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Home » Culture and Criticism

Cinemarch Madness: Jordan Division Poll

Submitted by on March 15, 2013 – 12:21 PM9 Comments

grunge film background

Two clear favorites here in the Jordan Division, just based on nominations-round name-checking: The Killing Fields and Saving Private Ryan. The first I endorse; the second I consider more of an action movie, and the only "bleak" thing about it is that foolishness with the framing device that saps it of its power.

Instead, I'll be voting The Laramie Project and Wendy and Lucy. The first made me furious, for days; the second made me want to adopt a mutt and move somewhere it never rains ever.

Welcome to Sarajevo I remember as scary, but not bleak, though it's been years since I watched it; Philadelphia has, under the circumstances, an upbeat ending, although that Neil Young song still gives me chills and I can't get through the Halloween party without crying; and Gallipoli…hmm. Gallipoli is tough stuff. It left me in a bad mood. I could also see Never Let Me Go making a run at it; I'd have called it "thought-provoking" or "troubling" over "dark," but it's that too.

But I just don't know what gets into the semis from here; The Lives of Others and A Midnight Clear are good bets too, depending on who's seen what. Let's find out what hits your sad bone.

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

  • The Laramie Project (19%, 94 Votes)
  • The Killing Fields (15%, 74 Votes)
  • Philadelphia (13%, 62 Votes)
  • Never Let Me Go (12%, 59 Votes)
  • Wendy and Lucy (11%, 53 Votes)
  • Saving Private Ryan (10%, 48 Votes)
  • Gallipoli (9%, 44 Votes)
  • The Lives of Others (5%, 23 Votes)
  • Welcome to Sarajevo (3%, 14 Votes)
  • A Midnight Clear (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Buffalo Soldiers (1%, 6 Votes)
  • To Live (1%, 4 Votes)
  • The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Trouble Every Day (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Steam of Life (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 192

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Not sure what's going on? You'll fit right in around here (heh) but in the meantime, the Cinemarch Madness FAQ is here, and a poll overview is here.

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  • Erin W says:

    Wendy and Lucy! So hopeless and sad and beautiful! Even though I saw it in absolutely the worst circumstances, as a 30-year-old woman in a film class full of 20-year-old douchey boys who just kept saying variations on "This is all her own fault."

    Williams really is amazing in it; this movie plus Blue Valentine plus My Week With Marilyn plus her widowhood have really given me an image of her as the world's most vulnerable human.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Erin, see Meek's Cutoff if you haven't already.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I voted for W and L without having seen it because anything involving a dog in peril is something that will dissolve me. Even potential peril. I was tense all the way through Young Adult because I was sure something was going to happen to the dog.

  • attica says:

    Oh, W&L in a runaway. None of the flight even comes close, in my book.

    I don't at all get the nod to TLoO. I was riveted by that movie. I loved the ending. Poignant, but awesome.

    I also think TKF doesn't belong. Sure, the Khmer Rouge is nobody's idea of a good time, but the pluck! The determination! The joyful reunion! Sam Waterston pre-McCoy! (SW had his own turn in my personal CFFs, I can tell you that.)

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @attica, agreed on the Waterston hotness. The khakis…hubba.

  • Kitty says:

    @attica, I agree that I don't understand why "The Lives of Others" is here; I almost feel that the ending is upbeat?

    For me, this was an easy choice –
    "Never Let Me Go", both the book and the film, makes me sob everytime for Tommy.

    "The Killing Fields" was the first serious film I saw as a young teen in the theaters with my parents. I remember being seriously flattened by the story. Granted, I haven't watched it in years, but I'm voting for it based on the weeks of depression 13-yr old me felt.

    "The Laramie Project" is a film that I can't ever live through watching again. It made me cry the worst ANGRY tears. I wanted to run out of the little art house cinema I saw it in, and run down the street screaming at people and kicking things.

  • MinglesMommy says:

    "I voted for W and L without having seen it because anything involving a dog in peril is something that will dissolve me. Even potential peril. I was tense all the way through Young Adult because I was sure something was going to happen to the dog."

    Exact same here. I can't stand anything with animals being hurt.

  • Robin in Philly says:

    'Buffalo Solidiers'? Either I'm a terrible person or thinking of a different film, because I remember that one (Joaquin Phoenix as a bored, heroin-cooking, army grunt cooling his heels in East Germany) rather fondly as a dark comedy.

  • Kizz says:

    I don't understand how Gallipoli isn't making a stronger showing here. Not enough people seeing it? That's all I can imagine. I can just watch the last 10 minutes and still be destroyed, even knowing what I know now about Mel Gibson's asshattery.

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