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Everything posted by kenmorefield

  1. kenmorefield

    A&F Site News -- Please Read

    Hi everyone. Yesterday I purchased the Arts & Faith website from Image Journal. In the coming weeks, the Image staff will work towards transferring the hosting account over to me and then I will be responsible for site decisions and upkeep. I won't presume to speak publicly for Image, but the impression I got is that they are themselves focused on transitioning to new leadership and welcomed the chance to find someone who would caretake the site while allowing them to assess what is best for the Journal and programs (like the Glen) that so many of our community cherish. For my part, my motivations, at least in the short term were pretty simple. I want to keep the site afloat and provide the communication necessary for conversations about the Ecumenical Jury and Top 100 to move forward. I don't presume that everyone here will have the same level of interest in those projects once this board is not an Image property, but my hope is that having a more active line of communication will help. I think and hope I speak for everyone who is still here in expressing gratitude to Image for stepping in when this board needed it. We probably wouldn't have an Arts & Faith forum today if it wasn't for them. Once I have administrative board control, there are a couple of superficial changes I will look into making fairly quickly. I can take a look at the "Spammers" thread and investigate how up to date that is. I'll also probably delete some of the threads in "Short Term Parking" since that area has always claimed to be a place where people can put content that will go away after several days or migrate to a more appropriate, permanent thread. I have some other ideas bubbling around my head about possible directions for the website, but as this is busy season for me both academically and in film criticism, I don't anticipate making any major changes quickly. I would also, of course, welcome input from the community about things you would like to see happen around here. I can't promise I will implement all of them, but I will listen with interest, try to think about what's for the common good, and turn the page on any lingering conflicts. The latter isn't easy, at least not for me, and I suspect my taking ownership of what is often thought to be a community property might be looked at askance in some quarters. I know I have, over the years, felt hurt personally and professionally by words and actions done by members of this community. I've quit A&F more than once and was banned by a previous administrator from posting for a season. I don't think my experience is unique, though it is not for me to say where everyone is at. I'm just saying, if you've had mixed feelings or mixed experiences at A&F and *especially* if those have involved me, I can certainly understand how change can be disconcerting. I will work on being accessible (as much as I can be as a working professional), empathetic, and (to the extent I am human) forgiving. I will also try to exercise discernment between personality clashes and unacceptable or hurtful behavior. My hope is that A&F can be a resource for those who care about the intersection of Arts & Faith. Perhaps that will just mean being an archive of a time when the board thrived. Perhaps a period of waxing will come after our period of waning. I'm not in the prediction business. But at a bare minimum, I think the site is worth preserving, warts and all. And I obviously think that it is worth investing a certain amount of my time, energy, attention, and, yes, money, towards not just keeping it afloat but keeping it moving forward. I look forward to seeing what the next chapter will bring. Thanks for reading this note to the end. Ken
  2. kenmorefield

    Screener Interest List

    Hello everyone, I am interested in putting together a screener interest mailing list for people who would be willing to start (or continue) a film thread if they get an online or DVD screener. I get a lot of these (especially in fall) and there is no way for me to watch/review them all. I'm slowly reaching out to publicists to find which of them (who send me screeners) would be okay with comments being posted at Arts & Faith rather than my own film blog and which, if any would be okay with me directing interested writers to reach out to them or forwarding the e-screeners they send to a site-specific writer. These are mostly small, indie films, documentaries, world cinema, "Christian" films, but occasionally there are some notable ones. (Don't expect you are going to get an online copy of Star Wars, is what I'm saying.) If that's something that interests you, please send me a PM or e-mail. Ken
  3. kenmorefield

    Boy Erased

    The film offered some stats at the end about how widespread/common this is, but I did not write them down. Certainly, there could be some people that are, in principle, opposed but do little to stop or interfere with it, or who whose opinions are more or less informed based on what they know about it from second-hand. Those statistics would be complicated, I would think, by the inability to monitor(and thus accurately count) and the fact that it appears as though gay-conversion can be a catch all term that would cover a range of different practices. I thought the film was clearer than you apparently thought about
  4. kenmorefield

    What board games have you been playing lately?

    Just finished April of Season 2, so I'm about a 1/3 of the way through. It is a totally different game. Right now I don't like it as much as Season 1. The former had the advantage that, if you had played Pandemic, there were new wrinkles, but the objectives and mechanics were familiar enough to make you at least feel like you could make intelligent decision. Because Season 2 has an new premise (you are trying to supply existing cities while exploring the map) and connecting new citeis to the "the grid," I don't have a sense of which actions (or upgrades) are meaningful. To cite two examples, there are several "produce supplies" cards. (Think of those as like the Vaccine Factories in Season 1). You can discard a card to produce supplies at the supply center you are in or use the card to produce supplies in *every* supply center. But the latter can be used only a limited number of times and then you have to tear up the card. Will these cards become more or less important as the game goes on? Do they need to be saved and hoarded or do they just keep you from getting city cards which help you meet objectives? Ditto the randomness of "exposure." Instead of always getting a scar (and the third star kills you), each character has a bunch of boxes and if you are exposed, you rub off a box. The effect can be nothing, or it can be death. So how hard should you work to avoid exposure? (In S1, you always had the option of taking a non-rotational character and scarring him/her up with Self-Sacrifice.) Season 2, to this point is much, much harder. I've played through S1 two or three times, and I've always been close to the highest rating, usually around 11-3 or 12-2. Something like that. We're like 2-4 so far in this campaign. I've read non-spoiler threads at BGG that suggest this is much harder, though a small but vocal minority say it is harder to start and then "something" happens and it gets a lot easier. There's less pleasure involved, though, if you lose two months in a row and the Legacy deck just says "go ahead and open box so and so if you haven't already." In sum, I adore S1, but I just like S2 okay so far. Though I love the ideas of Legacy games. My friend is trying to write up rules for a campaign/legacy wrinkle to Marvel Legendary. Lot of kinds to be worked out, but I definitely dig the carry over from game to game. Since I've heard mixed things about Charterstone and mostly negative stuff about Seafall, Pandemic Season 1 is really the best bet for Legacy play.
  5. This thread is a little later in starting than in year's past because of some of the uncertainties about the board itself being in transition. I've spoken to Joel, and he has indicated a willingness to serve as a jury foreperson for the Ecumenical Jury if we want to do it this year. (I do.) I think during a time of transition it is especially important to try to keep alive the one or two central projects (EJ and Top 100/Top 25 lists) that are this board's central contributions. I hope we can add some new jury members this year (working on that), but I don't want to exclude anyone who has historically participated and may be up for another ride. Feel free to express that willingness in this thread or to reach out to Joel via PM.
  6. kenmorefield

    2018 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury

    I am happy to participate. Willing to step to the site if field gets too crowded, but early returns don't appear to make it look like that's the case.
  7. kenmorefield

    Continuum Books' 33 1/3 Series

    I had a colleague who tried to do The Pretenders' Learning to Crawl. These are apparently super competitive. Good for you for trying.
  8. kenmorefield

    Boy Erased

    This film played at Filmfest 919 and it wrecked me emotionally. Because Jerad is shown as an initially willing (albeit coerced) and eager (because of coercion) participant, the film ends up being more of an indictment of the culture that spawns such machinery rather than the individual program itself. That said, the film is also honest about some Christians honestly wrestling with the issues and taking accountability for their own actions. (It's probably not as sympathetic as the dad in Gigi Gorgeous: This is Everything, but it is remarkably even-handed in its representation of Jerad's family. There is plenty here to critique even if one is committed to the belief that the Bible teaches homosexuality as a sin. (I am, myself, conflicted about that proposition, though I'd hate for the film to be reduced to a platform for arguing about that...surely Christians can (or should?) be able to acknowledge that some things are wrong regardless of who they are done to. My review: https://1morefilmblog.com/2018/10/05/boy-erased-edgerton-2018/
  9. kenmorefield

    A&F Site News -- Please Read

    Thanks, Anders. I suspect it will take me several weeks if not months to get a sense of what operational costs are. I'm in uncharted territory on that subject. I don't ever want this to be a place people have to pay to use. There is obviously some understandable trepidation about finances when budgets aren't folded into larger institutional projects, but I feel confident that I can manage for at least as long as it takes to get a clear picture of what things cost. I also know from conversations that I've heard or been a part of at places like OFCS and SEFCA that critics aren't making a lot of money. Neither are artists. That said, I've been humbled in the last year at NCFCA, which doesn't have dues, by the number of people who *want* to contribute in some small way to projects or things that enrich them. I get that, and I'll look for ways to allow people who are in a position to do so to be generous themselves.
  10. kenmorefield

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    Joel and I have had some talks, and there seems to be a small but clear consensus that site members would like another iteration of the Top 100. I think it is probably too late in the year to try to do it for 2018, but I think if there is consensus, we could go ahead and set target dates (appointing a spearhead person, opening for nominations, setting out how voting would be done, etc.) I have also floated in the past the idea of doing a companion book that might give the list some publicity and writers here some broader exposure. I wasn't necessarily thinking an essay for every movie, but perhaps blurbs on site for every movie and 15-20 essays or longer appreciation pieces from community members who have a special attachment to a film on the list (wherever on the list it appears). But I'm just brainstorming at this point. What I would suggest here--and I apologize if this is a repeat--but if anyone wants to volunteer to be pointperson for a Top 100 project, please volunteer here, in this thread. My own sense is that there are a number of people interested in participating but most have been understandably hanging back to see whether the project would move forward. So let's see if we can get the ball rolling, or, alternately, if it is too soon to jump into a big board project, whether we want to defer starting a new Top 100 for the time being.
  11. kenmorefield


    I added this as a "track this film" on Roku, which now tells me that it is available on Netflix. (It's kinda ironic that it finally appeared the day I watched Johnnie To's Mad Detective because Blind Detective is now the film that has been on my "track this movie" 'feature the longest without an "available" alert.
  12. kenmorefield

    Congratulations, Joel.

    I suspect this should go in "About You" somewhere, but I couldn't find a Joel specific thread there, so I just thought I'd use this one to congratulate Joel on being accepted into the Online Film Critics Society. Good work, Joel!
  13. kenmorefield

    Examples of "Cinematic Parables"?

  14. kenmorefield

    What board games have you been playing lately?

    Been getting a kick out of Marvel Legendary...nice to have a game I can play co-op with 2. Also, Pandemic Legacy is the bomb.
  15. kenmorefield

    Living Biblically

    This show premieres on CBS tomorrow. I got a chance to look at the Pilot ahead of time. I'm aware of the fact that pilots are usually shaky because they have to establish the premise and all the characters in 24 minutes. It wasn't offensive (to me), but I can't honestly say it was particularly funny, either. The priest laughs at main character when he says he wants to live "literally" according to the Bible, saying he only wants people to do so in general. The pilot episodes kinda sorta deals with whether adulterers should be stoned and whether it's okay to wear synthetic blend clothing. I suspect a big staple will be the adherence to stuff most people think as trivial. Whether it ever gets around to tackling the things that might actually impact someone...who knows. The main character is prompted on his mission by the announcement that his wife is expecting and that comes on the heels of a best friend dying. His sort of blind adherence to rules he doesn't understand is, I think, the antithesis of American Christianity post-Enlightenment, but I get the feeling like this is going to be a sticom version of Joan of Arcadia...hey, strange how often things work out when you are obedient, huh. The actors are appealing enough and it's interesting to see religion on TV...so I guess I'll give it a few more episodes.
  16. kenmorefield

    Claire's Knee (1970)

    I did a search, but we don't appear to have many (any?) specific threads for Rohmer's films, just one large thread for all his films. Anyway, I wrote something about Claire's Knee, which struck me differently than when I first watched it several years ago. I didn't really get into this part of it, but if I have a chief complaint about Rohmer's Six Moral Tales it may be that there is almost too much ambiguity, if that is even possible for me. Maybe it's because I've recently started watching Lost on DVD and have been struck by the show's (and J.J. Abrams's ongoing) conflation of indeterminacy with ambiguity, but there is a very fine line between opacity and obscurity, between hidden or subtle meanings and blank ciphers that allow (and hence invite) you to make of them what you will.
  17. kenmorefield

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    I have exchanged e-mails with staff at Image about this website. Not surprisingly, they are quite busy with the Glen Workshop, but I was told they would get back in touch with me after that was done.
  18. kenmorefield

    Spider-Man: Far From Home

    As in, you know, being dead? Oh, I guess that was just a false climax in the last movie, huh?
  19. kenmorefield

    First Reformed

    I found this quote from Schrader's interview in "The Playlist" gratifying:
  20. kenmorefield

    Slumdog Millionaire

    I did a "10 Years Later" on Slumdog:
  21. kenmorefield

    First Reformed

    Maybe I'm naive or overprotective of this film, but I am majorly bummed that the trailer gives away a major...well, not spoiler, exactly, but a particular shot that is lifted from Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice that seeing unspoiled greatly enhanced my appreciation of the film. Which is to say, if you care about such things, I would avoid the trailer.
  22. kenmorefield

    Creating Film Critic Circle?

    So here is a sample template of a newsletter made using MailChimp from links given at Slido (I looked up Peter's using URL). It took me about 20 minutes, which isn't much but is still an investment of time when something is monthly, weekly, bi-weekly or whatever. (Add to the writing, the time to set up Slido, downloading images, etc.)There are parts that could be changed/updated, such as the copyright and social media links at the bottom. https://mailchi.mp/3d0c9f6dbda6/faith-and-film-critics-circle-newsletter-prototype I have a feeling like a mailing list/newsletter would be flexible to suit our needs. Slido also does ratings/polls, so we could just take a poll of how everyone feels about one movie, assuming people have all seen it. Obviously, if more people joined a circle this would be more work...more links or blurbs to sort through, though even the CT newsletter rarely had more than four or five in a week even if there were a greater number of people who contributed content occasionally. There is also the matter of how to build a newsletter subscription list. MailChimp allows you to create forms to add to web pages, but that would mean everyone putting it on their webpage...or making a Facebook or Twitter page, etc. And there is always the matter of who owns the subscription list, who decides which blurbs get run, etc. Thoughts? Does seeing the prototype make it seem more doable or not very?
  23. kenmorefield

    Creating Film Critic Circle?

    So, I'm torn. On the one hand, a loose affiliation producing an e-mail newsletter shouldn't (theoretically) add too much work. On the other hand, it is work, and it looks like even corporately we are not producing content regularly. I average about two posts to 1More FIlm Blog a month, and they aren't typically new release reviews. Joel and Evan both have most recent content listed as 2017 lists. Peter updates pretty frequently but concentrates on niche market a bit more. Of course, it could be argued that having a project that wants reviews or ratings for new releases would prompt some people to write them, especially if it was the 100-200 blurbs that a newsletter invites. There is also the matter of building subscription lists, which takes time and effort. and the question of who owns the products of such a circle -- and if they are corporately owned, that probably means by-laws, elections, etc. I was looking for mechanisms that would allow quick and easy reporting rather than making one person go to everyone's site to look for new content. Has anyone used Slido? I put up a poll question at Slido.com . Simply go to that site and type in the reference number 9432. If you are interested, please try it. You can put in a couple sentences about a movie or a link to a piece you've written elsewhere.
  24. kenmorefield

    Creating Film Critic Circle?

    Doing my bi-annual (or so) bump of this thread to see if interest has changed. I had lunch with publicist at SXSW and we discussed how more and more sites are decreasing or doing away with movie "reviews" altogether. CT, for example, has pretty much eliminated movie reviews, though they still run occasional "trend pieces." I've been told that Crosswalk has done the same. Seems like the only ones doing movie reviews in that space are the content monitors (Plugged In, MovieGuide, Christian Spotlight) or individually run blogs. But it's not really possible for blogs to be anything approaching comprehensive. Anyway, now that CT has shelved the weekly e-mail newsletter as well, it occurs to me that an FFCC type affiliation could have a weekly newsletter through MailChimp or whatever that ran short blurbs/recommendations of new releases or provided links/excerpts to member reviews at various blogs, Letterbox'd etc. That is, of course, assuming people are still writing movie reviews in various places all scattered to the wind...or is the review dead and we all just live in the age of the trend piece? Any thoughts?
  25. kenmorefield

    300 (2006)

    Thank you for saying that. Made me smile.