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Brian D

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  1. I just revisited this film and was so excited by my rewatch that I had to write about it here on Letterboxd : https://letterboxd.com/brian_d/film/munyurangabo/ The local Rwandan collaboration aspect was what really struck me this time, and I think that this is what made this film what it is. Chung had the grace to be humble and get out of the way. He allowed the film to belong to Rwanda and these Rwandans, and so the film seems to come from the heart of this Rwandan moment in history. A case study in the humility of an artist leading the way for beauty and truth to come to the fore. Who would have thought? Excerpt of my review: "I am tempted here to praise Chung as a film genius for allowing this kind of collaboration to take place, and such may not be far from the truth. It may be more clear-sighted, however, to praise the local Rwandan actors and crew who were allowed to make this film their own and allowed to make it such an essential expression of their own culture and history."
  2. Agreed about Grapes vs The Searchers. Though my own Ford nomination was The Quiet Man and I appreciate much about The Searchers, I do like the direction our list has taken with Ford.
  3. Wow, 2 good things discovered at once...the John Ford A and F thread and a whole raft of interesting-looking podcasts over there at The Thin Place. Thanks, friends. Interesting how I and we are just coming around to this film on A and F. Ebert wrote a review of this a couple decades ago mentioning that some considered this the greatest American film of all time for a while...until Citizen Kane garnered so much attention with its re-release in 1958. Funny how our collective film memory is cyclical like that. We seem to move away from great films over the decades, and then rediscover their greatness again decades later.
  4. Ken, my heart sank when I found that your 2013 podcast link doesn't seem to work anymore. Any hope of unearthing it for this thread? I just wrote the top 100 blurb for the film and was going to reward myself with taking a listen...looking forward to it if it can be found. Here's my blurb to fill at least some of the space of this thread that is as empty as the Oklahoma Dust Bowl country! http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/film/357-the-grapes-of-wrath/
  5. The Grapes of Wrath has hit the page....well, not quite the 1939 version but the Arts and Faith top 100 version. Didn't want you to get too excited.
  6. On the Waterfront is now published as well.
  7. I've just entered my Selma blurb into the site. I hope to have my Grapes of Wrath and On the Waterfront blurbs up within the next 2 weeks. Watching our kids has been a heavier job lately as my wife has been finishing an intensive online course. Thanks for your patience.
  8. Hi everyone. Exciting list. For starters among the films with no asterisk, I would be up for writing blurbs for The Grapes of Wrath and On the Waterfront. Selma would be a joy to write as well, but I wouldn't want to steal that joy from those who've already listed it! Note : It looks like A Moment of Innocence and Ushpizin should have asterisks as I see they both have blurbs on the 2010 list.
  9. We also missed Debra Granik. My +1 is Leave No Trace (2018)
  10. I just submitted my nominees. Looking forward to this!
  11. Evan, I love the audacity of your putting Frozen II on this list. It won't be in my top 10, but I confess that its songs and the narrative moments they join are quite a bit more interesting to me than the songs and narrative of the first film. I should know, because the most frequent question asked (by little voices) of the Echo Dot in our house is, "Alexa, play Frozen 2 songs."
  12. I'm also very happy to see this new top 100 being brought back into view. I would love to be a part of it. March to May works for me. Summer is a bit busier for me due to travel, but I could likely find some time during that period as well. It would be so nice to welcome a number of the Ecumenical Jury members into this top 100 process, in partcularly making a point to invite those who've been part of the Jury but perhaps not part of the A and F list top 25/100 lists in the past. Exciting!
  13. Brian D

    High Life (2018)

    I just watched this for the first time. Don't know what to say yet, especially given the complexity of the interlocking pieces of that puzzle. But this much I can say: For most of the run time, I was gritting my teeth and preparing to cover my eyes from pure fear of the despair and horror that was surely to come...and fear of that ominous score on this ominous ship. And yes, there were times that I almost crawled into a shell because of the brutality and cruelty in the film (I think I did crawl into that shell during the scene with Binoche in the box, but for different reasons...I just can't justify that particular level of provocation in this film.) Then came the final act, after which my attention was so captured that my eyes watched every mysterious star-gleam of the final credits. Then came the next day, when this film exerted such a magnetism on my mind that I ran to Darren's article (great work, Darren) above and to Josh Larsen's review...and the magnetic pull just got stronger. I think there is something here...
  14. I am very keen to be involved with a new top 100 as well. I'm willing to assist in organization at some level if needed.
  15. I am leaning quite a bit toward being "in". 2 questions for you, Ken: -By when would you be expecting a draft? -What kind of length would you be hoping for in each essay? Thanks!
  16. The Growing Older page looks wonderful. Just wondering...is there a way to make the page pop up more easily on a Google search? If you search for "arts and faith growing older top 25 films", you will find Andrew and Ken's pages. Those are excellent in and of themselves, but is there a way that a Google search could yield direct access to the online top 25 list itself? This not for my own sake but for others who would like to find it easily as they search.
  17. I would really enjoy doing a piece on the Growing Older list in relation to the concept of legacy. How does the concept of legacy manifest itself in the lives of these characters? Along with this, how do the films themselves (especially works like Limelight and the Varda films) function as a legacy handed down by their directors? As we grow old, what kinds of legacies do we hope to leave? As filmmakers reach their mature years, what kind of legacies do THEY want to pass on to those who will come after them? This topic could be quite a fruitful one, and in fact could be discussed in relation to almost every film on the list. Space likely wouldn't allow for treating all of the films, but there is quite a bit of potential for a wider overview.
  18. I'm making my way through this top 25 blurb by blurb. I feel this list unlocks these films as one would unlock a box of precious treasure - carefully and with loving attention.
  19. Thank you so much for that piece on your blog, Ken. You have many wonderful observations there...many things I hadn't noticed even after 3 viewings of the film.
  20. Malick...life of Christ...a film called The Last Planet...maybe just a little exciting for us at A and F? https://thefilmstage.com/news/terrence-malick-begins-shooting-new-film-the-last-planet/ Reports are coming in that the elusive filmmaker has begun shooting his next film near Rome. Various Italian publications are reporting that Malick has embarked on a shoot for his new film The Last Planet near Anzio, south of Rome, notably in the nature reserve of Tor Caldara. The film will reportedly convey passages “in the life of Christ” through representing evangelical parables. One Big Soul adds that the shoot has actually been underway for a few weeks.
  21. Brian D

    Young Ahmed

    Fun to see you there on the Croisette asking questions of the brothers, Joel!
  22. Brian D

    Young Ahmed

    Fun to see you there on the Croisette asking questions of the brothers, Joel!
  23. My laptop seems to struggle with being able to access the Arts and Faith messenger. I've managed to send messages intermittently, but not today. Ken, would you mind sharing your email address with me either here or by sending it to me at [...] I wanted to send you another message or two in relation to my blurbs. Thank you!
  24. Hi Ken, In regard to the blurb I'll be writing for You Can’t Take It with You in the top 25 : I really liked the way you crystallized this film’s value (above) for the list in terms of Grandpa Vanderhof’s fruitfulness in old age. Do you mind if I expand on that particular point for my blurb? I can’t think of a more helpful perspective or way to approach the film for this top 25. Gratefully, Brian P.S. I wanted to send this as an individual message but I couldn't get that A and F function to work.
  25. Brian D


    Spoiler alert: The scene is closer to the end, quite soon after the depression over the cat has lifted. I wondered why the tone was more serious rather than the tone of celebration that I would have expected. It may be one in which the hare is mentioned...I don't recall for sure. I suspect there may be a cultural aspect that I am missing. Thank you!
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