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1>500<400 Challenge - unofficial, ongoing

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Gershwin
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1>500<400 Challenge - unofficial, ongoing

#1

Post by Gershwin » October 31st, 2018, 8:05 pm

Welcome to the 1>500<400 Challenge!

Goal
Make others watch your favourite obscure film. Watch theirs. Share the love!
:cheers:

Rules
Watch one of the films listed below. Please register first!

Background
This challenge was conceived when the results of 500<400 were published, and people were discussing how difficult it actually can be to get your favourites watched. Therefore we thought it might be nice to create some enthusiasm among the other voters for your favourite 500<400 submission that didn't make the list. The rules were discussed in this thread, and that's were we'll also discuss the addition of new rules when for instance we start running out of films.

Submitting films
The idea is simple: every participant submits his or her favourite film that meets the criteria mentioned in the OP of the registration and nominations thread. That's also the place to register when you want to participate. We'll use this thread for the ongoing challenge.

Links Nominations
Initial nominations

TitleAKAYearDirectorSubmitted byiCMsupported
Black Roots 1970 Lionel Rogosin Sebby :ICM:
Tokyo.sora 2002 Hirsoshi Ishikawa Onderhond :ICM:
Friends 1971 Lewis Gilbert zzzorf :ICM:
Baby Bump 2015 Kuba Czekaj clemmetarey :ICM:
Je t'attendrai 1939 Léonide Moguy XxXApathy420XxX :ICM:
Ladybug Ladybug 1963 Frank Perry sol :ICM:
The Music of Chance 1993 Philip Haas 72allinncallme :ICM:
Megane Glasses 2007 Naoko Ogigami albajos :ICM:
Asha Jaoar Majhe Labour of Love 2014 Aditya Vikram Sengupta beavis :ICM:
BabaKiueria Barbecue Area 1986 Don Featherstone maxwelldeux :ICM:
Edi Eddie 2002 Piotr Trzaskalski Gorro :ICM:
Professor Mamlock 1961 Konrad Wolf Nathan Treadway :ICM:
Über die Jahre Over the Years 2015 Nikolaus Geyrhalter Gershwin :ICM:
Sivi dom (1st ep.) Grey Home 1984 Gordan Mihic Mario Gaborović :ICM:
Models 1999 Ulrich Seidl nimimerkillinen :ICM:
Feng yue Temptress Moon 1996 Kaige Chen Melvelet :ICM:
El incidente The Incident 2014 Isaac Ezban filmbantha :ICM:
Illuminated Texts 1982 R. Bruce Elder Perception de Ambiguity :ICM:
De zee die denkt The Sea That Thinks 2000 Gert de Graaff Jimi Antiloop :ICM:
The Cube 1969 Jim Henson Daviddoes :ICM:
This World, Then the Fireworks 1997 Michael Oblowitz Carmel1379 :ICM:
Keshtzar haye sepid The White Meadows 2009 Mohammad Rasoulof cinewest :ICM:
Hell Is a City 1960 Val Guest blocho :ICM:


Participants
Participant# of Watches
sebby 1
Onderhond 6
zzzorf 3
clemmetarey 10
XxXApathy420XxX 3
sol 2
72allinncallme 8
albajos 2
beavis 9
maxwelldeux 8
Gorro
Nathan Treadway 1
Gershwin 3
Mario Gaborović 13
nimimerkillinen
Melvelet
filmbantha 2
mondovertigo
blocho 2
Perception de Ambiguity 11
Jimi Antiloop 6
Daviddoes 2
Mochard 2
Carmel1379 2
cinewest 2
Last edited by Gershwin on September 10th, 2019, 9:24 am, edited 10 times in total.
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#2

Post by blocho » October 31st, 2018, 9:55 pm

The only one of these I've seen before is The Music of Chance. I remember seeing it during senior year of college back in 2006. At the time, I thought it was OK, but I think it may have suffered a disadvantage because it was adapted from a book I really liked (this is so common -- it's very tough for a movie adaptation of a cherished book to live up to the literary original, especially because film adaptations are always abridged in some way). The Music of Chance was originally a novel by Paul Auster.

I was fairly obsessed with Auster at the time. I've read thirteen of his novels and two of his non-fiction works. I even saw one of the movies he directed, https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... tin+frost/. I thought it was pretty good even though it got terrible reviews. Far better was the movie Auster co-wrote with Wayne Wang in the 90s, https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/smoke/. Anyway, I wonder if people will like The Music of Chance without being prepped by reading the original novel.

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#3

Post by 72allinncallme » November 1st, 2018, 2:24 pm

blocho wrote:
October 31st, 2018, 9:55 pm
The only one of these I've seen before is The Music of Chance. I remember seeing it during senior year of college back in 2006. At the time, I thought it was OK, but I think it may have suffered a disadvantage because it was adapted from a book I really liked (this is so common -- it's very tough for a movie adaptation of a cherished book to live up to the literary original, especially because film adaptations are always abridged in some way). The Music of Chance was originally a novel by Paul Auster.

I was fairly obsessed with Auster at the time. I've read thirteen of his novels and two of his non-fiction works. I even saw one of the movies he directed, https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... tin+frost/. I thought it was pretty good even though it got terrible reviews. Far better was the movie Auster co-wrote with Wayne Wang in the 90s, https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/smoke/. Anyway, I wonder if people will like The Music of Chance without being prepped by reading the original novel.
I have the book, but haven’t got around to read it yet. Thanks for an interesting read blocho. I had no idea Auster was a director as well. And that he co-wrote Smoke, a movie I found pretty good.

Do you have another book-rec from him? :)

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#4

Post by 72allinncallme » November 1st, 2018, 2:53 pm

Let’s get the ball running.

1. BabaKiueria (1986) (Maxwelldeux’s pick)
I’ve had this on my watchlist for a while. I think it was Maxwell himself who did some promoting in one of the official challenges and it peaked my interest. Thanks for finally giving me the push Max :thumbsup:

I think that one of the reasons why I had put it on hold was that I feared that Babakiueria was the kind of movie where the idea might be better than the movie itself. You know, the idea is so brilliant that the content itself has no chance of keeping up.

Unfortunately, after watching it I do feel that that’s the case here. It does make some interesting points though and it’s quite funny at times. I’m glad that I finally saw it.
6.5/10


@ Gershwin:
The link to my rec-post is broken <_<

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#5

Post by maxwelldeux » November 1st, 2018, 4:46 pm

Woohoo! Thanks for watching, 72a! I don't disagree with you on anything you said. But I'm glad you saw it!

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#6

Post by Onderhond » November 1st, 2018, 5:22 pm

1. Labour of Love [Asha Jaoar Majhe] (2014) (beavis' recommendation)

I went with this one since I've been making my own inroads into Indian cinema these past few months. There's more to India than just Bollywood and even though this is not the kind of cinema I usually prefer, it was nice to see how they handled the slower, non-narrative kind of arthouse.

I do preferred it to many other films in this niche, simply because it does look a lot sleeker. The camera work is nice, the colors are rich and the pacing is very controlled. It wasn't at a level where I could really lose myself in the film, but it was definitely good enough for me to appreciate it. Luckily the running time doesn't go beyond 90 minutes and there were some parts where I started to lose interest, but the films never derailed and there was always something interesting right around the corner.

I liked the ending too. A fitting end to an interesting film. Not quite my cup of tea, but definitely worth watching.

3.0*/5.0*

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#7

Post by blocho » November 1st, 2018, 5:40 pm

72allinncallme wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 2:24 pm
blocho wrote:
October 31st, 2018, 9:55 pm
The only one of these I've seen before is The Music of Chance. I remember seeing it during senior year of college back in 2006. At the time, I thought it was OK, but I think it may have suffered a disadvantage because it was adapted from a book I really liked (this is so common -- it's very tough for a movie adaptation of a cherished book to live up to the literary original, especially because film adaptations are always abridged in some way). The Music of Chance was originally a novel by Paul Auster.

I was fairly obsessed with Auster at the time. I've read thirteen of his novels and two of his non-fiction works. I even saw one of the movies he directed, https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... tin+frost/. I thought it was pretty good even though it got terrible reviews. Far better was the movie Auster co-wrote with Wayne Wang in the 90s, https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/smoke/. Anyway, I wonder if people will like The Music of Chance without being prepped by reading the original novel.
I have the book, but haven’t got around to read it yet. Thanks for an interesting read blocho. I had no idea Auster was a director as well. And that he co-wrote Smoke, a movie I found pretty good.

Do you have another book-rec from him? :)
Auster's most famous work, the one that made him known, and the one that first gets most people including me into his work, is The New York Trilogy. It's a collection of three thematically related novellas from the mid 1980s. The genre can be described as post-modern hard-boiled detective (with some meta-textual touches). Like The Music of Chance, it has a lot of questions with few answers.

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#8

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » November 1st, 2018, 7:23 pm

1. Black Roots 8/10

You got my support for this sebby. Although it is a light favourite so it probably won't contribute points-wise much next year. Engaging stories and a really awesome soundtrack. I remember discussing this before in the film lounge. Now this is the kind of film you wanna see if you wanna become "woke".

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#9

Post by beavis » November 1st, 2018, 8:18 pm

seen before:
Asha Jaoar Majhe - 9
Megane - 8+
Tokyo.Sora - 7,5

and now the challenge has started today:

BabaKiueria - 7
Fun short. The satire works nice for the most of it, but the inner logic is not quite solid enough to make it a masterpiece. Nice way to start this off

Je t'attendrai - 8,5
This is amazing! Mostly for the cinematography that reminds of both von Sternberg and Blasetti of the same period. I love the kind of lighting that makes everything both soft and monumental. The story is high on romance, which I don't mind to go along with this kind of imagery. It's enganging enough, with a few nice twists. Lovely discovery!

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#10

Post by zzzorf » November 2nd, 2018, 12:18 pm

Time to find some hidden Gems:

1. Ladybug Ladybug (1963) - sol

This movie had an interesting premise that really worked well for me. Seeing the emotions everyone went through as they tried to decipher really what was going on made for some interesting viewing. The acting wasn't the best but I was happy to look past that and take the message of the movie and the journey of the children and teachers to the forefront. 8/10


2. BabaKiueria (1986) - maxwelldeux

As an Australian this movie hit home. Our 200+ year history of desecrating the history of the Indigenous people and their culture is abysmal and a lot of what has happened was glossed over in this short. I don't think a lot of you all will get most of the references but for me, despite it nearly being as old as I am, was a great satire of our way of life here. 7/10

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#11

Post by sol » November 2nd, 2018, 2:03 pm

zzzorf wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 12:18 pm
Time to find some hidden Gems:

1. Ladybug Ladybug (1963) - sol

This movie had an interesting premise that really worked well for me. Seeing the emotions everyone went through as they tried to decipher really what was going on made for some interesting viewing. The acting wasn't the best but I was happy to look past that and take the message of the movie and the journey of the children and teachers to the forefront. 8/10
:clap:

I see you favourited this on iCM. Do you think it is likely that you'll be adding it to your 500<400 ballot for next year?

Oh, and I am hoping to get onto Friends this weekend. Can't promise anything though. Things are a bit nutso at the moment with these three new Official Challenges starting up. Would like to get at least one viewing down for each Official Challenge before jumping in here.
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#12

Post by Nathan Treadway » November 2nd, 2018, 2:22 pm

I'll start with the ones I've already seen, so, doesn't count, all three will be on my list next year:

1. Je t'attendrai Watched too late to include it this year. It'll probably be in the top 50 or so. I'm not too sure exactly where yet.
2. The Music of Chance 72 and I had a small exchange last year, shortly after the list was finished; this for The Slender Thread, which prompted my signature, where I watched other's favorites for watching TST. (Sorry to anyone who's reading this that I didn't have a chance to get in touch with over it, if anyone's reading this that watched it last year, and haven't gotten in touch with me regarding that, than please do so. I don't think I'll attempt it again though. This is close enough.) Anyhow.. I found it okay. It's on my list, but, further down, as it's not a favorite. I'll have to rewatch it to give it a more of a reaction.

I'll definitely get to the rest of those nominated at some point, probably this month. It went from not really knowing where to go film wise to having plenty! Really looking forward to it! :cheers:

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#13

Post by sol » November 2nd, 2018, 3:09 pm

sol wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 2:03 pm
Would like to get at least one viewing down for each Official Challenge before jumping in here.
Sorry, zzzorf - max's nomination was a short, so easy to squeeze in tonight. Will get around to your recommendation over the next few days though!

1. BabaKiueria (1986)

Image

This was very familiar. I think I might have been shown this either in primary school or early high school - certainly not recently. Pretty good satire, but would agree that it would probably strike more of a chord with Australian filmgoers, especially with all those plugs at AFL and spectating violence, as well as those racist claims against white Australians - many of which are built on common conceptions regarding what Indigenous Australians are stereotypically like. I found this more thought-provoking (and sad) than funny-funny, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Add to my 500<400 list (at #267).
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#14

Post by clemmetarey » November 2nd, 2018, 4:44 pm

1. BabaKiueria (1986)
Starting off with the easy one :D . I don't really know what to make of it, as it deals with a subject I'm really not knowledgeable about. I see that according to sol and zzzorf this film is accurate so I'll take their word for it, which is a good thing as these subjects can easily lead to faux pas.
I think I do understand what it was aiming for as the general idea is made clear from the start, and I believe the fake documentary format was the best way to get the point across. But I'm sure I missed a lot of subtle references sadly.
I'm giving it 6/10, not enough to add it to my list but a interesting watch that I'm likely to remember as its topic and general idea is uncommon.

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#15

Post by zzzorf » November 2nd, 2018, 7:57 pm

sol wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 2:03 pm
zzzorf wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 12:18 pm
Time to find some hidden Gems:

1. Ladybug Ladybug (1963) - sol

This movie had an interesting premise that really worked well for me. Seeing the emotions everyone went through as they tried to decipher really what was going on made for some interesting viewing. The acting wasn't the best but I was happy to look past that and take the message of the movie and the journey of the children and teachers to the forefront. 8/10
:clap:

I see you favourited this on iCM. Do you think it is likely that you'll be adding it to your 500<400 ballot for next year?

Oh, and I am hoping to get onto Friends this weekend. Can't promise anything though. Things are a bit nutso at the moment with these three new Official Challenges starting up. Would like to get at least one viewing down for each Official Challenge before jumping in here.

I wouldn't take much heed in my liking/dislickinh on iCM when I first copied my rankings over from IMDb for some reason I set it that everything I rated 6 or more got a like and 5 or less a dislike. Since I started that I just keep going. The fact it got a love on Letterboxd is more telling.

I'm keeping my 500<400 list updated and this is currently situated at 62 so it will get a little boost from me next year. Since my list goes a little deep at the moment both movies I have watched have made it on with Babakueira at 186. So far this challenge is doing its part in terms of me.

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#16

Post by blocho » November 2nd, 2018, 8:15 pm

1. Ladybug Ladybug

Does anyone remember that episode of the Simpsons, when they forced Flanders to leave his own bomb shelter? I wonder if the writers were inspired by this movie.

Another thing this reminds me of. I remember reading the first issue of Sports Illustrated after 9/11. For one of the articles, a writer tagged along with a middle school football team that was playing a game in North Carolina or something three days after the attacks. The entire article was the writer asking middle schoolers questions like, how do you feel about the attacks? Do you think it's right to play a game three days after the attacks? And the students mostly answered with variations of "I don't know." And that was it: 1,500 words of I don't know from 12 year olds. It was stupid, lazy journalism. As a former sportswriter, I can tell you much of the genre is stupid and lazy, but this was something special.

This movie reminded me of that article. The set-up is very intriguing, and so it's no surprise that the best ten minutes of the movie are the first ten. The rest was ... well, it wasn't bad but it felt false and a bit pointless. If you ask little kids questions of worldly importance on topics they know nothing about, you're gonna get little kid answers. But that's not so bad as what this movie provides, which is adult answers filtered through an adult's idea of little kids. Ultimately, an OK movie, but I did not feel intellectually or emotionally moved by the scenario. On the other hand, it was amusing how grossly incompetent all the adults were in the movie. "There might be a nuclear attack. What should we do?" "Send the children to wander aimlessly in the countryside."

However, I can recommend an alternative: Escapade (1955). https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/escapade-1955/ Featuring John Mills and the always enjoyable Alastair Sim, it also is concerned with schoolchildren amid a cold war scenario. It's a bit far-fetched and idealistic, but I ultimately found it both charming and compelling. And you can see it here:

Last edited by blocho on July 18th, 2019, 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#17

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » November 2nd, 2018, 10:01 pm

2. Über die Jahre [Over the Years] 8/10

Something else for me to give my support for. Honestly, even though he made Homo sapiens, I was still sceptical. 3 hours long and all the screenshots I've seen show talking heads. I was very worried about the type of doc it was gonna be. Boy was I wrong. I haven't been so invested with a group of people for so long. This was almost as good as Hoop Dreams in that sense. It also had some amazing directing, which I expected. I would have really loved it if it was a bit shorter though, but most of the length is justified because of how long they follow the people for.

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#18

Post by sol » November 3rd, 2018, 10:50 am

SpoilerShow
1. BabaKiueria (1986)

2. Friends (1971)

Image

This is basically a tale of two teens learning to take responsibility in life; what first seems an idyllic getaway later brings complications, with the question being if the pair are strong enough to make it without running back to their suffocating parents. The film is nowhere near as electric as the somewhat similarly themed Badlands. The sentiment is laid on a bit too thick, the montages are corny and the acting is never more than adequate. And yet, the film is blessed with memorable shots (orange sunsets; bubbles from one shot dissolving into the next) and pitch perfect Elton John songs.

I guess I'll add it to my 500<400 ballot, but it probably won't be too high up.
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#19

Post by zzzorf » November 3rd, 2018, 11:12 am

sol wrote:
November 3rd, 2018, 10:50 am
2. Friends (1971)

This is basically a tale of two teens learning to take responsibility in life; what first seems an idyllic getaway later brings complications, with the question being if the pair are strong enough to make it without running back to their suffocating parents. The film is nowhere near as electric as the somewhat similarly themed Badlands. The sentiment is laid on a bit too thick, the montages are corny and the acting is never more than adequate. And yet, the film is blessed with memorable shots (orange sunsets; bubbles from one shot dissolving into the next) and pitch perfect Elton John songs.

I guess I'll add it to my 500<400 ballot, but it probably won't be too high up.
Thanks for giving it a watch and I can understand your criticisms of it. Glad though it won you over enough through the cinematography to warrant a space on your list despite them. My goal is thus complete on getting it on one more nomination list, that was all i was hoping for.

As for Badlands I just went and checked it out and it sounds really interesting, I will have to go check it out soon I think.

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#20

Post by sol » November 3rd, 2018, 11:57 am

zzzorf wrote:
November 3rd, 2018, 11:12 am
As for Badlands I just went and checked it out and it sounds really interesting, I will have to go check it out soon I think.
Er, lol, it's really quite different to Friends. Far more violent. But similar notion of two youngsters running away and deciding to make their own home together away from society. And quite a beautiful film too. The opening and closing scenes are simply breathtaking.
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#21

Post by Onderhond » November 3rd, 2018, 12:20 pm

02. Babakiueria (1986) (maxwelldeux)
A pretty funny idea, well executed. I'm not too familiar with the particulars of the Australian situation, but if you look at it from an American perspective it still makes a lot of sense. It holds up a mirror to white people and does a pretty good job at that, though it is a little one-note and because it looks like a terrible 80s faux-doc, it does start to drag a little after a while. It's really just the same point being made over and over again. It also doesn't go beyond to make a statement about people and power dynamics in general, but it gets a little stuck in its "look white people!" idea.
Score: 6/10

03. Models (1999) (nimimerkillinen)
I've been wanting to see some Seidl for a long time, this was the push I needed I guess. Far from his most famous work, but it still somehow corresponded to what I expected to see. It's a semi-interesting look into the lives of a couple of models, though the second hour is mostly focused on a single girl. The problem is that you can kinda guess what this film is about even before it started (drugs, low self esteem, little self respect) and with a 120 minute running time, it does get a little repetitive after a while. The film looks a little bland, but the acting is fine and Seidl does manage to string together some rather uncomfortable scenes.
Score: 6/10

PreviousShow
01. Labour of Love [Asha Jaoar Majhe] (2014) (beavis) - 6/10

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#22

Post by XxXApathy420XxX » November 3rd, 2018, 8:27 pm

Ended up rewatching clips from Über die Jahre [Over the Years] again. Increasing my rating to 9/10

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#23

Post by Gershwin » November 4th, 2018, 4:47 am

Told ya. :sweat:
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#24

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » November 4th, 2018, 5:15 am

The Music of Chance - One of the three films I have seen previously from what has been nominated so far (the other two being Models and Feng yue / Temptress Moon, both big faves). Here is a (pretty constructive) CuM SWAP thread from old IMDb times between timmy_501, fakeusername and myself, all of whom you could know from iCM - timmy was fairly active here years ago, nowadays not so much, and fakeusername has been creeping about since the IMDb boards shut down. There's also a guest appearance by matthewscott8 (credited as oOgiandujaOo).
http://members.chello.at/my.webspace/Th ... e%20CS.htm
Rereading some of this I think I would be up for rewatching 'The Music of Chance'. Not that it matters, but would it count?

On to the new:

1. Asha Jaoar Majhe / Labour of Love
Driven by two character's spiritual living in these our alienated times 'Labour of Love' bathes in the beauty of mundane everyday life not through romanticizing it but by evoking contemplation on its journey through one (working) day. Like its title that is ridiculously apt but comes with more than its conventional meaning which won't be apparent until the end of the film, it also takes the platitude "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and not only makes it strongly felt but also gives it a novel taste in what is overall pretty far from a romance movie, and in the end implying that a few precious, intense minutes each day are a fair trade-off for accepting an alienating modern life. And at least the way it is presented in the film this is the comparably simple version of modern urban life, not yet dominated by high tech à la TVs, computers, IPhones,... with a particular Indian flavor that in many ways I haven't tasted yet before.

Well, I'm not convinced about the "fair trade-off" part of its "message" (to derogatorily call it that for the moment), instead I'll write about what was a wonderful point in 'Labour of Love' for me where the mundanity of everyday chores is made feel irrelevant in the face of grander things, while the film had been almost nothing but about showing the mundanity of everyday chores in wondrous ways, making that flared up thought about grander things feel narrow, for the grand thing is neither one of them but rather the constant interplay between the constantly changing notions of what's grand and important in life and what isn't with the perpetual change of everything, and in this sense I'm down with its eventual endorsement of modern alienated life, it doesn't succumb to it, but it owns it, for contentment depends not on the view before you but on the outlook within you.
7+

2. BabaKiueria
Provoked its good share of thoughts but like 72allinncallme said, it's more for the evocative basic idea than for its inconsequential realization that felt confused and its (creds to beavis) lack of inner logic, and in my feeling this long comedy skit segment produced by Australia's national broadcaster ended up being more of a superficial and scattershot media parody about this type of minorities-related TV reportage by an overeager but closet cynic journalist (likely fresh out of media studies) than a meaningful or let alone subversive satire about the bigger picture, but like our Australian iCM residents implied, there may be more than meets the eye. But I'm a foreigner, so...
5
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#25

Post by cinewest » November 4th, 2018, 12:59 pm

1. Feng Yue is a very lush Chinese period piece from Chen Kaige that is already on my 500<400 list, and I would rate it 7.5-8, which puts it among my top 20 for 1996.

2. As for El Incidente, while I love a good mind-bender, I'm having trouble with the dialogue and performances right off the bat in this one, not to mention other aspects of the film. Putting it on pause for the moment....

Any suggested resources for tracking down some of the others is much appeciated, and do we count the film we have nominated among the watches?
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#26

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » November 4th, 2018, 9:39 pm

3. Über die Jahre / Over the Years (2015)

"Do you think that the work somebody does shapes them as a person", Geyrhalter asks one worker in the very first year of the film. Don't expect a profound reply from the worker. Spoiler - It's "Mh, is' scho' meglich." - If you don't know German or are unable to decipher the Waldviertler dialect you'll have to watch the film yourself and rely on the English subtitles.

Any possible romanticizing of "simple folk" and quasi-primitivism relative to my own living standards was perhaps nullified by my familiarity with the represented culture, this so-called community being a rural area basically right next to my urban one, knowing and having known many people like it. More or less the only thing I'm not confronted with on an average day out is this particular regional Austrian dialect, making this the perhaps only relatively novel element in this showcase of dull people living dull lives...or at least those were some of my first thoughts while I still was in the process of watching it.

Not only does each individual shot basically seem like a separate episode with the whole film almost magically still feeling effortlessly cohesive, progressing in a seemingly natural way while covering ten years, but as the years go by three-quarters of an hour by three-quarters of an hour-or-so of following the same couple of people in the film, more and more subversive elements keep creeping in in steady quietness. Nikolaus Geyrhalter once again to me proved to be a filmmaker of integrity, making a long-term documentary that doesn't elicit the dire question of level of involvement of the filmmaker during the shooting process or a possible misrepresentation of people through editing to create drama or push the filmmaker's own agenda, not because those things aren't present here, but because while interested in the people and respectful toward them it doesn't feign to get intimate with the human subjects or has an illusion of exposing some hidden things in their character that even they themselves supposedly would be surprised to learn about themselves just through the act of sticking a camera into people's faces and recording a couple of hours of their lives. Inevitably it is an "UP" series-like portrayal of people to some degree, but overall the doc is less about the individual people and more about the issues that crop up on the periphery, like the bigger forces that guide these people's lives and thinking.

Just take for example the fact that the loss of a long-time-employment at one antiquated company results for all the people in this film in restless job-hopping at best, and in perpetual unemployment at worst. Or that they keep working for the mere sake of working, paid or not. Or that some of the people's statements about their current jobs stands in complete contradiction to what they said about their previous jobs, always in favor of their current jobs. "Arbeit macht frei" is not a slogan that is being used anymore in these parts for obvious reasons, but this mindset has never left the public conscious' mind, never mind who or what you work for.

The Verdinglichung is strong with this one.
7

4. Baby Bump (2015)

Adequately perverse, twisted and vulgar with a kaleidoscopic range of bodily fluids to be an authentic representation of an 11-year-old Polski boy's mind. - Akceptowane.
7


the past is not pastShow
(nominated films seen before: The Music of Chance, Models, Feng yue / Temptress Moon)

1. Asha Jaoar Majhe / Labour of Love
Driven by two character's spiritual living in these our alienated times 'Labour of Love' bathes in the beauty of mundane everyday life not through romanticizing it but by evoking contemplation on its journey through one (working) day. Like its title that is ridiculously apt but comes with more than its conventional meaning which won't be apparent until the end of the film, it also takes the platitude "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and not only makes it strongly felt but also gives it a novel taste in what is overall pretty far from a romance movie, and in the end implying that a few precious, intense minutes each day are a fair trade-off for accepting an alienating modern life. And at least the way it is presented in the film this is the comparably simple version of modern urban life, not yet dominated by high tech à la TVs, computers, IPhones,... with a particular Indian flavor that in many ways I haven't tasted yet before.

Well, I'm not convinced about the "fair trade-off" part of its "message" (to derogatorily call it that for the moment), instead I'll write about what was a wonderful point in 'Labour of Love' for me where the mundanity of everyday chores is made feel irrelevant in the face of grander things, while the film had been almost nothing but about showing the mundanity of everyday chores in wondrous ways, making that flared up thought about grander things feel narrow, for the grand thing is neither one of them but rather the constant interplay between the constantly changing notions of what's grand and important in life and what isn't with the perpetual change of everything, and in this sense I'm down with its eventual endorsement of modern alienated life, it doesn't succumb to it, but it owns it, for contentment depends not on the view before you but on the outlook within you.
7+

2. BabaKiueria
Provoked its good share of thoughts but like 72allinncallme said, it's more for the evocative basic idea than for its inconsequential realization that felt confused and its (creds to beavis) lack of inner logic, and in my feeling this long comedy skit segment produced by Australia's national broadcaster ended up being more of a superficial and scattershot media parody about this type of minorities-related TV reportage by an overeager but closet cynic journalist (likely fresh out of media studies) than a meaningful or let alone subversive satire about the bigger picture, but like our Australian iCM residents implied, there may be more than meets the eye. But I'm a foreigner, so...
5

3. Über die Jahre / Over the Years (2015)

"Do you think that the work somebody does shapes them as a person", Geyrhalter asks one worker in the very first year of the film. Don't expect a profound reply from the worker. Spoiler - It's "Mh, is' scho' meglich." - If you don't know German or are unable to decipher the Waldviertler dialect you'll have to watch the film yourself and rely on the English subtitles.

Any possible romanticizing of "simple folk" and quasi-primitivism relative to my own living standards was perhaps nullified by my familiarity with the represented culture, this so-called community being a rural area basically right next to my urban one, knowing and having known many people like it. More or less the only thing I'm not confronted with on an average day out is this particular regional Austrian dialect, making this the perhaps only relatively novel element in this showcase of dull people living dull lives...or at least those were some of my first thoughts while I still was in the process of watching it.

Not only does each individual shot basically seem like a separate episode with the whole film almost magically still feeling effortlessly cohesive, progressing in a seemingly natural way while covering ten years, but as the years go by three-quarters of an hour by three-quarters of an hour-or-so of following the same couple of people in the film, more and more subversive elements keep creeping in in steady quietness. Nikolaus Geyrhalter once again to me proved to be a filmmaker of integrity, making a long-term documentary that doesn't elicit the dire question of level of involvement of the filmmaker during the shooting process or a possible misrepresentation of people through editing to create drama or push the filmmaker's own agenda, not because those things aren't present here, but because while interested in the people and respectful toward them it doesn't feign to get intimate with the human subjects or has an illusion of exposing some hidden things in their character that even they themselves supposedly would be surprised to learn about themselves just through the act of sticking a camera into people's faces and recording a couple of hours of their lives. Inevitably it is an "UP" series-like portrayal of people to some degree, but overall the doc is less about the individual people and more about the issues that crop up on the periphery, like the bigger forces that guide these people's lives and thinking.

Just take for example the fact that the loss of a long-time-employment at one antiquated company results for all the people in this film in restless job-hopping at best, and in perpetual unemployment at worst. Or that they keep working for the mere sake of working, paid or not. Or that some of the people's statements about their current jobs stands in complete contradiction to what they said about their previous jobs, always in favor of their current jobs. "Arbeit macht frei" is not a slogan that is being used anymore in these parts for obvious reasons, but this mindset has never left the public conscious' mind, never mind who or what you work for.

The Verdinglichung is strong with this one.
7

4. Baby Bump (2015)

Adequately perverse, twisted and vulgar with a kaleidoscopic range of bodily fluids to be an authentic representation of an 11-year-old Polski boy's mind. - Akceptowane.
7
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on November 7th, 2018, 8:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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#27

Post by Mario Gaborović » November 4th, 2018, 11:54 pm

About 6-6.5/10 for me.

1. Tokyo.sora (Hiroshi Ishikawa, 2002) - Onderhond
I enjoyed the voyeuristic approach in examining loneliness and, I'd say, cowardice. It was demanding solution to follow six different characters at once, out of which most of them are empty shells (though likable ones). I couldn't say there were pacing problems since 2hr07 went quite faster than what would you expect initially. Too empty for my taste. Or maybe there is something deeper here?
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#28

Post by beavis » November 5th, 2018, 2:16 am

El lugar is not part of this game

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#29

Post by Mario Gaborović » November 5th, 2018, 4:04 am

beavis wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 2:16 am
El lugar is not part of this game
That happens when you have mishmash of comments and submissions. <_< Erased it.

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#30

Post by Onderhond » November 5th, 2018, 8:41 am

Mario Gaborović wrote:
November 4th, 2018, 11:54 pm
1. Tokyo.sora (Hiroshi Ishikawa, 2002) - Onderhond
Too empty for my taste. Or maybe there is something deeper here?
It's a complaint I hear a lot about Japanese dramas. There isn't much background to the characters and the often stoic, silent performances don't make these characters very approachable. It's a love it/hate it thing really, some people never get used to it, others (like me) find a lot of depth in the subtlety of the performances. The characters in Tokyo.sora feel way more real and wholesome than characters in European/US dramas to me. Thanks for watching though! :thumbsup:

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#31

Post by cinewest » November 5th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Onderhond wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 8:41 am
Mario Gaborović wrote:
November 4th, 2018, 11:54 pm
1. Tokyo.sora (Hiroshi Ishikawa, 2002) - Onderhond
Too empty for my taste. Or maybe there is something deeper here?
It's a complaint I hear a lot about Japanese dramas. There isn't much background to the characters and the often stoic, silent performances don't make these characters very approachable. It's a love it/hate it thing really, some people never get used to it, others (like me) find a lot of depth in the subtlety of the performances. The characters in Tokyo.sora feel way more real and wholesome than characters in European/US dramas to me. Thanks for watching though! :thumbsup:
Could we be talking about cultural differences, here?

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#32

Post by Mario Gaborović » November 5th, 2018, 2:58 pm

cinewest wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 2:49 pm
Onderhond wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 8:41 am
Mario Gaborović wrote:
November 4th, 2018, 11:54 pm
1. Tokyo.sora (Hiroshi Ishikawa, 2002) - Onderhond
Too empty for my taste. Or maybe there is something deeper here?
It's a complaint I hear a lot about Japanese dramas. There isn't much background to the characters and the often stoic, silent performances don't make these characters very approachable. It's a love it/hate it thing really, some people never get used to it, others (like me) find a lot of depth in the subtlety of the performances. The characters in Tokyo.sora feel way more real and wholesome than characters in European/US dramas to me. Thanks for watching though! :thumbsup:
Could we be talking about cultural differences, here?
Characters from Tokyo.sora are pretty real, it's just that I wonder to which extent are they interesting to explore & am I missing a greater meaning. But I do have patience to watch these films. :)

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#33

Post by Onderhond » November 5th, 2018, 3:05 pm

Mario Gaborović wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 2:58 pm
Characters from Tokyo.sora are pretty real, it's just that I wonder to which extent are they interesting to explore & am I missing a greater meaning. But I do have patience to watch these films. :)
I think the greater meaning is their inability or difficulty to connect to others, even though they live in one of the most dense cities in the world. Ishikawa explores various relationships (foreigners, first love, young career woman, …) and the various, often somewhat uncomfortable and uncertain ways they try to reach out to others. Whether that's interesting to you or not is probably very personal, but personally I loved it, especially the little victories when they do manage to connect to others.
cinewest wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 2:49 pm
Could we be talking about cultural differences, here?
To some degree I guess. Can't generalize too much though and clearly it isn't just a cultural thing, since I'm as white as can be. But generally speaking characters in (more serious) Japanese dramas seem more introverted, with the direction focusing more on subtle body language rather than narrative or dialogue to get emotions across. If that doesn't translate though, characters can indeed appear like empty shells.

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#34

Post by Mario Gaborović » November 5th, 2018, 6:37 pm

2. Ladybug, Ladybug (Frank Perry, 1963) - sol - 6.5/10
Children acting might be the greatest quality of this film. The subsequent wisdom makes me wonder whether the Cold War was actually only a hoax to keep people in constant fear of some untangible threat that was never to materialize, and thus manipulate them which right-wing parties (which dominate the present day) do to control their electoral basis - the continuous presence of foreign enemy makes you overlook real enemies which are your own fellow nationals. Not much of a story here but good ending.

3. Baby Bump (Kuba Czekaj, 2015) - clemmetarey - 2/10
Hate arised very early on and didn't unclench until the credits. Sorry clemmetarey. :(
SpoilerShow
1. Tokyo.sora (Hiroshi Ishikawa, 2002) - Onderhond - 6.5/10
I enjoyed the voyeuristic approach in examining loneliness and, I'd say, cowardice. It was demanding solution to follow six different characters at once, out of which most of them are empty shells (though likable ones). I couldn't say there were pacing problems since 2hr07 went quite faster than what would you expect initially. Too empty for my taste. Or maybe there is something deeper here?

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#35

Post by Mario Gaborović » November 5th, 2018, 6:45 pm

Japanese dramas seem more introverted, with the direction focusing more on subtle body language rather than narrative or dialogue to get emotions across. If that doesn't translate though, characters can indeed appear like empty shells.
Sure, only the thing about Tokyo.sora is that the characters' faces here are usually turned away from us - they look straight to the left/right side of the screen, so we can't really see all those facial expressions you're talking about. Even the guy who sits at the laundry have only the half of his face inside the frame.

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#36

Post by Gershwin » November 5th, 2018, 6:48 pm

blocho wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 8:15 pm
1. Ladybug Ladybug
Wouldn't you like to also nominate a film, Blocho? You're invited to, of course!
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#37

Post by Onderhond » November 5th, 2018, 6:55 pm

Mario Gaborović wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 6:45 pm
Sure, only the thing about Tokyo.sora is that the characters' faces here are usually turned away from us - they look straight to the left/right side of the screen, so we can't really see all those facial expressions you're talking about. Even the guy who sits at the laundry have only the half of his face inside the frame.
Yeah, that's why I said body language specifically. Their entire attitude, the way they behave, sit, stare, don't look at each other, fumble, ... Japanese faces aren't that expressive in dramas. They don't show emotion in very broad or obvious ways, they'll rarely shout or cry but the rest of their body usually betrays what it is they're feeling. Maybe that watching more Japanese dramas will give you a better feel, though in my experience people usually either get (ie recognize) it or they don't.

Someone like Koreeda has a slightly more softer approach to drama, which might be a good stepping stone, though my guess is you've already seen some of his films :)

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#38

Post by beavis » November 5th, 2018, 9:43 pm

1. BabaKiueria - 7
2. Je t'attendrai - 8,5

3. Black Roots - 7,5
Could round it up to an 8, because this is a really well made small doc; combining the elements of stories about "the black experience", good music (mostly fitting blues) and portraits of faces. These three elements complement each other very well, painting a picture both sad and happy, which is a lot more profound than just words, or just images or just music could say.

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#39

Post by Mario Gaborović » November 5th, 2018, 11:38 pm

Image
4. J'attendrai (Léonide Moguy, 1939) - XxXApathy420XxX - 7/10

Sfumato war melodrama with some occasional slanted framing that didn't really click with me on emotional level. The whole film reminds me of a gas chamber that humanity was put into.
SpoilerShow
1. Tokyo.sora (Hiroshi Ishikawa, 2002) - Onderhond - 6.5/10
I enjoyed the voyeuristic approach in examining loneliness and, I'd say, cowardice. It was demanding solution to follow six different characters at once, out of which most of them are empty shells (though likable ones). I couldn't say there were pacing problems since 2hr07 went quite faster than what would you expect initially. Too empty for my taste. Or maybe there is something deeper here?

2. Ladybug, Ladybug (Frank Perry, 1963) - sol - 6.5/10
Children acting might be the greatest quality of this film. The subsequent wisdom makes me wonder whether the Cold War was actually only a hoax to keep people in constant fear of some untangible threat that was never to materialize, and thus manipulate them which right-wing parties (which dominate the present day) do to control their electoral basis - the continuous presence of foreign enemy makes you overlook real enemies which are your own fellow nationals. Not much of a story here but good ending.

3. Baby Bump (Kuba Czekaj, 2015) - clemmetarey - 2/10
Hate arised very early on and didn't unclench until the credits. Sorry clemmetarey. :(

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#40

Post by blocho » November 6th, 2018, 12:35 am

Gershwin wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 6:48 pm
blocho wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 8:15 pm
1. Ladybug Ladybug
Wouldn't you like to also nominate a film, Blocho? You're invited to, of course!
A personalized invite - I'm sincerely flattered.

I've thought about it but felt hesitant because I've made five combined World Cup and FotW picks and they've been received with an overall "meh." And I get it. I've seen a lot of movies that other people have sworn by and had the same "meh" reaction. But ... I'll give it some thought and come up with something in the next few days.

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