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 Act in Question: “Argentina (The Act in Question) 1 – Slovenia (Dancing In the Rain) 0”
If you are voting for Dancing In the Rain: “Argentina (The Act in Question) 0 – Slovenia (Dancing In the Rain) 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 Sunday, July 8 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’m really looking forward to this one. I should have some time on Saturday hopefully to watch them.
lord is this upon us already?
gotta make time for the opposition since the last argentinian film i watched had jerry gently weeping into his mubi account…
I found both films erred a bit on being too ‘arty’ over a more carefully constructed content. However, both were imaginative, with lots of special moments to recommend them.
Dancing in the Rain used some interior monologue effectively – which one sees hardly ever used in cinema (where it would seem so natural) after it was first used in Strange Interlude. Also original were the way some scenes were seen in both the present and past tense – where the observers in the film would ‘view’ a scene that had just happened, as we were ‘viewing’ them. The constant loving couple that are seen throughout the film was effective, too. I finally saw them as representative of a younger version of the couple seen in conflict – which may or may not be what was intended.
Still, I am leaning toward the Argentine film because it was a nice black comedy which also featured some imaginative work. The book of magic ‘stolen’ from the shop which leads the poor, downtrodden artist to achieve a respectful career as a magician was clever – if a bit over-done. Liked the satire on the two old men and Miss Piggy from the Muppets, too. This film had so many elaborate sight gags and stories within stories, it reminded me of a Ruiz film. So, a vote for the disappearing act in question over the more melodramatic Slovenian film. I’m sure the Slovenian film should appeal to some of our other voters, as it reminds me of a Czech New Wave film in style.
Argentina (The Act in Question) 1 – Slovenia (Dancing In the Rain) 0
Thanks for these two unusual choices and the detailed intro thread R. (which I will now read after the fact).
Argentina (The Act in Question) 0 – Slovenia (Dancing In the Rain) 1
I’ll try to write later. Argentina’s film is a splendid romp to be sure, I have no criticisms of it at all. In fact, only praise. However, I consider Dancing in the Rain from Slovenia to be a small masterwork of filmmaking, and the actress Dusa Pockaj has delivered a most memorable and laudable role. I’m not merely impressed or entertained by Bostjan Hladnik’s remarkable achievement, but feel that by viewing this singular work I have garnered more valuable clues about the human predicament. I can reason that my internal demons and flaws are shared among us all, and that fear of compassion and love—that major anxiety which binds us to our own selfishness—is no trifle. But, instead it can present our most profound challenge with damnable results at every turn. Often, with the smallest seed of tragic intent, like the lovers Marusa and Peter, our burdens of ennui and self-disgust can prove toxic in the extreme. As I said, I’ll try to write on them later with more clarity. Bravo to both sides. Though there may only be a few of us enjoying these films lately, movies of the caliber which we’ve been able to watch these last few weeks define the very best of international cinema, with or without pedigreed popularity or clarioned critical reputation. I’m very thankful.
argentina (the act in question) 0 – slovenia (dancing in the rain) 1
enjoyed both films. i felt like the argentine film’s delightful structure threatened to overwhelm it’s story by the end. the slovenian film was nothing but lovely and devastating. indeed a remarkable performance by the lead actress
A Dance in the Rain is a very important film, historically speaking. This was the birth of Yugoslav New Film in 1961 (along with Aleksandar Petrovic’s The Couple). So actually, the Czechoslovak New Wave came later and was influenced by it.
Argentina (The Act in Question) 0 — !Slovenia (Dancing in the Rain) 1!
The camera angles, the many rain scenes and the dream sequences, the young couple in love as a leitmotif, as well as good acting made Dancing in the Rain the more interesting oeuvre of the two films. I found the scene where the three characters watch Marusa climb up the stairs particularly effective in terms of cinematic language (in the past progressive tense.) The scenes with the children playing outdoors, Marusa and her admirer running in the park, etc. add to the enjoyment of the film instead of being superfluous.
Argentina (The Act in Question) 1 — 0 Slovenia (Dancing In the Rain)
Yet each man kills the thing he loves, by each let this be heard
Thanks for two great films, I did enjoy the Act in Question (thanks for that great intro R which I read) very clever and a great deal encapsulated within however Hladnik’s insightful imaginative mapping of the human heart is too compelling to pass by.
Just saw The Act in Question. Love it. Hope I have time for Dancing in the Rain.
Argentina (The Act in Question) 1 – Slovenia (Dancing In the Rain)
By a long shot. Comments later.
Quite simply one film has themes that resonate with me, and the other doesn’t.
The Act in Question:
-people are less interested in extraordinary things than they are in the presentation of such things
-almost everything we say comes from something we read or heard somewhere else. Authorship of words shouldn’t be attributed as much to the people who say or write them as to the people who actually act on them
Dancing in the Rain fits into a similar category for me as films like Hiroshima Mon Amour, The Fire Within, a lot of Yoshida films, and a lot of other films that have probably all blended together now. A lot of directionless middleaged people who have vague memories, mood shifts, and full of uncertaintais. They are characters without character. Maybe those aren’t even the qualities that define these films. Maybe it’s just the kinds of places the people hang out in. I’m not sure. I am sure they must resonate with a lot of people, but not me.
VOTING IS CLOSED
Argentina (The Act in Question) – 4
Slovenia (Dancing In the Rain) – 6
The winner is:
God’s blessing on all nations,
Who long and work for that bright day,
When o’er earth’s habitation
No war, no strife shall hold its sway;
Who long to see
That all man free
No more shall foes, but neighbours be.
Who long to see
That all man free
No more shall foes, but . . .
No more shall foes, but neighbours be.
That’s two wins for Slovenia. Not a guarantee to be in the finals, but that’s a good chance.
Slovenia’s patriotic hymn is probably the least blood-thirsty or jingoistic, rather ahimsa philosophy seems to drive it. Who wrote this, some Gandhiesque Slovene without an axe to grind? Bravo Slovene writers.
It’s actually the seventh stanza of a poem called Zdravljica:
From wikipedia: written in 1844 and published with some changes in 1848, is a poem by the Slovene Romantic poet France Prešeren, considered the national poet of Slovenes. On 27 September 1989, it became the national anthem of Slovenia.
I couldn’t find a translation of the entire poem.
Thanks Riss, No more shall foes, but neighbours be. Not a bad sentiment for all.
I looked at how effectively the film depicted the familiar archetypes – fading insecure beauty, ambivalent brutish artist, adoring unconditional young man, fragile mutually immersed lovers and thought it did that with an elegant, dreamy, spooky, and whimsical combination of devices using them to convey the complex undertow behind the words and actions of the characters. Are people who struggle and sometimes fail to prevail over life’s crushing weight to be deemed without character (which I presume means moral fibre)? I hope not.
character (which I presume means moral fibre)?
Sorry I should have specified. That was not the kind of character that I felt the characters were lacking. I meant the narrative or theatrical definition of the word “character”. The people did not seem distinct in any way. They didn’t have any particular quriks, mannerisms, or qualities that made them stand out. As you said “archetypes”, but I didn’t feel like they went beyond the vague to the specific.
ok well that is very different! yes they’re characters imbued with universal characteristics but deliberately drawn without any sharply defined identity.
Interesting observations, Risselda and Meg… The adoring unconditional young man was not in good health which made him more sensitive to existential problems and the sufferings of others, I think. As for the “brutish artist,” he was suffering from a midlife crisis and blaming it on his girlfriend? In theater, the actors really need to know what the character wants in order to find their voices. I thought that the actors in the film at least managed to do so.
It’s not an assessment of my disatisfaction that I’m entirely confident in. I’m trying to investigate why this film and others that I feel are similar put me off. Maybe these characters are just going through things I’m just not used to. Or maybe they react ways that are alien to me. Or maybe it’s the overdramatic without introspection or humor, or at least not any introspection or humor that is of my taste….