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Home » Culture and Criticism

Cinemarch Madness: Ku Division Poll

Submitted by on March 8, 2013 – 5:15 PM11 Comments

grunge film background

The randomizer giveth, the randomizer taketh away. What it giveth here in the Ku division is two presumptive favorites, Breaking the Waves and Requiem for a Dream, plus a Gary Oldman joint and some embattled raccoons. Oy. On the "plus" side, this is perhaps the only poll without a Holocaust entry. So en…joy? That? [face-plants into cake pan of gin]

…Right, sorry. So: Requiem and Nil get two of my votes, but the last one's a tough one. Breaking the Waves is not on the table for me. I get it; you should totally vote for it; it will top the poll handily; I do not care for Emily Watson's performance and it did not have the same effect on me that it has on other people. I enjoyed Ju Dou and I've Loved You So Long but wasn't laid flat by either one, and Notes on a Scandal is more thought-provoking than desolating. River's Edge is creepy, but indie-ishly dated, and for those of you who don't get Crispin Glover, this is him at his absolute most ungettable. Chinatown is dark and uncomfortable, but not out of bounds for the genre.

That leaves Mysterious Skin, H&J, and Thirteen. I can't take Araki seriously, and liked the performances in Thirteen more than the movie itself, so: Hilary & Jackie. I can't quite explain why I find that film so exhausting; I think it hits some sort of sibling-injustice funny bone right on the point, somehow. Watson is brilliantly horrible.

I think it's Requiem and Waves for sure, probably Skin as the third slot. Now go lie down.

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

  • Requiem For A Dream (30%, 171 Votes)
  • Breaking The Waves (14%, 80 Votes)
  • Thirteen (13%, 73 Votes)
  • Chinatown (6%, 36 Votes)
  • Hilary and Jackie (6%, 32 Votes)
  • Mysterious Skin (5%, 31 Votes)
  • Jude (5%, 30 Votes)
  • Notes On A Scandal (5%, 28 Votes)
  • Nil By Mouth (4%, 23 Votes)
  • River's Edge (4%, 21 Votes)
  • I've Loved You So Long (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Beautiful Boy (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Stuart: A Life Backwards (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Ju Dou (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Pom Poko (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 239

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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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  • Jenn says:

    I've watched Thirteen multiple times, and every time, my brain screams, "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF AGAIN?" It makes me never want to have kids.

  • Sandman says:

    Is Emily Watson going to end up as the Cinemarch Madness Poster Girl ("… brought to you by A Cake Pan Full Of Gin!")? I can't think of another actor who has three entries here. (Siddown, Keitel.)

    Jude didn't fill me with despair so much as rage, really. So much of the misery in that story – at least in the film version – resulted from such blinding, willful stupidity. The problem wasn't that Sue was a free-thinker. It was more that Jude was a non-thinker.

    Mysterious Skin, though? That movie hurt.

  • Claire says:

    Well Thirteen has creepy Billy/Elton. I'd act up too if my mum was trying to move him into the house. And every time I see Evan Rachel Wood I think of her walking towards Holly Hunter, staring at her intently and hissing "No bra. No panties." Queen Sophie Ann could totally have done that.

  • Otter says:

    Pom Poko? Pom Poko?? Wow, I never would have considered it for this. It does have its bittersweetness, but the fun keeps it an overall happy movie for me. Especially with the "pouches", giggle snort.

  • cinderkeys says:

    I can't vote because I haven't seen most of these. But I wish I could vote for _Mysterious Skin_. One of the best movie adaptations I've ever seen.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @cinderkeys, incompletism isn't stopping me from blathering on about the slates, Lord knows — go ahead and vote! The polls can't tell. :)

  • Rachel says:

    Requiem. Gah. I mean. Gah.

    The book is on some list of "most disturbing books of all time" and I'm wondering if I should give it a read even though the movie may have broken my brain. I tend to do better with books. I saw it some 10 years ago, ONE TIME, and to this day, if it pops up on the cable channel guide I scream a little bit and do whatever it takes to NOT PUSH THE BUTTON even accidentally because NO.

    Yeah, that's getting my vote. It should get all the votes. Forever.

  • RJ says:

    I saw Requiem long after it came out in theaters and I had already heard over and over again about how powerful / affecting / squicky it was. So while watching it, I somehow expected it to be even worse than it was, leaving me with an overall "meh" reaction. Weird, huh?

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @RJ, I assumed I'd have the same issue, but it wore me down, especially Burstyn's performance, which I'd actually expected to dislike.

  • Sandman says:

    I've never been able to watch Hillary & Jackie. Partly because I don't want to think of Jacqueline du Pré as a lousy human being (she's one of my musical heroes), and partly because I find the odour of sibling sour grapes wafts from every description of the story that I've ever seen. Also, not to be discounted are the lingering psychic bruises from Breaking The Waves. Ack. (I told you all I was a wimp.)

  • MinglesMommy says:

    I've only seen "Thirteen" (and only edited, on TV), "I've Loved You So Long" (which I thought was beautifully done, and unlike what I understand from the other films on this list, it had hope for a happy ending); I read "Notes on a Scandal" and YIKES.

    Now I'm going to obsess about what films I would have added to this list… I know I've seen some real downers…

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