Welcome to the ICM Forum. If you have an account but have trouble logging in, or have other questions, see THIS THREAD.
NOTE: Board emails should be working again. Information on forum upgrade and style issues.
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 36 released September 1st: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down: Is Rating Films Actually Worthwhile Communication?)
Polls: 2020 (Results), 21st Century (Results), 500<400 (Sept 24th), 1967 (Sept 29th)
Challenges: Eastern Europe, Silent Era, Low Rating
Managers Cup: Round 1 Schedule, 1B: russa03 vs zzzorf vs OldAle1 (Sep 26th)

Eastern European* Challenge (Official, September 2021)

User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 6026
Joined: June 3rd, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Eastern European* Challenge (Official, September 2021)

#1

Post by Fergenaprido »

Eastern European* Challenge

Image

* excluding Russia and the Balkans


Welcome to the sixth edition of the Official "Eastern Europe" Challenge. The 10 eligible countries are highlighted in the map above: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, & Hungary.

The goal is to watch as many films from these countries this month.
The Challenge runs from September 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021 in your local time zone.


Rules
- Each feature film (over 40 minutes) counts as one entry.
- 80 minutes of short films or miniseries/TV episodes counts as one entry.
- Films must be watched one at a time and at single speed (not sped up).
- Rewatches are allowed and are good for the soul.
- Please include year of release and country when listing your viewings.
- I will be the final decision maker on whether or not any particular film is eligible (and for which country it will count), but as always I'm open to hear arguments if you disagree with me.

Eligibility
For films to qualify for this Challenge, they need to have an eligible country listed as a production country on the film's IMDb page, ideally as the primary country listed. If you've seen something that you strongly believe should be eligible and isn't, ask about it in this thread with your reasons why it should count.

Co-Productions
A number of Eastern European films are co-productions with non-eligible countries. Please use some common sense to determine whether these films really represent the cinema of this region. As a general guide, a film that has both Germany and Poland as production countries but which is filmed in Poland with a mostly Polish cast and crew is eligible; a film that has Poland listed as a second production country but is filmed in English with a mostly Anglophonic cast and crew isn't eligible (i.e. Inland Empire). I am happy to provide advice for any borderline cases. In most cases, co-productions are eligible unless the involvement of the listed production country is insignificant, such as with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Soviet-Era Productions
Films from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union will be classified by studio. Most films were produced by state-run studios, so this should be relatively easy to decipher. Notably, Mosfilm and Leninfilm were based in Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg), modern Russia, so films from those studios are not eligible for this challenge.
Here's a good overview of studios from the Soviet Union.
Image

Films produced by (but not necessarily those filmed at) Filmové studio Barrandov, Ceskoslovenský Státní Film, and PragFilm are generally Czech, while those by Slovenský film Bratislava, Štúdio hraných filmov Bratislava - Koliba, Filmové Studio Bratislava, and Studio Hraných Filmov Bratislava are generally Slovak.

Helpful Lists
Official
Czech/Slovak
Hungary
Poland (PISF)
Poland (Łódź)
UNESCO (Czechia 252-266, Hungary 426-440, Poland 682-696, Slovakia 755-769, Ukraine 886-900)

Unofficial
Belarusfilm Top 20
icmforum's poll: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary
Czech Lion Award
Taste of Cinema's 35 Visually Stunning Czech/Slovak Films That Are Worth Your Time
Eesti Päevaleht: Estonian film classics
Estonian Film 100
Filmarchiv.hu: Free Hungarian Films with Subtitles
Gelencsér Gábor's Recommended Film List for Hungarian Film History
Latvian Cultural Canon: Cinema
Latvian National Film Festival - Lielais Kristaps Award (Best Feature)
Lithuanian Film Academy - Silver Crane Award - Best Film
I can't find a good Moldovan list.
Polish Film Awards - Best Film
Top 15 Ukrainian Films
Dovzhenko Centre's Top 100 Ukrainian Films


Past Editions
September 2012
September 2014
March 2016
June 2017
June 2019

Participants
ParticipantPoints
jdidaco20
sol15
Traveller15
DudeLanez12
marienbad9
ororama6
gunnar5
shugs5
flavo50004
Lonewolf20034
AB5373
blocho2
OldAle12
maxwelldeux1
peeptoad1
pitchorneirda1


Bonus Challenges
1. Cycle through the countries as many times as you can. 1 point for every cycle.
2. Bonus points for films in specific endangered minority languages (there many not be films in any/all of these languages). Eligible languages: Romani & Yiddish (all countries), South Estonian aka Võro-Seto (Estonia), Rusyn (Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine), Latgalian & Livonian (Latvia), Karaim (Lithuania), Gagauz (Moldova, Ukraine), Kashubian & Wymysorys/Vilamovian (Poland), Crimean Tatar & Urum (Ukraine). 1 point per entry.
3. Bonus points for every pair of films from the Soviet & post-Soviet eras from the same country. The timeline isn't the same for every country, but for simplicity sake, and since the majority of the new republics became recognized/de-Sovietized near the end of 1991, the years 1991 & 1992 will be the border. Early films before the Soviet Union will still count as Soviet for the purposes of this challenge. 1 point per pair.

Bonus Participants
ParticipantLanguageCyclesPairsPoints
ororama112
DudeLanez22
gunnar22
sol11
Traveller11
flavo500011
blocho11
Last edited by Fergenaprido on September 8th, 2021, 11:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
🧚‍♂️🦫
User avatar
RogerTheMovieManiac88
Posts: 2088
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Westmeath, Ireland
Contact:

#2

Post by RogerTheMovieManiac88 »

Thank you for hosting, Ferg!

In, and very much looking forward to this. I'll be focusing on the three Baltic countries.
That's all, folks!
User avatar
Wonderful Rainbow
Posts: 386
Joined: September 29th, 2012, 6:00 am
Contact:

#3

Post by Wonderful Rainbow »

Already posted elsewhere, but here are some Latvian titles online https://www.filmas.lv/en/latvian-film-classics/#
Child of Man gives you a bonus point as it is in Latgalian!
User avatar
flavo5000
Posts: 5024
Joined: July 10th, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Arkansas, USA
Contact:

#4

Post by flavo5000 »

If anyone is looking for a Latvian recommendation, Mondo Macabro released The Spider on blu-ray a few years ago. It's a damned weird movie with one of the more unusual sex scenes you'll probably ever see in a movie...
User avatar
Silga
Posts: 67
Joined: June 16th, 2021, 10:06 pm
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Contact:

#5

Post by Silga »

I'm Lithuanian, but I know little to nothing about films from my country. Not really interested in most of them.

The one's I'd recommend:

1. The Other Dream Team (Marius A. Markevicius, 2012) #doc
2. The Gambler (Ignas Jonynas, 2013)
3. Before Flying Back to Earth (Arunas Matelis, 2005) #doc

But if anyone needs help locating films from Lithuania, I'd try to help.
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#6

Post by sol »

Question of eligibility: Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (2019)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8550514/reference
https://letterboxd.com/film/jesus-shows ... y/details/
https://mubi.com/films/jesus-shows-you- ... he-highway

Listed in multiple places as a Spain/Estonia co-production, filmed (partially) in Estonia, also has Latvia as a production company, but seems... Ethiopian?!
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
User avatar
gunnar
Posts: 34
Joined: June 6th, 2021, 3:38 am
Location: Michigan
Contact:

#7

Post by gunnar »

I'm still working on Academy Award nominees, but there are 14 films on my watchlist from these countries so I've moved them up in the queue to watch during September.
User avatar
Lakigigar
Posts: 2274
Joined: October 31st, 2015, 6:00 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

#8

Post by Lakigigar »

Recommendations:
Sangailes vasara [The Summer of Sangaile]
Klass [The Class]
Teströl és Lélekröl [On Body and Soul]

https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/nap ... mekeimnek/ -> this Hungarian movie is also on Mubi atm.

I might try to watch a few this challenge, although it's not really an area of focus
User avatar
Armoreska
Posts: 14114
Joined: November 1st, 2012, 6:00 am
Location: Ukraine, former Free Territory
Contact:

#9

Post by Armoreska »

Hoping to win this but we'll see how social life develops post-vaccination.
he or A. or Armo or any

Image
currently working towards a vegan/free world + thru such film lists: GODARD, r/antinatalism recommends,..
the rest
ANARCHISTS, ANIMAL RIGHTS, Assisted suicide, Existential films, SOCIALIST CINEMA (an amalgamation of lists), Feminist lists, various GSSRM lists (aka LGBTQ+), 2010s bests, Visual Effects nominees, kid-related stuff, great animes (mini-serie or feature), very 80s movies, mah huge sci-fi list, ENVIRO, remarkable Silent Films and Pre-Code (exploring 1925 atm) and every shorts and docu list I'm aware of and
/forum.icmforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1434
and "Gordon" Liu Chia-Hui/Liu Chia-Liang and Yuen Woo-ping and "Sammo" Hung Kam-bo
imaginary awards | youtube channels | complaint lounge | explain how big a fan of slavery you are here, ..viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1535 and here: ..viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4484
User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 6026
Joined: June 3rd, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

#10

Post by Fergenaprido »

sol wrote: August 31st, 2021, 2:23 pm Question of eligibility: Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (2019)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8550514/reference
https://letterboxd.com/film/jesus-shows ... y/details/
https://mubi.com/films/jesus-shows-you- ... he-highway

Listed in multiple places as a Spain/Estonia co-production, filmed (partially) in Estonia, also has Latvia as a production company, but seems... Ethiopian?!
Looks like a Spanish Afro-Futurist film to me, that received some funding from Estonia.
Also found it on kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/22 ... he-highway

I'm leaning towards ineligible.
🧚‍♂️🦫
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 6461
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#11

Post by OldAle1 »

I'm in for a few dozen silent Czech, Hungarian and Polish films rated very low. And maybe a good film or two?
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#12

Post by sol »

It starts! First in. :D

1. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020) Poland

Image

This slasher boasts a decent amount of gore with tongues ripped out, eyes gouged and an entire person even axed in half; as a narrative though, it brings little new to the table and has a dull explanation for how the killer came to be. What disappoints most about the film though is how little is made of the no-devices premise as none of the teens really seem that anxious without them; rather, the idea is a mere plot device so that they cannot easily get help.
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
ororama
Posts: 2475
Joined: June 19th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#13

Post by ororama »

1. Mir kumen on/We're on Our Way (1938) * 59 min. (Poland) (Yiddish)

Excellent documentary in support of the Vladimir Medem Sanatorium, a tuberculosis hospital/school run by the Jewish Labor Bund.

*First time viewing
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#14

Post by sol »

Eastern European Promises
1. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020) Poland
2. Jacob, Mimmi, and The Talking Dogs (2019) Latvia

Image

While it takes a while from them to appear, the talking dogs here are absolutely adorable and there is some fun madness as they scheme to stop a skyscraper from being erected. Outside of the dogs though, the animation leaves a bit to be desired. The autumn colour scheme is great, but the human designs (especially the noses) always feel a little off. The characters are amusing though and simply bursting with personality, especially a pirate uncle.

Count:
🇵🇱 1 -- 🇱🇻 1
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
User avatar
Wonderful Rainbow
Posts: 386
Joined: September 29th, 2012, 6:00 am
Contact:

#15

Post by Wonderful Rainbow »

For a more contemporary recommendation, I strongly suggest seeking Oleg, definetly one of the better Latvian films made in recent memory!
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#16

Post by sol »

Eastern European Promises
1. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020) Poland
2. Jacob, Mimmi, and The Talking Dogs (2019) Latvia
3. I'd Prefer Your Problems Princess (2018) Belarus

Image

A strange comedy from Belarus about a deeply indebted man who pretends to have kidnapped a runaway bride he finds on the side of the road. It is not really clear why she agrees to go along with the ruse and the pair's bonding after initial friction is pretty predictable. The two leads do fine with their roles though and they get into the occasional suspenseful bit of trouble (fending off would-be rapists together). An okay time-passer but nothing special.

Count:
🇵🇱 1 -- 🇱🇻 1 -- 🇧🇾 1
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
User avatar
Traveller
Posts: 2058
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 11:24 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

#17

Post by Traveller »

01. Lydia Ate the Apple (1958, Poland) - 6/10
02. Pigs (1992, Poland) - 6/10
ICM
September Challenge: ImageImage
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
User avatar
DudeLanez
Posts: 413
Joined: August 25th, 2020, 12:22 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#18

Post by DudeLanez »

1. Sanatorium pod klepsydra (The Hourglass Sanatorium, 1973, Has, Poland ) 6/10
2. Panna a netvor (Beauty and the Beast, 1978, Herz, Czechoslovakia, Barrandov Studios in Prague) 6,5/10
Spoiler
1. Sanatorium pod klepsydra (The Hourglass Sanatorium, 1973, Has, Poland ) 6/10
2. Panna a netvor (Beauty and the Beast, 1978, Herz, Czechoslovakia, Barrandov Studios in Prague) 6,5/10
Image
blocho
Donator
Posts: 4945
Joined: July 20th, 2014, 6:00 am
Contact:

#19

Post by blocho »

ororama wrote: September 1st, 2021, 11:59 am 1. Mir kumen on/We're on Our Way (1938) * 59 min. (Poland) (Yiddish)

Excellent documentary in support of the Vladimir Medem Sanatorium, a tuberculosis hospital/school run by the Jewish Labor Bund.

*First time viewing
This post certainly got my attention. My grandfather was a member of the Bund.
User avatar
gunnar
Posts: 34
Joined: June 6th, 2021, 3:38 am
Location: Michigan
Contact:

#20

Post by gunnar »

1. Jób lázadása (1983) aka The Revolt of Job - 7.5/10 - Hungary
User avatar
Traveller
Posts: 2058
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 11:24 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

#21

Post by Traveller »

03. Matthew's Days (1968, Poland) - 7/10
ICM
September Challenge: ImageImage
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
User avatar
Traveller
Posts: 2058
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 11:24 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

#22

Post by Traveller »

04. The Maids of Wilko (1979, Poland) - 7/10
ICM
September Challenge: ImageImage
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
User avatar
marienbad
Posts: 38
Joined: August 16th, 2021, 3:48 am
Contact:

#23

Post by marienbad »

1. Report on the Party and Guests (1966, Czechoslovakia) - 7.5 / 10
User avatar
marienbad
Posts: 38
Joined: August 16th, 2021, 3:48 am
Contact:

#24

Post by marienbad »

Eligibility question, does The Red and the White (1967) count as Hungarian / Eastern European? Its a Mafilm (Hungarian) and Mosfilm (Russian) production and directed by a Hungarian director. It's also on the Magyar Művészeti Akadémia's 53 Hungarian Films list.

Thanks for any guidance.
User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 6026
Joined: June 3rd, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

#25

Post by Fergenaprido »

marienbad wrote: September 2nd, 2021, 10:09 pm Eligibility question, does The Red and the White (1967) count as Hungarian / Eastern European? Its a Mafilm (Hungarian) and Mosfilm (Russian) production and directed by a Hungarian director. It's also on the Magyar Művészeti Akadémia's 53 Hungarian Films list.

Thanks for any guidance.
Yes, I'll count this co-production as eligible. :)
🧚‍♂️🦫
ororama
Posts: 2475
Joined: June 19th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#26

Post by ororama »

2. Przypadek/Blind Chance (1987) * 122 min. (Poland)

Gave me a lot to think about. I know from my own life the truth of its central plot device, that your life can go in many different directions as a result of what happens when you run to catch a train.
Spoiler
1. Mir kumen on/We're on Our Way (1938) * 59 min. (Poland) (Yiddish)
*First time viewing
blocho
Donator
Posts: 4945
Joined: July 20th, 2014, 6:00 am
Contact:

#27

Post by blocho »

Free will is an illusion.
ororama
Posts: 2475
Joined: June 19th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#28

Post by ororama »

3. Krótki film o zabijaniu/A Short Film About Killing (1988) * 85 min. (Poland)

A powerful argument against capital punishment, with a brutal, senseless murder followed by a brutal, senseless execution.
Spoiler
1. Mir kumen on/We're on Our Way (1938) * 59 min. (Poland) (Yiddish)
2. Przypadek/Blind Chance (1987) * 122 min. (Poland)
*First time viewing
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#29

Post by sol »

Eastern European Promises
1. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020) Poland
2. Jacob, Mimmi, and The Talking Dogs (2019) Latvia
3. I'd Prefer Your Problems Princess (2018) Belarus
4. The Man with the Magic Box (2017) Poland

Image

Set in near-future Warsaw, this follows a man and a woman whose memories have been erased and yet who still recall their feelings for one another. While this set-up promises an Eternal Sunshine variant, the plot is a lot more complex than that - and probably too complex for its own good. All the mystery over what exactly is going on is intriguing at first, but it eventually becomes exhausting. Great costumes (as above), newfangled sets and colour palette though.

Count:
🇵🇱 2 -- 🇱🇻 1 -- 🇧🇾 1
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
User avatar
Traveller
Posts: 2058
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 11:24 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

#30

Post by Traveller »

05. The Structure of Crystal (1969, Poland) - 7/10
06. Svet patrí nám (1937, Czechia) - 8/10
ICM
September Challenge: ImageImage
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
User avatar
marienbad
Posts: 38
Joined: August 16th, 2021, 3:48 am
Contact:

#31

Post by marienbad »

2. Witchhammer (1970, Czechoslovakia) - 8 / 10
3. The Red and the White (1967, Hungary) - 8/10
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#32

Post by sol »

Eastern European Promises
1. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020) Poland
2. Jacob, Mimmi, and The Talking Dogs (2019) Latvia
3. I'd Prefer Your Problems Princess (2018) Belarus
4. The Man with the Magic Box (2017) Poland
5. Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) Hungary

Image

This is a pretty breathtaking experience at first with match-on-action editing used to great effect to maintain continuity even as footage changes between colour and black-and-white and between younger/older actors and actresses. The film is very funny at times too (c.f. how footage/music from Saturday Night Fever and 2001 is juxtaposed). The plot gets increasingly hard to follow though as the spot-the-film dynamic soon becomes very distracting.

Count:
🇵🇱 2 -- 🇱🇻 1 -- 🇧🇾 1 -- 🇭🇺 1
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
User avatar
flavo5000
Posts: 5024
Joined: July 10th, 2014, 6:00 am
Location: Arkansas, USA
Contact:

#33

Post by flavo5000 »

Image
1. Panna zázracnica a.k.a. Miraculous Virgin (Czechoslovakia, 1967)

Image
2. Karol (Poland, 2005)
Spoiler
1. Panna zázracnica a.k.a. Miraculous Virgin (Czechoslovakia, 1967)
2. Karol (Poland, 2005)
User avatar
marienbad
Posts: 38
Joined: August 16th, 2021, 3:48 am
Contact:

#34

Post by marienbad »

4. Ashes and Diamonds (1958, Poland) - 7.5/10
User avatar
DudeLanez
Posts: 413
Joined: August 25th, 2020, 12:22 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#35

Post by DudeLanez »

3. Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?, 1966, Vorlícek, Czechoslovakia) 4,5/10
4. Zert (The Joke, 1969, Jires, Czechoslovakia) 7,5/10
Spoiler
1. Sanatorium pod klepsydra (The Hourglass Sanatorium, 1973, Has, Poland ) 6/10
2. Panna a netvor (Beauty and the Beast, 1978, Herz, Czechoslovakia) 6,5/10
3. Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?, 1966, Vorlícek, Czechoslovakia) 4,5/10
4. Zert (The Joke, 1969, Jires, Czechoslovakia) 7,5/10
Image
jdidaco
Posts: 1743
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#36

Post by jdidaco »

Thank you for hosting, Fergenaprido!

(Screenshots from 'Cikáni' & 'Oldrich a Bozena'),

Image

1. Jánosík (Jaroslav Siakel, 1921) 7/10 (Slovakia)
2. Ukrizovaná (The Crucified, Boris Orlický, 1921) 7.5/10 (Czechia)
3. Cikáni (Gypsies, Karl Anton, 1922) 9/10 (Czechia)
4. Bud pripraven (Be Prepared!, Svatopluk Innemann, 1924) 7/10 (Czechia)
5. Bílý ráj (White Paradise, Karel Lamac, 1924) 8/10 (Czechia)
6. Svejk v civilu (Svejk in Civilian Life, Gustav Machatý, 1927) 7/10 (Czechia)
7. Hríchy lásky (The Sins of Love, Karel Lamac, 1929) 8/10 (Czechia)
8. Po horách, po dolách (Through Mountains and Valleys, Karel Plicka, 1930) 8.5/10 (Slovakia)
9. Plavcík a Vratko (The Three Golden Hairs of the Sun King, Martin Tapák, 1982) 7.5/10 (Slovakia)
10. Oldrich a Bozena (Oldrich and Bozena, Otakar Vávra, 1985) 8/10 (Czechia)

Image
User avatar
Traveller
Posts: 2058
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 11:24 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

#37

Post by Traveller »

07. Quiet Is the Night (1978, Poland) - 7/10
ICM
September Challenge: ImageImage
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#38

Post by sol »

Eastern European Promises
1. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020) Poland
2. Jacob, Mimmi, and The Talking Dogs (2019) Latvia
3. I'd Prefer Your Problems Princess (2018) Belarus
4. The Man with the Magic Box (2017) Poland
5. Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) Hungary
6. What a Wonderful World (2014) Moldova

Image

Mistaken for one of several protestors who broke into parliament house and looted it, a young man is beaten and interrogated by the police who refuse to tell him what he is accused of in this Kafkaesque thriller from Moldova. If slow to begin, from the moment he is beaten up onwards the film never lets up, becoming increasingly frightening and absurd; at its most darkly comical, he is forced to stand tiptoed on a chair in order to provide aerial reception.

Someone please remind me to volunteer to manage Moldova during the next World Cup. This was great. Added to my 500<400 list. B)

Count:
🇵🇱 2 -- 🇱🇻 1 -- 🇧🇾 1 -- 🇭🇺 1 -- 🇲🇩 1
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 12388
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#39

Post by sol »

Eastern European Promises
1. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020) Poland
2. Jacob, Mimmi, and The Talking Dogs (2019) Latvia
3. I'd Prefer Your Problems Princess (2018) Belarus
4. The Man with the Magic Box (2017) Poland
5. Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) Hungary
6. What a Wonderful World (2014) Moldova
7. Chasing Two Hares (1961) Soviet Ukraine

Image

This is very well-filmed with much creativity at hand as hoses are squirted at the camera, characters fall directly into the camera and as action is cut as curtains are drawn. As a comedy though, most of the humour feels lost in translation. There is a particularly tiresome running gag involving the main guy's surname being mispronounced as something meaning "naked tail", which must sound funnier in Ukrainian. This could have really done with more slapstick.

Count:
🇵🇱 2 -- 🇱🇻 1 -- 🇧🇾 1 -- 🇭🇺 1 -- 🇲🇩 1 -- 🇺🇦 1
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
Image
Long live the new flesh!
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 6461
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#40

Post by OldAle1 »

Starting out with uh, not the best stuff...forgive me, the low ratings challenge is the star this month. But I do hope to get to some good stuff, possibly including watching/re-watching most of Béla Tarr's output.

1. Smolensk (Antoni Krauze, 2016) Poland

When you see a film with a rating of 1.1 on IMDb - on almost 40k votes - and it's NOT one of the usual suspects like Friedberg/Seltzer or Uwe Boll, and especially if it's from some country that doesn't have a rep for modern schlock (like Turkey or India), you know something's up. In this case it's because the film has a political point of view about a recent, tragic, contentious event. In this case it's the crash of Polish Air Force Flight 101 near the Russian city of Smolensk, which killed all 96 on board including the President of Poland, his wife and several high-ranking civilian and military officials. The disaster was ruled an accident due to poor ground conditions (fog) by both Polish and Russian authorities, but conspiracy theories from various sides in the political realm started appearing immediately, and this film is apparently the result of one such conspiracy - that the Russian government had the plane destroyed because President Lech Kaczyński was a progressive figure - at least in terms of keeping Poland and the other former Warsaw Pact countries from Putin's grasp. I'm sure there's more to it than that but I think that gives the nutshell. So the film has been trolled heavily by those who are either pro-Russian or who just reject any kind of conspiracy notions.

But...coming from the POV of someone who has no skin in the game, and wants to be as "objective" as possible...does this mean the film's low rating is wholly undeserved. Well, not really. It's not a particularly good film IMO either from a narrative standpoint (the way it makes or fails to make it's anti-Russian case) or an artistic one. It's wildly overlit and everything seems very pale and white - the skin tones in particular are rather unnatural - and it's just not well shot, seems like it was mostly done either handheld or with poorly secured tripods so the camera just drifts very slightly a lot; not shakycam, but not smooth and steady either. And the acting is pretty mediocre; lead Beata Fido, as a journalist investigating the case, is just dull and seems to have the same expression in every scene, and nobody else is much better. The film certainly does imply strongly that the Russians were behind it all, but it fails to hit all the marks for a really compelling case, and seems mostly to rely on the feeling that, well, of course the Russians would want to do this and then cover it up. Mind you I tend to believe there's some likelihood to this thesis - so in that sense the film had some effect, since I knew next to nothing about this event beforehand - but that's more due to a knowledge that the country under Putin has been playing dirty pool all along - and of course this is common enough in international politics generally. But all in all it's just a mediocre bit of propaganda, not a terrible one, and the last third of it does develop some suspense and gives more of a feel of the paranoid conspiracy thrillers of old, which I liked. So to my mind this is more a 4-5 kind of film - 1.1 just shows the typical IMDb trolling, par for the course.

2. Kis Vuk / A Fox's Tale (György Gát/János Uszák, 2008) Hungary/UK

Image

This sequel to an apparently beloved 1981 film on the other hand really does deserve it's low rating (1.9), and probably is not the victim of any kind of campaign - it's just that bad. I don't watch nearly as much animation as many here, and I have avoided a lot of the real dreck, but I suspect that even had I seen 1000 animated features before this it would still land in the bottom few dozen. It's low-rent CGI first of all - I'm still not a fan of CG animation and so far nearly all the best of what I've seen has been from Japan, where it seems animators understand that you're better off using new tools in new ways. Most Euro and American CG was in 2008 (and often still is 13 years later) just trying to mimic what traditional animation did, and this is an extremely poor example of that. Movement that isn't fluid, very distored-looking 3D modeling and depth of field, and character designs that range from barely tolerable (most of the animals) to downright ugly and laughable (most of the humans). Oh the story? A bunch of foxes frolic happily in the forest; friends are made with a boy in a wheelchair - who is supposed to be able to walk again but just hasn't tried - an evil woman runs a travelling circus and traps animals - the boy falls for a girl in the circus - there's a crow that shows up occasionally and raps in a very overtly African-American voice. There, you've got the ingredients, now you can come up with a more interesting and less generic story than what we're given here.
Post Reply