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iCMFF19 - Main Slate

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maxwelldeux
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Re: iCMFF19 - Main Slate

#81

Post by maxwelldeux » November 17th, 2019, 5:03 am

Bia wrote:
November 17th, 2019, 4:19 am
It's been awhile since I saw I am Not Your Negro and The Rider. I remember liking both of them and would rate each 7/10.
Are those serious ratings? Just asking 'cause if they are, I'll include them in the film festival ratings sheet.

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#82

Post by Bia » November 17th, 2019, 5:31 am

Yes.
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#83

Post by kingink » November 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm

Bia wrote:
November 17th, 2019, 4:19 am
kingink wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 6:44 pm

Columbus dir. Kogonada. 4/10 Boring as fuck. I think the director tried to do something with the pace of the film, but he didn't succeed at all for me. I couldn't connect with anything and didn't care to try harder. Boring story, boring dialogues etc. I watched quite a while ago but I couldn't possibly put myself in the burden of rewatching it ever for any reason. Unless it's money ;)

I Am Not Your Negro dir. Raoul Peck. 8/10 Great documentary, directed in a beautiful way that introduced me to a character that I should have known. Highily recommended!

The Rider dir. Chloé Zhao. 8/10 I was really surprised with this one! It has the pace that probably every film that involves horses has. I knew it would be like that when I realised it's about a cowboy. But I liked it a lot! I epsecially liked the performance by the main lead. I think he portrayed excellently that reserved manliness that didn't let him come to terms with his emotions, but you could see his struggles in his eyes . After watching it I googled the lead actor and realised he is not an actor but an actual cowboy and this was his story. Even his family in that film is his family and his disabled friend is an actual disabled cowboy friend of his! This made me love the film even more.
I wasn't going to say anything about Columbus because I didn't want to be too negative. But your review has emboldened me. Columbus put me to sleep. But maybe I was tired and wasn't in the right space to watch it. So I won't give it a rating.

It's been awhile since I saw I am Not Your Negro and The Rider. I remember liking both of them and would rate each 7/10.
This is safe space for negtive reviews Bia :whistling: :lol:
Go for it! :woot:

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#84

Post by mightysparks » November 20th, 2019, 9:39 am

Tesnota (2017) aka Closeness 7/10
A poor family faces some tough decisions when their son and his fiancee are kidnapped and held for ransom. This is a pretty tense and gripping film, up until the last half hour or so when it, sadly, just kind of all fizzles away. It's held together mostly by the lead actress, Darya Zhovnar, who gives a fantastic performance and whose character is really fleshed out and interesting. Although there are a few really nice shots and moments, it generally has the look and feel of a '90s soap opera which is quite distracting in some scenes. At other times, it manages to pull the attention away with its feeling of quiet restraint, helped by the aspect ratio, performances and lack of a melodramatic score. It's disappointing that it fizzles out at the end after all that promise.

And finally done with the Main Slate. Wouldn't have chosen to watch any of these films without the festival and they were all interesting in their own way, and I also found my first favourite of the year with Sunday's Illness :thumbsup:

Ranking:
1. La enfermedad del domingo (2018) 8
2. Columbus (2017) 7
3. Tesnota (2017) 7
4. The Rider (2017) 6
5. Juste la fin du monde (2016) 6
6. Jusqu'à la garde (2017) 6
7. I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 6
8. Jiang hu er nü (2018) 6
9. Rafiki (2018) 5
10. Madeline's Madeline (2018) 5
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#85

Post by beavis » November 20th, 2019, 11:10 am

mightysparks wrote:
November 20th, 2019, 9:39 am
And finally done with the Main Slate. Wouldn't have chosen to watch any of these films without the festival and they were all interesting in their own way, and I also found my first favourite of the year with Sunday's Illness :thumbsup:
very nice feedback
cool!

hope more people will be able to do the main course, it is a very varied bunch with something for everyone in there

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#86

Post by Ivan0716 » November 20th, 2019, 4:33 pm

mightysparks wrote:
November 20th, 2019, 9:39 am
And finally done with the Main Slate. Wouldn't have chosen to watch any of these films without the festival and they were all interesting in their own way, and I also found my first favourite of the year with Sunday's Illness :thumbsup:
Heh, honestly didn't expect this to become anyone's favourite, least of all yours. :P

And to everyone who likes Closeness: be sure to check out Balagov's Beanpole for our 2019 poll.

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#87

Post by lynchs » November 21st, 2019, 1:04 pm

..and I'm being friendly :)

Ash Is Purest White (2018) 4
Columbus (2017) 5
It's Only the End of the World (2016) 4

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#88

Post by hurluberlu » November 24th, 2019, 8:35 am

The Rider dir. Chloé Zhao. 2017
7+
Ash is Purest White dir. Jia Zhangke. 2018
7-
Sunday's Illness dir. Ramón Salazar. 2018
6+
Rafiki dir. Wanuri Kahiu. 2018
5-


Final ranking

8- Closeness dir. Kantemir Balagov. 2017
7+ The Rider dir. Chloé Zhao. 2017
7 I Am Not Your Negro dir. Raoul Peck. 2016
7- Ash is Purest White dir. Jia Zhangke. 2018
6+ Sunday's Illness dir. Ramón Salazar. 2018
6 Madeline's Madeline dir. Josephine Decker. 2018
6- Custody dir. Xavier Legrand. 2017, 93 min.
5+ Columbus dir. Kogonada. 2017
5 It's Only the End of the World dir. Xavier Dolan. 2016
5- Rafiki dir. Wanuri Kahiu. 2018
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#89

Post by John Milton » November 24th, 2019, 1:23 pm

I need to come around more often, wish I found out about this sooner, then I could have watched more of the films. :(

Columbus 8,5/10
Custody 8/10
I Am Not Your Negro 8/10
Rafiki 7/10
The Rider 9/10

Columbus was one of my favorite films that year :)

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#90

Post by xianjiro » November 25th, 2019, 5:26 am

Ash is Purest White - 8
Closeness - 6
Columbus - 8
Custody - 7
I Am Not Your Negro - 8
It's Only the End of the World - 7
Madeline's Madeline - 8
Rafiki - 7
The Rider - 9
Sunday's Illness - 7

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#91

Post by ryebass » November 26th, 2019, 3:12 am

Columbus (2017) - 8/10

Thoroughly enjoyed the understated romance between the two leads; very cerebral and oddly 'steamy' for that, if that makes any sense. All sorts of Freudian stuff going on here: proxies galore (she loves his Dad in lieu of her own who is absent along with Mom, he has never appreciated his Dad and is reconnecting with him via her sharing of her passionate interest in Architecture, his Dad's lifelong pursuit). Just a genuinely cool film, whether you find architecture at all fascinating in and of itself. Rory Culkin's character says something early on about attention and interests, and I think some of the kernel at work beneath the surface within this film is revealed therein: the key is being able to listen long enough to perhaps absorb some of the other person's interest, in and on their terms etc. Or maybe not. The entire film is shot almost entirely in long static takes, highlighting specific examples of Columbus architecture, or, in some cases, the geometry of other spaces, natural or otherwise.

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#92

Post by shugs » November 30th, 2019, 1:11 pm

3. I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016) - 8/10
4. Jiang hu er nü [Ash Is Purest White] (Zhangke Jia, 2018) - 8/10

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#93

Post by ryebass » November 30th, 2019, 8:14 pm

Closeness (2017) - 7/10

This is a dismal world of survival and subsistence; there is a modicum of love and kindness, but only just. The complexities of post-Soviet Russian tribalism, layered upon the prevailing economic hardships, make for a world that is balanced upon a knife-edge, and the viewer is seldom able to relax into the identity of the character's themselves. I found the film to be very effective in translating this world and it's inherent apathy, in particular in the line of it's story-arc and where it ends up. Nothing recognizable as vaguely 'Hollywood' here. My one overt complaint would be what I would argue was the unnecessary inclusion of the atrocity film (a very well-publicized amateur video of Chechnyan militants torturing and killing Russian soldiers) which the kid's chose to watch while getting stoned/drunk. I've had the unfortunate experience of watching similar footage in the past and have always been haunted by this stuff...obsessed with just how miserable humans can be to one another. I was unable to sleep the night I watched this and it still hasn't left my mind. The day that we are no longer affected by that type of footage is the day we truly, without any hyperbole, lose all humanity. Regardless, it bothered me and made me a bit angry with the director...ultimately distracting from the narrative in my view.

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#94

Post by hurluberlu » December 1st, 2019, 10:22 am

ryebass wrote:
November 30th, 2019, 8:14 pm
Closeness (2017) - 7/10

This is a dismal world of survival and subsistence; there is a modicum of love and kindness, but only just. The complexities of post-Soviet Russian tribalism, layered upon the prevailing economic hardships, make for a world that is balanced upon a knife-edge, and the viewer is seldom able to relax into the identity of the character's themselves. I found the film to be very effective in translating this world and it's inherent apathy, in particular in the line of it's story-arc and where it ends up. Nothing recognizable as vaguely 'Hollywood' here. My one overt complaint would be what I would argue was the unnecessary inclusion of the atrocity film (a very well-publicized amateur video of Chechnyan militants torturing and killing Russian soldiers) which the kid's chose to watch while getting stoned/drunk. I've had the unfortunate experience of watching similar footage in the past and have always been haunted by this stuff...obsessed with just how miserable humans can be to one another. I was unable to sleep the night I watched this and it still hasn't left my mind. The day that we are no longer affected by that type of footage is the day we truly, without any hyperbole, lose all humanity. Regardless, it bothered me and made me a bit angry with the director...ultimately distracting from the narrative in my view.
I felt the same about that sequence, word for word, glad to read I am not alone…
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#95

Post by mightysparks » December 1st, 2019, 10:33 am

I feel like I’m the only one who had no opinion about that scene either way, everything I read about that film mentions it :shrug:
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#96

Post by Straka » December 1st, 2019, 3:12 pm

Columbus - 7/10
It's Only the End of the World - 5/10
Rafiki - 7/10
Sunday's Illness - 8/10

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#97

Post by kingink » December 1st, 2019, 9:46 pm

mightysparks wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 10:33 am
I feel like I’m the only one who had no opinion about that scene either way, everything I read about that film mentions it :shrug:
I think horror films ruined us mighty... B)
Although that sequence was a bit redundant in my mind as well, I didn't think about it a lot afterwards. But I can get how it could affect many people in various ways. It was a brutal scene.

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#98

Post by mightysparks » December 1st, 2019, 11:37 pm

kingink wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 9:46 pm
mightysparks wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 10:33 am
I feel like I’m the only one who had no opinion about that scene either way, everything I read about that film mentions it :shrug:
I think horror films ruined us mighty... B)
Although that sequence was a bit redundant in my mind as well, I didn't think about it a lot afterwards. But I can get how it could affect many people in various ways. It was a brutal scene.
I still find it hard to watch the ‘real’ stuff though, I started crying just watching some brutal fights once and no one even died in those lol. I just don’t get everyone’s ‘he crossed a moral boundary by including this’ thing. I felt its inclusion was a reminder of what kind of horrors humans really have done to each other and what could be happening to her brother. It didn’t really affect me strongly and I don’t think there was any moral issue including it; people seem to be worried about showing people the clip than what actually happened in it.
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#99

Post by beavis » December 2nd, 2019, 5:10 pm

about 12 hours to go for the festival, if I calculated EST correctly!
we have one brave soul who has watched everything we put together, truly fantastic!!
but do we have enough votes for all awards???

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#100

Post by St. Gloede » December 2nd, 2019, 7:11 pm

I was hoping to be able to do comprehensive write-ups on all, but like got in the way, final sum up of the remaining films:

The Rider 
A slow naturalistic film, with a very obvious goal (working both to its advantage and disadvantage. The simple message of actually taking care of yourself, rejecting masculine norms in favor of your own mental and physical health, gives the film a lot of good faith, at least from my account. 

However, it is very transparent what they are going for (which is not necessarily bad). The one issue that underpinned this in execution was the degree to which its characters were written to be pitied, and the overt and overly sentimental and in (luckily only a few instances) contrived way the point had to be brought home. The most direct miscalculations here is the hospitalized friend, barely able to function, telling our protagonist to follow his dream.

At the same time, this also drives home the point that our lead, and most people around him live for this, it is an integral part of their identity, and it is done in such a way that there is a genuine degree of split emotions here: Should he give away his life to be able to live?


Closeness
"Closeness" is haunting every frame, and almost every line of dialog: It is simply not there, what is left is an increasingly desperate spectre screaming for love and personal connections.

Shot in fantastic 1.37:1, and lingering on personal embraces, whenever they do occur, we are presented to a dirty, grimy and hopeless 90s. Opening in the midst of a far more conventional rift, that of oppressive, dehumanizing traditions vs. the equally dehumanizing escape of modernity, it is clear from quite early on, that we are in for a very different experience.

We find our lead in Darya Zhovnar, delivering an absolutely fantastic performance as the tomboyish daughter in a traditional Jewish family. What is incredibly interesting here, and makes Closeness stand out as a great work is that, for all its traditional tropes, its focus is always between the lines. When our leads brother and fiancé are kidnapped, and the family scrambles for a ransom, our focus is not at the obvious foreground, but the lack of connections, trust, good intentions and "closeness" in the community as a whole.

I disagree with those who say what happened after the "main plot" was resolved, did not hold up - this was the climax. We were not watching a story of a kidnapping, but an exploration into desperation. The rejections, the further coldness, and the slight glimmer of hope, etc. was the essence of what the film was actually exploring. The fact that it did not end with the resolution of the kidnapping, but rather continued to explore the connections (and their lack of existence) stopped it from being far more straightforward and simple. 

One final note: I think it is so interesting, and such a consistent choice that every moment of possible compassion is undercut by insensitivity, coldness, disinterest, loss or apathy. 

It's Only the End of the World
My favourite of the entire selection, and unfortunately the only one I saw before the festival started, meaning it is the one least fresh in my mind. What I want to focus on is the way it truly turns familiar closeness into a form of claustrophobia, and the tension between the characters keep increasing. It is the type of "small" drama of simply epic proportions, managing to play with understated emotions and wield them as weapons. Dolan's arguably best film, and a little masterpiece. The performances are incredible and blended with the heat and explosive atmosphere placing you at the edge of your seat in genuine unease, it truly is a force to be reckoned with.

Sunday's Illness
I agree with what most people have said off Sunday's Illness so far. It is shot and delivered as a horror film, has effectively good performances and a lot of tension. This was a film that wavered between good and great for me, and landed on "just" good, despite direction and performances. The slight downfall lays mostly in smaller details, such the meeting with the ex, and above all an ending that in my opinion could have used more emphasis.

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#101

Post by flaiky » December 2nd, 2019, 9:23 pm

I apologise for being absent and shit during this, but my head and heart just aren't with films right now...really couldn't motivate myself to get involved. :/

I'll give my ratings for all films in the festival here, if that's okay:

Main Slate

Ash is Purest White - 10
I Am Not Your Negro - 9
Madeline's Madeline - 9.5
Rafiki - 5
The Rider - 8

International: Europe

A Woman's Life - 9

International II: Asia

Angels Wear White - 7
Foxtrot - 7.5

Documentaries
Cuba and the Cameraman - 8
LA92 - 10
Shirkers - 8

English-Language Independents

Lean on Pete - 9
Ray & Liz - 9
Thunder Road - 8

Arthouse
I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians - 8
Winter Brothers - 8
Let the ashes fly
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#102

Post by outdoorcats » December 2nd, 2019, 10:15 pm

Ash is Purest White 9
Columbus 8.5
Custody 8.5
I Am Not Your Negro 8.5
It's Only the End of the World 9
Rafiki 8
Sunday's Illness 8

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#103

Post by RogerTheMovieManiac88 » December 3rd, 2019, 12:44 am

I pulled an 'all-dayer' today to see the five Main Slate entries I still had outstanding after November had spiralled into Noirvember for me. I'm certainly glad I made the effort today, though I feel bushwhacked right now! Congrats once again on a marvellous and rewarding Main Slate.

My ratings:

'Ash Is Purest White' - 7.5/10
Compelling details and lead performance. Jia's self-referentialising will I'm sure add extra meaning for viewers who have seen his previous films. I have not but this is still a work of imagination and deftness.

'Closeness' - 9/10
A remarkable, trancendental film. I love the look and feel of the cinematography and the tightness of the screen ratio. Wild impulses constricted and resentment in straightened times explored with arresting vividness. I found this an astonishing and entrancing film despite its dark and troubling themes.

'Columbus' - 8/10
Exquisitely lensed - some of the shots are utterly spellbinding- and with an unhurried humanity that probes and discusses. Cumulatively very pleasant and touching.

'Custody' - 7.5/10
Gripping and relentless. A good psychological thriller around a custody battle, and one that benefits from the leading acting presences.

'I Am Not Your Negro' - 8.5/10
Wonderful selection of clips and interviews to paint a picture of an outlook. I could listen to the wisdom-filled word of Baldwin all day long! A powerful and pressing piece of documentary film-making.

'It's Only the End of the World' - 7.5/10
Lovely use of settings. I loved the performances here and the memories and perspectives evoked by the exchanges. A quiet but often captivating film.

'Madeline's Madeline' - 7/10
I admire the creativeness and experimentalism that allows for free-form expression and interaction. I can't say I loved it but I found it often amusing, open-minded, and interestingly structured. Awkward and unabashed!

'Rafiki' - 7/10
I loved the outline to the story with its background of political conflict and bright, teen-aged curiousity that turns into something more serious. It could have been even better and a touch less 'commercial' but I liked its tenderness and a colour palette that escaped and developed in exciting directions fleetingly. A pleasant diversion that makes me keen to see more from Kahiu.

'The Rider' - 7/10
Naturalistic and wonderfully photographed to show the expanses of the Badlands. The acting is earnest and pretty good considering many of the cast weren't professionals. Occasional lapses into sentimentality and mawkishness and an underpowered screenplay do hold it back but the film's visual strongpoints make it aesthetically memorable.

'Sunday's Illness' - 9/10
An elegantly filmed and deeply compelling look at an abandoned daughter slowly reconnecting with the mother who left her 30 years prior. Marvellously nuanced and slowly teased out, with real progression and depth to the looks, ways, behaviours and interactions of the two women. This drew me in more and more as it progressed. A wonderful film to close my festival with!


For me, BEST FILM is between 'Closeness' and 'Sunday's Illness'. 'I Am Not Your Negro' would also be up there, in my estimation.

I am so glad to have seen all these films - many of which I probably wouldn't have prioritised otherwise. Thank you to you Outdoorcats, to Maxwell for his data collection, and to all the festival programmers.

:cheers:
Last edited by RogerTheMovieManiac88 on December 4th, 2019, 2:03 am, edited 4 times in total.
That's all, folks!

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#104

Post by blocho » December 3rd, 2019, 1:10 am

RogerTheMovieManiac88 wrote:
December 3rd, 2019, 12:44 am
Thank you to you Outdoorcats, to Maxwell for his data collection, and to all the festival programmers.
Hear Hear

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#105

Post by ryebass » December 3rd, 2019, 4:50 am

Sunday's Illness (2018) - 7/10
Beautifully shot: each scene looks like an oil painting essentially. This could have packed more punch if the characters didn't leave me so cold; this should have been a tearjerker but didn't quite reach those strings.

Madeline's Madeline (2018) - 8/10
Though at times almost tedious, and leaving the viewer desperate for some grounding, this film's treatment of mental illness feels entirely organic and faithful to the reality of the experience. The acting was amazing, in particular when set against the deliberately artificial 'immersive theater' that is omnipresent.

*** Just occurred to me that when it stated 'by end of day EST' it wasn't referring to Eastern Standard Time. And I was racing to get those views in...now I feel very egocentric (yes, I live on the east coast stateside). Hopeful these can be included. :)

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#106

Post by outdoorcats » December 3rd, 2019, 11:46 pm

Will everyone who watched all the films in the Main Slate give me their top 3 picks for Best Film? I can glean some from the ratings but I just want to make sure no one's opinions have changed.

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#107

Post by mightysparks » December 4th, 2019, 12:56 am

1. La enfermedad del domingo (2018)
2. Columbus (2017)
3. Tesnota (2017)
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#108

Post by xianjiro » December 4th, 2019, 1:31 am

1. The Rider
2. I Am Not Your Negro
3. Ash Is the Purest White

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#109

Post by RogerTheMovieManiac88 » December 4th, 2019, 2:06 am

1. 'Closeness'
2. 'Sunday's Illness'
3. 'I Am Not Your Negro'
That's all, folks!

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#110

Post by hurluberlu » December 4th, 2019, 5:13 am

1. Closeness dir. Kantemir Balagov. 2017
2. The Rider dir. Chloé Zhao. 2017
3. I Am Not Your Negro dir. Raoul Peck. 2016
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#111

Post by beavis » December 4th, 2019, 7:26 am

1. Madeline's Madeline - 8,5
2. Closeness - 8
3. Sunday's Illness -8

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#112

Post by St. Gloede » December 4th, 2019, 10:30 am

1. It is Only the End of the Word - 9.5
2. Closeness - 8.5
3. I am Not Your Negro - 8

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#113

Post by kingink » December 4th, 2019, 10:43 am

1. Sunday's Illness 9
2. It's Only the End of the World 9
3. The Rider 8

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#114

Post by outdoorcats » December 4th, 2019, 11:06 pm

So going by

1. (3 pts)
2. (2 pts)
3. (1 pt)

We have Closeness in the lead with 11 points, and Sunday's Illness the runner-up with 9. (next runner up is The Rider with 6)

Are we OK with calling Closeness the grand prize winner and Sunday's Illness the jury prize winner (runner-up)?

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mightysparks
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#115

Post by mightysparks » December 4th, 2019, 11:11 pm

I wish it were the other way around :whistling: but fine with me
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#116

Post by RogerTheMovieManiac88 » December 4th, 2019, 11:25 pm

Absolutely! Two remarkable films I shall be glad to carry with me from this iteration of the ICMFF.
That's all, folks!

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#117

Post by maxwelldeux » December 5th, 2019, 12:07 am

outdoorcats wrote:
December 4th, 2019, 11:06 pm
Are we OK with calling Closeness the grand prize winner and Sunday's Illness the jury prize winner (runner-up)?
From the ratings, three films have higher ratings than Closeness, but Sunday's Illness is the top-rated film from this slate.

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#118

Post by outdoorcats » December 5th, 2019, 12:17 am

Keep in mind we're only considering ratings from people who watched all the films in the slate as relevant to this particular award. The Audience Award is the one that is selected by picking the film out of all of them with the highest average (counting all votes). I'll let you announce that one! :cheers:

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#119

Post by maxwelldeux » December 5th, 2019, 12:55 am

outdoorcats wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 12:17 am
Keep in mind we're only considering ratings from people who watched all the films in the slate as relevant to this particular award. The Audience Award is the one that is selected by picking the film out of all of them with the highest average (counting all votes). I'll let you announce that one! :cheers:
I get it - just wanted you to have all the info out there. :cheers:

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#120

Post by xianjiro » December 5th, 2019, 2:43 am

I've read, don't really agree, but that's just my two cents on this one since neither made my top three. LOL

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