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Directors' Cup Voting, Round 2, Match 3: Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law)

Kai White

over 3 years ago

THE DIRECTORS’ CUP 2010 : ROUND 2, MATCH 3 VOTING

New participants are most welcome and allowed to vote in the match-ups

Match 2, Agnès Varda (Cleo From 5 to 7) vs Victor Erice (The Quince Tree Sun), will remain open for voting until 1am BST (12am GMT) on Wednesday 1st September and can be voted on here

On this thread voting will be on Match 3, Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law). The other matches in Round 2 will each be getting their own threads.

The extended voting period for this match lasts until 1am BST (12am GMT) on Wednesday 1st September, 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 31st August.

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:

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law)

Managed by Cecil Will Burchett and User De Faux-Fuyants respectively

If you have not seen The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes, you can do so here
The password is mubi

If you have not seen Down By Law, you can do so here

Dennis...Brian

over 3 years ago

Down by Law (1) vs The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes (0)

In the tradition of Samuel B casting Bert Lahr in Godot and Keaton in Film, comes another to hip for the room artist casting a beloved comic to add humanity to a project, Benigni is the reason (for me) that Down by Law is a pretty good film. Act is a nicely filmed autopsy, nothing more as far as my own eyes can see.

ShaKha

over 3 years ago

Probably the strangest vote. Kind of like trying to decide whether Wayne Gretzky can beat Superman in a game of checkers. However, a vote must be made. I have seen a lot of autopsy footage in my mondo days in things like Faces of Death and Traces of Death, but Seeing somehow managed to take the grotesque and make it beautiful (if a bit tedious). However, Down by Law is just too good to be overlooked. If Seeing was up against something else, it may have had my vote (I would also have to think harder if the Brakhage film was Window Water Baby Moving…just saying), but as it stands, my vote is:

Down by Law (1) vs The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes (0)

Dimitri​s Psachos

over 3 years ago

Early progress by Jarmusch but I hope he loses although Down by Law is one of my favorites by him.

Cat’s vote first:

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes) – 1 vs Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law) – 0

Bob S Redux

over 3 years ago

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 0 vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 1

Wasn’t aware until I started watching it that the Brakhage was going to be a series of autopsies in a morgue. Great stuff! OK, I sat through an autopsy for Resnais’ Providence – but that is but a short part of the film. This was one time I was glad to be watching on my computer screen. Saw this soon after Sweet Movie. Don’t know which was the more disturbing.

So the Jarmusch came along at just the right time to raise my spirits and cheer me up. Great comic interplay among the leads. Lurie and Waits are perfect deadpans to manic Benigni’s wonderful clown. I am so glad we finally have a comedy – albeit a black one – in this event. Cheers to Jarmusch! Loved those English phrases that Benigni’s character is writing down – without really understanding them. This film reminds me of Curtiz’s We’re No Angels, for some reason.

Doinel

over 3 years ago

The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes — 1 vs. Down by Law — 0

I find the character of Roberto so grating that his every line is like nails on a blackboard.

The Brakhage is no day at the beach either but it gets to the issue of mortality with a fine artfulness.

Dimitri​s Psachos

over 3 years ago

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 1 vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 0

I think that had it been Black Ice, it would have been an easy vote in favor of Jarmusch. To tell the truth…Down by Law IS one of my most refreshing Jarmusch experiences before his uneven late career and the hideous Coffee and Cigarettes. We’re No Angels (the original) is an exceptional comparison although I find more similarities in the loser syndrome of…real life, ha…than in any other motion picture. Benigni’s early career isn’t so annoying as his Life is Beautiful mannerisms and forceful “comedy”. In Night on Earth he’s even better, talking about Jamursch collaborations. (but his wife makes it for me in Down by Law, ehehehe)

So….Brakhage’s…which can easily out-clash anything Jarmusch made…it’s all about anatomy of the flesh but it’s the bare essence of rot, of withering, of well…death. Pretty morbid all this silent momentum for almost 3 quarters, eh? But it’s penetration and the camera is the observer and yes…that’s all i can give as a perspective because I’m an observer as well..of everything…everything matters no matter how demolished it is.

I think we’ve all seen everything by Jarmusch and since this is the match where I’ll be facing either of these directors, out of my two favorites (again), I choose Brakhage because in case I pass, it’s going to be soooo much fun to see all those “conventional” naysayers having to choose between a riddler and a wizard, ahahahahahaha!

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!

over 3 years ago

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) – 1 vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) – 0

Although I don’t consider The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes to be one of my favorite Brakhage films as it’s not a very “fun” experience to sit through or as aesthetically appealing as his other work, it made me do a lot of thinking during (especially with the lack of soundtrack which is exactly his intention) after, and even years later. I enjoy Down By Law, but there are better Jarmusch films out there and it didn’t really leave me with anything to think about.

Malkin

over 3 years ago

The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes (Brakhage) – 0 / Down by Law (Jarmusch) – 1

Apples and oranges, this match. I opted for Jarmusch at his wittiest rather than an unsettling look at what we are at the end of the day – but it’s close.

Amos

over 3 years ago

The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes — 0 vs Down By Law — 1

I’m squeamish so Act was incredibly unpleasant. I really enjoyed Down By Law so easy vote.

John Ryan

over 3 years ago

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 0 vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 1

I’ll go ahead and be the guy who doesn’t handle blood and guts very well, especially when displayed so realistically. So Brakhage’s film was incredibly hard to sit through. Unfortunately, that painful sitting led to nothing profound for me.

I don’t have time to rewatch Down By Law for the Cup, and my memory of it is less than clear, but I remember it being a pure joy to sit through. I know it made me seek out all of Jarmusch’s other films.

Dimitri​s Psachos

over 3 years ago

6 – 4 for Jarmusch

GO BRAKHAGE!

brady qw

over 3 years ago

Seconding Dimitris :)

Sanjuro

over 3 years ago

The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes

In which Stan Brakhage points his camera at some dead folk and says ‘behold!’. Should one be aware of what Stan is trying to achieve in this film before watching it? Is it obvious? The longer one stares at these lumps of dead flesh, the less ‘human’ they become and we discover that Stan, (Can I call you Stan? He does have a kind of ‘wild uncle Stan’ type of thing going), has created a film of light and shapes that brings us past our initial discomfort with being in such close proximity to dead people. In this way, he’s achieved his dual goal of overcoming his own fears and conveying this process to the viewer.

Or maybe it’s 20 minutes of staring at dead folk. And if that’s all that’s seen by the viewer is it their fault for not understanding Brakhage’s aims, or Brakhage’s for failing to convey them within the film?

Down by Law

Roberto Benigni. Yeah, he’s kind of funny. Tom Waits, much more so. This is a fun film. But you really need a Dead Man to go up against Stan Brakhage’s Dead Men.

Oh, what useless comments. Never mind. Move along.

Let me think about this one a while before voting for Stan.

El hombre huevo

over 3 years ago

The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes – 1 vs. Down by Law – 0

Tough call.

The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes is devastating. It’s as necessary to understand as… well… Brakhage’s other best film Window Water Baby Moving. Life is death. One is predicated upon the other; to not understand one is to not understand either. The physical act of an autopsy leads to a much deeper metaphysical understanding of the very nature and beauty (and ugliness) of our lives; of life in general. The meaning of life might as well be the meaning of death. One doesn’t exist without the other.

Down by Law is hilarious. Not my favourite Jarmusch, but hilarious. It really comes down to one film being my favourite from one filmmaker and the other not being my favourite (though, it’s probably two or three).

Tough call.

Rory Padgett

over 3 years ago

Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law) vs Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes) 1

I loved Law, it was a fun and enjoyable experience, and it has Tom Waits! Act, on the other hand, was not all that fun and enjoyable.

That being said, I got more out of Act than Law. Confronting death is a very emotional and personal learning experience. As horrible an experience as Act was, it is an experience that I am thankful to Brakhage for.

Dimitri​s Psachos

over 3 years ago

“I got more out of Act than Law”

This is like a judicial conference :P

Joking Rory, I hope you don’t misunderstand, hehe.

Sanjuro

over 3 years ago

Ah, Window Water Baby Moving. Now there’s a Brakhage masterpiece.

For the fond memories and no nightmares, I actually think I’m going to vote for Jarmusch (or at least Tom Waits).

The act of seeing with one’s own eyes – 0 vs Down by law 1

Eva Jean

over 3 years ago

No hesitation for me, I found the Brakhage movie completely uninteresting. At least it wasn’t too long…
And I couldn’t vote against Jarmusch, Tom Waits is just perfect in Down by Law.

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 0 vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 1

Matt Parks

over 3 years ago

Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 1 – vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 0

House 0f Leaves

-moderator-
over 3 years ago

Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 1 – vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 0

I’ve talked with people who absolutely hated the Brakhage and I completely understand where they’re coming from. It’s challenging and confrontational in a way that something like Ten Skies never even attempts.

My vote comes down to this: If the purpose of art is to illuminate the human condition, then Brakhage’s film is an undeniable statement. We are meat, and we all get to have our time upon the slab being unceremoniously handled by dispassionate men.

It forces us to look at our bodies in ways we may never have before, to see ourselves in uncomfortable states we may never have been able to (or willing to) imagine. It’s brilliant and I’ll never get it out of my head, which is fortunate since it means I’ll never have to watch it again.

I love Jarmusch but he’s met his match.

House 0f Leaves

-moderator-
over 3 years ago

For Drew:

Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 1 – vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 0

Rissela​da

-moderator-
over 3 years ago

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 0 – Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 1

Down By Law was my first Jarmusch film. It was recommended to me by an attractive girl in college. And for a while it was my favorite Jarmusch, until at some point being taken over by Night on Earth. It’s all about the locations. The characters are wonderful people that are part of these worlds. The streets and buildings of New Orleans. The prison, with the found graffiti. Those gorgeous white bark trees (that always look good on film. Remember Ivan’s Childhood?) in the swamp. And of course Tom Waits music. Rain Dogs is still one of my favorite albums.

The act of seeing The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes with my own eyes was basically just a personal challenge for it’s duration. I just needed to get through it. Reflect later. I was tryping comments about what I was seeing to people on instant messenger who weren’t even there.

Then once it was over, and I waited a while to confirm I wasn’t going to pass out, I started reflecting. What I contemplated was how amazingly complex our bodies are. So many different parts with their own smaller parts which are more and more intricate. It all seems so fragile. Yet what’s so amazing is that this configuration of parts results in the living creatures that we are. The fact that we are able to do all of the things that we do and live for so long is just astounding to me when I contemplate what this film reveals what it all really is. These parts are all only really a pile of random, nasty, gooey bits of matter. What is it then that really gives us life? Obviously it isn’t the parts themselves. It is something elusive that when gone, all of the parts shut down. It emphasises how wonderful life is and how terrible death is. Don’t let people fool you with how beautiful death is. It’s a horrible traumatic thing.

Now, should I really give Brakhage’s film that much credit? These ideas weren’t created by Brakhages film. They were in me before. These autopsies were already happening. All Brakhage did was come and film it as is. Now you may say that this is the same as what someone like Wiseman does. They just know what to film. But Wiseman arrives at something more distinct and complex. I feel that anyone could have walked into an autopsy, filmed it, and gotten the same reaction as Brakhage. Does anyone disagree with me? What credit should Brakhage really get for this film beyond just the idea of filming an autopsy which really isn’t that novel. Did he really do anything distinct with the filming or the footage?

Kai White

over 3 years ago

So, as far as Down by Law goes, I’m from New Orleans, so it’s always a bit of a cheap thrill to see my hometown on screen. Sure, I have the minor quibbles that anybody would have with a movie set in their birthplace (and the city I lived in for 22 years) – you couldn’t possibly take any kind of route out of Orleans Parish Prison to get to a bayou, for instance, and there’s certainly no underground route because the whole city is below sea level, so there’s not really anything at all underground. Even our cemetaries bury people above ground. No matter about that stuff, though, because the movie itself was entertaining. I’m glad to see some other people mention Tom Waits . . . I don’t know why, but I was interested in him every time he was on screen. The other two, meh, but he has a compelling screen presence, for me, anyway. I didn’t love it, but Down by Law was a good film.

The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes, you know, I’m glad other people are getting it. I didn’t get it. I wasn’t disgusted or anything along those lines, I was mostly just sad, sad that somebody let Brakhage in to the morgue to film this. I’ve seen a few Brakhage films over the years, and I can only really say that I liked one of them. The rest of them have just done absolutely nothing for me. File this away as another one that wasn’t for me.

The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes – 0 vs. Down By Law – 1

Ally the Manic Listmak​er

over 3 years ago

Oh the naked man on the table movie……. I think I’ll vote this way:

Stan Brakhage (The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes) 0 vs Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law) 1

Kai White

over 3 years ago

Oh the naked man on the table movie…….

hahaha – ladies and gentlemen, the films of Stan Brakhage!

Ally the Manic Listmak​er

over 3 years ago

I also like the film where he pimps out his wife and shows the world the birth of their baby.

The Africa Film Project

over 3 years ago

the Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes 1 v Down Bt Law 0

Well a very tough decision. Down By Law is my favourite Jarmusch by some distance and I fully expected to be voting for it, especially having seen Black Ice and wondering if this was the best Brakhage had to offer.

But then I was blown away by Seeing With One’s Eyes. I didn’t find it disturbing and strangely I find the film quite comforting and far less depressing than the equally impressive film about death Jarman’s Blue. I n Brakhage’s vision we are just pieces of rotting meat. There is no spirituality and higher powers, we are just part of nature’s cycle of life and death. What is on view is not really disturbing this will all be one of us one day lying on that slab, and that is maybe what freaks people out. I wonder if we have any doctors, nurses, police, fireman or any other person who deals with corpses on a regular basis competing here. What would there thoughts might be as that intial shock of seeing death in your face will have already happened in real life many times over.

Duncan Gray

-moderator-
over 3 years ago

11-10 Jarmusch, if my count is correct.