Thursday, November 21, 2013

2014 Movie World Cup

All 32 nations have qualified for the 2014 World Cup. Therefore, it is time to officially start the 2014 Movie World Cup, a soccer related film spotlight that has become a regular feature on this blog since 2006. Although, there will be some differences this time around.

In the past, only unseen films were selected for the spotlight. This resulted in some films getting hammered at the tournament meaning that nation left no impression in the spotlight. Also, hunting for films from some nations took a few months due to lack of accessible films from certain parts of the world. And when a film was eventually found, it was not a decent enough entry to compete in the spotlight. This time around, previously seen films will be pulled in to allow each nation a decent chance to put up points. Also, previously only a single film was selected from all the 32 nations. This time around, each nation can have up to 3 films which means the spotlight can have as many as 96 films, making it the most ambitious spotlight.

The rules for finding three films will be:

1. Previously seen film from 2005 - 2013

The goal is to pick a strong film from the last 8 years that is capable of giving their nation a chance to win the Movie World Cup. Therefore, previous best of the year films or top 10 films will be chosen.

2. Unseen film from 2005 - 2013

This is similar to the past where the goal is to find new films from different nations. The difference is the restriction of the year to find newer films.

3. Films from 1960 - 2004

1960 is selected as a starting point because not all the 32 nations had a viable film industry prior to 1960. Therefore, these nations would not have many selections to select before 1960 or even if they did, those films are hard to find. The flip side is this criteria puts some nations such as England, USA, France, Germany and Italy at a disadvantage because it eliminates many worthy films these countries produced prior to 1960. Ideally, this criteria should try to select some classic films between 1960 - 1970. But that will not always be possible. Also, this criteria can select a previously seen film.

There should be at least 1 unseen film out of 3 but the goal is to have 2 unseen films out of the three. Currently, some films are already selected. Below is a listing of all the nations and the films selected so far.

South America (6 nations)

Brazil: Neighboring Sounds (2012, Kleber Mendonça Filho)
Argentina: Gone Fishing (2012, Carlos Sorin)
Chile: Tony Manero (2008, Pablo Larraín)
Colombia: Crab Trap (2009, Oscar Ruiz Navia)
Uruguay: A Useful Life (2010, Federico Veiroj)

Europe (13 nations)

Belgium: Kill the Referee (2009, Yves Hinant, Eric Cardot, Delphine Lehericey)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia: Buick Riviera (2009, Goran Rusinovic)
England: too many choices..
France: Holy Motors (2012, Leos Carax)
Germany:  Everyone Else (2009, Maren Ade)
Greece: Unfair World (2011, Filippos Tsitos)
Holland: Borgman (2013, Alex van Warmerdam)
Italy: Le Quattro Volte (2010, Michelangelo Frammartino)
Portugal: The Strange Case of Angelica (2010, Manoel de Oliveira)
Russia: Alexandra (2007, Aleksandr Sokurov)
Spain: In the City of Sylvia (2007, José Luis Guerín)
Switzerland: Das Fräulein (2006, Andrea Staka)

Asia / Oceania (4 nations)

4 very strong films from Asia will ensure these nations will give a real test to the remaining nations.

Australia: Snowtown (2011, Justin Kurzel)
Iran: This is Not a Film (2011, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi)
Japan: Like Father, Like Son (2013, Hirokazu Koreeda)
South Korea: The Day He Arrives (2011, Hong Sang-soo) 

Africa (5 nations): Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria.

Unfortunately, no films have been selected so far. Although, with the exception of Ivory Coast, the remaining nations have multiple film options.

North American / Caribbean (4 nations)

A strong selection of films will ensure these nations will be able to put up enough points to stand a good chance of advancing out of their groups.

Costa Rica:  Cold Water of the sea (2010, Paz Fabrega)
Honduras:  El Porvenir (2008, Oscar Estrada)
Mexico:  El Violin (2005, Francisco Vargas), Post Tenebras Lux (2012, Carlos Reygadas)
USA: too many choices...

Official film viewing will start on Dec 1, 2013 and end by June 1, 2014.

Like in the past, the films in this spotlight will follow the official World Cup draw of being split in 8 groups of 4 nations each. The top 2 films from each of the 8 groups will advance to the second round.


Sam Juliano said...

Great to see the World Cup competition up here again Sachin! And what a distinguished lineup! LE QUATTRO VOLTE, THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELIKA, THIS IS NOT A FILM and HOLY MOTORS are indeed great films, and though I wish I liked EVERYONE ELSE more, I acknowledge it has it's fervent admirers. I am really looking forward to the Kore-eda and a few others here, and I do admit that there are simply too many great releases in the USA and the UK. I look forward to the continuation of this terrific competition!

Sachin said...

Thanks Sam. I expect to have a few more stellar films added to the line-up in the upcoming weeks. I am looking forward to seeing how things unfold.

EVERYONE ELSE is a tough selection indeed. It was not easy picking that over many other strong choices from Germany but I hope it proves to be valid in the end.

Joel Burman said...

This is a great idea for a blogathon/tournament. Awesome!

Sachin said...

Thanks a lot Joel. It would indeed be a fun blogathon given the amount of films involved.