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Ron Reed

Sci fi = spiritual? Star Wars, X2, etc.

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Ron Reed   

In private correspondence, a correspondent privately commented

I just can't image XMen II being on the list would give the list any credibility...

While I question whether general credibility should even be the vaguest of hopes for this motley crew, I must admit I chime in with similar qualms about such pop corn as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and STAR WARS.

Spiritually significant? Or do we just love these because we're a bunch of webheads who happened to be thirteen when they came out? :twisted:

Open mindedly,

Ron

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I don't think any particular genre is unable to carry a spiritual message. C. S. Lewis wrote sci-fi.

I was well over 13 when Star Wars came out. In some ways it was The Matrix of its day -- bringing some obviously spiritual, but not always correct spirituality, ideas to the screen. If "May the Force be with you" is all the spirituality that is to be found in it, then it is certainly wanting. I think there is more to it than that, though. It wasn't one I put on my first ballot, and I'm not sure I'll vote for it this time, but it's not without spiritual merit.

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I don't think the list should be limited to just arthouse films. It is a wonderful thing when a filmmaker can make commercial entertainment that a) is technically excellent, cool.gif reflects strong storytelling skill, and c) ends up glorifying the power of the Creator over the ego of the hero. That's why "Raiders" stands out from the crowd of adventure films.

Having said that, I don't know that X2 has much to offer about spirituality. It's more concerned with ethics and social issues.

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Clint M   

Having said that, I don't know that X2 has much to offer about spirituality. It's more concerned with ethics and social issues.

The only reason I voted for it was that it had one character that was Catholic (Nightcrawler). It's pretty obvious during the movie that his faith sustains him, even if he is quite different. It's certainly not subtle, but what was in that movie?

Besides, I'm all for a couple of sci-fi/comic book flicks in the list. It's the inner greek coming out.

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Ron's undisclosed source wrote:

: I just can't image XMen II being on the list would give the list any credibility.

I agree. As Jeff says, the film is more concerned with social issues than anything else -- the fact that one of the minor guest characters happens to fondle a rosary and make one or two extremely vague references to "faith" (a la "if you have faith that you can do something, you can do something") does NOT qualify it for inclusion on this list.

Ron wrote:

: . . . I must admit I chime in with similar qualms about such pop corn as

: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and STAR WARS.

These, however, I support being on the list. The original Star Wars trilogy -- especially its middle chapter -- was a bracing reintroduction of myth and metaphor into the popular consciousness, and it had a few interesting things to say about recognizing the potential for evil within ourselves, etc. The prequels are a muddle, but not the original trilogy, so much.

As for Raiders -- oh man, has there ever ever been such a Charles Williams-esque evocation of religious awe at the multiplex? The sequels were disappointing, but there are moments in this film that transcend the action genre (BTW, it ain't sci-fi!)

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As for Raiders -- oh man, has there ever ever been such a Charles Williams-esque evocation of religious awe at the multiplex?  The sequels were disappointing, but there are moments in this film that transcend the action genre (BTW, it ain't sci-fi!)

OK, you have convinced me for the moment on this one. And it is the best of the three, after all. I'm still vacillating on Star Wars, but some of that is latent lack of respect on my part for them.

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M. Leary   

Spiritually significant?  Or do we just love these because we're a bunch of webheads who happened to be thirteen when they came out?   :twisted:  

Goodness, I can't believe I am actually saying this, but a few of these might be good. An educated film watcher will flip through our list and say: "X II...huh?!" (Insert Conan O'Brien "huh"). And this will cause them to click over to one of our reviews of the film in which they discover that there is a bulwark of good criticism behind this list.

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Clint M   

I was a little surprised that Donnie Darko didn't make it. It's a fasinating film, and there is the constant thought of "what if someone, perhaps God, is guiding all of this?"

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Ron Reed   

I was a little surprised that Donnie Darko didn't make it.  It's a fasinating film, and there is the constant thought of \"what if someone, perhaps God, is guiding all of this?\"

Yeah, I figured DONNIE for sure. Over at Metaphilm, they say it's their most-searched-for film title, or something like that. Jeffrey had suggested one possible way for voters to approach their selections, considering which films would be most likely to provoke significant discussion: surely DD would have scored lots of points for that!

Still, it didn't make that first cut. There's always next year!

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