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Anna J

Top100 Nominating Process: Please vote by November 28

  

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My thoughts keep evolving on this subject, but I'm really liking what Buckeye and du Garbandier are saying.

Here's why: The world of art and entertainment is changing so fast that soon the borderlines will become so blurry as to be impossible to declare. Great films are already showing up on TV before they show up on the big screen. TV movies are, these days, sometimes far more substantial than big-screen films. I'm reading about simultaneous big-screen/DVD/Netflix releases.

This is a community that wants to celebrate great filmmaking, and the proliferation of ways to watch a movie, or places to find one, is happening so fast that we're going to end up cutting off great sources of filmmaking if we build walls between the theatrical distribution and television. In ten years, I'd venture to guess, such distinctions will be history.

I think we can, for now, distinguish between a video game and a movie: One has an audience, one invites the audience to participate and influence the outcome.

But beyond that, I like the idea of Seconding (and even Thirding) as ways to "clear" any particular entity for the final list. Whether we find it on TV or in a theater. And the same goes for a series: Let the community decide, case by case, whether a trilogy is one thing in three pieces, or three distinct things. Surely there's a difference between Che, Part 1 and Part 2 and, say, Trois Couleurs.

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du Garbandier wrote:

: The line between films and books is not nearly as porous and complex as that between films and television (a closer--though not complete--analogy to the latter relationship would be between books and e-books).

Not the best analogy, as the only difference between the two is whether the text is printed with ink or with pixels. It's a difference of distribution, but not of creative output. Television, on the other hand, is an entirely different MEDIUM than film, which encourages entirely different forms of storytelling and/or filmmaking, thus it needs to be held to a different standard than film.

TV-movies like Steven Spielberg's Duel (which was released theatrically in Europe) or mini-series such as Fanny & Alexander (which was condensed for theatrical release) are still reasonably film-ish because they tend to be united, discrete works of art, whereas a show like The Simpsons is an open-ended thing that has cranked out nearly 400 episodes so far, with different writers and directors taking things all over the place (and sometimes explicitly, even deliberately, contradicting each other).

Dekalog is tolerable for a list such as ours because, despite being ten hours long, it IS a coherent, integrated work of art that DOES reflect the vision of a single director and his team. Likewise, The Lord of the Rings is basically just one ten-hour movie divided into three parts, though all of them are united by the vision of a single director and his team. (Or, if we want to stick to a Kieslowskian example of a trilogy that stands as a single united work, there is of course the Three Colours trilogy.)

I don't get the feeling that anyone seriously disputes the appropriateness of films that were originally made for TV. But I think how we answer this question will have implications for how we answer the question of movie trilogies etc. I think a consistent principle can be applied to both scenarios. And I think having a consistent principle is better than having no principle at all.

: Since Dekalog has already been on the list so consistently, why not simply let that stand as precedent and allow any future Dekalogs to win their spot in the same fashion?

Ah, but in order for there to BE a precedent, we have to establish what we are setting a precedent FOR. In order for there to BE a "future Dekalog", the future Dekalog must be CONSISTENT with the existing Dekalog as far as eligibility for the list is concerned.

I mean, if just doing what we've always done is the rationale you're applying here, then we might as well not set limits on the number of films per director, and we might as well not split up trilogies, or whatever. But the whole POINT of this thread and others like it is to RETHINK what we have done, and to adjust our guidelines and our methodology accordingly.

Overstreet wrote:

: TV movies are, these days, sometimes far more substantial than big-screen films.

Really? I hear this sort of claim frequently, but never about TV movies. What I DO hear about is TV SERIES, whether it's Boardwalk Empire or Battlestar Galactica or The Sopranos or whatever. And yes, there IS a difference between a "movie" and a "series", especially an open-ended one.

: I'm reading about simultaneous big-screen/DVD/Netflix releases.

This is pretty much a non-issue if we're only considering films that are at least a couple years old.

: . . . we're going to end up cutting off great sources of filmmaking if we build walls between the theatrical distribution and television.

I don't think anyone is seriously proposing that, either. This ISN'T about distribution models.

: Let the community decide, case by case, whether a trilogy is one thing in three pieces, or three distinct things.

No, this is not the sort of thing that should be done on an ad hoc basis. We need a consistent principle -- and "judges", if you will, who apply that principle consistently -- so that we don't have arguments like this every time a mini-series or multi-part movie gets nominated.

: Surely there's a difference between Che, Part 1 and Part 2 and, say, Trois Couleurs.

Actually, no, there isn't. For one thing, there is no such thing as Che, Part 1 or Che, Part 2. There is Che: The Argentine and Che: Guerrilla.1 As with Three Colours, so with Che: the project was always intended to have multiple parts. A better example for the point you're trying to make would be something like Kill Bill, which didn't become two films until very late in post-production, at which point all the actors' contracts had to be renegotiated (even though they had long since finished shooting their parts!). But even there, I would say Kill Bill has a narrative and thematic integrity that is on par with that of Three Colours.

1Oh, wait, apparently the titles were dumbed down for American release... but the original titles stayed for the films' international release. Well, that's an interesting footnote, but it's still just a footnote.

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So since we've apparently decided on the "three is enough" rule, can we now address the Bergman situation? I personally believe it would be best to decide on this, maybe even vote on it, away from the Top 100 Vote and away from the grandfathering of the old t100. Right now if we were to take only the top three Bergmans on the current list, we'd have The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and Winter Light. No Through a Glass Darkly, no Cries and Whispers, no Fanny and Alexander, no The Sacrifice. I haven't developed a strong opinion on which three I'd really like to end up with, but imagine with the many opinions already here, not everyone will be satisfied without figuring this out ahead of time.

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Right now if we were to take only the top three Bergmans on the current list, we'd have The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and Winter Light.

Fine by me.

I don't think we should distinguish any filmmakers for preferential treatment. What gets the highest votes gets in, no matter who directed it.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I guess some of the question is this: are we only allowing three nominations per director? Just because they are nominated doesn't necessarily mean they make the t100. But if we nominate all seven, then we only go with the top three no matter how high the others might end up on a new list? Either system has issues.

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I guess some of the question is this: are we only allowing three nominations per director?

No. You can have as many nominations as you like.

But if we nominate all seven, then we only go with the top three no matter how high the others might end up on a new list?

Yup. That's how it's been decided this time out.

Edited by Ryan H.

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