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Home » Culture and Criticism

Cinemarch Madness: FAQ

Submitted by on March 30, 2013 – 2:45 PMNo Comment

grunge film background

In which we try to choose the bleakest film of all time — the most depressing, dislocating, hopeless, heartrending, or otherwise difficult movie-watching experience.

How it works
First, a few friends and I spitballed a master list. Then, Tomato Nation readers nominated the movies that had the most devastating effect on them; that left the list just short of 400 entries, so a brisk and subjective winnow ensued.

Then, the "conference play" round: 15 polls of 15 films each, randomized from the master list. The top three will proceed to a semifinal: five polls of nine films each, also randomized. From those polls, the top two from each flight will move on.

Then it's on to the finals.

The polls
You can find the current polls right here. If they're open, vote; if they're closed, either mull over your vote or analyze the results in the comments.

Divisions are named for the director of the first alphabetical entry in the poll.

For each poll, I'll offer some commentary and why I'm voting the way I am. If you'd like to do the commentary for a given poll, drop me a line and we'll discuss. You're always welcome to do your own write-ups elsewhere and link back here.

Why a certain movie isn't represented
Hard to say. It's probably one of two things: 1) it's not dark enough, or 2) not enough people will know what it is. You're welcome to set up your own consolation tournament.

Where we are right now
Semifinals have ended. Look at the polls here; our finalists to date are:
(Bjork Division) The Brandon Teena Story and Dancer in the Dark
(Watson Division) The Cove and The Deer Hunter
(Streep Division) Dear Zachary and Requiem for a Dream
(Waterston Division) Grave of the Fireflies and United 93
(Brody Division) Boys Don't Cry and Hotel Rwanda

last updated 4/1/13, 4:30 PM

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