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Joel Mayward

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Everything posted by Joel Mayward

  1. I've had a similar question in mind, and it also relates to Darren's earlier question to Ken about the book project (which I'm quite excited about!), which is: in light of experiencing a global pandemic, would our timeline need to be adjusted in any way? I will say that my own calendar, which was originally very full of academic events and responsibilities and writing deadlines, is now quite freed up. However, I've also found that my own attention span, emotional wherewithal, and physical energy has been sapped, so I'd lean towards having more time than less. And as Evan mentioned, some resources are now unavailable. Thoughts?
  2. Yep. I'd vote Film 1 over Film 2 as it better reflects our wider community consensus. And as Ken said, for the EJ we've had the minimum of 50% of voters had to have seen a film for it to be eligible. Which left off some great films, to be honest, i.e. those which were more obscure or difficult to find but which were very highly rated by the few who had seen them.
  3. I was very conscious of this when making my list, at times choosing one filmmaker over another based on ethnicity, country of origin, or gender. And yet, mine is still a strikingly Western English-speaking male-directed list.
  4. If we're posting decade breakdowns: 1920s: 1 1930s: 0 1940s: 2 (from the same year!) 1950s: 3 1960s: 0 1970s: 2 1980s: 2 1990s: 1 2000s: 5 2010s: 9 As I said in an earlier post, my nominations strongly skew towards 21st-century films, as I tried to focus on noteworthy films which hadn't appeared on previous iterations of the Top 100 (at least the 2010 and 2011 versions).
  5. Like Burning, I can admire the craftsmanship on display, particularly in the cinematography and acting, but (also like Burning) I couldn't really find an emotional or moral connection with any of these characters to anchor me and allow me to become immersed in the story. That is to say, I can appreciate the filmmaking, but didn't really enjoy the film itself. A film doesn't have to be enjoyable or have likable characters to be a great and meaningful film, but this was off-putting enough that I'm really going to have to wrestle with its implications (and that ending) to discern what I really think about it.
  6. 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.)
  7. Thanks for your diligent work on this, Ken!
  8. *Checks list* Well, now I feel like I should have nominated more 1930s films!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)
  13. 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.
  14. Reading the above quote, a scene came to mind:
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. *Climbs into caravan, turns on the gas, eats boiled egg in silent despair.*
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. From our email correspondence, I believe Evan is going to format the ballot and nominees when voting time comes. I'm happy to help in any way I can, whether that's with the CFP for the book or communication with voters. And if there's nothing necessary for me to do, that's okay too!
  22. I've thought about this quite a bit as well, as helping foster an environment for open conversations about the arts and faith for people from a variety of contexts and traditions is valuable to me, and I think extending invitations to participate are, for the most part, a good thing. That being said, I'm also wary of both tokenism and invitations simply to get more participants whether or not they've been engaged with A&F before (this latter approach feels more like marketing than hospitality). Inviting members of the Ecumenical Juries makes sense to me, as they're all aware of what A&F is about, have participated in some aspect of the A&F conversation, and are folks who generally have seen a lot of films and could offer some interesting lists of 25 nominees (in particular, I know Noel Manning has expressed interest). If that seems like a good idea, I can send out an email for that when the time comes to submit lists, though I also don't imagine all of those film critics would necessarily participate.
  23. AFAIK, there have not been restrictions on documentaries. Rob mentioned a few already; the 2010 list also had The House is Black and Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher. Regarding the limitations on filmmakers, I notice that the 2010 list includes *five* of the Dardennes films (which was all of their major films at the time) and *six* Tarkovsky films. Regarding the grandfathering of nominees and Ken's idea of a "Veteran's" group who decide those, this post from Anna in the 2010 list-making process suggests that a similar idea was done in the past:
  24. Now I'm wondering about the shot composition for every interaction and whether or not the person chooses to vote for Sandra (so it's less about Sandra's psychology, more about the other character's). I'm looking at the horizontal line in this shot, and the openness between the two characters.
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