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The Coheed Version of the 2012 World Cup

by Coheed 2.5
The Coheed Version of the 2012 World Cup by Coheed 2.5
As others participating in this year’s cup are creating their own check lists for others to see, it would be polite for me to do so too. Whether I will be able to participate in the Cup or in as much quantity as I am now is completely unknown, but unless anything happens I do intend to keep watching the films and update the list. Matches That Have Ended #1 [27th Feb] – Iran (The Runner (1985)) – 9/10 vs. Romania (Lust For Gold (1974)) – 9/10 [Romania Wins] #2 [1st March] – Bangladesh (The Clay Bird (2002)) – 7/10 vs. Taiwan (Tropical Fish (1995)) – 7/10 [Taiwan Wins] #4 [7th March] Czeck Republic (Happy End (1967)) – 7/10 vs Morocco (A… Read more

As others participating in this year’s cup are creating their own check lists for others to see, it would be polite for me to do so too. Whether I will be able to participate in the Cup or in as much quantity as I am now is completely unknown, but unless anything happens I do intend to keep watching the films and update the list.

Matches That Have Ended
#1 [27th Feb] – Iran (The Runner (1985)) – 9/10 vs. Romania (Lust For Gold (1974)) – 9/10
[Romania Wins]

#2 [1st March] – Bangladesh (The Clay Bird (2002)) – 7/10 vs. Taiwan (Tropical Fish (1995)) – 7/10
[Taiwan Wins]

#4 [7th March] Czeck Republic (Happy End (1967)) – 7/10 vs Morocco (A Thousand Months (2003) – 6/10
[Czeck Republic Wins]

#5 – [10th March] Kyrgystan (White Mountains (1964)) – 4/10 vs. USA (Public Housing (1997)) – 8/10
[Draw]

#7. [16th March] – Finland (The Way You Wanted Me (1944)) – 5/10 vs. Malaysia (Village People Radio Show (2007)) – 4/10
[Finland wins]

#10. Italy (Salomè (1972)) – 4/10 vs. Russia (The Dream of A Ridiculous Man (1992)) – 9/10
[Italy wins]

#11. [28th March] Argentina (Extraordinary Stories (2008)) – 10/10 vs. Japan (The Naked Island (1960) – 10/10

#15. [9th April] Estonia (The Temptation of St. Tony (2009)) -5/10 vs. Poland (Mother Joan of the Angels (1961)) – 10/10
[Poland Wins]

*17. [15th April] Cameroon (Africa, I Will Fleece You (1993)) vs. South Korea (A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara (1981))

*22. Mexico (Illusion Travels By Streetcar (1954)) vs Papua New Guinea (Tinpis Run (1991))

Matches Ready To Vote In

Matches I Was Sadly Not Be Able To Enter

  1. [4th March] – Indonesia (The Forbidden Door (2009)) – 3/10 vs. Turkey (Egg (2007)) – Not Seen Yet
    Strange as the logic may sound but if a film is available to rent of LoveFilm in my country and is still readily available, I will not watch any other version except on a disc. YouTube and other streaming sites are only suitable for me if the film is not available in my country or impossible any other way. I was unable to get Egg (2007) in the post for LoveFilm in time, so I will have to wait until after the match has ended to decided this match for my own pleasure.

#9. [22nd March] Greece (The Beekeeper (1986) – Not Seen Yet vs. Kazakhstan (The Needle (1988)) – 3/10
LoveFilm let me down again with The Beekeeper. Thankfully I got Mother Joan of Angels and Naked Island so I am happy.

#16. [12h April] Cuba (Memories of Underdevelopment (1968)) vs. Palestine (Paradise Now (2005))
Let down by LoveFilm again. Did get to see Paradise Now though.

Priority Matches

Rankings

Blissfully Yours (2002) – 10/10
Mother Joan of Angels aka. Matka Joanna od aniolów (1961) – 10/10
Palms (1993) – 10/10
The Naked Island (1960) – 10/10
Extraordinary Stories aka. Historias extraordinarias (2008) – 10/10
The Runner (1985) – 9/10
The Dreams of A Ridiculous Man (1992) – 9/10
Lust For Gold (1974) – 9/10
Illusion Travels By Streetcar (1954) – 8/10
Public Housing (1997) – 8/10
A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara (1981) – 8/10
Happy End (1967) – 7/10
Felix In Exile (1994) – 7/10
Tropical Fish (1995) – 7/10
Crush (1992) – 7/10
The Clay Bird (2002) – 7/10
Tinpis Run (1991) – 7/10
Six Shooter (2004) – 6/10
Africa, I Will Fleece You aka. Afrique, je te plumerai (1993) – 6/10
A Monkey’s Raincoat (2005) – 6/10
A Thousand Months (2003) – 6/10
Amelia and the Angel (1957) – 6/10
The Temptation of St. Tony aka. Püha Tõnu kiusamine (2009) – 5/10
The Way You Wanted Me (1944) – 5/10
Paradise Now (2005) – 5/10
Araya (1959) – 5/10
A Woman’s Case (1969) – 4/10
Salomè (1972) – 4/10
Nostalgia for the Light (2010) – 4/10
Limite (1931) – 4/10
Touki Bouki (1973) – 4/10
White Mountains (1964) – 4/10
Village People Radio Show (2007) – 4/10
The Forbidden Door (2009) – 3/10
The Needle (1988) – 3/10
Freedom (2000) – 3/10

Lust For Gold (Dan Pita & Mircea Veroiu, 1974/Romania) – For such an (intentionally) simple theme spelt out in the title, its awe-inspiring how abstract in mood this is and how, thankfully, it avoids gross simplification (women as gold diggers) in favour for a universal theme on greed. Set less in a Romanian town than its own reality, everything from the musical narration to the horse motif creates a neglected film both phantasmagoria in nature and profound. – 9/10

Happy End (Oldrich Lipský, 1967/Czechoslovakia) – What makes this film, whose narrative is entirely in reverse order, even more bizarre and blackly humoured is that it comes down to a unapologetic middle aged murderer attempting to survive beyond death by going backwards into his past for a happier life. By the end, the film does feel like it has outstayed its welcome even at 71 minutes, but something this gleefully macabre and strange should be treasured. – 7/10

A Thousand Months (Faouzi Bensaïdi, 2003/Belgium-France-Germany-Morocco) – Credit to the director Bensaïdi for his skill as a visual director and for crafting vivid moments within the narrative that stand out. As almost a string of vignettes that connect together as a wider story however it cannot sustain itself for its length, meandering at points when it is in dire need of being tightened in tone and ideas. By the end there is no sense that there is enough depth to it because each strand of it is unbalanced to each other and doesn’t completely link together. – 6/10

Forbidden Door (Joko Anwar, 2009/Indonesia) – Lynch meets the aesthetics of Park-Chan Wook meets A Bucket of Blood and probably quite a few other cinematic references, all of which leads to a film with style but never connects any of its parts into anything cohesive. Its twists and bloody violence never lead to anything original or engaging, culminating in the worst kind of final plot twist, one that should be barred from being used except if the director is going to be significantly different with it. It’s the kind of film the UK/USA distributor Tartan would release under their ‘Asian Extreme’ label, one that I would place in the immensely disappointing and forgettable pile. – 3/10

The Way You Wanted Me aka. Sellaisena kuin sinä minut halusit (Teuvo Tulio, 1944/Finland) – Frustrating to say the least. When the director only relies on only the combination of visuals and sounds to convey parts of the story, a great film appears, but it’s broken down in melodrama too abrupt (and frankly at points verging dangerously to the tone of plot twists from soap dramas) for comfort. The moments of power are drowned out as a result. – 5/10

Village People Radio Show (Amir Muhammad, 2007/Malaysia) – The content within the film – the interviews and some of the shots of the village environments – was of interest, but the documentary is badly made, overlong even at 70 or so minutes, and poorly putting together the interview tracks with the images at times. The incorporation of a Thai radio melodrama could have worked, but it felt completely separate from everything else even if it was supposed to mirror the history talked about in the interviews, and the continuous sequences of audio and visual noise was irritating and redundant. Despite moments of insight it felt like a missed opportunity compromised by its production. – 4/10

The Needle aka. Igla (Rashid Nugmanov, 1988/Soviet Union) – If the aimlessness wasn’t bad enough – despite its plot, it stumbles through it vaguely and never gets the courage to completely disregard it, becoming half-hearted on both counts – the streak of pretentious makes it worse. It is great to say I’ve seen a film from Kazakhstan, one which despite my issues was well shot and had good music, but in any language this is one of many films whose ‘hip’ veneer covers up an empty movie. – 3/10

White Mountains (Melis Ubukeyev, 1964/Kyrgystan) – Considering the background history, this has immense importance as Kyrgyzstan’s cinema, and its stripped down 63 running time would have allowed it to keep the barest essentials of its tale while paradoxically expanding upon it. Sadly, regardless of its country of origin, it’s a disinteresting film whose skeletal structure leads to little of interest. – 4/10

Public Housing (Frederick Wiseman, 1997/USA) – With such a wide span to its subject, there isn’t complete cohesion of all the aspects even in its 200 running time, but unlike Meat (1976), all of them in this environment from the public to the public services interconnect into each other, showing a community that nobly fights against poverty, drugs and other issues on the housing development, revealing a rich living environment to the viewer as well as revealing how much Wiseman is a visual painter as well as a documentalist. – 8/10

Extraordinary Stories aka. Historias extraordinarias (Mariano Llinás, 2008/Argentina) – Three things spring to mind when viewing this. 1) This is the closest equivalent to Thomas Pychon’s novels in cinematic form I have seen yet. 2) Where the hell is the DVD release in any English speaking country? 3) That this is an incredible, fun and thoughtful gem, about mysteries and the unrevealing of them, revealing also how we as human beings perceive the world around us, that stands out as unique and an accomplishment. – 10/10

Mother Joan of Angels aka. Matka Joanna od aniolów (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1961/Poland) – Despite of, or maybe because, of being agnostic, I have found that films like this produce an existential dread in me more powerful than many horror films because it has real issues in its core. File alongside Maurice Pialat’s Under the Sun of Satan as an incredibly made masterpiece about the existential fear questions that exist in Christianity; now I only wished more of Kawalerowicz’s work was available in the UK. – 10/10

The Temptation of St. Tony aka. Püha Tõnu kiusamine (Veiko Õunpuu, 2009/Estonia-Finland-Sweden) – A rewatch may happen one day, but this was such a disappointment. So many influences – Lynch certainly – and moments that try to evoke a theme of existential dread, but it tries too hard with its fantastical images without ever reaching a deeper message or a deranged power. Against Mother Joan of Angels in the 2012 World Cup, about similar themes, its caught with its pants down in embarrassment. – 5/10

Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, 2005/France-Germany-Israel-Netherlands-Occupied Palestinian Territory) – One of the most controversial and significant issues of this era, the relationship of Palestine and Israel with the additional issues of suicide bombing and martyrdom through violence, and sadly the film ends up being simplistic political discussions between the characters on the subject that lead to nothing significant and doesn’t cause one to re-examine all they have seen. The result neutralises such an important subject a Western viewer like me should be concerned about. – 5/10

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