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Everything posted by Overstreet

  1. I'd be up for blurbing some of the following — but not all of them — from #26–100: Timbuktu This is Martin Bonner The Gleaners and I Spirited Away The Apostle The Tree of Wooden Clogs Beau Travail (although if Darren wants to blurb that one, I enthusiastically surrender) Wings of Desire Blade Runner Cameraperson Vertigo A Serious Man Crimes and Misdemeanors Selma [AMENDED with titles from 1-25] Ordet Andrei Rublev Babette's Feast Do the Right Thing Three Colors: Blue Sophie Scholl: The Final Days Jeff, I didn't know how many you were willing to do, but if you are up for more than what I've already go you down for (Andrei Rublev, Timbuktu, Blue) I'd apreciate you doing Cameraperson and/or Tree of Wooden Clogs
  2. HEADS UP! The movie is streaming on Vudu.com, Apple TV, and Amazon, for less than $5. I know what I'm doing on Thursday.
  3. I'm not concerned about it not making the Top 100. It's just a list. And there are quite a few kinds of movies missing from the list that tell me we aren't taking some things seriously enough. (Certainly we're not taking movies for children seriously enough if so few of them are on the final list. In a way, I might propose that "spiritually significant" films for children are particularly valuable. They can have a more formative influence than those made specifically for adults.)
  4. Didn't know where to post my response to the result (and my related thoughts about the voting and publication process going forward) — here, or in the Voting Process thread. I posted it in the Voting Process thread. But in this post, I give my assessment of the results. If you want me to re-post those observations here, I can.
  5. Sorry I missed this. I could give a 2-hour lecture on the significant of The Muppet Movie. I know Gareth Higgins would back me up. But we both know that we have hard work to do to persuade others.
  6. We had such an interesting discussion on the Zoom meeting. I hope those who couldn't join us will get to see that recording. For the record, here's my take on the list (distilled from what I said in the meeting): A) There are so many great films on this list. B) I wish I had been more involved and that I had voted differently. C) I am very, very disappointed in the 2-films-per-director list — not because of films that are left out, but because of how predictable it is and how lacking in diversity. D) I am not quite as disappointed with the 1-film-per-director list... but still. It is what it is: A list representative of our community in terms of moviegoing memoirs. These are the faith-and-film titles that have shaped us and set standards for us. It isn't what it isn't: A list we present to the world representing the films that we think manifest "the best of the best" from around the globe and throughout film history. Thus, inevitably, the list is West-leaning, with most directors being white and almost all of them being male. I would, humbly and respectfully, propose that we not go forward with publishing just this list — because it suggests that we are a community primarily interested in movies by men, especially white men. I don't believe that we are — but at first glance, a lot of people are going to disregard this list because they won't understand what it is and how the voting was framed. A very detailed, honest, blunt introduction is in order, heavily emphasizing the makeup of our voting board and the memoir emphasis of these votes. Then, I recommend we vote on another list: a more forward-thinking syllabus of sort, films we would like to see the world of cinephiles holding up as exemplars in years to come. This list should be deliberately and openly "rigged" to be global, recommending a multicultural vision with some deliberate representation of the best films directed by women. This is not driven by concerns about "What will people think?" — instead, it's driven by a desire to "be a people who" realize that the accepted canon of "great films" has, typically, been skewed to favor men, particularly white European men, and that we want to recommend a body of work from around the world and throughout film history — a body of work that will encourage greater attention to underrepresented communities and promote a more international appreciation of the art of filmmaking.
  7. What a joy it was to join the Zoom meeting today and meet so many of you face/voice-to-face/voice. I found myself getting emotional. So did Kermit.
  8. It's a creative and clarifying rubric; I think it'll help me make make decisions that would have been tougher if it was just a point scale. And I like your prioritizing of a "diversity of eras, styles, genres, race, gender, etc.", Darren. The more diverse our final list is in all of these aspects, the more credible and respectable it will seem to cinephiles outside of our community. But, of course, that is meaningful only if it's an honest reflection of what we value most. I'm at a point in my attention to movies where I feel like a broader view of cinema history, and one that looks beyond the typical canon to a more international view, is my personal priority. "I know what I like," as they say; but I am not a film historian, and until I gain ground there, I feel silly making lists. There are huge stretches of film history that are as of yet unexplored for me, and I can only make progress on that in small steps, at a glacial pace, with my current schedule. This is where Mark Cousins' series on film was eye-opening to me; I like the way he didn't make a big show of rejecting the America-centric view of film history, but just followed his curiosity to see what was going on in all regions of cinematic exploration and advancement. I'm trying to take that tack in my own viewing now. I like Alan Jacobs' perspective on "serendipitous reading" in his book The Pleasure of Reading in the Age of Distraction — the value of reading by whim and following rabbit trails.
  9. FWIW, here's a link to the rather slight thread we had on the film originally. I'm surprised, looking back, to find I was enthusiastic about it. It hasn't stayed with me.
  10. It's a beautiful list. Thanks, Darren and Joel and Ken and everybody! Note: This may have been a typo I made that somehow made its way to the list above, but I notice on The Fits there's an erroneous character in place of the first parentheses.
  11. If you haven't seen the BBC comedy series Detectorists, well, take this as my highest recommendation for a TV sitcom. I can't think of any sitcom that is as human as this one. Written by, directed by, and starring Mackenzie Crook, it's a thing of beauty. Anne and I are watching it all the way through a second time simply because its grace and beauty and non-cynical humor inspire hope and a sense of peace in the storm. And it's hilarious. First two seasons are on Amazon Prime. All three are on Acorn.
  12. I thought this tree/foliage motif became a bit heavy-handed — particularly in the character of the professor who is only academically interested in researching the disease in the plane trees, but not interested in committing herself to finding a cure. She is happy to let Mona ride around in her car and live off of her handouts. She even says Mona has "taken root" in her car. But she's not committed to her. She doesn't love her. She's fascinated by her as an observer (much as Varda seems to be, by the way, with the dread-locked street youth in Gleaners, so maybe this is a self-critique). Also, the disease that is killing the plane trees is loudly identified as coming from America, which underlines the film's other indications that people are valuing Mona according to her productivity, her ability to get work done or earn them money, either as a potato farmer or as a prostitute. By the way, I always love a good opportunity to join a conversation that hasn't moved in... eight years! This has been on my must-see list for a long time, particularly since filmmaker Paul Harrill raved about it for a long time over dinner one night in Grand Rapids. If I recall correctly, it's his favorite Varda, and a pivotal film for him in becoming a filmmaker.
  13. They still post a lot of reviews of new releases, but not as many. I suspect they're a smaller operation these days. I should check in with Thom.
  14. If it's at all useful, here's the 2011 list in its current — and more aesthetically pleasing — incarnation on the Image site: https://imagejournal.org/top-100-films/ And here is SDG's intro there as well: https://imagejournal.org/2011/02/14/reading-the-eternities-the-2011-arts-faith-top-100-films/ And if it helps you think of other films to consider, here is the index of our other lists there: https://imagejournal.org/arts-and-faith-films/
  15. Just seeing these last few posts, and just... no. I don't care about Rebels, and I don't consider this trilogy "canon," but still, that would be the cheapest storytelling cop-out in any of the films so far.
  16. Scrolling through this thread again, I'm alarmed to rediscover that the old Matthews House Project site is long gone, and I'm wondering: Is there any way to access Stef's review of the live-performance screening that is highlighted in early in this thread?
  17. Actually, I was just reading this thread as I sipped my morning coffee, didn't see him participating in the thread, had this thought occur to me, and posted the question. Yes, I do still interact with him. And I will ask him.
  18. I was stunned to discover a video review by SDG for this film. I was even more surprised to see him give it a 'B.' I'd long been under the impression that he avoided Tarantino altogether on the sense that this was someone he wouldn't be able to stomach. Now I'm curious to hear his reviews of Jackie Brown, Inglorious Basterds, and the Kill Bill films. Did I just make his Tarantino abstinence up? Or is it some other filmmaker he purposefully avoids, and I've accidentally overwritten one name with another? (Maybe it was Von Trier?)
  19. This is one of the most highly praised films of the year. SDG gave it an 'A' in his video review. Evan has shared his great admiration for it in a chat with me on Facebook. I'm curious: Was anyone else underwhelmed? It's hard not to feel hard-hearted for being unmoved by this movie. It's so well-intentioned, so respectful, so gracious. If I rated movies for their good-heartedness, this would certainly earn an 'A.' "Understated" is a word likely to come up in many reviews. It's appropriate. But understatement is not necessarily a virtue. I'll be frank: I was bored. I feel like the film gave me very little that wasn't in the trailer. I can't think of a single image that is likely to stick with me. I can't think of a single scene in which I was surprised. I'm assuming you know the premise: A family determines to hide the truth of an elder's illness from her, acting to shoulder the burden of her decline and allow her to live in blissful ignorance. But the primary problem, for me, is this: The family is so obviously hiding the truth from her that she must certainly guess what's up right away. I could never figure out if the movie wanted us to understand that the grandmother — Nai Nai, as they call her — is in on the charade from the beginning, and accepts their fakery as a gesture of love, or not. Okay, Awkwafina is fine in a dramatic role. The family dilemma is portrayed with some nuance, and there's some interesting (if slight) attention to differences between the East and the West. But I just kept waiting for things to get interesting. After the introduction of the family's decision to hide the severity of Nai Nai's illness from her, the film is just, well, a bunch of scenes in which they decide to go on hiding the illness from her. The cast is fine. The adherence to the reality of ordinary Chinese family life is fine. The prominence of a Leonard Cohen song is surprising, generally applicable, but really just... fine. The surprising lunge for a poetic final moment is... fine, but out of character with the rest of the film that offered very little visual poetry. This is one of those films in which I'm just watching one thing happen after another, and those happenings aren't particularly compelling. Billie, the main character, isn't very interesting because almost everything we get to know about her is her emotional distress over the news about her grandmother. She never really came to life for me as a character with a life of her own. (One of the scenes meant to bring dimension to her character — her emotional release while playing the piano — was one of the most unconvincing piano-playing pantomime bits I've ever seen. Try harder, filmmakers.) When it comes to contemplations of Chinese culture, the pending passing of a matriarch, and the complexities of family dynamics in that context, I give Edward Yang's Yi-Yi an A+ and The Farewell a 'B' at best... probably a B-. Change my mind. Help me see what I was missing.
  20. The trailer for this was so bad that it looked like an SNL spoof. I'd be hard-pressed to think of prosthetics that made me laugh out loud the way Branagh's new dome did when I first saw it.
  21. Let's strive for greater specificity, shall we? There are, after all, quite a few educators in this community — educators who care deeply, who work hard, and who are devoted to making the time and effort count.
  22. I've already posted my deep dismay about this elsewhere, and I don't want it to appear I'm not acknowledging it here. Yes, this is a grievous loss to Christians, to seekers, to readers. The whole sequence of events leading up to her death seems maddening, avoidable, a complete nightmare. I cannot fathom the challenges now and in the future for her husband and two very young children. We are witnessing, though, just how deeply this is rocking a whole world of struggling believers who have found a lifeline in her honesty, her courage, her authenticity, her desire to know the truth and to be set free. May her example inspire a great host of new voices and similarly generous hearts.
  23. Must I preface this note with a SPOILER WARNING or are we past that now? TIME TRAVEL RUINS STORYTELLING. Almost all of the time. As I exited the theater from Infinity War, I turned to my friend Danny and said, "Welp, Ant-Man will save the day. Quantum Realm makes anything possible. And so the next one will be all about time travel to fix things." I was not excited by this prospect. And sure enough, this made for a suspense-free experience for me... and a long, long three hours. Oh well. These movies have never been for me. I have three or four I enjoy, but I'm ready to move on. And besides, Spider-Verse spoiled the MCU for me by showing me how everything could be 100 times better.
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