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Joel Mayward

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About Joel Mayward

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    pastor | theologian | film critic

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    St Andrews, UK

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  • Occupation
    Pastor, Writer, Film Critic

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  1. Joel Mayward

    The Criterion Channel

    Ha! I honestly don't know--it came into being right when I was moving to the UK, so I never was able to use it. Sounds like it started off amazing, but wasn't sustainable.
  2. Joel Mayward

    Church matters

    That's a tough situation, but I hope something can work out for both the man and your church community. Does he have someone he would consider a friend or point of contact within the church? I would be curious about their perspective if they know him and his situation better, and perhaps can speak to him about it with a greatest level of trust and care. And I think Ken's suggestion is worth pursing. Would your church community have the financial means to help in some way?
  3. Joel Mayward

    The Criterion Channel

    It won't be available outside of the US or Canada, so it's essentially FilmStruck and MoviePass for me--a nice film-related service which doesn't exist where I live.
  4. Joel Mayward


    I'm not adding much different to what's been said above--this film was fine, Pine is okay, Pugh is great, Scottish scenery is lovely. But here's my full review, fwiw: Living in Scotland, it actually made watching the film a bit more difficult, especially when I recognize that the scenes aren't filmed on location. I found myself muttering "that's not really Scone palace" and such. The most notable set piece is Doune Castle, near Stirling, which was used multiple times throughout Outlaw King (it's in the trailer). It also happens to be the Castle Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In fact, most of the castle scenes in Monty Python were shot at Doune. So every time it appears now in a "serious" film like Outlaw King, I can't help but think of John Cleese's French knight taunting King Arthur.
  5. I second Come Sunday and First Man. I'm *very* tempted to second A Star Is Born, but it's hard for me to justify as to why it should on this particular list. I've counted all of Gareth's nominations as "first nomination" for a first mention of a film (e.g. The Happy Prince), "second" if it'd been nominated before (e.g. Leave No Trace), and haven't included the Honorable Mentions in the nominees (unless Gareth wishes to formally nominate them). Beyond all that business, Gareth, these are a unique and lovely batch of films from 2018, and a good reminder for me to re-watch The Piano. And I'd agree with you about the message bird in Early Man; it was about the only scene in that film which got me truly laughing.
  6. Joel Mayward

    Continuum Books' 33 1/3 Series

    Ha! That's great.
  7. Joel Mayward

    Suggest a Film to be Featured

    Oh, I second all of this--Apu Trilogy in January. I've only watched Pather Panchali while the other two sat on my shelf for the past year, so some community accountability would prompt me to get around to them.
  8. Joel Mayward

    Leave No Trace

    It's interesting how our respective backgrounds shape our experiences with a film. I don't have the same professional experience with vets or those with PTSD, but I do have 12+ years of pastoral ministry with teens/young adults. So I was drawn to Tom's character and Thomasin McKenzie's excellent performance, and I really appreciated how Granik wrote such a strong and fascinating persona who doesn't fall into Movie Teen tropes.
  9. Joel Mayward

    Board Rules and Guidelines (Under Construction)

    I think this is wise, to articulate some sense of expectations/values for the kind of online environment this is and aspires to be, but without become policy-heavy.
  10. Joel Mayward

    Suggest a Film to be Featured

    I'm very in favor of this idea. And I like the idea of an Advent discussion. I've not seen The Ninth Configuration, but I'm open to it, and I'm all for a discussion on The Night of the Hunter. Other possible films: Secrets & Lies, Blue Collar, Woman in the Dunes, Sita Sings the Blues, The Other Side of Hope, A Brighter Summer Day.
  11. Joel Mayward

    Leave No Trace

    Link to our thread on Winter's Bone. Debra Granik's new film is a nominee for our A&F Ecumenical Jury, and it's also one of the best films I've seen in 2018. From my 5-star review: I think Victor Morton mentioned somewhere that the significance of this film is in what it doesn't do--no flashbacks, no unnecessary exposition, no big bad villains or secrets about abuse. It's profoundly simple; it's just two good people trying to figure out how to make their way in the world. And being from Portland, OR, I loved that they filmed on location--it was beautiful to see Will and Tom emerge from Forest Park and walk across the St Johns bridge or ride the Portland aerial tram up to OHSU, journeys I've made myself with my own kids. In its Oregon setting and its off-the-grid narrative, there are obvious comparisons to Captain Fantastic. But I found this film to be so much more interesting and profound, the journey much more internally and emotionally complex.
  12. Sounds good Christian, and thanks for sharing your thought process here--I hope my earlier questions were helpful and in a spirit of dialogue, and I do hope you'll submit some nominees!
  13. I haven't seen any of the films in question, so I can't really make an informed comment. I'm wondering why you would be hesitant about nominating films which qualify for our list. Like my two semi-questionable nominations above, I wanted to put the films out there to the jury members and trust our collective wisdom/judgment. Are you wondering if these three films shouldn't even be potential nominees? I guess (having not seen the films) I can't discern what is causing the hesitancy. Do the films have objectionable or offensive content? Are they mediocre or poorly-made? Are they boring? Do they never address any spiritual/religious/existential/ethical concerns? Would I be worse off as a person for having watched them? I'd also point you to our jury aims: "We particularly seek to enlarge or expand the perception of what is meant by either labelling a film a 'Christian' film or suggesting that it should be of interest to Christian audiences. The jury seeks to recognize quality films (regardless of genre) that have challenged, moved, enlightened, or entertained us and to draw the attention of Christian audiences to films it thinks have the potential to do the same for them." So, if any of those three films have challenged/moved/enlightened/entertained you, and you'd want to draw a Christian audience's attention to them, I think that's a valid reason for nominating them. If nothing else, reading about each film on IMDB, I'm intrigued and want to seek them out for myself!
  14. Joel Mayward

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    It seems to be that the criteria in the past have been primarily based in involvement at Arts & Faith (i.e. membership length, the number of posts) than affirmation of a particular religious tradition. Personally speaking, an A&F Top 100 list which somehow wouldn't involve Andrew S. (or others who don't identify with a religion) is something I would not be interested in. I think the "spiritually significant" descriptor can be inclusive in this way, and I appreciate Andrew's perspective and film criticism. On a related note, it's been fascinating for me to research film history and film theory for my PhD and see so much spiritual/soul/faith language used by non-religious or atheist film theorists and philosophers regarding cinema. Bazin is often cited as a key figure in spiritual cinema due to his Catholic faith and how that informs his writings, but even Gilles Deleuze, with his strong atheistic beliefs, often writes about the "spirit" of cinema in his two Cinema books, the invisible transcendent quality of the medium. In this, I hope that an Arts & Faith Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films list can be inviting and uniting around the beautiful mystery that is cinema.