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 Bled Number One: “Algeria (Bled Number One) 1 – Tunisia (Man of Ashes) 0”
If you are voting for Man of Ashes: “Algeria (Bled Number One) 0 – Tunisia (Man of Ashes) 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 Saturday, June 23 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.
Algeria (Bled Number One) 0 – Tunisia (Man of Ashes) 1
Man of Ashes is one of my top 5 favorite films i’ve seen during this cup.
Algeria (Bled Number One) – 0 – Tunisia (Man of Ashes) – 1
Both films had me a bit confused for a time as to storyline and just what was going on with the characters or the motivation for the action. However, reading up on the films after (then confirmed when I read Kuxa’s intro thread for both films), made the situations a bit clearer, esp. re Man of Ashes. Watching Man of Ashes on my computer from the link, I somehow missed the key abuse encounter scenes (if they were there) for the two men who worked for the carpenter. Therefore, the actions of the two men, and what happens at the end, were initially confusing to me, until I read about the film later. Maybe I was the only one with this problem.
Also, with Bled Number One, it seemed to shift rather abruptly at mid-point from the young man returning from France to the young woman escaping her husband. Not clear exactly what was going on, either, with the confrontation of the two groups in the town. Not knowing the cultures or background of the area, this conflict was a bit confusing to me. Although, it was clear one element represented a more fundamentalist Islamic approach and the other, a more modern.
It was interesting how the films provided an insight into the problems in their respective cultures. Both films seemed to critique the inherent conservatism of their cultures. In Man of Ashes, the refusal to acknowledge abuse, which no one in the mens’ families were prepared to discuss, is key. It led to the two internal/external struggles, which the film handled very well. In Bled Number One, the totally unsympathetic treatment of the woman by her husband and then her own family is emphasized. Also, the alienation of the young man who has returned is presented – he is a stranger now in his own land. Both films served as powerful messages of tolerance and the need for understaning in their communities.
Both films were well-acted, but Man of Ashes just seemed to have the edge in terms of dramatic storyline. I skipped the bull scene in Bled Number One. Thought the ‘bled’ referred to what happened to the bull, but not sure now after reading Kuxa’s intro.
Obviously, the societies in the middle-Eastern Islamic world are still in a stage of rapid change – which could lead to any conclusion. Two brave films from two different time periods, which both present a message at conflict with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the area today. I hope both films have the audience they deserve in their home countries. Appreciated the intro thread, with some interesting questions, Kuxa. But, I’m making my own comments here. Thanks to the submitters. An intriguing pairing from this region.
Algeria (Bled Number One) – 1 – Tunisia (Man of Ashes) – 0
I love boths films equally, but Bled Number One does not deserve to be the first film to gain no vote.
Thanks to Brentos and Oxy who both made the effort to watch the films, but without wanting to be rude I don’t see the point in creating threads for these films if only two people bother to vote. Sometimes I feel very far removed from the majority of users on this site and this lack of interest confirms that even the most discerning cinephiles on this site have very little in common with me.
I, for one, don’t care if you create threads for each film or not, Kuxa. If I’m interested in looking at information on a film it will be after I’ve watched it—if then; and I’m fully capable of finding my own sources. If it makes you upset having submitted more films than anyone else, or in this case, submitted both films in this match, why on earth did you do it? You should be happy with the degree of importance your input has had in this Cup. Why are you whining so. How many kudos do you want? I’d wager that besides Riss, you’ve been thanked publically more often than anyone else. I don’t know why there aren’t more participants, but don’t leave it at the feet of “even the most discerning cinephiles on this site,” whomever they may be. Perhaps people on MUBI aren’t interested in North African films (biases? racism? bad experience with other North African films?) it’s hard to say. It’s probably none of these factors since films from other regions are also not being viewed by very many participants. You’ve done your job well Kuxa, but not everyone may share your taste. Neither of these films is a stunning accomplishment, but for the main part they have interesting and universal themes which deserve to be viewed and discussed.
As a sidebar, I don’t think we’ve seen one film sympathetic to Islamic religious society in this Cup. In the push-pull of modernism vs traditional values, every film supports modernism. Do these films also have a bias? Are they anti-Islam to any degree? Is MUBI itself anti-Islamic in its programming? I don’t mean there’s a bias against Islamic countries, but if any orthodoxy of Islamic religion is present it is usually, if not always, shown in a very poor light. If we have Theo Van Gogh on one side of the equation, who does MUBI feature on the other side, hypothetically hoping for equal degrees of remove from the center fulcrum? I suppose it’s a moot point really, and I’m more interested as a devil’s advocate than someone with a stake in either side of the argument, however would I be wrong in saying MUBI’s threads give short shrift to religious Islamic characterization, if they give any at all? Am I condemning MUBI’s members en masse of uniform pro-secularism? Pro liberalism? Anti-traditional Islam proclivities? I’m not sure if I’m confident to go that far, but it’s an idea we shouldn’t overlook if we are dyed in the wool international film geeks. For that matter how do we treat traditional Hindu characters in our threads? Perhaps it’s largely because of the motherland and language of MUBI, but even so, we should keep an open mind, eh?
^^ I don’t want any kudos…. I don’t need anyone to boost my ego. The assumption that my grumblings are about this are misdirected. Lets just scrap the cup and muse on whether Stanley Kubrick was gay or whether Chuck Norris is the best action hero of all time. It seems to interest far more people.
That way lies idiocy, as you know. When was general taste ever very discerning? When did interesting, original, thoughtful or visionary work ever have a large audience? You’ve got plenty of reason to gripe, but it won’t do much good. And yes, you may find some of the people one would consider interested in Cup films more interested in, or as interested in, other threads of vapid interest to yourself, but isn’t that the down side of media in its least redeemable manifestation—easy entertainment? Remember MUBI is touted as a “social network for film lovers,” whatever that means. Everyone thinks they’re knowledgeable in films, and they’re more than happy if those films star Roddy Piper or Chuck Norris. You and a few dozen others are pushing a rather large rock up a rather steep mountain, but luckily the next thoughtful and artistic film you see will make you forget all about that, at least for a while. No hard feelings Kuxa, but your path will never be easy—necessary perhaps, but not easy, nor popular. And yes, it’s a sad and shameful waste of opportunity. Though I for one am grateful to have seen the match films, especially Man of Ashes’ second half.
ok final score: algeria – 1, tunisia – 3
hope we can get a better turnout for upcoming matches
Unfortunate to be stuck between two matches that were likely to generate more interest, people conserve their energies I guess esp with a four hour offering in the next round. I didn’t have time, but would not have watched them anyway…. big clue being in one of Kuxa’s questions for consideration.
Lets just scrap the cup and muse on whether Stanley Kubrick was gay or whether Chuck Norris is the best action hero of all time. It seems to interest far more people.
Hey, Kuxa/AFP, I feel your pain! I promised on an earlier thread not to be too negative, so will just say to you never, ever take any of this personally. I enjoyed watching these two films and wouldn’t have done so without the input from you and the other submitters. I think this event is still a valuable way for any of us to discover films from regions not currently on the radar. Why more aren’t interested in taking part in this venture into largley unexplored territory is anyone’s guess.
This version of the Cup was an attempt to try something new, to encourage the exploration of films from countries and regions not widely discussed or represented in the standard cinema filmographies. Even the Mubi newsletter is trying its best by mentioning the Cup in its most recent newsletter. Afterall, this Forum is represented as an international film forum, so why not more interest and enthusiasm for international film?
However, this Cup may be out of the comfort zone of many who regularly post to Mubi. We have lost a lot of our own international film enthusiasts (one of the most vocal currently muzzled). I have noticed that we just seem to have a small core of regular users now anyway, who mostly avoid this event – for whatever reason.
But no reason to give up yet as the event is still running inspite of low participation. It’s still the little Cup engine that could, steaming uphill in a massive sea of indifference, I guess. Maybe it will pick up, maybe not, but the opportunity to see most of these films won’t last forever. I, for one, have enjoyed the aspect of discovery. Maybe others can catch the Cup bug. In any case, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Film watching is all a crap shoot, anyway, with lots of hits and misses.
Not every match and not every film will get the audience it may deserve, but just putting these films out there provides those interested the opportunity to see them – if not now, maybe later.
Sorry I missed this one. Have been so busy lately planning things for my upcoming wedding, and also having to attend a lot of other weddings. These will for sure stay on my list to try to see when I get more time though.