With the first phase of the group match-ups nearly completed, I thought it time to evaluate what we have seen so far – on a personal basis. Of course, it was impossible to see and evaluate all 288 films. I did try to see all the streaming films of those not seen before the event. I can’t list every films I saw here, but these are some that made the most impression. For comments check-out the Comments and Reviews section of the World Cup thread and individual voting for group match-ups. Feel free to add your own picks.
I hope that if we ever do get a separate section on the forum, it will be easier to search these out. This is also for non-participants who might want suggestions or see what they missed. I have tried to keep this short, and just list discoveries – not films I loved from before the event.
There were a few films that I would add to the list of the best films I have ever seen. In this category, I would unhesitatingly put: Landscape in the Mist (Balkans), Jeanne Dielman (Belgium), Cria Cuervos (Spain), Marketa Lazarova (Czech Republic), Devils on the Doorstep (China), Yeelen (Africa). All were remarkable from every standpoint.
Honourable mention to these:
Reconstruction, Before the Rain (Balkans); Ucho/The Ear, Diamonds of the Night (Czech Republic); La Antena, El Viaje, Invasion, Veronico Cruz (Argentina); Colonel Redl, The Red & the White (Hungary); Malpertuis, Les Rendezvous d’Anna (Belgium); Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring (S. Korea); Ceddo, Cairo Station, Hyenas (Africa); Yol/The Way (Turkey); Syndromes and a Century, Cyclo, One the Tenth Moon Comes, Nostalgia for the Countryside (SE Asia); The Quince Tree Sun (Spain): Terra em Transe, Black God White Devil (Brazil); Wavelength, Calendar (Canada); Wishing Tree, There Was a Singing Blackbird, Repentance (Ukraine + Caucusus); Maborosi (Japan); Subarnarekha, Rat-Trap, Distant Thunder (India); To Live, Blue Kite, The Goddess (China); The Cyclist, The Circle, The House is Black (Iran). All the shorts for Austria, esp. Copy Shop and Poland’s Tango, too.
Many more one could add. I missed quite a few films if they were not streaming (as noted on Christine’s great profile page) or did not have adequate English subtitles.
Now that the first rounds are over, I am bumping this up. There were some countries that I seemed to love every film they picked, like Czech Republic, Belgium, China, Africa, Caucasus+Ukraine, India, and Hungary and all these did advance. However, I felt the same about SE Asia, Balkans, Austria, and Argentina and they didn’t. Also, some countries were at a disadvantage, like Chile, because so many of their films were not available easily or available without subtitles. I did think the late add of Largo Viaje for Chile was a significant edition, as it was quite an usual film.
There are many films not mentioned here that are significant, so no slight intended to what was left out. I don’t think the big name films such as Rules of the Game or Seven Samurai need any help with recognition, as I am just listing some personal new discoveries here. I would also like to point out that Mexico’s The Secret Formula was a film that was admired by all and deserves special recognition here.
I am one for whom almost all of this WC included potential discoveries, as i had seen a small fraction of the films showcased. For me, the most awesome discoveries were:
Colonel RedlKanalLes Rendez-vous d’Anna and Jeanne DielmanEl compadre MendozaInvasiónThe Story of the Late ChrysanthemumsThe House Is BlackValley of the Bees and Marketa LazarovaMerry-Go-RoundThe LeopardBodas de sangreOnce Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird
A Time to Live and a Time to DieThe Seventh ContinentBreaking the WavesEl Chacal de NahueltoroYeelenEl hombre de papel
well, great to see enthusiasm among participants- just a pity more haven’t taken part, but those who have seem to have found it rewarding.
I’d seen the majority but made some great discoveries, some i knew nothing of:
Invasion- this came out of the blue for meFinye (long wanted to see it)The Pumpkin EaterWhen the Tenth Month ComesWanderers in the DesertThe Wishing TreeLes Rendezvous d’AnnaBab AzizAdoption
From my group, i also enjoyed seeing El Compadre Mendoza, another i’d been wanting to see, and hope to see The Danube Waves (thoiugh access problematic?).
I think the World Cup has been a gas. Discover some new films, ruminate on what attracts you to particular films …
… and wait for the inevitable showdown between France and Japan when Kenji discovers he may have erred using his heaviest ordnance in the qualifiers.
Biggest true discovery (i.e., a film that was not already one I had been planning on seeing) was definitely Deep Crimson, by a mile. Surogat, Insiang, and Mandabi were also good discoveries.
Other films new to me (i.e., simply hadn’t seen before) that I really liked were Le Bonheur, Through a Glass Darkly, Ucho, A Time to Live and a Time to Die, and A Comedy of Innocence … probably some others I’m forgetting for now.
“For me, the most awesome discoveries were:
hahaha,oh Ralch,how ironic ;)
Oh wise Doinel, i knew i’d erred for winning as soon as i picked my group stage films- but i didn’t want to come second in the group and have to play a top seed next (it was seeded to be UK with Hitch). And i thought about the possible strong selections other teams in my group could put up against me, in the paper-scissors-stone format that has an element of luck. So, Doinel you’re quite right, and i’ve been trying but failing to work out how to make up for the lost couple of biggies if i get to the late stages.
The fact that I know directors like Dang Nhat Minh or Hou hsiao hsien since a long time, I would to mention films which I definitely discivered through the AWC:
HIMALA by Ishmael Bernal
MACHUCA by Andres Wood
BAB `AZIZ by Nacer Khemir
EL COMPADRE MENDOZA (what a strange and wonderful germ!)
and irinically even quite wellknown in Germany, I discovered for myself the films by Fatih Akin which were available in my nearest vidotheque.
I discovered 39 new films (in about 54 days?) so it has been quite an education for me and am particularly happy to have discovered the titles in bold:
AliceThe TrialDiary of a Country PriestYoung AphroditesCopy ShopRun Lola RunWings of DesireRat-TrapThe AppleMan with a Movie CameraLa AntenaHyenasThe Prince Who Contemplated His Soul
Belle de Jour
Of Time and the City
The Pumpkin Eater
Legend of the Suram Fortress
Under the Olive Trees
The Dawns Here are Quiet
Wanderers in the Desert
The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short
The Grapes of Wrath
Syndromes and a Century
After the Wedding
Before the Rain
A Time to Live and a Time to Die
Last Tango in Paris
Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine
My favourite discoveries, so far, have been
Les Rendez-vous d’Anna
When the Tenth Month Comes
Forest of the Hanged
The Danube Waves
To the Left of the Father
In Search of the Famine
I am bound to have forgotten some
Forgot to mention Exterminating Angel by Buñuel…what a discovery that was! So, 40 new films.
I would have participated if I had any idea what was going on. I saw a few random threads floating around with “world cup” in the title but I didn’t really understand the contents. I didn’t know if it was something that I could contribute to once started and I thought it some how required knowledge about the real world cup of football (soccer) which I know absolutely nothing about. Maybe it’s my own ignorance but next time if you can make the process more straightforward I’d appreciate it.
Thanks, Delancy. This is a question best addressed by the organizers of the event, Kenji and Apursansar, but this would be my take. The organizers had asked, and were originally promised, a SEPARATE forum topic for this event. Had this been done, it would have been much easier to keep all threads related to the World Cup event in one place for easy searching/referencing. As you know, threads here get bumped off the first page all the time by new threads and posts. It is easy for anything to get lost.
When this event was being organized a couple of months back, there were a ton of threads active that were keeping everyone informed. Unfortunately, for anyone coming along after the fact, it could prove very confusing and intimidating to those not knowing what the hell was going on. Best thing to do then for anyone is to just jump in and ask – anywhere. But this is a very good point that we must do everything in the future to make sure as many people as possible know what is going on as the event goes on.
Some form of an introductory screen that explained how things worked would be helpful. There was an explanation provided in the OP by the organizers of every voting thread, which explained some basics – if people read it.
This event is not rocket science and we are all learning as we go – sometimes the hard way. Thanks.
I only joined here recently so I was only able to participate in the recent groups this October. But I am still catching up with the rest of the 288 films I haven’t seen. And I can’t wait to see your selections for the next round.
So far, I’ve discovered the greatness of:
When the Tenth Month Comes
The Heart of the World
High and Low (What? Why didn’t you guys like it? =0)
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
If it weren’t for the competition, I would keep postponing to watch most of the films included in the cup that I’ve heard about before. (i.e. Passion of Joan of Arc, High and Low, Deep Crimson, Le Cercle Rouge).
i am new to this world cup thing.. it intrigues me to see world cinema in a “match.”! Where is the thread with the original 288 films? I’ve been skimming the various WC threads for almost an hour and am trying to find the best jump-in point. Thanks to all..
Rachel, the first 288 films that were used can be found here; http://www.theauteurs.com/topics/4402/comments and it is a great list of films worth seeing, but the voting for those films is over, so if you want to participate in the event going forward, the best place to start would be here;http://www.theauteurs.com/topics/5990/comments
I hope this answers your question, and I also hope you’ll join in for the up-coming rounds!
Now that the 16 teams finals are over, I would like to again revive this thread to allow for posting of some more personal picks from this Round 2. I saw all but a couple of the films, although I had some problems with streaming links for some and the dismal qualtity of The Terrorizer (Taiwan), so this is based on what I did get a chance to see. Anyone else is welcome to join
Horse Thief for China and The White Dove for Czech Republic were the standouts for me, with these others following closely: Street Angel (China); Rendez-vous à Bray (Belgium); Diary For My Children and Almanac of Fall (Hungary); Hara Kiri (Japan); Hamlet (Caucasus+Ukraine); El Sur (Spain: Rotation (Germany); Charulata and The Ritual (India); Sult/Hunger (Denmark); Le Rayon Vert/The Green Ray (France); Crimson Gold (Iran); Daratt and Night of Counting the Years (Africa).
As to be expected, as the event gets tighter, the overall quality of the films were excellent. I urge anyone on the site to try these fine films and extend their film knowledge – as I did. Thanks managers – whether you advaced or lost – there were many superb films in this event. I look forward to the next batch. Good streaming links really help so cudos for those posting them and to Col Dax for supplying the links from his profile page for this round.
well i think taken together the films are a pretty good grounding in world cinema! The Ritual may be the top discovery of the 1/8 finals for me (it’s highly praised in my Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema but i knew nothing of it), but my favourites i’d already seen- and to think France were knocked out when picking Celine and Julie go Boating and The Green Ray, which i love! Russia also made a terrific selection with Mirror and Tale of Tales and i was sorry El Sur was on the losing team after such a great fight v the much more famous La Strada (which i don’t like). I regret not being able to see Rendezvous a Bray
Christian Lacoste, cinematographe, La noire de…
Many more (17) new discoveries…
Little Toys (Sūn Yú)
Actress (Stanley Kwan)
The Seventh Horse of the Sun (Shyam Benegal)
Sound of the Mountain (Mikio Naruse)
Two Stage Sisters (Xiè Jìn)
After the Rain (Takashi Koizumi)
In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai)
Humanity and Paper Balloons (Sadao Yamanaka)
Nine Days of One Year (Mikhail Romm)
Blow Up (Michelangelo Antonioni)
The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci)
The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer W. Fassbinder)
And Quiet Rolls the Dawn (Mrinal Sen)
Bhumika: The Role (Shyam Benegal)
The Day I Became a Woman (Marzieh Makhmalbaf)
Where is the Friend’s Home? (Abbas Kiarostami)
Black Girl (Ousmane Sembène)
i think the question is…which films weren’t discoveries??? :D
for my part, i’d only name 2-3….but not even these were below average!
Humanity and Paper Balloons and The Big City.
not a single Swedish film…..
Alexander Krupl – You, The Living was a great discovery for me, and led me to also see Songs From The Second Floor. Very good :o)
Alexander, your You, The Living pick was actually one of 2-3 “disappointments” but i haven’t seen it for a long time but i love Andersson’s filmography so far with A Swedish Love Story especially, so who knows ;)
from your Swedish ones (i had seen many before), i especially loved finding out for the first time The Emigrants but i can’t find The New Land you once mentioned me nowhere :(
besides, most group stage films are rarely remembered because post-last 16 matches are fresher to the viewers’ minds.
Schoolwork prevented me from watching even a fraction of what I wanted. Still from what I watched I made a large amount of discoveries. The three most notable (notable because I consider them among my very favorites) being Wings of Desire, Cria cuervos, and The Green Ray. I know those weren’t the most obscure, and were not discoveries for many, but they were for me. Then of course there are the wonderful films that I wouldn’t have ever seen if it wasn’t for the WC like Black God White Devil, The Horse Thief
Damn I didnt finish but I cant edit on my phone. I will finish later.
Syndromes and a Century, The Dreamers, Landscape in the Mist, and Show Me Love! I’ll see a lot more, though!
For me,Marketa Lazarova was the greatest discovery of the AWC.A stunning masterpiece that I had never heard of before.It is great when you see a movie that you know absolutely nothing about,and it turns out to be unbelievably great.