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 Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter: “Belgium (Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter) 1 – Wales (Sleep Furiously) 0”
If you are voting for Sleep Furiously: “Belgium (Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter) 0 – Wales (Sleep Furiously) 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 Monday, May 21 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.
Belgium (Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter) 1 – Wales (Sleep Furiously) 0
I like both films too much to vote, unless one- more likely Sleep Furiously- is losing easily. Here is my intro to Sleep Furiously
Belgium (Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter) 0 – Wales (Sleep Furiously) 1
Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter is self indulgent mess…. Just the type of film they holds no interest for me. Whilst Sleep Furiously is possibly the best film this century from the United Kingdom. Yes it is that good!!
I’m very glad and just a tiny bit surprised you think so. During the Rugby world cup, when England got knocked out and Wales were in the semis, there was a brief spurt of interest in Wales in the English media. Suddenly Wales existed and might be worth finding out about, beyond Rugby and sheep. I read a short article in The Independent about current Welsh culture making some sort of impact, but while it mentioned the TV series Gavin and Stacey as a sign of a huge step forward, a good time to be Welsh!, it also said Welsh cinema has been empty compared with so many recent goodies in England and Scotland. Where do they get these ignorant journalists? The other day i picked up a film book in WH Smith (a sort of best films selection), and could only wonder who published such drivel.
Here endeth the rant.
I’m surprised you don’t like the Belgian film- i thought it was charming!
Although I enjoyed both films (and have said so re Sleep Furiously on Kenji’s thread), I was completely captivated by Pauwel’s film, watching it twice. I didn’t find it a “self indulgent mess” (sorry Kuxa), but a humble, profound, and heartfelt poem in cinema from the filmmaker to his daughter. The series of images and stories reminded me of the same style of cinematic exposition as Chris Marker. I wish I could find more on the film and its filmmaker. For example, what was the age of his daughter when he made the film? I’m sure she must have been around the same age as the young girl in Pauwel’s ‘silent film’ pastiche. Yes, surely a charming film and a clear example of ‘personal cinema’ as defined by Pauwel’s in the early intro to the film. This might be my favorite film in the Cup so far (of what I’ve seen), so I’m clearly under its magic spell. Also, my fave writer, Franz Kafka, makes a guest appearance. Who could ask for anything more in a work of around 47 min? I would be pleased to hear from Yuki Aditya why this film was chosen – and a bit more about it.
I’m afraid Wales (good as the film from Wales is) will just have to sleep rather furiously tonight. Thanks to both submitters for finding these two films for us. I recommend both to others who have yet to see them. Look at them yourselves and form your own opinion. And, yes, Kenji, per your intro thread sentiments: I’m sure these films can still remain friends at the end of the day…
Belgium (Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter) – 1 / Wales (Sleep Furiously) – 0
Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter is self indulgent mess…. Just the type of film they holds no interest for me.
Bull! It’s films like Araya that you call self indulgent mess.
I don’t need to say much about the film from Belgium. In simple words it was just a sheer joy to watch. As I mentioned on its page, I noticed a touch of sincerity in the film which is always rare to find.
I wasn’t too impressed with Sleep Furiously. A decent film that feels like a half-hearted attempt(maybe not in its soul but definitely in its execution) at whatever it tries to do. I agree with Oxy drawing a parallel with Heaven and Earth in the intro thread which we will see a bit later in the cup. I almost wonder if this film was inspired by Heaven and Earth. Although I had some problem with that film, I felt that film gave me a more real time feel of the lives of its people. Sleep Furiously was too short to learn much about the people or their daily routine except an impression that its inhabited by old people who love to read and have more pet animals than relatives. It’s strange that there were a lot of children shown and there was some talk about a school getting demolished that wasn’t pursued at all later in the film. We were not even shown what their parents looked like. One major difference, whether intentional or not, was the scenes of reproduction shown in Sleep Furiously compared to the animal slaughter shown in Heaven and Earth. Maybe , it was trying to be a bit more optimistic in its outlook even if it appeared a bit diluted in its execution.
Oh and I had serious problems with the cheesy piano tune that was being played. It sort of destroyed whatever emotions the visuals might have tried to evoke.
“a humble, profound, and heartfelt poem in cinema from the filmmaker to his daughter. The series of images and stories reminded me of the same style of cinematic exposition as Chris Marker.” That’s how i feel. When i saw the film, i realised Wales might be in for a tough time, even though i think Sleep Furiously is among the best of British this millennium.
I wasn’t the only submitter of Sleep Furiously- Cat and Blue K too. They may not be able to participate here, but the main thing is a moment in the spotlight for one of cinema’s “cinderella” countries, a rarely filmed region, and hopefully people will find it rewarding, as i did a second viewing. It grows through little details. Aphex Twin did the music- it was no masterpiece but didn’t bother me.
I wonder if a Patagonian Welsh film will appear in the cup; there are 2 likely contenders.
Whatever the reaction to Sleep Furiously i hope people will explore Welsh cinema further. My list The Welsh Connection
A coincidence: Yuki Aditiya did a great pick here- and i see an Indonesian martial arts film by Welsh director Gareth Evans is now in the British multiplexes!
This is a disappointing turnout. Come on folks- these films deserve to be seen. The film feels to me about the right length, but yes it did occur to me that seeing a bit more of the kids and their parents might have been rewarding. I’ve seen comments elsewhere that the film might better have been shortened by 20 minutes, but i think that’s more for people with low attention spans, wanting action more than a sort of “tone poem” about a rural community
Belgium (Letter From a Filmmaker to his Daughter) 1 — Wales (Sleep Furiously) 0
belgium (letter from a filmmaker to his daughter) 1 — wales (sleep furiously) 0
sorry kenji, yr film is lovely and interesting but the belgian film is just kinda magical :p. thx yuki, for choosing it
tough, both moving in different ways; am going with the “dear hearts and gentle people” option however as know it’s the quiet reflective and quirky moments of Sleep that will stay with me.
…and replace it with a wooden one, at least it can be trusted♥
belgium (letter from a filmmaker to his daughter) 0 — wales (sleep furiously) 1
Once upon a time, before disco, there was a family who lived in a quaint little village in Flanders. It was a poetic time, when even car exhaust resembled tumbling clouds of mysterious portent. This family was the same as all Flemish families, the father was a film director, the mother was invisible and the adorable daughter had a toxic neural disease for which she was repeatedly in the local hospital undergoing surgeries on her brain stem. Understandably, the child was continuously zonked on opiates, which gave her dad an idea to make her a movie all her own. A film she could watch over and over at home on the family’s 16mm projector while drooling into a pewter cup. Her name was Magda, after an assistant-costumer who the little girl’s father had impregnated while working on one of his early documentaries, No Time For Discipline. Though the little girl had questions about who her real mother had been, her father felt that he’d use the opportunity of this film and finally confess to his daughter the truth—as he remembered it.
The architectural model for the film would be simple, he’d follow every idea which entered his head, discounting nothing. It began with him fumbling through a cigar box filled with talismans and memorabilia from his years in the Cuban revolution when he smoked cigars and listened to rhumbas while making Santeria mojo hands for the revolutionary army’s head shaman. Followed by blue streaking fields of rye grass, a trim bin image he had laying around from an old commercial he’d made for a bakery in Antwerp. It worked so well that he used lots of scenes which he’d filmed years before from divergent jobs in North Africa, Silesia, the Costa Brava, a local job fair, a cemetery in Prague, a farm in Wales, clouds over the North Atlantic, dog trials on a grassy hillside, snippets from a documentary he’d shot about a traveling librarian in Snowdonia trying to teach the villagers how to speak a new language which the librarian concocted while in Llandudno prison on a morals charge. The language sounded something like a cross between Celtic, Esperanto and a mystical tongue he’d found in a prison volume called the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge’s Taxonomy. Sure the father/director’s gathering of all those old B-takes was something of a half-hearted formula, but as long as he lived in Belgium and he was male, he’d always direct.
Though the images the little girl’s father recycled were lovely, he knew he needed some artistic glue with which to splice his mobius strip of vague, surplus imagery. Finally, and some may call it genius, he hit upon narration. With a single voice-over track he’d tell lots of spurious stories he remembered his wife telling him in bed, when she still came to bed. Now all he needed was a title. Something catchy but not too heady or arty either; not a line from Noam Chomsky or anything. The rest is history. How it won the Mubi Cup selection, the Criterion release, the re-release in 70mm, the inquiries into a sequel now being shot as a 6 hour documentary titled Vague, Moody Images of No Discernible Cogency I Made For My Wife.
Oh, the little girl? She grew up, stopped drooling, traded her cute dog in on a Lowlands unicorn, started dating men who wore Peter Pan hats and called them all “Daddy” in the throws of sex beneath a bedroom ceiling filled with hundreds of hanging crystals, near her Queen Anne’s chair nested with dozens of old toy dolls, each one named after a different insect. Eventually, everyone lived long and happy lives except those who drowned.
So far, none of the 3 who submitted Sleep Furiously have voted, myself included. I really don’t want to vote against Belgium, but it’s a bit one-sided. I wonder if Wales would have done any better v Venezuela or Ireland.
We need a party
Can someone please close this match out for me? I won’t be around at that time.
Must mean no party
Belgium (Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter) 1 – Wales (Sleep Furiously) 0
If its in on time?
ahh is no one closing the match?? alright i’ll do it. just under the wire, flying dutchman.
no party but there will be a flag ceremony shortly
O dear Belgium, O holy land of our fathers -
Our soul and our hearts are devoted to you!
With blood to spill for you, O fatherland!
We swear with one cry – You shall live!
So gladly bloom in beauty full,
Into what freedom has taught you to be,
And evermore shall sing your sons:
The King, and Law, and Liberty!
Faithful to the word that you may speak boldly,
For King, for Freedom and for Law!
To Law and King and Freedom, hail!
The King, and Law, and Liberty!
my but these songs do get a bit bloodthirsty, don’t they? anyway, sorry kenji! i woulda totally voted yr film up against venezuela or ireland; it was lovely. thx, yuki, for a new favorite. and thx to everyone who participated.
now for a nap…
Now that’s a coat of arms