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 Portrait of Teresa: “Cuba (Portrait of Teresa) 1 – Spain (The Sky Turns) 0”
If you are voting for The Sky Turns: “Cuba (Portrait of Teresa) 0 – Spain (The Sky Turns) 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 Friday, September 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.
Cuba (Portrait of Teresa) 0 – Spain (The Sky Turns) 1
Portrait of Teresa : This is nice film about a woman trying to assert her independence in a Cuban family setting. Unfortunately, its rather predictable in its execution and I couldn’t find anything special about the way it dealt with its subject matter. I liked the final shot though.
The Sky Turns : I would have loved this film if it had less of the philosophical discussions between old men about life and death. I felt the film lost its charm by trying to be too obvious. Still as it stands, I liked it marginally better than the other entry.
Portrait of Teresa was very influential in Cuba. It apparently caused a lot of questioning of expectations for women in society, partially due to the popularity of Daisy Granados. It’s always easier to start talking when you like the person starting the dialogue. It’s perhaps not the greatest film produced in Revolutionary Cuba, but it does strongly underscore the importance of cinema in the country’s history.
The Sky Turns is one of the best documentaries produced in the last few decades in Spain. It is excellent at showing how the past is continually layered through the present and how we deal with manifestations of the past. The monuments, landmarks, memories, discussions, knowledge of history, cultural heritage, all wrapped together in one specific site, reinforce the returns that constantly appear in the film. it shows the desire for returns to the past (through the filmmaker’s voice or the Moroccan runner and shepherd), as well as the need to reassert a past that holds no direct cultural significance for the people living in the town (such as the dinosaur monument). And yet in the end, the spatial reality is the strongest element in play, as all of the people (well, perhaps not the political operatives) use history to reinforce their connection to this one place.
To Spanish speakers: The Sky Turns introduced by Mercedes Álvarez and Miguel Marías
Portrait of Teresa: As I said before about the results of Sight & Sound poll, there’s a disturbing tendency to evaluate films solely according to their formal merits. But there are many other aspects that, combined, make a movie great. Portrait of Teresa is a good movie from a superb screenplay, a profound insight into prejudice and conventionality. ¿Y si hubiera sido yo, Ramón?
Cuba (Portrait of Teresa) 1 – Spain (The Sky Turns) 0
Don’t forget to vote, Angel. Yeah, i was just thinking the Japanese film After the Rain may be underrated cos it does nothing very extraordinary formally (or maybe it just appeals to my sensitivities). Must see the Spanish film, so i can vote. Portriat of Teresa is not exciting cinematically but it’s lifted by a superb central performance and gets its messages across effectively. The ending and feminist theme, a woman gaining strength and independence after suffering from double standards of a patriarchal society, remind me of Mizoguchi’s Osaka Elegy
Not an easy decision how to vote.
It struck me quite early that The Sky Turns seemed like Nostalghia (buildings in fog etc) meets the rural Welsh documentary Sleep Furiously- more earthy, less spiritual than the earlier former, more philosophical, interested in history and wider-ranging in space too than the later latter. But more desolate than either. Then there were reminders too of Guzman’s Nostalghia for the Light with its archeology, bones, politics, astronomy, and Satyajit Ray’s documentry on a visually disabled Indian painter, The Inner Eye. A meditative visually impressive film, maybe not as naturally engaging as Sleep Furiously.
Is it deeper and a better film than Portrait of Teresa? Probably, but it didn’t quite develop as i hoped, dare i say felt a bit monotonous.
10 more minutes until voting is closed
Looking a lost cause, so that vote was for the revolucion! Hasta la victoria siempre
It’s not a lost cause. Every vote counts since it’s by percentage! You may have just ensured Cuba in the finals!
VOTING IS CLOSED
Cuba (Portrait of Teresa) – 2
Spain (The Sky Turns) – 3
The winner is:
I could just as easily have voted the other way, i was tempted to toss a coin
The Sky Turns was apparently filmed in Soria, the least populous region of Spain. I was struck by the emptiness in that whole part of the country when driving East from Portugal. It was hot hot July and we were worried about breaking down and noone around for miles.
Más Allá España
On another note, not one of the four Mubites who chose these two films even bothered to vote. Makes one wonder many things. But at least we were able to see two good films. Perhaps similar to Kenji I could have voted either way, but voted on the strength of _Theresa’s _ feminist message and struggle.
I have not voted because I like both films equally, the first one being a submission of mine and the other a (good) doc from my country. I had hoped for greater female participation in this match (feminist message-woman director).
Kenji, I have not seen “After the Rain”… and it looks like my kind of movie!
The similarities between the Sky Turns and Sleep Furiously, also set in a hilly, depopulated sheep farming area, brought to mind Renoir’s point about international bonds- farmers worldwide, say, having more in common than between different classes within the same country; national boundaries being artificial constructions. There are also the Celtic remains as a bond- the Welsh having originated from the North of the Iberian peninsula. There’s even a Celtic village on the West coast of Galicia overlooking Portugal.
Spain won? Even the trees are coming out to celebrate!