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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. So it turns out I have seen Love is Strange, just didn't recognize the title. I actually got it out of a Redbox in NC, but who knows. I've updated this list with the most likely place for me to see it according to Justwatch.com. Bottom line, I may be getting a month of the Criterion Channel.
  2. FWIW, a very quick check of 2011 list shows the following films not nominated (in order)...I was quick so I may have mistyped one or two search terms on the spreadsheet: 10 Babette's Feast 32 Apu Trilogy (I searched the first one but not all three titles) 34 NIghts of Cabiria 38 The Straight Story 39 Touch of Evil 41 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days 44 Black Narcissus 46 The Child (was this the only Dardenne we didn't nominate?) 48 Yi Yi 51 Stroszek 57 Eureka 62 Rashomon 65 Becket 70 Lawrence of Arabia (and PTC's absence is felt, I suspect) 71 Koyaansquatsi 75 The Return 80 Paprika 81 Floating Weeds 82 Born into Brothels 84 Syndromes and a Century 87 The Trial 89 Sullivan's Travels 91 Dogville 92 Spirit of the Beehive 94 Early Summer (Wasn't this in the Top 10 in 2010 list? -- that's a pretty surprising plummet) 98 Ratcatcher 100 The Story of Weeping Camel
  3. Notable omission -- I just realized nobody nominated The Straight Story. I say that is notable because I was equally surprised when it was #1 in 2019 Top 25 on "Growing Older" and told that it had been on just about every A&F Top 100 and many of the Top 25 lists.
  4. Incidentally, a quick eye-ball finger count shows 63 films dated 2011 or after. I realize that's arbitrary since there was some sort of rule for 2011 that a film couldn't have been released in last 3 years or something, but it does give me a sense of which films were eligible for the first time. That's frankly less than I thought it would be as a percentage of total nominees, suggesting I may not have been the only one that divided my list of nominees into three categories: 1) stuff it's essential we keep; 2) newly eligible films; and 3) previously omitted stuff that warrants reconsideration. I confess that category #3 interests me the most.
  5. I'm not totally surprised given the recency bias of the nominations. I had at least one person I mentioned the nominations to cite that as the reason (not being up on contemporary films) for not wanting to submit a list. I think the answer to your question depends on a lot on your reasons for doing so, but in general my answer is "yes...or at least enough of it to confirm that impression." But I think doing so also has more or less value depending on one's willingness to give at least one pass, however cursory, at articulating one's reasons for not liking it rather than just adopting a naysayer position as means of saying, "It's up to you all to pitch me/convince me" or "I don't care to discuss it beyond telling you all that you are wrong...." I get not wanting to invest a lot of time in movies one doesn't like, particularly as one gets older. And really, if someone has seen every episode of Twin Peaks and not cared for it, do they really need to watch the movie too before saying, 'this is not for me'? That said, I've always been appreciative of one very dear friend who actually said to me once, "What exactly is your objection to the film?"
  6. If anyone with more time than I would like to sift the spreadshett, I'd be interested in final tallies regarding: --Decades. --Male/Female. --Documentary/Narrative --Nationality (though I realize that's problematic...talking about director/subject/production).
  7. Hi Marcy--I moved this from "film" to "television" forum since you indicated it was a TV show. Thanks for posting!
  8. The longest of long shots on my list of nominees for the 2020 Top 100 is David Evans's adaptation of Nick Hornby's autobiographical (story? novel?). Please don't mistake it for the 2005 Americanized version about baseball. I think Hornby is one of our most underappreciated candidates for Greatest Living Writer. I am convinced his work will be read and studied long after I have passed. As far as appropriateness for our list, I'll limit myself to three initial comments: Comedy is hard, and so much of the best of it is rooted in pain. I don't think we will ever understand the contemporary idol-making of sports and music (the subject of Hornby's other great work, High Fidelity) unless or until we understand the great ache at the hard of postmodern man/woman. There is a deep spiritual longing in us to be part of something greater/bigger. To the extent late 20th century Western Civilization (the world I grew up in) saw the deterioration of the nuclear family and organized religion, it is unavoidable that it turned to other sources of inspiration and meaning.. The shot of Paul's first entrance into Arsenal stadium, the arena that will be his church, is shot with all the lyricism of the cathedral scenes, say The Way. It's significant that Paul finds his family of choice (other Arsenal fans) in the midst of his parents' divorce, and he comes to see sports (and Arsenal) as the perfect analogue/metanarrative in part because the modern world has stripped all other metanarratives of their power to inspire or fulfill. Sports, for good or ill, is a major part of modern life, it impacts spirituality and our understanding. We could use a few films that examine this element of our life.
  9. I nominated Triumph of the Will for the 2020 Top 100. Not sure if others besides me are still clinging to the "Spiritually Significant" modifier, but it very much informs my thinking. In academia, when we talk about canonicity, I've heard the argument that the three most important factors to consider are: 1) Innovation/contribution to the form. 2) Historical/cultural impact. 3) Influence on other artists (artistic impact). I suppose on some level this will raise questions like Time's "Newsmaker" of the Year picking Hitler or Ayatollah Khomeini. I don't mean it as an award so much as a recognition. I think Riefenstahl contributed to the vocabulary of cinema and the issues the film makes the viewer grapple with are still pertinent today. Primary among them for me is the relationship between form and content. Can something ugly be presented in a beautiful way? If so, what does that tell us about the way we conceptualize beauty and ugliness? On a more overtly spiritual level, I think the fuzzy lines between spiritually transcendent and emotionally manipulative are profound, and I've been grateful for this film giving me an opportunity to think about them with some distance so that I can look more objectively at things like church services or rock concerts or sporting events where the one gets subsumed into a larger whole, at times willingly, at times grudgingly. It is easy enough to experience terrible things and say "never again," but until we understand how things happens and why they happened, I doubt we can be effectual at responding to them or doing the hard work of addressing them. What needs are being served by seeing Adolf Hitler descend from the sky in the opening? Is there a connection between the slackening of religious belief and the rise of idolatrous devotion to causes and figures? These are all questions worth grappling with.
  10. A couple of very quick preliminary thoughts: 1) I would make the deadline for +1 fairly quick as it shouldn't take that long for viewers to revisit their short list? Say 72 hours? 2) First round of voting.... I think the initial plan was that April would be the month to lobby and watch films and we'd vote sometime around May 1. That could be changed based on the nominations taking and extra couple of days or the COVID-19 changing people's schedules. Also, there are a lot more nominees than I anticipated. (Not a bad thing.) So this process could take longer. My gut instinct tells me that May 4 to open voting feels right, but who knows? That's based on projections that in my area COVID-19 will reach peak curve at the end of April. I suspect that once social distancing restrictions are slackened in various places people will be slammed at work and want to turn their attention back to other places, so that could be an argument for trying to shorten to get voting done by end of April. I think a 5 point scale is sufficient *if* there is a second round for ranking, but I could adjust to a 7 point scale fairly easily. Based on limited experience scoring AP exams, I find a 9 point scale very cumbersome. Another alternative --- a six point scale? That's essentially the five point scale with a "6" ranking limited to the 10-20 films one is most passionate about. 3) I'm flexible but in general I like to settle before voting. It sounds like there is a consensus for a 2 film/director limit with no juking. 4) That is the process we use in Ecumenical Jury and it works well. But in that we picked the Top 10 and then ranked them. If that were strictly applied here, we couldn't *change* the Top 20 /25(i.e. bump a film from the 30s into it) just re-order the top 20. If we allowed someone to rank any film in the Top 100, I doubt seriously a film would move up from 100 to 15 or something, but it most likely would cause some jumps. Also, and I think this is important to consider, although it might be less so with 25 voters (even if not all do the second ballot), in my experience with EJ, this can give naysayers (or even a single naysayer) a lot of impact on the very top of the list. If, say, 23 out of 25 voters have the same film at #1 and 2 voters leave it off their second ballot completely, that could end up bumping up the film that nobody really thinks is #1 but has no detractors. There are ways around that. Perhaps the second, ranking ballot could be mandated to have the Top 15 (or whatever number) finishers and a certain number (5 or 10) from anywhere else on the list. Just spitballing. 5) If you haven't check out the A&F archive page with the past lists (being updated), please do: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/ Be thinking about whether or not you want to write blurbs (and know that the format allows a bit more space than just 2-3 sentences *if you want.* Also, be thinking about if you want to volunteer to write the introduction and where we want that posted, if at all. Both Christianity Today and Image passed on covering the Top 25 last year, but they both indicated a desire to be kept abreast of these sort of projects. The Ecumenical Jury was at Transpositions one year, though last year it was just an internal posting. I'm actually okay with that, but I certainly have no problem if anyone wants to pitch it to an outlet.
  11. I debated putting this in the About You forum (assuming each person might have his/her own) or asking for it to be in film specific threads. I would appreciate *discussion* of particular films to be in film specific threads. But given the number of nominees on the list and the (yet undetermined) time before voting, I wanted a thread specifically devoted to prioritizing nominations. Below is my list of films from nominations that I either haven't seen (*) or saw so long ago that I would need to revisit. If anyone wants to put in a word to help me prioritize what I should see.... 2046 (2004) 7th Heaven (1927) A Brighter Summer Day (1991) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) A Moment of Innocence (1996) Code Unknown (2000) Daughters of the Dust (1991) Endless Poetry (2016) Faces Places (2017) From the East (1993) Hour of the Wolf (1968) In a Lonely Place (1950) In Praise of Love (2001) IIt’s Such A Beautiful Day (2012) Le Bonheur (1965) Le Quattro Volte (2010) Love is Strange (2014) Man with a Movie Camera (1929) Mothlight (1963) Peeping Tom (1960) Samurai Rebellion (1967) Song and Solitude (2006) Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005) The Banishment (2007) The House Is Black (1963) The Music Room (1958) The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) This Transient Life (1970) Tuesday, After Christmas (2010) Under the Sun of Satan (1987) Voyage to the End of the Universe (1963) Wanda (1970) Wavelength (1967) What Time Is It There? (2001) Where Are My Children? (1916) Where is the Friend's House? (1987) Yella (2007) P.S. I consider myself fairly well exposed, and if I have nearly 40 films on the list I haven't seen, I can imagine this might be overwhelming to some.
  12. I have this vague recollection of Ryan Holt being the big Welles champion on this board, so perhaps we're already seeing how evolution of membership is impacting the list.
  13. Big thanks to whoever nominated Lourdes -- that was a tough cut from my 25 nominees and I'm thrilled to see it on the list.
  14. My +1 is Persepolis (2007)
  15. Am I counting correctly that there are 3 films by women in the 2011 Top 100? http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/&do=year&id=4 Given that we had 4 in the 2019 Top 25, I think that suggests anecdotally that the forum is evolving: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/year/2-2019-top-25-growing-older/ I have no problem with 2 per director (or even, possibly one), but I'd be against juking stats. (Standard disclaimer: preference not a mandate.) Rob raises a real concern with the limiting of directors -- there's no guarantee the films that don't make the cut won't be replaced by films directed by other white men. Mostly though, I thought...well this will take a second to get out., so please be patient. I think it is good that we are having this conversation and that it reflects evolution of the participants which will lead to evolution of the list. That's as it should be. That takes time. Joel has been doing good work with the Ecumenical Jury being intentional about inviting more women and people of color. That is a good thing, but... I understand what D is saying, and I get it. By the same token, there's always been a little bit too much concern about how those outside will perceive of us, whether that means distancing ourselves from "Christian" criticism or establishing bona-fides with the arthouse crowd. We are who we are. (At least I am who I am.) And this forum, even in its heyday (maybe especially in its heyday) had a kind of cliquishness and snobbishness (not the right word, but I don't know a better) that revolved around having the "right" opinions, liking the "right" films. I've always sort of disliked that part of it. A few years ago, a former student of mine died after a long struggle with inoperable cancer. One of her last posts said words to the effect of, in the end, here are the books that actually mattered. She didn't add the "to me" but everyone understood it. I think this conversation has clarified for me that I see the list as ultimately for us and about us, it is an articulation of who we are, not what the best films are. Part of that can be aspirational. (Part of who I am includes who I want to be, and some of the films that matter are the films that push me beyond the comfort of what mattered to me yesterday or matters to me today.) If that means 95% films by male directors, that will be painful, but part of growth is looking at who you are. And I don't think it will be because we are already looking for ways to put more diversity *in front of voters* in the faith that the quality of the films will make the viewers value them much more than would any desire to look good or correct to someone else. I hate Magnolia. People who have been here forever know that about me. I'm indifferent to Tarkovsky and find Bergman discouragingly one-note. I think Balthasar is the 11th best Bresson film. But if people here hadn't championed it, I would never have found A Man Escaped, or Ordet, or the Dardennes. My own taste is more populist than a lot of people here, and I like some art stuff more than others. (I've never understood why Antonioni doesn't get more love in these parts, ) I also want to be careful not to just blindly buy into auteur theory to the point where the gender of the director is the only thing that matters. I have a hard time thinking of John Sayles as a male director rather than half of a partnership with Maggie Renzi. I'll die on the hill arguing that Clarice Starling is one of the greatest heroes of my film life, and I don't really care that it is hard for me to separate Jonathan Demme's direction from Jodie Foster's performance. (Ditto Falconnetti and Dreyer.) Julie Delpy is as much a part of Before Sunset as Richard Linklater. Similarly, I want space to say I find Lady Bird as annoying as anything that Wes Anderson did on his most twee day. That's not meant to say I don't hear people who feel differently, nor am I meaning to try to talk them out of it. But I've been in academia for a quarter of a century, and I know how quickly being inclusive can turn into a justification in and off itself. I had only two film by a female director on my list, so I'd welcome a +1 limited to women or people of color, but the bigger issue is that I'm more aware of the issue and more likely to consider it when voting for the films that are nominated. If everyone's list was like mine that means 8% films directed by women (or about 25 of the 300 nominated). That's about par for the course today, since I think that's about the percentage of films directed by women today. It sucks, but to very, very roughly paraphrase Gene Rodenberry when he was told by NBC that he couldn't have 50 percent female crew on the enterprise, I guess we better make the ones we have count.
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