Tuesday, July 04, 2006

1st Movie World Cup – Semi-Final Results!

The Soccer World Cup is finally coming to life -- France beat Brazil (yeah, Henry is better than Ronaldinho anyday!!), and now Italy edged past Germany in a pulsating semi-final. Compared to that, the movie world cup seems pretty tame but it had 2 interesting match-ups nonetheless.

Semi-Final #1 – Germany vs Korea

Germany: Werner Herzog’s Signs of Life
South Korea - Director Chan-wook Park's Lady Vengeance

Two completely different movies with varied presentation styles! The German entry is in beautiful black and white with a narrator describing a character’s descend into insanity, whereas the Korean movie is in stunning color with the actor’s doubling as narrators while leading us through a path of revenge against an insane man. I enjoyed both movies but in the end, I am still a fan of Herzog’s movie which edges into the final.

Final score: Germany 5 – 4 Korea

Goal scorers, Germany: Story, Acting, Direction, Cinematography, Sound
Goal scorers, Korea: Acting, Direction, Cinematography, Sound

Semi-Final #2 – Holland vs Brazil

Holland - Director Paul Verhoeven’s Turkish Delight
Brazil - Director Vicente Amorim's The Middle of the World

Fast and pacy match-up! The Dutch entry takes a traditional love story and livens it up with some brave direction – Verhoeven was liberal with Basic Instinct but in Turkish Delight he has more freedom to shoot whatever he wants and that is what makes the big difference. The Brazilian movie on the other hand is sweet at heart even though the story feels like something seen in other Brazilian movies (poverty + coming of age + journey). A tough-call! Turkish Delight unfolded like a typical Bollywood/Romeo & Juliet story with the parental problems and the tragedy near the end interspliced with liberal sex scenes. However, it has a telling moment when the boy realizes what is wrong with the girl (multiple personalities) even though the audience has been fully aware of what has been going on for a while – the boy’s expressions at the moment of realization are a mixture of pity and desperation. The Middle of the World proudly continues the traditional of beautiful movies from the land of Joga Bonito and wins out with its emotionally complex story.

Final score: Holland 2 – 4 Brazil

Goal scorers, Holland: Acting, Direction
Goal scorers, Brazil: Story, Acting, Cinematography, Sound

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