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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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    PhD Candidate, Pastor-Theologian, Film Critic

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  1. Okay, I've sent out an email to those who participated last year, and created a nominations thread. Nominations will officially begin November 25. This allows for some time for the jury to be finalized. If you are an A&F member and a film critic and would like to participate in this ecumenical jury, please indicate this in the forum thread, or email/message me directly.
  2. Welcome to the 2019 Arts and Faith Ecumenical Jury thread! Here's the vision for our jury and the films we nominate each year, written by Ken Morefield a few years ago: Here’s our timeline for this process: Nominations open on Monday, November 25. To nominate a film, simply post the film title in the nomination forum thread or email it directly to me (jmayward@gmail.com). All nominated films must receive a "second" vote from another jury member in order to appear on the voting ballot, which can happen either by posting “seconded” in the forum or via email, or a jury member nominating the same film. Non-jurors can also recommend films for nomination in this thread, but they must be seconded by two jury members. I will keep a tally of all the nominated and seconded films within this thread, updating it regularly as we go. You can use this same thread to discuss, advocate, question, process, or to direct folks to links to other threads or conversations about the nominated films. I'd encourage you to give your reasons behind nominating or seconding a film, especially during this nomination process—encourage us to check out great films we may not have seen yet! Qualifying films: a North American first-time theatrical, DVD/Blu-ray, streaming, or festival release in the 2019 calendar year. Regarding questions of release dates (e.g. Young Ahmed premiered in 2019 in festivals like VIFF and NYFF, but will get a wider release in the US in 2020) and what constitutes a “film” (e.g. limited series like Unbelievable on Netflix), I put full trust in the jury’s viewing and voting practices, and in the conversation we will have within the forum. If you think a film is a 2019 film and worth our consideration, make your case in the forum thread! Nominations will close at 11:59pm (PST) on Tuesday, December 31. This is fairly late in the year for end-of-year film lists, but it follows our pattern from previous years. On January 1, I'll email jury members a link for a survey with all the nominated films that they can rank 1-5 (strongly disagree-strongly agree that the film should be on our jury's top 10 list). You are to vote only for films you have seen--if you haven't seen a film, simply leave that ballot blank or unranked. Again, how you rank/rate a film is entirely up to your discretion and judgment; I trust in the process. Per our practice in previous years, a film is eligible if it's been viewed by at least 50% of the jury. This is so a film with high scores seen by a minority of jurors doesn't have an undue advantage (i.e. a film with only three “5” votes in total would have a higher average score than a film with ten “5” votes and one “4” vote, but the latter film would be a better reflection of the jury's collective opinion and film-viewing experience). If there are not ten eligible films that score “4” or higher on average, the foreperson (that's me!) reserves the right to look at film(s) that averaged over 4 but had less eligible voters. Voting closes at 11:59pm (PST) Wednesday, January 8. This gives a week for jury members to vote on the nominated films. After the totals have been added up using some math wizardry, I'll send out an email with the results. Then I’ll send you an optional second ballot with the ten finalists asking folks to rank them. This had a big impact on where certain films ranked in the final top 10 last year, so indicate on your first ballot if you'd like to receive this optional second ballot. If you choose not to ask for the second ballot, I'll base your rankings on your scores for this first ballot, giving equal weight to all films receiving the same designation/score. Finally, I'll solicit "blurbs" for the final list, as well as your Honorable Mention, a film which did not end up on the top 10 list, but you would like to see recognized. I appreciate the various Honorable Mentions, as it’s always very diverse and interesting.
  3. Thanks for this reminder, Ken! I do still have the EJ on my to-do list, so perhaps I need to prioritize it this week and get things rolling again. Would publishing the finished list at ArtsandFaith.com be possible this year, like the "Growing Older" list?
  4. Joel Mayward


    It took 20 years, but I finally got around to seeing this film. And...ouch. I'd heard that this was an uncomfortable film to watch, but I still found myself with mouth agape in horror for the final 20-30 minutes (I had managed to avoid plot details). Still, there's something interesting here, both as a formal exercise and in the ideas being explored here about love, gender, and trauma. Looking up details, this premiered at VIFF in October 1999. Anyone here from BC around to see it back then?
  5. I really loved this. Between this and Something, Anything, I'm very much on Harrill's wavelength. From my review:
  6. This question probably does deserve its own thread, but my initial reaction is a Dardenne brothers film (as is my wont): Two Days, One Night. Bright Wall/Dark Room did an entire issue on "Mental Health" films, which is well worth reading. And this list at Mubi is pretty comprehensive.
  7. I think that's a good goal for the lists, that they're all hosted directly at A&F and have a consistent look/feel to them.
  8. I think I appreciated Joker more than Andrew and Ken, but it's still derivative and depraved. Here's my review, fwiw:
  9. I had the exact same reaction, Ken—I saw the Mindhunter scene after seeing OUATIH, and it only increased my dislike for that film. FWIW, the actor who portrays Manson in Mindhunter, Damon Herriman, is the same actor who portrays him in OUATIH.
  10. I resonate with this response—I watched both seasons with an eagerness to see how each episode played out, yet couldn't help but be frustrated by various problems (The disappearance of Hannah Gross after S1, Wendy's entire arc in S2, the pacing of the last three episodes in S2). Regarding Fincher, he directed seven of the episodes, but the grimy golden-hued aesthetic throughout the entire show certainly has his fingerprints.
  11. That makes sense, Darren. I know some films have gone through edits following their premieres at festivals, and wondered if Atlantics had been one of them (the title seems to have changed a few times). I enjoyed the film more than it sounds like you or Andrew did, but wasn't ready to hail it as a masterpiece like some critics did at Cannes. It's a bold first feature, but I agree with your observation of the the scattered aesthetic—some of the images from the opening scenes are remarkable, from the ocean waves to the giant otherworldly skyscraper, but the film's ending felt strangely conventional to me, as if the visual ideas had run out so we better wrap this narrative up and call it done.
  12. Was there any indication that the edit you saw at TIFF differed from the film shown at Cannes, especially following its acquisition by Netflix?
  13. A report from Allocine via One Big Soul: Mark Rylance will play Satan in The Last Planet, with Géza Röhrig as Jesus and Matthias Schoenaerts as the apostle Peter:
  14. Here's Melissa Tamminga with an excellent long-form essay on the conservatism inherent within the film. I am admittedly not a Tarantino fan, but I went into Once Upon a Time with hopeful expectations...which were almost entirely dashed. I had (accurately) guessed the outcome of the narrative as part of Tarantino's revisionist history project before the first trailer ever dropped. So when Brandy the pit bull was introduced, it confirmed my suspicions, and found the expected bloodbath 2+ hours later to be anticlimactic, unoriginal, and deplorable in its worship of violence. And everything in between was...well, Melissa says it far better than I ever could.
  15. Unless someone else wants to take on the task, I'm quite happy to coordinate the EJ again this year, if everyone is cool with that. I believe Transpositions would be willing to host and publish the list again, but if it's possible to post it directly to ArtsandFaith.com, like the "Growing Older" list, that'd probably be better for site traffic and longevity of the lists. We can also republish this last year's EJ list on ArtsandFaith.com at some point in the future as well. However, it might be more work for administrators--specifically Ken--to post such lists here, so if that's the case, Transpositions is an available option, if that worked for everyone.
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