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2008/9 Top100 Nominations

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Meet John Doe

http://imdb.com/title/tt0033891/

http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=19194

When a homeless man (Gary Cooper) is hired to play a suicidal man named John Doe as part of a scam to increase newspaper sales, he unintentionally inspires hundreds of thousands of people to start following a Christlike pattern of loving one's neighbor. As the "John Doe" movement grows, so does John's own belief in the ideals he's being paid to preach. When the truth about John Doe's past comes out, the strength of the movement and the ideals on which it was founded are tested.

Netflix

Amazon

(I'm not real happy with that summary, but it's almost 5am so I don't think I'm going to be able to do much better. I'm happy to use anyone else's summary instead.)

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Remember: Don't just nominate films you like, but films you think might have a shot.

...

So now that we've started, feel free to nominate additional films. Any feature film listed at IMDb as having a USA release date in 2006 or earlier.

Keep in mind that, I'm not arguing that these films are artistically significant, but spiritually so.

Alan, can you post in this thread the criteria and guidelines we should be following for considering/nominating a film? (In other words, can you put EVERYTHING in this thread so we don't have to go hunting for it in all the links?) I'm sure the criteria is listed SOMEWHERE here at A&F, but I don't know exactly where it is.

What I'm saying is: you've certainly outlined the date ranges of films, but I want to know what kind of merits we should we be zeroing in on.

Thanks.

Edited by Plot Device

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What I'm REALLY tring to say, Alan, is: I need a very firm explanation of "spiritually significant." And I am not finding one anywhwere on the web site.

Can you pin down what "spiritually significant" means?

I have made two nominations up above that some people might not agree to be "spiritualy significant," depending on how they are treating the definition. So if you would clarify what the working defintion is supposed to be, I might consider withdrawing my two borderline nominatons.

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Hummmmm! Don't see The Da Vinci Code on your list. Is this an oversight or is the film's spiritual significance in question? Either way, I invite you to read my article "Symbolism v.s. Spin" posted on ReelPoweCoach blog on this site. Jackie Lent

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Hummmmm! Don't see The Da Vinci Code on your list. Is this an oversight or is the film's spiritual significance in question? Either way, I invite you to read my article "Symbolism v.s. Spin" posted on ReelPoweCoach blog on this site. Jackie Lent

Jackie, I believe this matter has been addressed in this very thread:

All the above (eligible) films have been added to the nominations list, except for The Da Vinci Code. Jackie, if you want to nominate that film, please provide the supporting links. I'd also suggest you rewrite the blurb in complete sentences.

To quote from your own essay:

To quote The Da Vinci Code, [...] "People rarely notice what's right in front of them".

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Touching the Void (2003)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379557/

http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopi...amp;hl=touching

The incredible pseudo-documentary/recreation of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates' attempt to climb the 21,000' Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, and the desperate situations that arise when Simpson breaks his leg on the descent while still at 19,000'. A heroic effort on the part of Yates to lower his friend with only 300' of rope, suddenly turns into a life and death struggle for both men, as Simpson is lowered over the edge of a cliff without any possible way of getting back up. In the midst of below freezing temperatures, an unendurable snowstorm, and a position on the mountain that is getting more and more precarious, Yates has to make an awful decison - cut the rope and survive, or doom both himself and Simpson by hanging on. What follows is a tale of unparalleled survival for Simpson, who asks questions about his beliefs, and struggles to find his place in the universe while inching his way back to camp - and a tale of unimaginable guilt suffered by Yates, whose decision, he believes, has killed his friend.

Scaling the Depths: Touching the Void

Evoking a sense of exalted puniness in the face of creation, Simpson's trial by ice reveals the paradox of an exhilarated nihilism, taking us where atheism and deep spirituality blur together, and nothingness becomes its opposite. Like Flannery O'Connor's fiction, Touching the Void works by affirming what its protagonist stoutly denies. Who is that voice calling to us in the icy night of our despair?

Decentfilms.com: Touching the Void

Death doesn't necessarily confront a man with the truth about God, but it does confront him, perhaps, with the truth about himself. It may not be for everyone a window onto heaven, but it may be a mirror in which a man sees, perhaps, his true face... or perhaps sees that he has no face after all.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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Great! You are letting me off with just a 'tap on the hand'. Would love to join the discussion & defend the film. Didn't know there was an active discussion.

Where will I find it? Have 'searched' for The Da Vinci Code to no avail.

Also, your responses have me thinking that artsandfaith.com may not be as authentic as its name implies. Your comments are nothing less than judgmental & as I have read in your comments, can't even offer a definition of what constitutes spirituality. I suggest that you try being helpful rather than playing a pope of the internet.

respectfully. Jackie Lent

That, plus I haven't updated the list since the last round of curly brackets {}{}{}{}{ <-- those are to help me visually indicate what films have been posted to the list.

Jackie, I have noticed that you updated your blurb. But I can't help feeling that it's a "drive-by"posting. Why no link to our discussion of the film? Why haven't you defended the film in that conversation?

I'll post your nomination, but without the blurb.

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You can find the thread for The Da Vinci Code here. When conducting a search, a title that has words of 3 letters or less will not generate a positive search. For example, for The Da Vinci Code you need just enter the last two words into the search engine, click the "search titles only" button, and you'll get topics that will match.

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can't even offer a definition of what constitutes spirituality. I suggest that you try being helpful rather than playing a pope of the internet.

Your misperception here is a result of the fact that defining what "spirituality" means in the context of the cinema is something that we have been doing in various forms of this board for many years. There are a lot of resources on this question that can be found in the links Alan has already mentioned, as well as in relevant posts on this board, and in books and articles published by a lot of A&F members/visitors. Since much of the content this board is pretty much a cumulative answer to your question, I can understand that it may take some digging on the part of newcomers to the annual list process to interact with it. But the list itself is an excellent indication of the range of cinema that could possibly be "spiritual." And for what it's worth, don't be discouraged if a film you have a personal attachment to is not on the list, lots of my choices have never made it.

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Your comments are nothing less than judgmental & as I have read in your comments, can't even offer a definition of what constitutes spirituality.

Judgemental? Far from it. Not that Alan needs to be defended, but he did lay out the groundwork in post #1 for how to submit a film.

One of the pleasures of this board that I have come to admire over the years is that no one (not the administrators, regular posters, etc.) has had the audacity to limit the definition of spirituality, by offering a "definitive" definition. It may seem odd, but I feel that spirituality (and this is not an attempt at definition) is much like comedy - subjective. What moves one person spiritually may not move another. Just because a certain film or piece of music, art, etc. does not move me spiritually, doesn't mean I am going to fault someone who is spiritually moved by the same. That is why there is such a wide variety of films on the list above, and I applaude A&F for not giving a specific definition.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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While there are some of us who might disagree that spirituality is completely subjective, there doesn't seem to be any possibility of offering a precise definition of a word which has none. "Spirituality" seems to me to be roughly analogous in matters of the soul to "health" in matters of the body...in others words "spirituality" seems to me to encompass everything which is good for your soul.

Which is one reason why I love the title of Ron's blog, "Soul Food"...it gives a taste of what at least I feel like I'm looking for when I participate in a discussion like this.

Edited by David Smedberg

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And while I have now embraced the notion that all of life is spiritual (note the sig), I am looking at the list as a cinematic celebration of the greater qualities of beauty and life.

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Heck, I can't even get the definition of "2006" correct, and you expect me to define terms like "spiritual" and "significant". C'mon!

But, in any case, in keeping wth A&F tradition: I adamantly refuse to define "spiritually significant". I furthermore believe that this ambiguity is one of the keys to the list's success.

I would encourage you to visit the Top100 site (artsandfaith.com/t100) and peruse the list to infer a definition. I would also recommend the excellent reviews of the from past years, by Overstreet, Reed, and Leary--their comments are available at the Top100 site.

Okay. I can live with this reply. :)

Thanks.

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Meet John Doe

http://imdb.com/title/tt0033891/

http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=19194

When a homeless man (Gary Cooper) is hired to play a suicidal man named John Doe as part of a scam to increase newspaper sales, he unintentionally inspires hundreds of thousands of people to start following a Christlike pattern of loving one's neighbor. As the "John Doe" movement grows, so does John's own belief in the ideals he's being paid to preach. When the truth about John Doe's past comes out, the strength of the movement and the ideals on which it was founded are tested.

Netflix

Amazon

(I'm not real happy with that summary, but it's almost 5am so I don't think I'm going to be able to do much better. I'm happy to use anyone else's summary instead.)

I second this nomination whole heartedly. And I offer my reasons in the A&F discussion thread for this film.

http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopi...mp;#entry169743

A truly worthy film. And one of Frank Capra's best, imho.

Edited by Plot Device

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While there are some of us who might disagree that spirituality is completely subjective, there doesn't seem to be any possibility of offering a precise definition of a word which has none. "Spirituality" seems to me to be roughly analogous in matters of the soul to "health" in matters of the body...in others words "spirituality" seems to me to encompass everything which is good for your soul.

Which is one reason why I love the title of Ron's blog, "Soul Food"...it gives a taste of what at least I feel like I'm looking for when I participate in a discussion like this.

Thanks for bringing this back up. I have been thinking about my use of the word "completely" ever since I posted earlier today... it really bugged me that at the time I could not come up with a better word to use in that part of the sentence. I've finally decided that it just doesn't belong, so I'm excising it! I too love reading Ron's blog, it gives a lot to digest. Unlike some other movie discussion boards I have gone to, I think many people come away from the A&F board with a deeper insight into the films they are researching or discussing, which I think is a rarity on the internet.

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The Perfect Stranger

(This is not the Halle Berry feature film, Perfect Stranger)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466923/

Arts & Faith topic URL: Looks like I don't have permission to start such a thread.

This movie has rapidly become perhaps my favorite. Based on the novel, Dinner With a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, a lawyer gets an invitation to dinner with "Jesus Christ". Thinking it's a joke by her husband, she shows up. The ensuing conversation, which constitutes 90% of the film, starts off antagonistically, progresses to meaningfulness and trust, and leads to the lawyer's personal devotion to Christ. In the process we are treated to a wonderful apologetics exposition.

You can see the whole film, albeit with dumbed-down fidelity, on YouTube. Go to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466923/ and then follow up with all nine segments.

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In response to the following: QUOTE (Alan Thomas @ Mar 15 2008, 02:54 PM)

"Heck, I can't even get the definition of "2006" correct, and you expect me to define terms like "spiritual" and "significant". C'mon!

But, in any cae, in keeping wth A&F tradition: I adamantly refuse to define "spiritually significant". I furthermore believe that this ambiguity is one of the keys to the list's success."

Your point re: 'ambiguity' is well taken. But I disagree that offering a definition of spirituality limits it. Perhaps the confusion lies in the false perception that spirituality is a noun. It clearly is not. Rather, it is a verb which denotes an 'openness of spirit' to higher awareness / consciousness. That said, the mysterious & myriad of avenues to experiencing this 'openness of spirit' is where the 'subjectivity comes into play.

A simple definition of a 'spiritually significant' film might be one which has stimulated the imagination of the viewer and impacted their soul in some manner.

By way of example, some of us may have had our consciousness raised by a film that others would consider dark & therefore not 'spiritually significant": i.e. The Usual Suspects. However, it could be argued that it is one of the more spiritually significant films (especially in light of the truth behind the Iraq war & Dick Cheney's control over the military, CIA & entire U.S. Administration). Why you ask? Because it puts a face on evil. To quote Kevin Spacey's character Verbal Kint: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing man he didn't exist".

And yes, I for one do possess the 'audacity' to define spirituality, even more when its politically incorrect. For more on spiritual significance please see my blog at http://www.artsandfaith.com/blog/jackie_lent/index.php?

Your comments are nothing less than judgmental & as I have read in your comments, can't even offer a definition of what constitutes spirituality.

Judgemental? Far from it. Not that Alan needs to be defended, but he did lay out the groundwork in post #1 for how to submit a film.

One of the pleasures of this board that I have come to admire over the years is that no one (not the administrators, regular posters, etc.) has had the audacity to limit the definition of spirituality, by offering a "definitive" definition. It may seem odd, but I feel that spirituality (and this is not an attempt at definition) is much like comedy - completely subjective. What moves one person spiritually may not move another. But I am not going to say that because a certain film or piece of music, art, etc. does not move me spiritually, doesn't mean I am going to fault someone who is spiritually moved by the same. That is why there is such a wide variety of films on the list above, and I applaude A&F for not giving a specic definition.

While there are some of us who might disagree that spirituality is completely subjective, there doesn't seem to be any possibility of offering a precise definition of a word which has none. "Spirituality" seems to me to be roughly analogous in matters of the soul to "health" in matters of the body...in others words "spirituality" seems to me to encompass everything which is good for your soul.

Which is one reason why I love the title of Ron's blog, "Soul Food"...it gives a taste of what at least I feel like I'm looking for when I participate in a discussion like this.

Thanks for bringing this back up. I have been thinking about my use of the word "completely" ever since I posted earlier today... it really bugged me that at the time I could not come up with a better word to use in that part of the sentence. I've finally decided that it just doesn't belong, so I'm excising it! I too love reading Ron's blog, it gives a lot to digest. Unlike some other movie discussion boards I have gone to, I think many people come away from the A&F board with a deeper insight into the films they are researching or discussing, which I think is a rarity on the internet.

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The Perfect Stranger

(This is not the Halle Berry feature film, Perfect Stranger)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466923/

Arts & Faith topic URL: Looks like I don't have permission to start such a thread.

Ouch! That's right!! New members are required to make a minimum of (I think) 5 "reply" posts in already-established threads before they are allowed to launch their own threads.

Hmm ... Try posting here and there throughout the forum to get your "minimum" fulfilled. (Just make sure they are them "real" posts with real substance is all. Some newbs try to fake it by posting the word "Hi!" and that's it.)

Edited by Plot Device

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Nominating Citizen Kane, Orson Welles, 1941

IMDB link

Existing A&F thread

Orson Welle's 1941 masterpiece, Citizen Kane, displays in dramatic form the outworking of the biblical saying,"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul?" Welle's Kane is given great wealth but little love from his mother, and spends the rest of his life conflating the two. In his attempt to make the world love him, he uses his wealth like a blunt instrument, alternatively to coax and bully. While the Deity is conspicuously absent from the narrative, the camerawork evokes the eye of God, swooping in and out of walls and windows to observe the great emptiness Kane's money could never fill.

Netflix: http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Citizen_Kane/60000605

Edited by Buckeye Jones

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Nominating Citizen Kane, Orson Welles, 1941

IMDB link

Existing A&F thread

Orson Welle's 1941 masterpiece, Citizen Kane, displays in dramatic form the outworking of the biblical saying,"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul?" Welle's Kane is given great wealth but little love from his mother, and spends the rest of his life conflating the two. In his attempt to make the world love him, he uses his wealth like a blunt instrument, alternatively to coax and bully. While the Deity is conspicuously absent from the narrative, the camerawork evokes the eye of God, swooping in and out of walls and windows to observe the great emptiness Kane's money could never fill.

Netflix: http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Citizen_Kane/60000605

I second this nomination.

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Re the earlier discussion about what exactly qualifies as spiritually significant.

How about any film that expresses or reflects the Christian worldview? I recall from the last time we voted that I hold the minority view on this, but for me, if it ain't Christian, it ain't spiritual, and I vote accordingly.

Since reading Calvin, I am also likely to vote off any film that explicitly depicts God or Christ.

And if "The Exorcist" doesn't make the list this time around I'm going to skweam and skweam until I make myself sick!

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Since reading Calvin, I am also likely to vote off any film that explicitly depicts God or Christ.

Are you an iconclast? I recently read Calvin's Institutes about images and was surprised to find out that he had his facts wrong. He states in Chapter XI,

. First, then, if we attach any weight to the authority of the ancient Church, let us remember, that for five hundred years, during which religion was in a more prosperous condition, and a purer doctrine flourished, Christian churches were completely free from visible representations
.

I had the privilege of recently visiting the Kimbell Art Museum where the exhibit "Picturing the Bible" was on display. The exhibit was made up of the earliest Christian art from the mid 3rd through the 6th century. It was a remarkable exhibit paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, silverwork and glass work all making visible the gospel. I wonder what Calvin would have thought had he been able to see this exhibit? Would a difference in the facts have changed his mind about the use of images in the church?

Have you ever read St. John Damacene's defence of images? It is worth checking out here.

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In response to the following: QUOTE (Alan Thomas @ Mar 15 2008, 02:54 PM)

"Heck, I can't even get the definition of "2006" correct, and you expect me to define terms like "spiritual" and "significant". C'mon!

But, in any cae, in keeping wth A&F tradition: I adamantly refuse to define "spiritually significant". I furthermore believe that this ambiguity is one of the keys to the list's success."

Your point re: 'ambiguity' is well taken. But I disagree that offering a definition of spirituality limits it. Perhaps the confusion lies in the false perception that spirituality is a noun. It clearly is not. Rather, it is a verb which denotes an 'openness of spirit' to higher awareness / consciousness. That said, the mysterious & myriad of avenues to experiencing this 'openness of spirit' is where the 'subjectivity comes into play.

A simple definition of a 'spiritually significant' film might be one which has stimulated the imagination of the viewer and impacted their soul in some manner.

By way of example, some of us may have had our consciousness raised by a film that others would consider dark & therefore not 'spiritually significant": i.e. The Usual Suspects. However, it could be argued that it is one of the more spiritually significant films (especially in light of the truth behind the Iraq war & Dick Cheney's control over the military, CIA & entire U.S. Administration). Why you ask? Because it puts a face on evil. To quote Kevin Spacey's character Verbal Kint: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing man he didn't exist".

And yes, I for one do possess the 'audacity' to define spirituality, even more when its politically incorrect. For more on spiritual significance please see my blog at http://www.artsandfaith.com/blog/jackie_lent/index.php?

Your comments are nothing less than judgmental & as I have read in your comments, can't even offer a definition of what constitutes spirituality.

Judgemental? Far from it. Not that Alan needs to be defended, but he did lay out the groundwork in post #1 for how to submit a film.

One of the pleasures of this board that I have come to admire over the years is that no one (not the administrators, regular posters, etc.) has had the audacity to limit the definition of spirituality, by offering a "definitive" definition. It may seem odd, but I feel that spirituality (and this is not an attempt at definition) is much like comedy - completely subjective. What moves one person spiritually may not move another. But I am not going to say that because a certain film or piece of music, art, etc. does not move me spiritually, doesn't mean I am going to fault someone who is spiritually moved by the same. That is why there is such a wide variety of films on the list above, and I applaude A&F for not giving a specic definition.

While there are some of us who might disagree that spirituality is completely subjective, there doesn't seem to be any possibility of offering a precise definition of a word which has none. "Spirituality" seems to me to be roughly analogous in matters of the soul to "health" in matters of the body...in others words "spirituality" seems to me to encompass everything which is good for your soul.

Which is one reason why I love the title of Ron's blog, "Soul Food"...it gives a taste of what at least I feel like I'm looking for when I participate in a discussion like this.

Thanks for bringing this back up. I have been thinking about my use of the word "completely" ever since I posted earlier today... it really bugged me that at the time I could not come up with a better word to use in that part of the sentence. I've finally decided that it just doesn't belong, so I'm excising it! I too love reading Ron's blog, it gives a lot to digest. Unlike some other movie discussion boards I have gone to, I think many people come away from the A&F board with a deeper insight into the films they are researching or discussing, which I think is a rarity on the internet.

Hooray!!! You've made my weekend. Thanks for participating in this exercise of spiritual consciousness raising (a.k.a.critical thinking via discernment). It's wonderful to learn that despite differences of opinions, others too are inspired to engage in dialogue that is not limited to literal dogmatism.

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Quiz Show

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110932/

(Not sure there is an exlusive thread for it)

Set amidst the game show scandals of the 50's, this 1994 film finds its delight in the constant emergence of classical ethical questions within a new cultural climate. Here, a college professor's temptation to become a game show sensation is not about merely telling the truth but being true to one's self. Redford is stylish and sensitive at the helm of his best film. Morrow, Fiennes, Turturro, and the late Paul Scofield make this a superbly acted and personal modern tragedy.

Netflix: 1459771138

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