Where Is the Friend’s Home 0 v The Corridor
A really tough decision intially, which somehow got easier with time. Corridor is definately a grower. Where is the Friend’s Home is definately a great film, Kiarostami shoots landscapes like no other director, but for some reason this film has faded in my memory, and whilst its sweet charming story is highly likeable it pales in comparison to Kiarostami’s major works the Wind Will Carry Us, And Life Goes On.., Under the Olive Trees, Taste of Cherry and Close-up all complete, complete masterworks.
On first viewing Corridor interested me, but maybe because I was tired and Youtube cannot really do the film justice I did not intially connect. Due to the high praise on this site and my true love for a Casa I watched it again and this time felt the connection. It’s beautifully filmed and conveys such sadness in such a way only a filmmaker like Sokurov (travesty he is not represented here) can convey. I am real interested to see if this love affair with Bartas continues as my first encounter was definately not love at first sight with his film Freedom, which bored me to absolute death.
whoops forgot to put 1 next to Corridor. You get the point though I think.
Where Is the Friend’s Home? – 0 vs. The Corridor – 1
Not a tough call at all. Disappointing to see Bartas lose to such a mediocre film.
Uh-oh, I’m not liking this turn of events. Haha.
Abbas Kiarostami (Where Is the Friend’s Home?) 1 vs. Šarūnas Bartas (The Corridor) 0
10 — 9
Where Is The Friend’s Home? – 1 v The Corridor – 0
My vote is based on two considerations really – how far the films in consideration break new ground for cinema, and my own appreciation for each auteur’s oeuvre (from whatever I’ve seen of it). I’ve seen three Bartas films (and will go on to see everything he has made and will make) and everything Kiarostami has made except Certified Copy. So, my vote for Kiarostami does not mean I’m any less interested in Bartas.
For me, Bartas is a very promising auteur, takes huge risks (even at the risk of alienating many viewers), and the results are extraordinary. I am hugely attracted to The Corridor’s formalism, but, he makes me think time and again of Bela Tarr. And I cannot say that The Corridor is quite the masterpiece that, for example, Satantango is.
I’m somewhat puzzled by what a lot of viewers call the “simplicity” of Where Is The Friend’s Home? I’ve never found that quality in any of Kiarostami’s films. Rather he has been an unflinching formalist (perhaps more than Bartas) from the beginning, only thinly disguised. Interestingly, both The Corridor and Where Is The Friend’s Home? operate with a central spatial metaphor – the corridor and the “zigzag” road. For anybody familiar with Kiarostami’s work, it is fascinating to see how the “zigzag” road in this film (which comes back in Under the Olive Tress, And Life Goes On) and the road in its many forms as a larger trope, both philosophical and imagistic, gathers power and meaning in all his subsequent films. Kiarostami’s films are in a way about “perambulation”, and about reaching nowhere (it is striking how similar Bartas’ films are in this respect, especially Three Days), and the “story” has always been an excuse. Pushed to its philosophical and cinematic/formal extreme in Shirin where the road (as Shrin and Khosro keep going back and forth between their kingdoms) is “heard” rather than “seen” by us who watch the women watching the “film”. From Where Is The Friend’s Home? to Shirin a master is at work, consistent, breaking fresh ground with every film, revealing a new unforeseen order of experientiality in cinema when you thought you’ve grasped all his tricks. Inspite of my immense liking for The Corridor and Bartas, he hasn’t done the same for me yet. It would be a shame if Kiarostami went out now because there is a goldmine to dig.
Sorry for rambling so much.
And, thank you Blue K. for your beautiful defense of Bartas.
I saw the Kiarostami for the first World Cup. I know we have many new participants for this version, but I am not feeling the need to comment again on films I have already seen in the previous version. I am sorry to see films repeat from that version, but I understand that the organizers thought that would be best. In any case, just needed to watch The Corridor.
As Blue K points out in his thread on the film, this definitely has the look and feel of Tarr’s Sátántangó, but is mainly just a series of disconnected (for me) episodes. It is well-filmed, but the lack of a narrative eventually made the film a bit tedious. I don’t think Bartas has anywhere near the depth that Tarr gives to his story, even though they work in a similar style. Tarr is the master and Bartas a rather pale imitator – at least, in this film. Still, it gets my vote as the Kiarostami is more of a tale for children – excellent in that respect – than a film I can admire as a cinephile.
oh, i’d love it if this match was a draw. i think kiarostami just appears to be simple next to bartas’ gloomy bells and despair whistles…dimitris, where the hell is the optimism in that film?
i’m glad people are voting in this match too, even though there’s no woody….
Where Is the Friend’s Home? 0 vs. The Corridor 1
This was an easy pick for me as well. I have seen much better from Kiarostami, but for some reason this one does nothing for me. The Corridor wasn’t a surprise (Blue has earned my trust), but it definitely was a great experience.
“Kiarostami is more of a tale for children”
Where Is the Friend’s Home? 0 vs. The Corridor 1
Kiarostami’s film was great however Bartas really blew me away in this one making the choice an easy one.
As with most of Kiarostami’s stuff Where Is The Friend’s Home? it is a simple tale, beautifully observed told with warmth and humanity. We see the story from the kid’s point of view which allows Kiarostami to frustrate us with quite how much children are ignored or taken advantage of by adults. Not quite a perfect film but still suitably delightful.
Meanwhile The Corridor was an excellent film and a masterpiece. Perhaps the most striking scene is a dance where for the one and only time in the film we see the people living on this corridor letting their hair down and enjoying themselves, except not quite. It becomes desperately obvious during a potently moving moment where a woman slowly pours drinks down herself that this dancing is not so much escapism through entertainment but rather a rare way in which these tenents can express their anguish in a world where they cannot even speak of their pain. I found the film hugely moving and numerous moments and images and burned in to my brain. Extraordinary.
Which means the right person is now in the lead ;-)
…or so I thought :(
I’m not so sure of the scores. I think it may be 12 – 12 now.
Since Scorpios 8 -4 call there have been 4 votes for Kiarostami: Matt Parks, Natasha, Martin and Chasingbutterflies. I think Josh’s 10-9 count was posted at the same time as Martin voted but appeared just below his post so Martins vote hasn’t been counted.
Unless I’ve made a howler
As I posted on another thread: … One annoyed me and I wished the other didn’t bore me. Both had some really good things about them, one could have been brilliant and the other could have been stronger. Both have some great, natural faces, youthful and innocent, aged and tired. My mind is made up, I just wish I liked my choice more than I do.
Where Is the Friend’s Home? 0, The Corridor 1
I may have made the aforementioned howler. I majored in English (as much for my love of literature as for the fact that it meant I wouldn’t have to take math courses).
Chasingbutterflies – I meant that as compliment to the film, not as a slight. Here is what I wrote (under an old username) during the last vote re this film: The Kiarostami film showed his usual close attention to detail and was an interesting take on childhood in Iran. Seeing events from the boy’s perspective was natural and seamless.
That being said, I did find this film to be one that would be of interest as a great film to introduce children anywhere to the tough moral choices children must make in a world controlled by adults. I think Kiarostami was aiming this more at the youth of Iran – and the world – than an adult audience. Of course, all his films are carefully crafted, but this one did not leave the same impression on me – because of the focus of the story – as did Taste of Cherry or The Wind Will Carry Us, among others. I am a fan of Kiarostami, but felt this particular film to be a bit simplistic, as befits a tale geared toward children as the appropriate audience.
Where Is The Friend’s Home? – 0 v The Corridor – 1
As it has been talked about in previous posts, there will be matches for this cup where I am going to have great difficulty choosing between the two films, and this is probably the first of these examples.
‘Where Is The Friend’s Home?’ is where an ordinary part of life is shown to be as compelling, or even more so, than a conventional storyline. It is also reminiscent of Hana Makhmalbaf’s ‘Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame’, only without gender issues under the surface or the events that have taken place in the Middle East twenty years on from Abbas Kiarostami’s films. Both films have charismatic, likeable children who go out into their committees for a simple task – in the case of the film in this match the boy is doing something very noble in trying to prevent his classmate being expelled – only to find themselves going in zigzags and finding obstructions in their way, some physical and some the attitudes of those around them. Also like Makhmalbaf’s film, Kiarostami does not have to put any stylistic touches to something which is already engaging and a great film.
Unlike the last match however, this one not only had two great films but one that was a complete surprise. In the first ten minutes of ‘The Corridor’ I feared that – and I hope no one is offended by this – it would be ninety minutes of people staring into space silently for no real reason, but I am delighted to say this turned out to be a hidden gem. Like the work of Bela Tarr, who has been referenced in passing with this, the silence has a purpose, which is in this case a portrayal of an environment so depressing and constricting that the occupants have to do strange things – like play the barrel of a shotgun like a wind instrument in both the oddest and disturbing scene – to pass the time, and that even moments of joy, such as the party near the end, are tinged with sadness. Add to this the black-and-white cinematography and the result is a film which is not for everyone, but for me was fantastic.
It is difficult to choose between the films but, for the surprise that Šarūnas Bartas’ film turned out to be after a bumpy start, ‘The Corridor’ wins out.
^^ Was that cry of horror in response in my decision or someone else’s?
And was it horror or ultimate suffering? If the latter, we may need Miracle Max.
go, Bartas, go!
both these films are on youtube so I encourage all who have not voted to watch
And vote for the best one with a C word in the title
Den, hehehehehe….. ;)
Horror at all of your decisions, to whoever voted for The Corridor.
I just can’t believe a lot of people are actually going for The Corridor, but oh well. :P
Scorpio, bah! The Corridor is amazing so there :P
Surely we must all be suffering from some delusion or another. It just can’t be honest appreciation.
Well, Scorpio, when Rain People is losing to Go Go, Second-time Virgin, I will be screaming NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! as well
@ Uli Cain: And I’ll see to that as well, haha, since even though I am not a fan of Wakamatsu, I say off with Coppola’s head :P.