Sunday, July 08, 2007

Copa America Film Festival, Final & Third Place

The Final soccer match in Copa America 2007 won't take place until Sunday July 15 but I am wrapping up the Copa Film festival a week earlier.

Final: Uruguay (Whisky) vs USA (North by Northwest)

This is surely a worthy final. Just like in the semi-final between Argentina and USA, both films are completely differently paced -- Whisky uses minimal action and hardly any background music but it invokes plenty of humour and emotion. North by Northwest on the other hand guides its audience down a path of mystery and intrigue by having appropriate background music to create the desired emotion. Both feats are hard to achieve (emotion without showing much and emotion with a heap of action) but I have to give a slight edge to Whisky because of its uniqueness -- there have been enough spy movies in the last few decades and Hitchcock's film came in 1959 after more than a decade of femme fatale, film noir and spy movies. On the other hand, there aren't too many dead-pan style films around. Moreover, watching such a film is a rewarding experience as one never really knows what action a character will take. So we are only able to fully understand a character by watching them carefully in the film.

Total points for Whisky: 3 (Acting, Story, Direction)
Total Points for North by Northwest: 2 (Cinematography & Production Values)

Final Score: Uruguay wins 3-2 over USA

So the Uruguayan film wins the first ever Copa America film festival. It was a truly enjoyable experience to watch films from different South American countries (plus Mexico & USA) and compare them. While Brazil and Argentina produce a healthy dosage of films in South America, it is refreshing to see other South American countries making some creditable efforts as well. But when it comes to soccer, Brazil and Argentina are still miles ahead of other South American nations. And there are no signs of that trend changing for the next few years either.

And finally a consolation match for 3rd place:

Mexico (El compadre Mendoza) vs Argentina (The Official Story)

The cinematography and production values of neither film really stood but the Mexican film managed to seamlessly integrate a lot of extras and set props (revolutionaries) despite being made in 1934. The real strength of the Argentinian film is the combination of action, story and direction; The Official Story has scored no points for cinematography and production values in any of the 3 second round matches.

Total points for El compadre Mendoza: 3 (Story, Cinematography, Production Values)
Total points for The Official Story: 3 (Acting, Story, Direction)

Final Score: Mexico wins on penalties after 3-3 tie

I have to give a slight win to the Mexican film as I throughly enjoyed watching the characters trying to maintain a slim line between friendship and betrayal.

No comments: