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About kenmorefield

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  • Interests
    Disc Golf, Cards (especially Euchre), Literary Criticism,

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  • Occupation
    Professor of English
  • About my avatar
    1More Film Blog
  • Favorite movies
    The Godfather, Persepolis, The Man Who Planted Trees, Emma, A Man Escaped
  • Favorite music
    I dunno. My Ipod did once randomize a Meatloaf song and an Amy Grant song back to back.
  • Favorite creative writing
    * George MacDonald * Lord of the Rings (but not the dreadful movies) * Riddley Walker * Wicked * Dune * Emma (anything Austen, really) * The Remains of the Day * Nero Wolfe * Billy Budd Tom Jones (but not the dreadful movie). D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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  1. Thankful to Gareth and The Porch Magazine for running this intro to our list: https://www.theporchmagazine.com/recent/2020/6/3/crawling-towards-diversity-reflections-on-the-arts-amp-faith-top-100-spiritually-significant-films-kenneth-r-morefield
  2. Thanks, Joel. I could have misplaced a message or two, but as of now, here is my blurb priorities. (Asterisk means there is a previous blurb that can stand if nobody cares to revise/update; bold means no current blurbs and not assigned, though a few might have had people express interest before being assigned other blurbs.): Diary of a Country Priest (1951)* The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)* Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)* Monsieur Vincent (1947)* To Sleep With Anger (1990) A Brighter Summer Day (1991) The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) The Man Who Planted Trees (1987)* Amazing Grace (2018) Dead Man Walking (1995)* Nazarin (1959) What Time is It There? (2001) The House is Black (1963)* Heartbeat Detector (2007)* A Moment of Innocence (1996)* Close-Up (1990)* Lourdes (2009) Cameraperson (2016) The Gleaners & I (2000)* The Apostle (1997)* Munyurangabo (2007)* Tokyo Story (1953)* The Burmese Harp (1956)* Chariots of Fire (1981)* A Serious Man (2009)* In Praise of Love (2001)* Ponette (1996)* Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)* Fiddler on the Roof (1971)* Silent Light (2007)* Schindler's List (1993)* The Ushpizin (2004)* The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)* The Immigrant (2013)*
  3. Thanks for doing that. It looks like there are only a handful of films without a previous blurb or assignment, so at this point, I would suggest anyone who wants one (or to rewrite one with an asterisk*) need only announce they are doing so here so that we don't double up accidentally. The one exception is Blade Runner which I had been holding off on assigning and now seems to have slipped through the cracks, so if anyone wants to commit to doing that, let me know.
  4. The Horror list is now populated as is the 2014 (inaugural) Ecumenical Jury list.
  5. I'd be careful with the singular ("the" movie). "[Sunrise] must have a strong grip on our subconscious because we talk about it every time we set out to make a new film" (Au dos de nos Images 147).
  6. I disagree. I mean with them not with your analysis of them. I think for a generation or two, maybe a century, families, cultures, nations, can retain the values embedded into infrastructures without espousing or believing the underlying ideologies of those infrastructures, but ultimately the dissonance between the the structures and the prevalent, current belief systems will be too great. Comparison is a useful rhetorical mode, but it has varying functions. One can compare to evaluate, and it sounds like this is what you object to. (After comparing the two films, I voted for...) One can also compare to describe. Reviews are weird rhetorical situation because, you will be talking to some people who know more about the subject than you do and others who know much less (i.e. haven't seen the film). I just had someone ask me, not five minutes ago, whether she should pay to see The King of Staten Island. I had no way of answering that question without reference to comparison. (How did she feel about the other Apatow films? What did she normally like, etc.) To discuss or even evaluate a film on its own terms must mean something more than in complete isolation, because the latter isn't possible. (I'm now rehearsing the generational debate between Reader-response critics and New Critics.) The musical artists who covers a classic pop hit, records a beloved classical melody, or samples an R&B track, cannot be understood without reference to comparison. Ironically, I asked in my review of First Reformed whether any work that was so self-consciously derivative could be considered great in its own right. My answer is yes, it could. As far as the Dardennes, by setting all their films in the same place, by repeating certain themes or plot devices, aren't they inviting (perhaps requiring) us to look at the films not as isolated artifacts but as, in some necessary way, in dialogue with each other? I thought much more about Rosetta during Young Ahmed than I did about The Son, because... Well before I finish that thought, a tangent. As a teacher and critic, one of the things that drives me a little nuts is are Reader-response critics who just give their own response and stop, as though that it is it. Who record their reactions. I liked it. I didn't. It was a masterpiece. It sucked. No interrogation of their own response, no attempts to understand it. Just a position to be defended dogmatically. On the undergraduate level that just gets reduced to and manifested as, "Well it's all just opinion and this is mine...." The helpful critic is the one who reflects, and I'm more capable of enjoying subsequent films -- and picking films that wil satisfy me -- if I am able to think through what caused my response. Especially if my response was surprising to me or counter to prevailing wisdom. What makes me find Lady Bird shrill or Tree of Life trite and new agey when so many people I know love them? Why do I find First Reformed less pessimistic than Bergman's faith trilogy when the consensus seems just the opposite? Either these responses are grounded in some formal feature of the films that are being read and misread differently, or they are grounded in different responses to ambiguous features caused by our reading situations and interpretive communities. ...like Rosetta, Young Ahmed focuses on the youthful, unlikable offender. It seems to me like The Son and The Kid with a Bike focus more on the effects of the intervening adults whereas in Rosetta and YA, those figures are present but marginalized in comparison to a peer who is more effective. Also, as I mentioned, there were some shots (like the opening shot of protagonist running and shots in the woods, crossing the highway) that specifically reminded me of Rosetta. I've been reading and discussing The Left Hand of Darkness with my book club and we've had come chatter about "thought experiments." I opined that a true "experiment" has only one variable, which is nearly impossible in fiction. So while I see some similarities between YA and Rosetta, I also see some differences: gender, religion, climax in suicidal intentions vs. murderous intentions. My purpose in making these comparisons is to help me (or others) think through how they affect my response to the films, not just to bolster an argument that one is better than the other.
  7. I'm slowing going back and trying to populate old lists on the app page. It's interesting to me that in the 2017 "Waking Up" list This is Martin Bonner is #17 and Tree of Life is #25, but on the Top 100 page for 2020, Martin Bonner is at 99 and Tree of Life is at #3. Wonder if the latter rose in some people's opinions (I don't think I voted in 2017) or if it was just not deemed right for the theme.
  8. I was a little surprised that Blue was as low as it was. Assumed it would stand in for a Three Colors. Is the implication that this film is elevated by the other two?
  9. That is a lot. IIRC, were a couple of them ones with pre-existing blurbs? Feel free to prioritize for the film(s) that are most meaningful to you. A couple of people have messaged me and said, "You know, the blurb from 2010/11 looks okay, so maybe lets just keep that." I'm good eitehr way.
  10. Thanks. The Beau travail has a blurb from 2010, so that's probably less of a rush, more of an open opportunity if/when you are ready.
  11. Nobody yet, so please feel free. I'd say take a look at the Phantom Carriage blurb...if it is okay as is, let me know and I can take it off the pending list.
  12. Andrew--I'll go ahead and greenlight Magnolia if you are still willing.
  13. Joshua, I'll put you down for Best Years of Our Lives if that is Okay
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