World Cup season is of course underway, and here at Sound on Sight we have decided to choose one film to represent each country in the running for the ultimate prize in professional sports. As the tournament takes places each time a country is eliminated we will also eliminate the movie representing that team. At the end of the month we will review the films on an episode of the Sound On Sight podcast matched to the countries finishing first, second and in third place. Here is the list of competitors from the first two groups. Good luck to the teams of all our listeners.
Cidade de Deus (City of God) (2002)
Directed by Fernando Meirelles
Fernando Meirelles’ Brazilian slum epic is a profound, stylistically expansive depiction of three decades of child gang warfare on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. A dazzling masterpiece with deeply disturbing images.
Kaidan (Kwaidan) (Ghost Stories) (1964)
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
A masterpiece of filmmaking artifice and mood-setting atmosphere, Kwaidan’s haunting poetry is conveyed not only in its beautiful images, but also through the chilling soundtrack.
Noirs et Blancs en Couleur (Black and White in Color) (1976)
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud
The winner of the 1977 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Annaud’s first feature film provides an entertaining fable that is based on real events in early 20th century west Africa. Definitely one of the more enjoyable anti-war films you’ll find.
The House of the Spirits (1993)
Directed by Bille August
Bille August has written and directed an adaptation of Isabel Allende’s novel, making a stellar film with an all star international cast, that has strong parallels to Bernardo Bertolucci historical epics 1900 and The Last Emperor.
Open Your Eyes (1997)
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar
Visually stunning, haunting, and substantially better than its remake, Vanilla Sky. Open Your Eyes is one of the most thought-provoking thrillers that challenges its audience’s expectations at every turn.
Directed by Claude Goretta
After the death of his mother, middle-aged insurance employee inherits her small cottage surrounded by a garden. Selling the cottage which is situated on unexploited ground near the centre of a big city makes him a rich man and he buys a big house in the countryside. He takes some time off and decides to throw a big garden party at the house and invite all his colleagues from the office. Aided by alcohol, the guests gradually lose all their inhibitions and reveal personality traits and frustrations that they normally keep hidden. The film was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film but found trouble finding distribution over in North America.
Spirit of My Mother (1999)
Directed by Ali Allie
A Garifuna woman returns to Honduras to grant her mother’s final request to perform a ceremony that will let her rest in peace. While learning the Garifuna ritual, Sonia begins to embrace her stunningly rich West African, Arawak and Carib Indian roots, as well as her identitiy as a mother to a daughter of her own.
L’oeil qui ment (Dark At Moon) (1993)
Directed by Raoul Ruiz
During the 1993 Australian Film Institute retrospective of his work, Raúl Ruiz was asked to describe his uniquely surrealistic approach to filmmaking. He responded with an anecdote about the Latin American writer Lezama Lima, who stated that the task of the poet is ‘to go into a dark room and build a waterfall there’.