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Darren H

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Everything posted by Darren H

  1. I just weighted the scores, and we definitely have some issues to address. I've always known Ordet and The Passion of Joan of Arc had a chance of landing in the top 10, but they placed #1 and #2 -- because more than a third of voters gave both films a 6! We also have two Malick films and two Tarkovsky films in the top 11, again because several people gave them both a 6. I'd prefer to not have two films by one director in the top 25, but I don't know if that's a popular opinion.
  2. Ken, for this first run through, I excluded the two people who hadn't submitted nominations. 22 of the original 23 voted.
  3. Quick update. (I really should be doing work for my day job, but I couldn't not look this morning.) On average, each film received 14.7 votes, and we ended up with a very low standard deviation (5.2). If we extend to the second deviation, the cutoff point would be 4.3, so we'd eliminate films that received fewer than five votes. That would trim only eight films. By comparison, we have 31 films that all 22 voters scored. This seems about right to me. Are we good with "at least five votes" as our rule?
  4. Yeah, the weighting formula includes a minimum vote count. Once that's applied, it's unlikely that a film with fewer than 8 votes will make it into the top 25. I can't think of any film that, say, seven of us would give a 6 but that no one else has seen.
  5. 3-5 feels right to me, so I'm hoping the standard deviation lands somewhere around there.
  6. > Again, not that I don't trust D., just that it's a bad look. The only way I will be exercising any influence over the list is in determining how many votes are necessary to qualify for the list. I'm hoping the standard deviation will give us a number that also feels intuitively right. Instead, we could decide on the cutoff point now. Someone suggested earlier that we go with only two votes because it would be the equivalent of the old procedure, one nomination and one second. Three votes? Four? I'm also happy to look at the data tomorrow, offer a recommendation here before announcing the list, and see if there are any major concerns or recommendations before finalizing it.
  7. Ken, I had a longtime block with Miyazaki too until I started watching them with my kids. Those films tap into childhood imagination and sensory experiences better than most. I haven't seen all of the nominated films, but I'm giving highish scores to two of them.
  8. Because there are a few other folks with an interest in the data, I'm planning to post the tabulated spreadsheet of raw and weighted averages without the columns from individual voters. I promise to not look at individual votes either, other than to do some random checks to make sure my formulas are correct.
  9. For the sake of transparency, here's my plan for Monday: Rotate the table so each film is a row and each voter is a column. Add a column that sums the total points alloted to each film. Add a column that sums the total number of votes cast for each film (omits Haven't Seen). Add a column that divides total points by total votes = raw average score. Look at the distribution of number of votes cast for each film to determine the bottom limit. We will want to only consider films that receive a certain minimum number of votes. I'll look at the devations in the data to find a cutoff point that makes sense. Remove all films that fall below the minimum threshold for votes cast. Add a column that weighs the raw average using the formula we discussed here. Sort the films by weighted average with highest score on top. Go through the top films and cut out the third, fourth, fifth, etc. films by directors who already have two films until I'm left with the top 100 films. Sound good?
  10. Just so I understand, Ken, you're proposing that after the preliminary results are announced: If I'm okay with the top 25, I can sit out the second round and my points will be alloted in the first round order: 1 point to the #1 film, 2 to #2, and so on to 25. So if we have 20 voters, the #1 film will begin with 20 points, #2 with 40, and so on to 500. If Rob chooses to vote in round 2, he could drop the #1 film down to #25, which would raise its raw score to 44 (25 points from him, 19 from the other 19 voters). And so on. The new totals will determine the new order, with lowest score at #1, highest score at #25. I kinda like this idea. With so many voters, no one person will be able to exercise too much influence over the results. And it also solves another problem I'd considered, which is that less than half of the voters are actively participating in these discussions, so getting everyone to vote a second time might be a challenge. Ken, I'm happy to make an online tool to do the work for you. It would take 5 minutes tops.
  11. Fwiw, I don't have much of a dog in the fight for a second round of voting. My preference is to not have a second round, but I'm happy to build an online poll to whatever specs you settle on. As I told Ken, inviting everyone to assign 1-25 points to 25 of the 100 films doesn't make any sense to me. If the film originally ranked #100 gets 25 point in the second round (because of one enthusiastic voter) but the #35 film gets zero, does that mean the 100 film jumps ahead of #35? Or, do we reshuffle the top 25 working only from the original top 40? Would that get us any closer to an ideal top 25? If there are two Dardenne films in the first top 20 and we only want one, aren't we just opening up the opportunity in round 2 for half of the voters to vote for one film and half to vote for the other, in which case we end up with the same result? If one of our main motivations is to avoid having two films by one director or too many films from one decade in the top 25, then we can write rules (in programming speak) to make those tweaks. In the same way I'll be eliminating all but the top two films from each director in the top 100, I can also make adjustments to create other kinds of diversity at the top of the list. If Passion of Joan of Arc is #3 and Ordet is #10, we can write a rule that moves Ordet to, say, #26 (or any other arbitrary rank) and all of the films in between move up one slot. I'm guessing this suggestion rubs some of you the wrong way, but I don't actually see much practical difference between that approach to solving "what ifs" and a second round of voting, other than it would be easier.
  12. > Sometimes evil is crude, banal, stupid, gross, I guess. Ken, you and I have talked a couple times over the years about how we're members of this horrible fraternity of people who have lost loved ones to stupid, brutal violence. I'm not in any way suggesting that you should respond the same way I do to films like Blue Velvet. I just want to note that ever since we lost Joanna's parents, I've come to value great art (with an emphasis on "great") that confronts audiences with the crudeness and banality and sorrow of violence. I'm especially sympathetic to Lynch because I share his repulsion at entertainments like murder-of-the-week shows. Again, goodness is revealed in contrast to evil. If the evil is just as pleasurable, seductive, and beautiful as the good, then the distinction becomes less meaningful. Fwiw, I was surprised to find myself downgrading Hitchcock films in my scoring because of this discussion.
  13. Jeremy, please vote! As I just mentioned to Ken in a separate note, I've always suspected that if we just reveal the final weighted and ranked top 100, nearly all of us will read it and think, "I wouldn't mind shuffling the order a bit, but this looks about right." With 22 voters and a slight bit of weighting, we'll end up with a list of consensus picks, along with some quirkier unexpected choices, which will make it more interesting in the long run. I'm guessing some of your strong opinions are shared by other voters and some aren't, so let your voice be heard! From a nerdy statistical perspective, my only concern is that more than half of the nominated films are from the last 30 years and, because more of us are more likely to have seen those films, I worry we'll end up with a list that is a bit too heavy (for my tastes) on recent films. For what it's worth, I've made some effort to distribute my points across the decades.
  14. I haven't officially voted yet, but I think I've made most of the difficult choices. I might sneak in one or two more films between now and Sunday, but it looks like I'm not going to hit my goal of seeing 80% of the nominees.
  15. > The quintessential element of a Christ appearance is a destablization of assumed ideas around ethics/justice, salvation/atonement, reconciliation, and moral transformation. Reminds me that I seriously considered nominating Dumont's The Life of Jesus for the Top 100.
  16. Darren H

    Frisco Jenny

    So glad you liked it, Anders. I'm looking forward to reading your essay. The Immigrant is near the top of my list, too.
  17. Feel like I should admit on the record that, until a couple weeks ago, Do the Right Thing was the biggest blind spot in my life as a cinephile. I finally watched it for the Top 100 and was so happy that it lived up to its reputation. The ambition of that film is still shocking.
  18. Darren H

    Blue Velvet

    Ed, I made my case in another thread, including my critique of Ebert's review.
  19. Darren H

    Frisco Jenny

    I might be able to help, Joel.
  20. Darren H

    Frisco Jenny

    > do you want to argue why this story of suffering is essential and should be included alongside the others I listed? Frisco Jenny is a pre-code gangster movie, and especially for a film of that time and genre I would argue its religious and spiritual concerns are front and center, from the very opening scene. Jenny isn't too far from a Dardenne hero, and she lives in a similar, parable-like world of heightened moral stakes (Joel can likely offer a more elegant phrase to describe what I mean). How each of us stack this film against others working with similar tropes will come down, I suppose, to personal taste and to our concept of the list. I'm giving Frisco Jenny six points because I genuinely prefer Wellman's style in this film to Bergman's and Bresson's. Pre-code Hollywood has become my favorite era of filmmaking, and when I stumble upon a great one -- King Vidor's Street Scene is my major discovery of the past few months -- they feel miraculous. I guess what I'm saying is I actually think Frisco Jenny is better than the other films you mentioned! Also, I think the list needs a pre-code genre film, and I'm on a personal mission to work Frisco Jenny into the larger critical conversation about transcendental cinema (I wonder if Schrader's seen it?).
  21. The form for scoring all 350 films is now live. I'll close it at midnight (EDT) on Sunday, May 10. There are a few tips and instructions on the first page, so read them closely before beginning. If you run into any problems, feel free to email me. As a reminder, the attached spreadsheet might come in handy as you're preparing to vote. AnFtop100-final.xlsx
  22. Ed, I'm having the same struggle with this film. If I could only save one movie from the fire, I wouldn't hesitate to grab Singin' in the Rain, but I can't figure out how to make it fit with my concept of this list. At the same time, I'm very conscious of comments others have made in recent threads about how "spiritual" doesn't equal "serious." Does the pleasure of watching Gene Kelly dance count as a kind of devotional act? I'm open to the argument.
  23. Christian, I posted this on the thread for the final list of nominations, but I'll attach it again here. This spreadsheet should much simplify the process. The first tab is the list of nominations, the second tab tallies how many times you've given a score to a film. AnFtop100-final.xlsx
  24. I agree, Anders, about the ending. This little piece is one of the first things I wrote on Long Pauses but, aside from some clunky writing, I stand by my reading of the film, which I see as a great example of Frank Burch Brown's idea of “negative transcendence”: “God appears only as the Absent One, as that which is signified only by the depth of the artfully expressed yearning.”
  25. Joel, The Mysteries of Lisbon is presented in six chapters, so there are built-in breaking points.
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