on the spot whenever a new gallant drunkard came to claim the drinking horn, ah such traditions of village bonhomie make me happy to find common ground with all workers, all the non-movers and non-shakers whose small enjoyments look so magnified upon the screenplays gentle page.
Thanks everyone who worked to bring both films, both good ones to be sure, onto the Cup so that lucky people like myself can geek out. The research and intros to Georgian cinema was also helpful, thanks. And many more thanks to Twodeadmaggies’s offering of Georgian short films. So good! Oh, I’d be personally remiss if I didn’t mention Katrin Cartlidge in No Man’s Land. Though she had a small part as the journalist, she was an exceptional actress and chose her projects very carefully it seems, working with Mike Leigh, Lars von Trier, Milcho Manchevski, Mihalis Kakogiannis, Kathryn Bigelow and Danis Tanovic in her short career. The International film world lost a very talented member when she died.
i am trying to be straight edge, it has been a week already, so i cannot encourage georgian drinking debauchery :P. my vote goes to bosnia.
Haha, unusual reason, but I’ll be glad with a vote for No Man’s Land.
An hour and a half left. Two more votes for No Man’s Land to tie. Three more to win!
Remarkably similar really, a broken abandoned horn, a broken abandoned soldier, silliness abounds let’s fire off a few more rounds and life rolls on. I got up at 5am to watch these, what dedication.
Did you like both of them Meg?
VOTING IS CLOSED
Bosnia and Herzegovina (No Man’s Land) – 4
Georgia (Small Town of Anara) – 7
The winner is:
Strength is in Unity!!
My icon is my motherland,
And the whole world is its icon-stand,
Bright mounts and valleys
Are shared with God.
Today our freedom
Sings to the glory of the future,
The dawn star rises up
And shines out between the two seas,
So praise be to freedom,
To freedom be praise!
yeah I did it was hard to choose, at first I didn’t get into No Man’s Land reacting against the rather heavy delivery of its messages but by the end I came to recognise what a fine little distillation it was of war’s absurdity and sorrow and it was interesting to compare it to Pretty Village – Small Town was a gem and very engaging and quite novel for me (which I usually go for) but was more interested in the subject matter overall, of NML
I don;t know what that was mags but it was very funny….coffeeeee
a clip from georgian director g. daneliya’s comedy-sci-fi kin-dza-dza, and the alien’s extensive language, which here means yay!
I’m accessing that right now!
meg you don’t have time!
I know, shoot me