THE DIRECTORS’ CUP 2010 : ROUND 3, MATCH 6 VOTING
New participants are most welcome and allowed to vote in the match-ups
On this thread voting will be on Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) vs Satyajit Ray (The Music Room). The other matches in Round 3 will each be getting their own threads.
The extended voting period for this match lasts until 9pm BST (8pm GMT) on the 28th October, 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 before 9pm BST (8pm GMT) on 27th October.
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:
Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) vs Satyajit Ray (The Music Room)
Managed by Den and Apursansar respectively
If you have not seen The Vikings you can do so here (password: mubi)
If you have not seen The Music Room you can do so here
Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) 0 – Satyajit Ray (The Music Room) 1
I posted some of my thoughts about The Vikings in the discussion group.
The dance scenes near the end of The Music Room was one of my favorite parts. Naturally with such a title the film has good music. But does anyone know why the father was such a lazy homebody? He seems like he should be entitled and his life consists of just showing up other people about who is better than who based on who is willing to go and attend the other person’s parties. By the end we see him wailing over his portraits of his ancestors. This movie seems to be a kind of “end of an era” type film, but Ray seems to have mixed feelings about it. Or maybe I’m reading it wrong.
No, I think you’re reading it quite right. It’s both nostalgic but also ridiculing nostalgia. A nice mix. This is a very hard choice. You have two classical filmmaking approaches at their finest. Ray’s film is really wonderful – lyrical humanistic neorealism at its best. Or one of the last great gasps of classic Hollywood filmmaking. I like the fact that both films are from the same year. I’m not really making a qualitative decision with my vote but going with the perceived underdog. If you had told me that the two classical Hollywood filmmakers that would still be standing now would be Fleischer and Wyler, I’d be very surprised – both appear utterly lacking of a stylistic signature that makes an auteur. What does that mean for this site and this competition? I’m still not entirely convinced that Fleischer is a great director (his lows are pretty damn low) but based on the Vikings and the earlier selections here I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) 1 – Satyajit Ray (The Music Room) 0
Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) 1 vs Satyajit Ray (The Music Room) 0
Unfortunately, The Music Room was not a very pleasant viewing experience. I saw it a few months ago, right before Charulata. Charulata happens to be my favorite Ray and I’m glad I gave him another chance. But I found The Music Room to be tedious and very similar to a Satyajit Ray film I had seen before (Aparajito). Anyway, even though I found The Vikings to be just okay, it definitely wins hands down in this case.
If it’s based on my preference of body of work, it’s the other way around.
The Vikings – 1 / The Music Room – 0
I would not have predicted I’d be voting this way. The Music Room is the fourth Ray film I’ve seen, following Panther Panchali, Aparajito and Distant Thunder. Any of those three would have won my vote over The Vikings, but The Music Room didn’t affect me as strong as the others.
Ray was such a humanist and his best films show such a degree of empathy that its absence left a void. My guess is that he was much more at home telling the stories of the poverty stricken masses than the privileged rich. Still, The Music Room tells its story well and makes its point about how old money would view new money in a caste system. The musical sequences are fascinating as is the set design. There was nothing technically wrong with the lead performance other than it was clearly a performance in a film by a director who has the capacity for authentic realism.
The Vikings is just a whole lot of fun and combines the best qualities of two genres. In its scale and scenic majesty, it resembled the historical epics so popular in the 50’s. Unfortunately, many of them tended to be bloated and full of self importance. The Vikings avoids this trap by also embodying a loose devil may care attitude more closely associated with Errol Flynn vehicles like The Adventures of Robin Hood. Kirk Douglas and Ernest Borgnine have a blast as villains we can’t help but root for. Fleischer shows confidence in a completely different sort of film than his previous cup entries.
Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) —0 vs Satyajit Ray (The Music Room) —1
Fleischer has been one of the consistently surprising directors in this competition. I came into Cup expecting great things from Satyajit Ray, Bela Tarr, Robert Bresson, and the like. The best finds are sometimes the ones unlooked for—in my case Nikoladis, Sjostrom, Ivens, and so on. Fleischer is definitely one of those unlooked for finds as I’d only ever heard of his father (in reference to those excellent Superman cartoons) and I enjoyed The Vikings despite my many hangups going into it: I’m not a big Kurt Douglas fan, I’m skeptical immediately of the Hollywood sword and sandal flick, and Ernest Borgnine is somewhat of a joke. But it’s really a good movie, being well-shot and true to itself, with a couple of scenes that really stand out, and from gauging other’s reactions, have stood the test of time. It’s charming and a lot of fun, not to mention beautiful (and I’m not just talking about Janet Leigh). I’d love to own a blu ray of this one.
But it’s up against a heavyweight. I actually went into the ray film muttering to myself about having to watch another Indian social drama. I wasn’t looking forward to it that much, despite my love for his previous films. Well, it’s an entirely different animal and my favorite Ray yet. I was entranced throughout the performance scenes and the examination of this sad character. It’s expanded the possibilities of Ray for me and made be very, very curious to see more. It’s sad that the quality of the transfer was so poor, but as other have noted, you don’t need 1080p to see the humanity on the screen.
ASIDE: I just read the other votes so far and it’s funny to me how differently we all react to certain films. When I started typing my comments here I was certain Fleischer was in for a swift defeat, but you never know!)
Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) – 0 vs Satyajit Ray (The Music Room) – 1
Unfortunately the DVD transfer for The Music Room was pretty poor and had a watermark throughout for some ridiculous reason, like the Ray film in round 2, but it still easily beats The Vikings which to me just seems like pure spectacle without any real significance.
Sorry Ally, you have to do more than saying that the Music Room is “tedious”. What do you all want people, Coen brothers films or another Haneke surgery???
A very fun discovery: slick, campy, clever, very well shot, and generally unexpected. It looks like it has its tongue in cheek and only half the actors are in on the joke—which, of course, only adds to the enjoyment.
The Music Room:
Wow, what a lousy DVD transfer. Someone (or Criterion) needs to get on top of that. But even through the substandard visual quality and poor subtitles, The Music Room hit me as the more interesting and emotionally resonant film.
The Vikings 0 – The Music Room 1
I, for the most part, still enjoy The Vikings, a film I liked a lot as a kid, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis are as good as one could hope for in a film like this and Borgnine is always enjoyable. Janet Leigh seems painfully out of her element to me, but the cinematography is compelling, although certainly not out of the ordinary for Cardiff, and the film does, as Den suggests, take a slightly unusual path in taking the vikings belief system more seriously than most films of this sort, but compared to The Music Room this just simply isn’t enough to capture my vote. Ray’s film is every bit as good looking as Fleischer’s, actually quite a bit better in my eyes, but relies much more on undercurrents than surface thrills to tell its story. It goes much deeper with its characters and themes than Fleischer’s film, and had a much stronger emotional impact as well even if it isn’t as outwardly dynamic. I like The Vikings, but this is an exceptionally easy vote for me. (I would be curious, however, to see what Den would pick next if he does go through so I won’t be rooting too much against him even if I think Ray is the far better director.)
Any claim The Vikings had to realism of viking culture was ruined by having a 20th century style romance plot, so I watch it as a strictly-for-fun adventure film. There’s nothing wrong with being strictly-for-fun, but I was bored most of the way through. There were some great performances but I can’t stand camp. Maybe if it was the sort of action film I grew up with I’d feel differently. I suppose when I’m older, I’ll have nostalgia for movies like Die Hard and Total Recall and people in their twenties will find them boring.
The Music Room was emotionally a lot more interesting, and every bit what I’ve come to expect from Ray. Trying to deal with the end of his family’s tradition of wealth while still acting like a rich man in the eyes of others, he eventually concedes defeat and goes out in a generously indulgent blaze of glory.
You can’t stand camp but you like Total Recall?
Well, I hate blue screen but Hausu is my favorite movie.
The Vikings 0 The Music Room 1
Easy win here, The Music Room is a masterpiece, such a sensitive wistful bittersweet elegant film
Es que coño, como vas a comparar una obra maestra como la de Satyajit con esta otra cosa rara mira que no entiendo!.
The Vikings -0
the music Room-1
What a sad story, well told in my opinion, the music the sheer arrogance of the lead character. Captivating film making regardless of the different language, it caught me by surprise, I like that in a film.
The vikings 1 – The music room 0
The vikings 1 – The music room 0
Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) 1 Satyajit Ray (The Music Room) 0
Great mix of tragedy and adventure movie (or how to enrich a Hollywood epic), cleverly constructed by Fleischer on the opposition between, on one hand the wild but healthy world of the Vikings and the civilized but hypocritical of the British, on the other hand, the rugged manliness of Douglas and the romantic Curtis. Memorable movie, great photography, music and setting. Btw, a movie to watch on big screen.
And some interior shots/sequences in The Music Room are among my favorites in Ray’s filmography, not an easy vote…
The Vikings – 0 vs The Music Room – 1
Richard Fleischer The Vikings 1 – Satyajit Ray The Music Room 0
One of the few examples of this type of film that is enjoyable even after repeated viewings.
The Vikings – 1 vs. The Music Room – 0
The Vikings – 0 vs. The Music Room – 1
The Vikings was a enjoyable flick, more so because I have reading the Icelandic sagas lately (Just finished the awesome Njal’s Saga). Beautiful photography, specially of the Norwegian Fjords.
It is however, outmatched. One of Ray’s great works, with some of Ray’s most expressive editing. Also a historical document of passing of the Zamindar era.
A point about The Music Room. I have noticed that in certain quarters, specially among the French, this is considered Ray’s best work, bar none. I wonder why that is. May be because this one has a clearly “tragic” character in the Classical sense, and thus appeals more people with to a certain intellectual framework.