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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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    PhD Candidate, Pastor-Theologian, Film Critic

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  1. Joel Mayward


    There's an interesting chapter in a book on post-secular cinema, Immanent Frames (edited by John Caruana and Mark Cauchi), which juxtaposes Bresson's Mouchette, Varda's Vagabond, and the Dardennes' Rosetta, exploring the tragic depiction of young women in relation with one another. Some of the author's interpretations are a stretch, but there's something thematically linking these Single Word-Titled Films About Young Women Fighting To Survive Being Exploited In An Unjust Economic System. (You could include Loden's Wanda here too.)
  2. Thanks for your diligent work on this, Ken!
  3. *Checks list* Well, now I feel like I should have nominated more 1930s films!
  4. Having submitted my list fairly early on in the process, my biggest problem is now having to wait anxiously to see what everyone else submits and whether or not the films I left off will be nominated by someone else. For my approach, I tried to mainly choose films which hadn't previously appeared in Top 100 iterations, so my nominations skew towards 21st-century films, and I left off some of more personally-affecting and transcendent films in the likelihood that someone else will nominate them...I hope.
  5. I wrote a long-form essay for Bright Wall/Dark Room on The Son, which I contend is one of the few films which properly earns the designation of "perfect." This is essentially a non-academic version of some of what will appear in my PhD thesis on the Dardennes' cinematic parables.
  6. FWIW, I wrote a review back in 2011 about The Way, where I rated it 3/5 stars, meaning a "good" film. I recall being moved at moments, but also had some of the same criticisms Anders shared about the supporting characters, who really are supporting, i.e. they're present mostly to give Tom someone to encounter or lean on. It did make my wife and I want to go walk the Camino some day. On more of a personal note, it's both embarrassing and encouraging to reread my old reviews, as I can see how I've progressed and matured as a writer since that time.
  7. I resonate with Peter Labuza's reflections on Letterboxd, but I think I also had a much more positive experience with the film than he did, and I think Cohen is up to something more complex than merely "there's art everywhere if we just pay attention!" It felt like one of those films where I'd need to give it a second viewing to better appreciate what Cohen is doing, and to make sure I'm in the right head/heart space. (E.g. I had a muted response to Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire when I saw it in Cannes, while my second viewing at home totally blew me away. Totally different style/tone than Cohen, but I think the parallel may apply here.)
  8. I visited Vienna this past fall, and I specifically sought out the Bruegel room in the Kunsthistorisches museum, which is prominently featured in this film. It's definitely a film worth our collective consideration and attention, although I must admit I found moments of it to be quite didactic and obvious, and not really in a positive way (the lecture scene in particular). But I recall Jeff Overstreet really loving this film too, and it's certainly about both arts and faith in the manner I think we've defined for the Top 100 list.
  9. Reading the above quote, a scene came to mind:
  10. I just bought a BFI Region 2 Koreeda Blu-ray set which includes After Life, Mabrosi, Nobody Knows, and Still Walking. Currently living in Europe has its benefits.
  11. Wasn't Make Way For Tomorrow a film in the top *10* of the 2011 list at #6, but didn't appear on the 2010 list? I remember having never heard of the film at all, then being totally surprised by its appearance on the 2011 list, which I think was mainly due to this thread started by Darren in December 2010.
  12. The film feels like a formulaic Disney movie for most of its run time, until those final very confrontation/reconciliation moments where it turns on the Pixar tear-inducing feels. I was surprised by how much it moved me at the end, as everything leading up to that point felt like it'd been borrowed from other movies, mainly the Indiana Jones and Weekend at Bernie's films.
  13. *Climbs into caravan, turns on the gas, eats boiled egg in silent despair.*
  14. Just sent my 25 nominees to Darren, and deliberated on the final list even as I was typing up the email, making a last-minute change right before clicking "send". This has been my Super Tuesday.
  15. Any further thoughts as to whether to invite/announce to the past A&F Ecumenical Jury members who may not be regularly checking this forum thread? There are also some regular A&F folks who have been somewhat silent or absent as of late, and who may want a reminder about this Top 100 process.
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