THE DIRECTORS’ CUP 2010 : ROUND 1, MATCH 28 VOTING
New participants are most welcome and allowed to vote in the match-ups
Match 27, Alain Resnais (Hiroshima Mon Amour) vs Edward Yang (A Confucian Confusion) will remain open for voting until 1am BST (12am GMT) on Tuesday 29th June and can be voted on HERE
On this thread voting will be on Match 28, Ingmar Bergman (Winter Light) vs Hirokazu Koreeda (Nobody Knows). The other matches in Round 1 will each be getting their own threads.
The extended voting period for this match lasts until 1am BST (12am GMT) on Wednesday 30th June, which means that users will have over 48 hours in order to publish their votes. The world map which lists all current time zones can be found on www.worldtimezone.com, so that everyone can be up to date about how much time is left.
After the voting period is over the votes will be counted and the results published. The next match will begin at approximately 1am BST (12am GMT) on Tuesday 29th June.
The current match-ups can be found on: http://directorscup.lifeasfiction.com/
Each user can vote on any match as long as he/she has watched both films that are lined-up against each other. An explanation for the preference in each case would be greatly appreciated. Team managers are not allowed to vote on matches their own team participates in. The voting should be handled like this:
Film A 1 (or 0) – Film B 0 (or 1)
Please mark the winning film/score in large or heavy print.
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT NAME BOTH FILMS IN YOUR POST YOUR VOTE WILL NOT BE COUNTED
The match you´re going to vote for on this thread is
Ingmar Bergman (Winter Light) vs Hirokazu Koreeda (Nobody Knows)
If you have yet to see Winter Light it is available to watch here
If you have yet to see Nobody Knows it is available to watch here
Winter Light (1) vs Nobody Knows (0)
Winter Light – 1 / Nobody Knows – 0
Abandon hope all ye who enter here!
Between the spiritual crisis of Winter Light and the destruction of childhood itself in Nobody Knows, these are not fun nights out at the movies. They are both emotionally devastating, but in very different ways. Winter Light is my favorite Bergman film and that puts it pretty high on my list. It takes issues of faith very seriously and presents them in a simple and direct manor. The stark imagery perfectly complements the very vulnerable performances. Bergman has taken on these issues more elaborately in other films, but never more effectively.
Yes, Nobody Knows does veer into melodrama at times, but it mostly adheres to an honest realism. The child actors never hit a false note and the boy playing Akira is unquestionably a talent. The younger kids were given the freedom to act as kids, which made the story all that much sadder. It feels like the kind of movie Precious could have been if the directing were up to the level of the acting. I guess the actress playing the mother did her job as I wanted to throw a shoe at the television every time she was on screen. It’s just depressing to think that the events depicted, and worse, actually take place in our world and, in some cases, closer than we’d suspect.
Winter light 0 Nobody Knows 1
not in the same league as Maborosi, which is a sublime masterpiece surpassing anything by Bergman, or quite as good as Still Walking, but still with a clear edge here
Ingmar Bergman (Winter Light) – 0 vs Hirokazu Koreeda (Nobody Knows) – 1
Nothing against Winter Light; it’s another fine Bergman effort, although it’s not one of my favorites from him, but Nobody Knows blew me away when I first watched it about four years ago. The plight of the kids unfolds through Kore-eda’s calculated film form consisting of the subtle repetition of detailed imagery and elliptical editing. Images are seeded at earlier points in the film and then shown to us again later in the film in a slightly altered state. This effect both triggers the memory of those earlier scenes and their context and also makes us aware of the rapid evolution of the children’s circumstances. Just to give one example, early in the film we see Yuki coloring a picture of her mother with her crayon set. The next time we see the crayons they are reduced down to nothing more than a few nubs. I also like how Kore-eda also uses these details to progress the story. Instead of dialogue or dramatic scenes, we are left with subdued images of unpaid bills lying around the home, the children’s hair getting longer, and their clothing becoming more filthy and worn as well as dripping with sweat as the seasons change. Akira’s shopping sprees at the convenient store become handouts of leftovers in the back alley as their situation becomes more and more dire. The incredible performances of the children are worth noting as well. These were some of the most natural portrayals of children I’ve seen on film as Nobody Knows captures a touching portrait of sibling camaraderie and humanity.
This is a hard one because I really love both of these films.. but I still prefer Winter Light, which is actually one of my favorite films by Bergman.
The incredible performances of the children are worth noting as well.
I thought is was a documentary at first….
Winter Light 0 – Nobody Knows 1
Winter Light though being a powerful meditation on faith, is not the strongest Bergman, while Nobody Knows moved me deeply and it is made in such a compassionate way that it’s impossible to feel indifferent about it. (the reference to Isao Takahata’s “The Grave of the Fireflies” is inevitable since both deal with the same subject.)
There is also something i feel that needs to be clarified: i’ve read some negative comments about Nobody Knows, accusing it of being “unrealistic” while dealing with a true story and accusing Hirokazu Kore-Eda of portraying it a bit too soft. Well, if you saw the movie, you will notice that the first thing that is said to you is, and i’ll quote:
“Although this film was inspired by actual events that took place in Tokyo, the details and characters portrayed in this film are entirely fictional”
It’s extremely important to keep this in mind while seeing the movie so you do not jump to false conclusions or misjudge the whole spirit of the film. Hirokazu Kore-Eda only based himself on the story and delivered his vision of it. It’s his perception of the events.
The story is touching, heart-breaking and at the same time it left me with a rewarding feeling after i’ve watched it. I consider it to be in fact an hymn to life and I’ll feel ashamed of every person who votes against it, because Bergman can be considered a master (which I believe he is) but Nobody Knows is a lesson of humanity.
Winter Light 3 Nobody Knows 3
Winter Light 1 Nobody Knows 0
Winter Light 1 — Nobody Knows 0
Winter Light – 1 vs Nobody Knows – 0
There’s a theory that a film which simply entertains for two hours is not as good as a film which may be more difficult/less fun but leaves you thinking, recalling and discussing with friends for days afterwards. Is that true? Well, I was never much into competition between arts, so I couldn’t say for sure. ‘Entertain’ is a pretty loaded word anyway.
Anyhow, I think Winter Light falls into the latter category. Not because the question of God’s Silence is so profound that we’re reminded to think and maybe chat about it once in a while (couldn’t care less, personally), but simply because I feel like I spent the whole of Winter Light staring at each of these characters’ wonderfully lit, perfectly crafted faces and feel kind of obliged to consider what it is each of them was thinking about.
It’s like being in a museum, beholding great works of art, crafted hundreds of years ago, staring into space and you gaze on them and wonder what this whole life thing is all about.
This being a movie with a narrative of sorts makes things easier of course. We’re pretty sure we know what’s troubling the priest, or what he thinks is troubling him anyway. I don’t think I can easily forgive him though as he hurts those around him and sends poor old Max Von Sydow off to his death (proclaiming ‘at last I’m free’, after having done so).
This doesn’t matter of course, as I don’t think we’re meant to emphasize with any of these characters (unless we want to) but simply consider them in the greater scheme of things.
So what’s the message? Lack of faith is dangerous? Or perhaps what’s dangerous is the over reliance on a priest to tell you what to think. Bergman doesn’t give us any answers, just scene after scene of faces surrounded by the glory of Winter Light (which perhaps indicates the presence or lack thereof of God – you decide).
So, anyway, Winter Light. A lot of faces, some surface conversation in which we never really get down to what everyone’s feeling and a whole load of wonderfully lit scenes. It really is a beautiful film, and one in which I really don’t care about the director’s ‘real’ intentions (“God exists”, “God doesn’t exist”, “can’t be assed with a movie lets light up some rugged faces”…). Here, Bergman has managed to create a piece of art that allows everyone the space to think for themselves. A little too oblique for some, perhaps. Inspiring to others, proof that there is no God to some.
Well, I like it anyway.
Nobody Knows on the other hand is a great film, which is, as always in a Kore-eda movie, perfectly cast. He really knows how to work with actors, revealing their feelings through subtle gestures and eye movement. Good casting for the mother too, who is so convincingly annoying that you never want to see her in another movie again. And of course the are kids so kid like. The main boy literally grows up in front of us (due to clever timing, casting and a long shoot) and the little boy just gets used to the situation and becomes a little feral child. I especially like the closing shot as we see that he’s picking up basic survival skills.
Not sure what else to say about Nobody knows. I like Kore-eda’s style. Have followed his films since the beginning of his film career with Maboroshi no Hikari and enjoyed Nobody Knows a lot.
I might have actually voted the other way had I just caught Winter Light on Youtube five minutes before voting. But I appreciate it the more I think about it.
An excellent match: two fine films, neither of which I feel entirely comfortable voting against.
Winter Light is a short, powerful punch from Bergman, who can express despair better than any other director, and often just with a perfectly lit close-up.
Nobody Knows is another powerful film. Kore-eda clearly feels deeply and warmly for the characters on screen, and he excels and staging and capturing detail and routine (in a word, life). Not to mention, of course, the absolutely beautiful digital photography. My initial thoughts were that Nobody Knows suffered a bit in the second half from problems of focus, with a few plotlines/characters that feel dropped or underdeveloped. But that doesn’t explain why it was able to affect me so much, and, though probably too long, it’s grown the more I think about it.
But in the end, I have to go with…
Winter Light 1 – Nobody Knows 0
Ingmar Bergman (Winter Light) – 1 vs Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows) – 0
Other than Air Doll, Nobody Knows is Kore-eda’s emptiest film. The film is possibly only saved by the performance by Yuya Yagira (and the music which, as usual, is superb) who is well beyond his years in the film, but even with that the film feels very much a simplistic portrayal of a much more devastating event. Much like Costa’s Ossos or Reygadas’ Silent Light the film is absolutely formulaic, and by-the-numbers and made more offensive by the fact that it pretends not to be. Almost nothing like Kore-eda’s Distance, a masterpiece, or Maborosi, still one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.
Winter Light is one of the better films in a career I feel is terribly uneven. Nowhere near the heights of Persona, or Scenes from a Marriage… not even really near The Silence but the opening section alone is much better than Kore-eda’s entire film.
Ingmar Bergman (WINTER LIGHT 1 – vs Hirokazu Koreeda (Nobody Knows) 0
Ingmar Bergman (Winter Light) – 1 vs Hirokazu Koreeda (Nobody Knows) – 0
Koreeda is more realistic; Bergman is more real.
I Surrender, Dear:
Nobody Knows is Kore-eda’s emptiest film.
that is absurd.
the film feels very much a simplistic portrayal of a much more devastating event.
i deduce you were expecting to see starved children tearing each other apart. well, this is a fiction movie, not a documentary.
the film is absolutely formulaic, and by-the-numbers and made more offensive by the fact that it pretends not to be.
the film doesn’t pretend anything, you are the one who’s assuming that it does.
Winter Light 1 vs Nobody Knows 0
“the film doesn’t pretend anything, you are the one who’s assuming that it does.”
Actually Kore-eda specifically chose to shoot the entire film in a hand-held, verite realist style (which, by definition, stresses unbiased reality). That is why, “Koreeda is more realistic; Bergman is more real.” Every single choice, especially the first person perspective on events, is meant to give us the impression of reality. It’s literally saying in every shot, “this is the reality of abandonment.” Anyone that reads up on the actual event knows how much Kore-eda cut, how much easier he made it for an “art”-film fan’s palette. And the film follows every single possible melodramatic cliche it could, it just drains all of the melodrama from them. That’s why the film is so offensive, it’s a melodrama in the guise of realist film and it doesn’t do either well.
Nobody Knows is the only Kore-eda film with a real chance to get my vote. I’ll watch Winter Light tomorrow. If Kore-eda does advance, don’t play Air Doll and expect to get my vote.
Did you hear about Kore-eda’s remake of Lord of the Rings? I don’t want to blow the ending, but everybody who lives in the city is cold, disconnected and empty, and Sauron: YOU.
I wouldn’t describe “Nobody Knows” as an empty film, it actually deals with an important social issue and is even based on true events from the 1980s known as the “Affair of the Four Abandoned Children of Nishi-Sugamo”. Koreeda decided to dramatize the conflict other than he did with “Distance” which is all about capturing atmosphere, but the thematic line from “Maborosi” over “Distance” which are both about loss and continuation of life for the bereaved to “Nodody Knows” which handles disappearance and struggle for survival of those who remain is definitely consequent. The film is more direct, but nevertheless compassionate as his previous works.
I think that Bergman had reached his artistic peak in the early 1960s (before he re-invented himself with “Persona”), and the restrained style which contrasts with the sudden emotional outbursts, as well as Nykvist’s masterful achievements in regards to natural lighting make this film one of their most accomplished works.
I’m gonna go for Koreeda on this one, though I truly love Bergman.
If I was to vote in this, I must admit that it be hard pressed for me to vote anything but Winter Light, not because I’m biased, but because I think that it’s the absolute greatest film I’ve ever seen. If Nobody Knows could beat it, I’d be shocked.
Winter Light is a much better film but that’s saying something because Nobody Knows is fantastic.
Actually Kore-eda specifically chose to shoot the entire film in a hand-held, verite realist style (which, by definition, stresses unbiased reality). That is why, “Koreeda is more realistic; Bergman is more real.”
That is a misjudgment. Kore-eda chose in fact to shoot the entire film in a hand-held but to achieve exactly the opposite, or in his words: “I wanted to create a big lie, meaning the opposite of the documentary-style, naturalist, contemporary films I’ve been doing.”
Anyone that reads up on the actual event knows how much Kore-eda cut, how much easier he made it for an “art”-film fan’s palette.
You are too attached to the actual events, and again you’re assuming he did it to get recognition, which is wrong. This is a story he had been thinking to adapt into a film for fifteen years.
And the film follows every single possible melodramatic cliche it could, it just drains all of the melodrama from them.
That is your opinion, which is completely legitimate. Although that was definitely not his purpose, since he’s the one who said: “I didn’t want the film to become sentimental.”
But above all this what should stood out is the humanity in it and not these technical aspects and superfluous details.
I’m a big Bergman fan and if it wasn’t for him and a few others I think I would have stoped taking film seriously a long time ago. Today I’m going with my gut instinct. Nobody Knows shows a very special period in a person’s live and that is the point at which perception of self changes for the fist time. Nobody Knows is a lot like The 400 Blows in that aspect.
Nobody Knows 1 – Winter Light 0
13-5 Light, I think.