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Managers Cup, Match 1C: toromash vs wasabi vs Melvelet (Oct 10th)

500<400, Favourite 1001 movies, Doubling the Canon, Film World Cup and many other votes
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Managers Cup, Match 1C: toromash vs wasabi vs Melvelet (Oct 10th)

#1

Post by joachimt »

This is match 1C of iCM Forum's Managers Cup.

Original TitleEnglish TitleYearManagerIMDBICM
La graine et le muletThe Secret of the Grain2007toromashlinklink
Midnight Traveler2019wasabilinklink
Mizu no naka no hachigatsuAugust in the Water1995Melveletlinklink

Screenshots
La graine et le mulet
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Midnight Traveler
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Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
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Voting Rules:
- You must watch all 3 films before you vote.
- To vote, rank the 3 films from most favorite to least favorite.

Voting deadline = Oct 10th
Countdown till deadline

The manager that ends at 1st place proceeds to the next round. The ranking of the match will be decided using these rules:
- Ranked by highest average ranking (= lowest number).
- In case of a tie between two movies, head-to-head determines the winner (how many people thought A>B and how many thought B>A).
- In case there's still a tie after the previous rule or there is a tie between three movies, most #1-votes determines the winner.
- Still a tie? Fewest #3-votes determines the winner.
- Still a tie? The match will have a 3 day extension.
- The best two #2-movies (based on average ranking) proceed to the 2nd round as well.
Here's a quick summary of how the tournament works
We start with 18 movies selected by 18 managers. In the first round the movies are divided into 6 groups of 3. From each group the countries that end up at #1 proceed to the next round. The two best #2's proceed as well. In the 2nd round the 8 remaining managers will be divided into 8 matches of 2 and they pick a new movie. The winner of each match proceeds to the next round. This continues till the final.
Rules for picking movies:
- Less than 1000 checks on iCM in round 1. Quarter finals: … checks. Semi finals: … checks. Final: … checks.
- Maximum runtime 180 min.
- No movies that have previously been selected for the World Cup.
- Not multiple movies by the same director.
- If two managers pick the same movie, the one who picked first gets it.
iCM-list of all movies in this Managers Cup

List of all topics related to the Managers Cup including previous seasons of the World Cup
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#2

Post by joachimt »

72aicm's quest to win the first vote award coming up in 5...4...3...2...1......
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#3

Post by 72aicm »

0

1. La graine et le mulet (l)
2. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
3. Midnight Traveler
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#4

Post by joachimt »

What took you so long? Three minutes! :lol:
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#5

Post by pitchorneirda »

1. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
2. Midnight Traveler
3. La graine et le mulet

Everyone of them would have won the match 1B
Very close again, and no real favourite, no dislikes either, all in the range of approximately 5-6/10, I reward August in the Water for being the most daring
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#6

Post by Mario Gaborović »

1. La graine et le mulet
2. Midnight Traveler
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
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#7

Post by russa03 »

1. Midnight Traveler
2. La graine et le mulet
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
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#8

Post by russa03 »

Midnight Traveler. Despite the terrible conditions, hostile communities and fear of being sent back, their journey isn't depicted as pure misery. Criticism would be despite the length of their ordeal the director doesn't have enough material for a distinctive take on this subject.

La graine et le mulet was quite boring with every scene going on far too long with a tiresome amount of close-ups but i appreciated the open ending.

Mizu no naka no hachigatsu reminds me i hate teenage angst films but especially Japanese ones. The soundtrack and cinematography are decent but so much of this is cringe.
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#9

Post by Onderhond »

This battle had the first film I actively liked, sadly it was a film I was already familiar with. The other two were pretty disappointing, though La Graine et le Mulet had some potential.

1. 4.0* - Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
Spoiler
The first half hour is there to set the mood, from then on the film becomes gradually stranger and more unsettling. Never in a very direct or extreme way like Ishii's other films, but on a more subconscious level. The combination of the strange events, detached setting and ambient soundscapes reflect Ishii's typical trademark style and at the same time contradicts it just as much. Fans of Sogo Ishii, and in particular Kyoshin, should do well to check out this film. It's probably one of his most accessible films, though there is still plenty of wonder and authorship to be admired. Without a doubt one of my favorite directors, with the ability to sculpt both subtle and extrovert films without losing any of his stylistic power. Definitely recommended.
Full review
2. 1.5* - La graine et le mulet
Spoiler
My second Kechiche wasn't a big success. Blue Is the Warmest Color didn't really do it for me, and I recognized a lot of that film in Couscous. It features many loud, yapping and aggravated characters wrapped up in endless conversations, while a very simple/meager plot develops in the background. Slimane works in the port of Sète. He's 61 years old when he is fired from his job. He doesn't have much money, but he still wants to realize the one dream he ever had: open up a restaurant. With the help of his family and friends he turns an old boat into a restaurant, hoping that he can persuade the city and the bank to support his project. Slimane's characters is decent, but he's merely a sideshow in this film. His friends and family got on my nerves, unnecessary dramatic twists dragged out the runtime and I didn't care much for Kechiche's aesthetic choices. The middle part of the film is pretty decent, the first and final act didn't really do it for me.
3. 1.0* - Midnight Traveler
Spoiler
A very pure documentary. Rather than a director seeking out a subject and documenting someone else's story, this is the subject himself deciding to document his own journey. It's a promising premise alright, but the result is lacking, mostly because the trip is somewhat underwhelming. After fruitless attempts to be accepted as political refugees, Hassan and his family are forced to flee Afghanistan. The Taliban put a price on Hassan's head and staying there is simply too dangerous. It prompts him to shoot his own trip to Europe, a first-hand account of the hurdles that illegal refugees have to overcome. There's a lot of waiting and quite a bit of bureaucratic hassle to go though. The documentary feels genuine and Hassan's family are a pleasant bunch, but the trip itself isn't that interesting and 90 minutes feels like a stretch. Might be instructive for people who care more about the subject, I didn't get much from this film though.
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#10

Post by beavis »

1. Midnight Traveler - 7,5
2. La graine et le mulet - 7
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu - 6,5

An unexpected but clear win for the doc here. I liked the experience, seeing it through the eyes of that family. The other movies are... not outright dislikes, but also not great in any way...
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#11

Post by Teproc »

Midnight Traveler (Hassan Fazili, 2019)
Spoiler
When looking at a documentary as a piece of filmmaking, the standrd I usually apply is that it must bring something that a newspaper article couldn't. Midnight Traveler doesn't have any obvious cinematic quality, but its value comes from, well, what it documents and the viewpoint from which it does so. We know the path refugees take to come to Europe (or anywhere else for that matter) tends to be a particularly arduous one, but seeing it from the subject's perspective frames it significantly differently, highlighting the reasons leading to their departure, the dangers they face, the perserverance they must show in order to get anywhere, but it especially suggests the psychological toll that spending years in this precarious situation encurs, even though this isn't necessarily Fazili's first intention. The most memoerable moment in the film is when he professes to hate himself for thinking about a particularly scary event (his daughter briefly going missing) in terms of cinema rather than as a father, and I think that's the key to the film, both because the daughters are constantly foregrounded as the people who may suffer the most long-term damage from the ordeal, but also because it highlights how imagining yourself as having a role (in this case that of a filmmaker) is both a blessing and a curse in dissociating oneself from the present situation.
La graine et le mulet (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007)
Spoiler
Knowing Kechiche from his later works, I was surprised by how restrained he was here, especially after that first scene. The fact that his camera doesn't sexualize Hafsia Herzi before that final sequence seems key to me here; whether or not that was his intention, it feels like a downright tragic ending, with her character having to conform to expectations of her, both within her community, since Slimane's family sees her and her mother as disreputable, and outside of it, having to embody the orientalist ideal in order to potentially save her father (and her whole community) from failure. The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that this is what Kechiche is doing though, presenting the family unit as something that is both comfortable (there is undeniably warmth in the way he shoots that dinner early on) and suffocating, sweeping anything (like the son's infidelity or the father's new family) under the rug if possible. He spends a lot of time letting us know all of these characters though, so even if his primary sympathies are undoubtedly with the Slimane/Rym duo, the picture we get is complete enough that we get an understanding of everyone's role within this situation. It's growing on me as a piece of humanist cinema, though it seems to me that Kechiche's later films are stylistically much more accomplished, though this is likely his best script.
Mizu no naka no hachigatsu (Gakuryû Ishii, 1995)
Spoiler
This film grabbed me immediately, as Ishii and cinematographer Norimichi Kasamatsu are undoubtedly very talented at visual storytelling and at creating an off-kilter mood which makes this story of adolescent love crossed with eschatological dread, something that certainly resonates as concerns with environmental change have come to the forefront even more since then. It seems to me that Ishii is exploring a certain idea of dualism, with the main female character mentioning feeling a separation between her soul and body, and the whole film contrasting that with the idea of human ingenuity/technology similarly being separate from the natural world we inhabit, and the need for some connection to be made through spirituality, namely through Japan's animistic tradition in this case. It's probably signfiicant that this came out the same year as Ghost in the Shell, because it seems to me that a lot of the same ideas are being explored here, though in very different ways but with no less style - these diving scenes look amazing, and the way Ishii generally shoots water as the primary conduit of that connection between spirit and body (or whatever other duality we can see in the film) is pretty remarkable. Loved the score too, contributing to a mood that leads to the film's unanswered (and possibly unanswerable questions) as feeling enticing rather than frustrating.
1. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu - 8/10
2. La graine et le mulet - 7/10
3. Midnight Traveler - 7/10
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#12

Post by mightysparks »

1. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu 6/10
2. Midnight Traveler 6/10
3. La graine et le mulet 4/10

Liked the first two pretty much on an equal level. Mizu was an interestingly soft and quiet earthy 'sci-fi' with a nice vibe. Midnight didn't have much going on in the journey but the family was likable and it was still nice seeing some of the different things that happen to them without it being some action/thriller type of thing (at the same time there wasn't much sense of scale/time or how the journey was really affecting each family member). La graine was a struggle to get through, I could not get into the plot or characters at all though I liked the rawness of it.
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#13

Post by shugs »

1. The Secret of the Grain (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007) - 8/10
2. Midnight Traveler (Hassan Fazili, 2019) - 8/10
3. August in the Water (Gakuryû Ishii, 1995) - 6/10

I couldn't connect with August in the Water, but I'm pretty sure I'd give it a higher rating on a rewatch.
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#14

Post by Smoover »

1. Midnight Traveler 7
2. La graine et le mulet 6.5
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu 6.5
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#15

Post by joachimt »

So far it looks like Mizu is another love it or hate it. Of 10 voters, only one put it on #2.

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#16

Post by joachimt »

Close match!

1. La graine et le mulet 7+
2. Midnight Traveler 7
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu 7-
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#17

Post by sol »

Probably the least exciting round for me so far. Again nothing I hated, but also nothing that really impressed me either. Congrats to Melvelet for selecting the film that I liked the most this round, and thanks to toromash and wasabi for getting me to watch a couple of films that were otherwise not a priority.

1. August in the Water https://letterboxd.com/solh/film/august-in-the-water/
2. The Secret of the Grain https://letterboxd.com/solh/film/the-se ... the-grain/
3. Midnight Traveler https://letterboxd.com/solh/film/midnight-traveler/
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#18

Post by klaus78 »

1. La graine et le mulet (2007) 8/10
2. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu (1995) 7/10
3. Midnight Traveler (2019) 7/10
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#19

Post by filmbantha »

1. La graine et le mulet 7/10
A wonderful film with some great performances and a dramatic final third that kept me enthralled till the very end.

2. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu 7/10
This was a strange and enchanting slice of Japanese cinema that didn't grab me as much as La graine et le mulet but still made for a memorable viewing experience.

3. Midnight Traveler 6/10
An interesting documentary about a treacherous journey made by refugees. The firsthand account offered a unique perspective although the home video aspect of certain parts dragged.

Thanks to all three managers for another solid round, this was the closest I have been to hitting the favourite button in the tournament so far :cheers:
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#20

Post by joachimt »

Image La graine et le mulet: 1.714 (18-10)
Image Mizu no naka no hachigatsu: 2.071 (13-15)
Image Midnight Traveler: 2.214 (11-17)
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#21

Post by wasabi »

1. Midnight Traveler
2. La graine et le mulet
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
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#22

Post by zzzorf »

1. La graine et le mulet
2. Midnight Traveler
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
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#23

Post by Marazmatique »

1. Midnight Traveler
2. La graine et le mulet
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
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#24

Post by edward5 »

1. La graine et le mulet
2. Midnight Traveler
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu (水の中の八月)
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#25

Post by joachimt »

Differences are getting clearer.

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#26

Post by Onderhond »

First film I actually liked ending far at the bottom. Disappointing 😔
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#27

Post by joachimt »

Onderhond wrote: October 9th, 2021, 3:09 pm First film I actually liked ending far at the bottom. Disappointing 😔
The story of your life........ on this forum.
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#28

Post by Armoreska »

Mizu no naka no hachigatsu 7-
Spoiler
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Midnight Traveler 5
La graine et le mulet 4

barely made it
he or A. or Armo or any

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#29

Post by joachimt »

Deadline in 24 hours. Group A and B had 21 and 23 voters. We're at 19 now. Can we get a few more?
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#30

Post by OldAle1 »

joachimt wrote: October 10th, 2021, 9:40 am Deadline in 24 hours. Group A and B had 21 and 23 voters. We're at 19 now. Can we get a few more?
I will be posting my ranks within a few hours.
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#31

Post by OldAle1 »

Liked all of these overall, though #1 was clearly out in front of the other two a bit, and might be the best film I've seen so far apart from my own choice in this round.

1. Midnight Traveler VERY GOOD
Spoiler
Simple-on-it's-surface, but very effective and powerful bit of person reportage made by filmmaker Hassan Fazili, his wife Fatima, and their two young daughters Nargis and Zahra, covering several years in their lives as refugees escaping from Afghanistan, and making the harrowing journey towards some kind of hoped-for-freedom in Germany (though the film seems to stop short of journey's end, with some irony). It's all shot on cellphones and there are some necessary elisions to the narrative, but it's remarkably coherent and consistent in it's focus nonetheless. Certainly it is also about the problems that refugees face in the world in general, and about racism, and about what "freedom" means, and how religions and politics get in the way of people just trying to live their lives. This is the kind of stuff you see bits of on the news here and there, but for me at least it has much more impact in this kind of feature-length production. Also the older of the two girl, Nargis, looks (with her glasses) and acts SOOO much like one of my nieces, I couldn't stop thinking about it.
2. La graine et le mulet GOOD
Spoiler
I wasn't feeling this at first, as it started off a seemingly very Cassavetes-influenced family drama about an Algerian-French dockworker, Slimane, and his and his family's financial troubles and various personal problems, including his son Majid's infidelities, and his problematic relationship with his ex-wife. There's a scene with a family dinner of about a dozen people at a table all talking at the same time that seems to go on forever...but then the focus shifts to Slimane's attempts to open a nautical restaurant (not nautical-themed; it's on a rehabbed old boat) after he's been laid off his job, and it got somewhat more interesting and less Cassavetes-like, though the visuals remain heavily oriented to close-ups with handheld camera throughout. It becomes a story just as much about immigrants' troubles, racism, and the difficulties of starting anew in late middle age, and much of the focus is also on Slimane's "second family" - his girlfriend, and her 20ish daughter, played by Hafsia Herzi with a huge amount of liveliness. Herzi kind of makes the film, dominating all her scenes, and it's no wonder she's gone on to have a significant career (this was her first film). The problems the restaurant has on opening night seem kind of cliched, and the film's a bit too long I think for what it is, but I thought the sudden ending was an interesting choice in a film like this, and overall it works.
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu OK-GOOD
Spoiler
I watched this a few years ago, and unfortunately didn't write a review of it at the time, so I'm going on somewhat weak memories, and the plot description, but I very much doubt my opinion would change dramatically were I to give it a re-watch now. What I remember is basically, a lot of cool ideas - maybe too many - put together in a chaotic film that was always interesting but not entirely involving, and something that started out much better than it ended. I probably will give it another shot after I've seen some of the director's other films (I've also seen Enjeru dasuto / Angel Dust, but that was when it came out in the cinema, so an even dimmer memory). and perhaps with understanding his style and thematic preoccupations better it will come more into positive focus, but at this point it seems very much a mixed bag.
Last edited by OldAle1 on October 10th, 2021, 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#32

Post by clemmetarey »

I might come back and post some thoughts tomorrow morning, but for now:

1. Midnight Traveler (2019) 6/10
2. La graine et le mulet (2007) 6/10
3. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu (1995) 5/10
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#33

Post by Melvelet »

1. Mizu no naka no hachigatsu (1995) 8+/10
2. Midnight Traveler (2019) 6/10
3. La graine et le mulet (2007) 6/10
Current recommendation: Davandeh (1984) AKA The Runner


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#34

Post by joachimt »

Image La graine et le mulet: 1.818 (26-18)
Image Midnight Traveler: 1.955 (23-21)
Image Mizu no naka no hachigatsu: 2.227 (17-27)

Just a few hours left.
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#35

Post by zzzorf »

And that sees me officially eliminated from the Cup with Wasabi getting a better average than me. Oh well it was fun while it lasted and I do still get to watch some great movies so it isn't a real bust.
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#36

Post by Angel Glez »

1.La graine et le mulet
...
2.Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
3.Midnight Traveler
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#37

Post by joachimt »

That's it. Deadline over. Final score:

Image La graine et le mulet: 1.783 (28-18)
Image Midnight Traveler: 2 (23-23)
Image Mizu no naka no hachigatsu: 2.217 (18-28)

Clear win for toromash. Congratulations!
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#38

Post by zzzorf »

Looks like I jumped the gun before, didn't read the post properly before and we still had a few hours. Actually myself and wasabi have tied scores so I'm not sure what that means if it stays with us as 2nd best 2nd placers.
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#39

Post by mightysparks »

Did not expect Grain to be so popular, I thought it was the worst one yet :unsure:
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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