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Home » Culture and Criticism

Cinemarch Madness: Conference Polls

Submitted by on March 7, 2013 – 2:46 PM12 Comments

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This is the master list of Cinemarch Madness polls for the conference-play round. If it's open, you can vote in it; if it's closed, either it ended or you have to wait for the poll's dedicated page to go up. This page is primarily for you to get a sense of the divisions and see how the competition might go.

The Cinemarch Madness FAQ is here.

Coppola Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • The Last King of Scotland (41%, 122 Votes)
  • The Pianist (37%, 111 Votes)
  • Deliverance (35%, 104 Votes)
  • Apocalypse Now (30%, 89 Votes)
  • Irreversible (30%, 89 Votes)
  • City of God (29%, 86 Votes)
  • Biutiful (18%, 53 Votes)
  • Bully (16%, 48 Votes)
  • How to Survive a Plague (10%, 31 Votes)
  • Osama (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Titicut Follies (4%, 11 Votes)
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (3%, 10 Votes)
  • Homicide (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Where The Day Takes You (1%, 4 Votes)
  • The Nines (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 299

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Ku Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • Requiem For A Dream (72%, 171 Votes)
  • Breaking The Waves (33%, 80 Votes)
  • Thirteen (31%, 73 Votes)
  • Chinatown (15%, 36 Votes)
  • Hilary and Jackie (13%, 32 Votes)
  • Mysterious Skin (13%, 31 Votes)
  • Jude (13%, 30 Votes)
  • Notes On A Scandal (12%, 28 Votes)
  • Nil By Mouth (10%, 23 Votes)
  • River's Edge (9%, 21 Votes)
  • I've Loved You So Long (8%, 18 Votes)
  • Beautiful Boy (6%, 14 Votes)
  • Stuart: A Life Backwards (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Ju Dou (4%, 9 Votes)
  • Pom Poko (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 239

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Kaplan Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • American History X (61%, 173 Votes)
  • The Accused (31%, 87 Votes)
  • Shoah (27%, 76 Votes)
  • Shame (26%, 75 Votes)
  • The Age of Innocence (20%, 56 Votes)
  • Brazil (14%, 39 Votes)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (12%, 35 Votes)
  • Farewell My Concubine (11%, 32 Votes)
  • The Boys of St. Vincent's (10%, 29 Votes)
  • Babel (10%, 29 Votes)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (10%, 28 Votes)
  • V Is for Vendetta (8%, 22 Votes)
  • Murder in the First (7%, 21 Votes)
  • Sharkwater (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Turtles Can Fly (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 285

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George Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • Hotel Rwanda (51%, 154 Votes)
  • Kids (44%, 132 Votes)
  • Pan's Labryinth (40%, 120 Votes)
  • Where the Red Fern Grows (25%, 75 Votes)
  • The Ice Storm (25%, 75 Votes)
  • They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (19%, 57 Votes)
  • The Vanishing (Dutch ver.) (16%, 48 Votes)
  • Kramer vs. Kramer (11%, 32 Votes)
  • Lost in Translation (8%, 24 Votes)
  • Salo (4%, 13 Votes)
  • Ratcatcher (3%, 10 Votes)
  • Mean Creek (2%, 7 Votes)
  • The Wedding Banquet (1%, 4 Votes)
  • The Wages of Fear (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Kanal (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 301

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Milestone Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • We Need to Talk about Kevin (59%, 131 Votes)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) (35%, 77 Votes)
  • Jacob's Ladder (30%, 66 Votes)
  • The Land Before Time (27%, 59 Votes)
  • Tess (17%, 37 Votes)
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour (14%, 31 Votes)
  • La Haine (14%, 30 Votes)
  • The Plague Dogs (12%, 27 Votes)
  • Ponette (11%, 25 Votes)
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (10%, 23 Votes)
  • Snowtown (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Burnt by the Sun (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Tutti stanno bene (2%, 5 Votes)
  • The Last Lions (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Voces Inocentes (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 222

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De Palma Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • The Cove (50%, 112 Votes)
  • House of Sand and Fog (42%, 96 Votes)
  • Seven (38%, 86 Votes)
  • Ordinary People (27%, 62 Votes)
  • A Separation (15%, 33 Votes)
  • Blow Out (13%, 29 Votes)
  • Take Shelter (11%, 24 Votes)
  • We Were Soldiers (10%, 23 Votes)
  • Finding Neverland (9%, 20 Votes)
  • Medea (9%, 20 Votes)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (8%, 19 Votes)
  • Jules et Jim (5%, 12 Votes)
  • La Jetee (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Miracle Mile (4%, 8 Votes)
  • Head On (2%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 226

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Polley Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • Sophie's Choice (71%, 166 Votes)
  • Grave of the Fireflies (41%, 96 Votes)
  • Life Is Beautiful (28%, 65 Votes)
  • Away from Her (23%, 53 Votes)
  • There Will Be Blood (19%, 45 Votes)
  • Sherrybaby (18%, 43 Votes)
  • Once Were Warriors (14%, 34 Votes)
  • Ethan Frome (10%, 23 Votes)
  • Elephant (10%, 23 Votes)
  • In the Valley of Elah (7%, 16 Votes)
  • Like Crazy (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Stella (3%, 6 Votes)
  • North Face (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Rojo Amanacer (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Sunrise (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 235

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Herman Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • The Road (52%, 101 Votes)
  • A Single Man (41%, 80 Votes)
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (38%, 74 Votes)
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (32%, 61 Votes)
  • Star 80 (31%, 60 Votes)
  • Drugstore Cowboy (17%, 33 Votes)
  • Double Indemnity (8%, 16 Votes)
  • Walkabout (7%, 13 Votes)
  • Threads (6%, 11 Votes)
  • The Power of One (5%, 9 Votes)
  • Brief Encounter (4%, 8 Votes)
  • Murder on a Sunday Morning (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Japanese Story (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Closet Land (2%, 4 Votes)
  • London River (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 193

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Jordan Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • The Laramie Project (49%, 94 Votes)
  • The Killing Fields (39%, 74 Votes)
  • Philadelphia (32%, 62 Votes)
  • Never Let Me Go (31%, 59 Votes)
  • Wendy and Lucy (28%, 53 Votes)
  • Saving Private Ryan (25%, 48 Votes)
  • Gallipoli (23%, 44 Votes)
  • The Lives of Others (12%, 23 Votes)
  • Welcome to Sarajevo (7%, 14 Votes)
  • A Midnight Clear (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Buffalo Soldiers (3%, 6 Votes)
  • To Live (2%, 4 Votes)
  • The Loss of Sexual Innocence (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Trouble Every Day (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Steam of Life (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 192

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Truffaut Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • Blue Valentine (44%, 84 Votes)
  • United 93 (44%, 83 Votes)
  • Atonement (35%, 67 Votes)
  • Monster's Ball (31%, 59 Votes)
  • Remains of the Day (23%, 44 Votes)
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (22%, 42 Votes)
  • Funny Games (16%, 31 Votes)
  • Judgment at Nuremberg (14%, 27 Votes)
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (13%, 24 Votes)
  • L.I.E. (8%, 16 Votes)
  • The Rose (5%, 10 Votes)
  • The Heiress (5%, 9 Votes)
  • Central Station (3%, 6 Votes)
  • The 400 Blows (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Phenomenon (2%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 189

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Haneke Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (57%, 115 Votes)
  • Happiness (48%, 97 Votes)
  • Amour (41%, 82 Votes)
  • The Last Unicorn (19%, 38 Votes)
  • Stevie (16%, 33 Votes)
  • A Very Long Engagement (13%, 27 Votes)
  • Europa Europa (8%, 17 Votes)
  • Ran (8%, 16 Votes)
  • Make Way for Tomorrow (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Silent Running (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (5%, 10 Votes)
  • The Day of the Locust (4%, 8 Votes)
  • Now, Voyager (4%, 8 Votes)
  • Jezebel (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Underground (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 201

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Mathias Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • Leaving Las Vegas (47%, 107 Votes)
  • Precious (42%, 97 Votes)
  • Dancer in the Dark (41%, 94 Votes)
  • Capturing the Friedmans (21%, 47 Votes)
  • Gorillas in the Mist (20%, 46 Votes)
  • Melancholia (20%, 45 Votes)
  • Bent (12%, 28 Votes)
  • Snow Falling on Cedars (11%, 26 Votes)
  • The Parallax View (8%, 19 Votes)
  • A Place in the Sun (7%, 16 Votes)
  • Lilya 4ever (6%, 14 Votes)
  • A Film Unfinished (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (5%, 12 Votes)
  • M (5%, 11 Votes)
  • In the Mood for Love (3%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 229

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Demme Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • The Deer Hunter (56%, 119 Votes)
  • The Brandon Teena Story (56%, 118 Votes)
  • The Magdalene Sisters (25%, 52 Votes)
  • Million Dollar Baby (24%, 51 Votes)
  • The Bridge (22%, 47 Votes)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (22%, 47 Votes)
  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley (15%, 31 Votes)
  • Night, Mother (14%, 30 Votes)
  • Beloved (11%, 24 Votes)
  • The Days of Wine and Roses (10%, 22 Votes)
  • The Proposition (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Men with Guns (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Romero (2%, 4 Votes)
  • The Things I Cannot Change (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Shanghai Gesture (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 212

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Campion Divison: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • Children of Men (53%, 106 Votes)
  • Schindler's List (37%, 75 Votes)
  • The Sweet Hereafter (29%, 59 Votes)
  • Red Riding 1974 (20%, 40 Votes)
  • Closer (17%, 35 Votes)
  • Awakenings (17%, 35 Votes)
  • The Illusionist (16%, 32 Votes)
  • Boy A (11%, 23 Votes)
  • My Life without Me (11%, 23 Votes)
  • Milo and Otis (10%, 20 Votes)
  • The Painted Veil (7%, 14 Votes)
  • When the Wind Blows (6%, 12 Votes)
  • An Angel at My Table (5%, 11 Votes)
  • The Safety of Objects (4%, 8 Votes)
  • Hereafter (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 201

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Wilder Division: Vote for the THREE (3) harshest films.

  • Boys Don't Cry (74%, 163 Votes)
  • Dear Zachary (49%, 108 Votes)
  • Brokeback Mountain (43%, 94 Votes)
  • The Fox and the Hound (28%, 61 Votes)
  • Heavenly Creatures (20%, 45 Votes)
  • Monster (11%, 25 Votes)
  • Frozen River (10%, 21 Votes)
  • Paradise Lost (7%, 16 Votes)
  • Naked (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Gummo (5%, 11 Votes)
  • Incendies (4%, 8 Votes)
  • Repulsion (3%, 7 Votes)
  • Suicide Kings (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Ace in the Hole (1%, 3 Votes)
  • In a Lonely Place (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 220

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Interested in writing up a poll? Email me at bunting at tomatonation dot com.

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12 Comments »

  • Jack says:

    The banner picture says "bleakest" but the top of the polls themselves say "harshest." What is our rubric? Because there are plenty of films that have passages – even very long ones – that are difficult to sit through, while ultimately being hopeful in the end. It ain't my poll, so obviously feel free to disregard. Just asking.

    Sidenote: HOW THE HELL DID I NOT THINK OF BLOWOUT? Derp.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Jack: MY rubric is the net effect on my psyche. I.e., did I have any hope in humanity at the end? But I think generally people are interpreting it more variably — not just depressing but difficult/discomfiting to watch, heartbreaking, etc. For instance, I actually would not have nominated SCHINDLER'S LIST; despite the setting, and a few truly raw sequences, this is a Spielberg film and that ONE story in the midst of the horror is uplifting. But a lot of folks found it a battle to get through, so, there it is.

    I started with a narrower definition, but it's so subjective anyway…and most civilians do not see the volume of harrowing documentaries I do…so, you know, I didn't want to be talking to myself all "see 'Life With Murder,' you'll wish you were dead!", so here we are. Heh. Sorry I'm not more definitive!

  • Elisa says:

    UGH! So many movies on here that I cannot ever watch again! :(( I really am not a fan of bleak movies, even if I think they were amazing – they will never have a place on my shelves. Except for Dancer in the Dark, which a friend gave me because he knows I love musicals, but it's too bad that I CAN NEVER LISTEN or WATCH IT AGAIN because I don't want to spend an even curled up under a desk, sobbing and holding a bottle of wine!

  • Jack says:

    @SDB: Okay. I feel like we're coming from the same place then.

  • doriette says:

    Oops. It wasn't until I read "Cinemarch Madness," that I remembered "The Madness of King George." GOD, did that stupid movie break my stupid heart.

    making me feel sympathy for GEORGE III, for crap's sake.

    There's some damned messed up movies on this list, tho. Sheesh.

  • Tarn says:

    I'm going to have to vote more on "movies I know I will never be able to handle seeing" more than "movies I was devastated by." I'm a wuss, and when I know a movie is going to feature rape, vomit, prolonged illness or grief or some combo of all of those I know that I am going to skip it. Sometimes I've stumbled into a movie that has one or more of those things by accident, and guarantee that it will get my vote if I come across it here.

    Would be interesting to know actually. Which of the nominees include the rape/vomit/prolonged illness or grief trifecta?

  • Meg says:

    Oh man. This is rough. My personal final four would be a dual-Swank affair: Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby, Amour, and Brokeback Mountain.

    Going just on a movie I know I will never ever ever be able to get through again, because the devastation was THAT complete and I sobbed the entire way home to the point of nearly crashing my car? I would have Amour winning the whole thing.

  • Cat_slave says:

    I haven't seen enough of these films to vote, honestly, but I still had to vote for Pan's Labryinth, because that's one of the worst films I've seen. I had an intense discussion with a friend, who couldn't understand why I hated it so, because she saw the ending as happy, but I saw it as just a dream or hallucination… And the torture scene is revolting.

  • Cappy says:

    Hang on… Where's The Last Picture Show? Sarah, I'm sorry if you've already expressed outrage at its exclusion, but that most likely would have been my number 1 if I hadn't missed the nominations.

    Also just realized The Road is on here and No Country isn't. Hmm…

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Cappy, TLPS wasn't nominated. I'll throw it in the challengers' category. No Country I cut because it didn't get any seconds and I didn't find it that bleak. Nasty, violent, yes; did I want to move into a cave, no.

  • Thing Two says:

    Oooohhhhh Remains of the Day, I'd FORGOTTEN about that one. ON PURPOSE. Glad to see it's in the running somewhere because my GOD did I want to smack every character in that movie upside the head and yell "You don't have to be THAT miserable! I know it's in your genes or something but GEEZ."

  • Sarah says:

    Another one that didn't make the list but that I can hardly think about without suffering movie PTSD: Amores Perros. Death and pain and DOGFIGHTING to boot. I think I had my eyes covered for most of that movie, but I can't honestly remember, due to the aforementioned PTSD.

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