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Ed Bertram

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Everything posted by Ed Bertram

  1. I just saw your request, so you probably already know this by now, but I completed the entries for Grand Illusion and 7th Heaven about a week and a half ago.
  2. Ken, Thank you for this insightful and hopeful message of where A&F is headed concerning diversity. I just started a new topic on the main "Film" page about the Criterion Channel's Pioneers of African American Cinema collection. During the process of making the top 100, our discussions included the channel's collections of films directed by women. They also currently have a collection available now for Pride month. So, I want to express my gratitude to the Criterion Channel for helping us "crawl towards diversity" to and encourage us all to use these collections to impact our conversations and future lists.
  3. I was pleased to see the new collection on the Criterion Channel earlier this week. Pioneers of African American Cinema provides a unique view into film history that joins with the #BlackLivesMatters cries through the statement that Black Films Matter. I began with Oscar Micheaux's 1920 landmark film The Symbol of the Unconquered: A Story of the Ku Klux Klan. It offers a strong and stirring rebuke of The Birth of a Nation through a technical achievement almost equaling Griffith's evil film from five years earlier. I look forward to seeing many more films on this very necessary collection while it's available.
  4. My Tree of Life vote on the Waking Up list was entirely about the theme. Malick had 3 films in the top 25. I thought Knight of Cups was most fitting for the theme. I also gave a high mark to The New World. On that list, I gave a low rating to The Tree of Life and was actually somewhat disappointed to see it make the top 25. Yet, The Tree of Life was the only Malick film I nominated for the top 100. Its transcendent quality makes it too vast in its spiritual significance for me to justify fitting it neatly into any specific category. That slight problem I had with its inclusion in the Waking Up list is exactly the same reason I was overjoyed to see it at #3 on this list.
  5. If this is the current, updated list reflecting which films don't have commitments for blurbs yet, then I would love to write blurbs for Grand Illusion, Blade Runner & 7th Heaven. What are we looking at for a time frame? (I'm sorry for the likely repetition, I didn't have time to read through the whole thread yet). I can write those three without re-watching the films, but if there is enough time, I could also do Secrets and Lies and Magnolia, as long as I can watch them again first. I was already planning on watching Secrets and Lies over the weekend.
  6. Last night, I night tried watching A Hidden Life before voting. I fell asleep and woke up after the deadline. Oh well, it's a great list. Has anyone listed which films won for situations (at least Dreyer and Malik) with two films from the same director in the top 25? If so, where can I find that? All I could find this morning was the list of 26-100. I definitely like the idea of one more round of voting for the top 25. I'll try to make it in time this time!
  7. I appreciate this use of the subtitle. I still hope the 2-film/director list is chosen, but if not, the addition of other films by the director has the appearance of an "honorable mention." This is part of my preference for the 2-film/director list as well. However, I think your suggestion for the subtitle helps to alleviate some of this concern if the 1-film/director ends up winning. The honorable mentions associated with each applicable director help to communicate that we consider other portions of the director's filmography to be spiritually significant, but not necessarily the whole body of work. Since many entries will not have that type of a subtitle line, it also communicates that there are factors beyond the director's vision that we consider as we perceive a film's spiritual significance.
  8. Okay. I'm glad we're cleared up on that now.
  9. I had already voted on the poll. So, I assume the last adjustment means that I have two votes counted now and that you will need to take one away. I'm sorry for any confusion I caused.
  10. Ken, The email I sent you said I voted for the 2-film per director list. I never wanted to change that. Perhaps my subject line was confusing. I'm sorry if that's the case, but I am standing firm on my 2-film per director desire.
  11. Like you, I'm not sure where this thread is headed, if anywhere. But any discussion on spiritually significant films by women is enhanced by the three you named here. Thank you for thinking of them.
  12. I asked for your reflections because, as much as I enjoy The Muppet Movie, I have always looked at its particular brand of celebration and positivity as a self-centered, Hollywood-motivated idea of living your dreams. For that reason, I couldn't justify calling it "spiritually significant," and I was prepared to give it a "1" if I couldn't be convinced otherwise. Your reflections not only addressed my concern but completely changed my mind so that I now recognize its spiritual significance. Because there were just too many great movies to choose from (I made sure to give only 100 movies a "4" or higher), I only gave it a "3." I tried bumping it up, but I couldn't find anything I felt comfortable replacing it with. But as long as Joel knew how to get me your reflections, know that they worked for me, even if that wasn't enough to get it on the 100.
  13. Films I am happy made the list: Do the Right Thing, Monsieur Vincent, Rome Open City, Secrets and Lies, My Neighbor Totoro, Grand Illusion & both Varda films Films I am disappointed did not make the list: Wild Strawberries, The Big City, Summer, On the Waterfront, The Phantom Carriage, Stevie, The Island, Fitzcarraldo Films I am pleasantly surprised made the list: Through a Glass Darkly, The House Is Black,The Best Years of Our Lives, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Dead Man Walking Films I am most surprised about: Ditto to Ken's omissions + the addition of The Wrong Man (esp. being higher than Vertigo) EDIT:
  14. Thanks Ken, I just sent you the email.
  15. Ken, I voted before reading the post I quoted. I voted for the 2-film option. So, in case you have any difficulty with the results, do you want me to email you that vote like those who are changing votes even though I'm not changing, or will this post be sufficient?
  16. I would add Kasi Lemmons' Eve's Bayou and Mira Nair's The Namesake.
  17. As we get closer to voting deadline, I'd love to be convinced of the spiritual significance in The Muppet Movie. Even though I'm a Muppet fan, I have a lot of trouble seeing why I should vote for this. Anyone want to make a case for this one?
  18. Ed Bertram

    Blue Velvet

    Thanks Darren. That's an excellent argument. I don't plan on voting until the end of the window, so I'll think about you have to say. I'm afraid, as I said before, that I'm not too flexible on this one, but I promise I'll carefully consider what you said before I make my final decision on how to vote.
  19. Ed Bertram

    Blue Velvet

    Bumping this for some discussion related to the top 100. The first post in this thread links to Roger Ebert's review that I agree almost completely with, seeing it as a bad satire that doesn't trust its dark material enough. I say this to disclose that I won't crack easily on this one as I have with other films we've been discussing. But I still want to give a chance to those who want to advocate for it. Especially to anyone who nominated it, I'd love to hear you make a case for its spiritual significance.
  20. Jeffrey, Have you posted your two-part account elsewhere on A&F after the Image change? I'm a Muppet fan, but I'll require quite a bit of help understanding why I should vote to name this one of the most spiritually significant film. I have a feeling that what you posted here in 2011 might just be what I need. So, I would love it if there's a way I can read it.
  21. Of the films I nominated for the top 100 Dead Man Walking is the one that has the strongest effect on me personally. Nevertheless, it has been a long time since I've seen it now, so my memory might not serve me well for everything I say. Dead Man Walking challenges me to question how I understand the concept of forgiveness and whether or not it should have limits. Simplistically, it may appear that one set of parents is portrayed as forgiving because they oppose Poncelet's execution, while the other is portrayed as unwilling to forgive because they take no action regarding the case. But I don't see the portrayals like that all. Sister Helen views her calling as ministry to Poncelet. Interaction with the parents becomes necessary but is not her main purpose. Whether or not she believes Poncelet's innocence is immaterial to her ministry. But it's crucial to whether or not the parents can extend forgiveness to Poncelet. It flies in the face of what is taught in most American Christianity that human forgiveness should be unconditional like love. Watching this movie actually helps me view forgiveness in a way that lines up better to the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus than what most American Christianity teaches. I see the set of parents that don't forgive Poncelet as the people who rightly act out of skepticism, not bitterness. We're never given any clear evidence that his repentance is real, and they understand repentance as what must happen so they can forgive.
  22. I could only find a dedicated thread for the more recent BBC version, which I haven't seen, but it seems to have more love here than the 1993 version with Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis. I nominated it for the top 100 for a very obvious reason: It follows C.S. Lewis through the development of his theology of suffering. Lewis' views on suffering see hope and joy as ever-present with grief, so it can make for another contrast among the other suffering-heavy fare our list is likely to include.
  23. I nominated Do the Right Thing for our top 100 spiritually significant list. Early in this thread, there's discussion about the structure and how the MLK/Malcolm X beginning and end fit with the rest of the movie. I see the beginning and end as spiritual bookends to the question the screenplay constantly asks of Mookie throughout the movie: What voices are you going to listen to? The movie is all about the decisions Mookie makes and these spiritual voices are all personified by the film's characters. Will Mookie listen to of the voice self-interest and just getting by in life (himself), the voice of petty anger (Mother Sister), the voice of reason formed by suffering (Da Mayor), the voices of unintentional racism (the three characters in Sal's), the voice of righteous indignation (Radio Raheem), etc., or the voice of love (the radio announcer, Love Daddy). The MLK and Malcolm X bookends provide a bigger picture of what listening to the voice of love can mean for Mookie. It can be as different as those two men (or three if you want to add Love Daddy).
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