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Jeremy Ratzlaff

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About Jeremy Ratzlaff

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    Anglican. Filmmaker.

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  • Favorite movies
    The Master (2012), Ordet (1955), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Stations of the Cross (2014)

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  1. Very exciting! Seeing this shake out the way it has has been an incredible treat, and I love the bits of trivia relating to the voting statistics. Thank you so much, Darren and Ken!
  2. Huh. My experience with Cloud Atlas has dramatically gotten *worse* for me. I tried showing it to my partner last year because I remembered thinking it was special the first time I saw it, but the only thing that held its value for me was the soundtrack.
  3. There's undoubtedly a "right and wrong side of history" to be on when broaching this topic, and that history is still far enough away from being settled that it seems next to impossible to enter it in such a way where strong and personal feelings aren't immediately invoked. In general I find myself agreeing with most of the content and certainly the spirit of Andrew's post, while simultaniously trying to suss out why it would feel so strange to see The Matrix pop up on a list like the one being discussed here. Perhaps it's because more people remember that film as a cultural touchstone directed by the Wachowski Brothers than would remember or even be aware of the fact that Lana and Lilly transitioned more recently, which would result in that film standing out and being confusing/controversial to such a degree that it would certainly overshadow and distract from every other film on the list. Can you imagine? It's not like anyone that would be interested in lists like this aren't already exhaustively familiar with The Matrix, so it's easy to anticipate the central talking point on its inclusion having far more to do with the method of its inclusion than with any qualities of the film itself. A statement for statement's sake? I try to imagine a hypothetical where a forgotten reel of Carl Dreyer is discovered that reveals a suppressed and lifelong dissociation with being a male. Had the times he lived in been different, he may have had the courage and/or incentive to come out to the public as female. Upon receiving word of this reel, would we (or other list makers) decide that Dreyer's films are now eligible for and would likely place at the very top of this list of Spiritually Significant Films by Women? Perhaps, but at what point would it start to feel unnecessary to catagorize films by particularly gendered directors at all? I think this is spinning off back to all the problems I find with catagorizing by auteur theory to begin with. While my personal experience in the film production industry mirrors what you might expect in the male/female ratio for *directors,* the majority of producers, casting directors, ADs, and screenwriters I know are female. Their influence on the content that is locally produced is greater than the influence of males, despite the fact that a male name more frequently takes the director's slot.
  4. I treasure Story of Film: An Odyssey dearly, while also finding bits of Cousin's voiceover silly at times. Perhaps because it presents itself more as a personal curation. The way he sort of clumsily sets up his creative b-roll shots with his cheap digital camera truly betrays it as a labour of earnest love. I can understand being put off by the way it often reaches, but more often than not there's so much value in the all the different destinations you didn't expect to get to that it's quickly forgivable. I really appreciated the way Jeff Overstreet referenced it as having "multiple legs all in different destinations" and leaning into so many surprising places, rather than just having two legs and going in a single direction. (Assuming I understood that correctly!) That's frankly what helps me find the one director approach to the Top 100 list more compelling. More legs, more leaning, more surprises.
  5. I'm also slightly confused/concerned by this poll... it says FIFTEEN MEMBERS HAVE VOTED at the top, but the breakdown of votes only adds up to 14. What? edit: Ken, so you'll be counting votes that are emailed to you and disregarding the results of this poll?
  6. That's wonderfully compelling! I really look forward to reading the accompanying write-up for each film, imagining each one being presented as a sort of entry portal into a bigger handful of spiritually significant work under the same director. (Assuming the vote goes that way.)
  7. How many strong feelings are going to be tied to the results, one way or the other, of the Ordet/Joan choice? My brain keeps spinning about this: there seems to be such a wildly extreme difference between the two films by Dreyer and the two films by Malick, for example. Malick's films are both stylistically identical, came out within the same decade, and were both written by him, I believe. That's a fine example of auteur theory. Dryer's films on the other hand were produced not only decades, but entire cinematic eras apart, are stylistically distinct from each other to the greatest degree, and for me at least presents a bigger affront to auteur theory as I understand it (Joan would not be anything without Falconetti). And if the limiting threshold is whatever name happens to be in the director's slot doesn't that cheapen just about every other unique factor that contributed to the film?
  8. This gives me quite a bit of comfort to read, as by far the most startling thing about the list for me was seeing three films in the top 25 that are less than five years old. The two Malicks up there make me feel particulary queasy, for some reason, even though I confess I did my part to help Tree of Life get there. Perhaps it has something to do with the unrivalled level of disdain so many seem to have for Malick's style, and how having those two right next to each other near the top potentially bends perception of the entire list, perhaps more so than other inclusions.
  9. Oof. Goodbye There Will Be Blood?
  10. I surmise this means that Phantom Thread would now be in the Top 100? Woah. I think the bthing I'll be most eager for is counting all the films that are less than ten years old! edit: or wait, did I read that wrong and Phantom Thread just narrowly missed?
  11. Speaking from the perspective of someone for whom the Top 100 list has been unspeakably formative in the journey of disovering international film to begin with - While I think making a one-film-per-director rule for the top 25 has a merit, especially after imagining the list in a curated book format as Daren mentioned, the Ordet/Joan problem is exactly what would make a rule like that seem particularly disappointing to me given the nature of those two films. Other than sharing the same director, they could hardly be more distinct from each other. If the concern is representing more diversity in selection, I would think a scenario that pushed Joan to #26 would have the opposite effect if it were to suddenly leave the Top 25 without such a rich example of cinema's silent era. (I imagine Sunrise might still be up there, but that's just an example!)
  12. Love this idea - I'm only slightly concerned about security as it relates to a widely accessible meeting. I know Zoom has jumped into action over the past month to address some of the concerns that were making headlines, however as recently as last week I had an acquaintance who was forced to shut down his virtual film premiere after someone bomblasted the meeting with pornography. With these forums being public/scrapable by bots, is there perhaps a more private way to make the invitation link accessible for those who are interested?
  13. My goodness, what an overwhelming response. Thank you, A&F community. I'm so encouraged by all the words written here not only for my own sake but because the vision and intention of this list has been made more apparent than ever, and that's a massively exciting thing to be apart of. Ken, that near-miss story is intense. I'm so grateful you stepped in the way you did! Checking in on these forums to read the A&F hot take after watching a film that surprised me has become almost a ritual ever since my first year of college and it would have been a devastating shock to see it just disappear one day. Can't wait to see the results!
  14. I was really pleasantly surprised to see this show on the list of nominations. My impression had been that Hertzfeldt-affinity was largely the property of a younger generation that (like me) came of age with internet video and followed (and probably pushed) the quirky, post-modern off-beatness of what he and the likes of Bo Burnham and Dan Harmon were doing in a sort of natural progression from "because the Internet" into a more mainstream niche. I'm the proud owner of a Kickstarter exclusive Blu-ray of this film, but I'm not sure if it holds a special place in my heart because of its own merit or because YouTube clips of "Rejected" played such a formative part of my youth.
  15. As a younger, less-academically inclined sort whose life was changed ten years ago after finding the Arts & Faith Top 100 list from 2010, I'm struggling with a strong desire to participate in this ballot while also feeling a mounting tentativeness with every "Haven't Seen" box I'd have to check in order to get through the entire list. I spent a good couple hours with the spreadsheet this morning, and of the 350 nominees I've only seen around 170, or not even half of all the films on the list. On one hand, I'm eagerly anticipating all the diverse, new-to-me titles that will inevitably make it to the final 100... however, on that same hand, I'm very concerned that by participating in the vote I may inadvertently harm the chances of deserving titles that would otherwise show up higher on the list. I feel as though I *do* have strong, well-earned opinions relating to most of the 170 films I *have* seen, but I guess I'm just feeling anxious about not knowing how exactly my "Haven't Seen" boxes might affect the final scoring. This list just means a lot to me, and perhaps I'm overthinking it. But I would hope that one of the community regulars here wouldn't hesitate to be blunt with me if in fact it would be better for everyone if I just held off for another decade. (Or for that matter, if there's some eligibility criteria for participating that I've just flat-out missed.)
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