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Exploring the List 2011

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Thanks, Darren. Jackets, coffee mugs, or license plate covers. I'm game!

Of the final five (Koyaanisqatsi, Paprika, After Life, Fiddler on the Roof, and Ratcatcher), probably the one surprise was Ratcatcher.

I often find myself feeling predisposed against certain heavy, dramatic films from this area (northern UK) and era--the colorless housing projects, the gray skies, the pale skin--everything is just so dreary. I'm thinking of Loach's My Name is Joe, or even Greengrass' Bloody Sunday. These films have their strengths, but the setting creates such a mood that the stories feel somewhat constrained by them. I thought Ratcatcher stretched beyond my predisposition in a good way. I was impressed by the way Ramsey was able to elicit compassion for and find beauty in the characters of this bleak world. Possibly that was due to the subject matter dealing primarily with children, and seeing that world from a child's perspective, but the compassion extended beyond the children to the mothers of the three main neighborhood boys.

I expected to enjoy After Life, and I was not disappointed. Such a gentle and unassuming film--glad I saw it.

Overall, I think the list is a solid one, even if I still wish The House is Black occupied a place there.

Edited by John

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Who else has finished the Top 100? Who else gets to join the A&F Leather Jacket club?

I got a bit distracted the last couple months.

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I still need to get a new DVD player. It's not as easy as it sounds.

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Well, I guess I didn't do too well in my Top 100 quest. Here's to the new year and another go! (clink)

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Well, I guess I didn't do too well in my Top 100 quest. Here's to the new year and another go! (clink)

Yes, I'm getting back on this now for 2012 as well. To a certain extent it's work, but it's also well worth it.

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Well, I guess I didn't do too well in my Top 100 quest. Here's to the new year and another go! (clink)

Yes, I'm getting back on this now for 2012 as well. To a certain extent it's work, but it's also well worth it.

I agree. It is well worth it but sometimes it feels overwhelming. I also keep trying to just explore Cassavetes. Somehow one list interferes with the progression of the other.

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Still a significant amount of film watching I have to do on here. I need to start consciously seeking these out again.

Anyone else making progress? I'd recommend trying. Instead of just bringing our own personal tastes to the forum, I've found that making an effort to stretch my tastes with this list has been very rewarding, challenging and worthwhile.

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I'm making very slow progress. At this writing, I've seen 28 of the 247 films that have been on an Arts & Faith top 100 or top 25 list. Long, long way to go.

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Okay I'm gonna make a Word File and write in everything I need to see. I am sure I'm behind Rushmore.

seen 7 out of the 2011 list. a few of them i haven't seen are at the library.

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If you want to pursue all the lists, not just the 2011 top 100, you can use this spreadsheet. It was posted a while ago by M. Dale Prins, and I added some missing information and the top 25 lists to it.

Edited by Rushmore

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If you want to pursue all the lists, not just the 2011 top 100, you can use this spreadsheet. It was posted a while ago by M. Dale Prins, and I added some missing information and the top 25 lists to it.

THANK YOU. This is incredible, and I missed it the first time around. So far, I've only seen 79 out of the 246 on the list, so a little over 30%. I'll have to keep pecking away.

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Thanks Rushmore! I'm actually excited by how many are either at my library, or online legally free. Spent the whole afternoon going through the lists.

Edited by Taliesin

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Yes, Rushmore, thanks for the list. It will definitely be helpful as I pluck away at the list.

I am currently at 152 so, a little less than 100 more. (SIgh) That is both exciting and overwhelming.

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I still can't get over how useful that spreadsheet is. I set to goal to make it to 100 films by the end of December. I've already knocked a few more off, so I think it's do-able.

Edited by Jason Panella

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Interesting. I'd never seen that spreadsheet before. I've seen 220/242, and nearly all of the films I haven't seen were on the 2004 and 2005 lists. I'm trying to piece together why those lists are so different from the others. (Those were the years I took an on-and-off sabbatical from the forum.) I know Matt Page was a much more frequent participant then, and his personal interest in Biblical films may have influenced things a bit. Peter and SDG, I recall, were also more interested then in Biblical films.

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Im really into the challenge of watching the 2011 top 100, even though half of the movies Ive already seen from the list, which are like 12, don't believe deserve to be there or I don't even know why they are there. For example, I saw Ozu's Late spring and found it terribly boring. How then could I manage watching any other of the 3 Ozu's films in the list which seem similar to that one indeed? The same happen with Bicycle thieves and Chariots of fire. I understand they all have profound issues and good messages but movies (at least the best ones) should be expected to be entertaining as well. Why not including instead 1962's The miracle worker and/or 1993's Groundhog Day?

I'm shocked noticing The gospel according to St Matthews, 2001: A space Odyssey and There will be blood in a some how "spiritual" movie list when this movies seem to be blasphemous or skeptical about faith in the end.

On the other hand and whats keeping me going is Dreyer, Bresson, Akirosawa, Tarkovsky... Besides being one of the most recent, studied and universal spiritual movie list available for everyone online :-)

 

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2 hours ago, Mau said:

Im really into the challenge of watching the 2011 top 100, even though half of the movies Ive already seen from the list, which are like 12, don't believe deserve to be there or I don't even know why they are there. For example, I saw Ozu's Late spring and found it terribly boring. How then could I manage watching any other of the 3 Ozu's films in the list which seem similar to that one indeed? The same happen with Bicycle thieves and Chariots of fire. I understand they all have profound issues and good messages but movies (at least the best ones) should be expected to be entertaining as well. Why not including instead 1962's The miracle worker and/or 1993's Groundhog Day?

I'm shocked noticing The gospel according to St Matthews, 2001: A space Odyssey and There will be blood in a some how "spiritual" movie list when this movies seem to be blasphemous or skeptical about faith in the end.

On the other hand and whats keeping me going is Dreyer, Bresson, Akirosawa, Tarkovsky... Besides being one of the most recent, studied and universal spiritual movie list available for everyone online :-)

 

Welcome to A&F, Mau! Watching all 100 of the films is quite an endeavor. I wonder how you define "blasphemous," a word you used in the Gospel According to St Matthew thread, and perhaps what you criteria would consider to be "spiritually significant" within a film. Perhaps your definitions might evolve or change after watching more films on the list. I'm also curious as to what you found to be boring with Late Spring, Bicycle Thieves, and Chariots of Fire, three incredibly different films in terms of both form and content--what makes a film "boring" for you, and why is that considered a negative attribute?

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On 4/11/2017 at 4:58 AM, Mau said:

Im really into the challenge of watching the 2011 top 100

Me, too, Mau! The A&F lists have productively guided my film watching for several years now.

On 4/11/2017 at 4:58 AM, Mau said:

even though half of the movies Ive already seen from the list, which are like 12, don't believe deserve to be there or I don't even know why they are there.

I hear you on this one. I'd seen maybe 25 max of the films when I came across the Top 100 list a few years ago. And many of the ones I've seen I wouldn't include in my own top 100 films at the intersection of art & faith or however exactly the list is defined. But that's mainly because there are many more that resonate spiritually with me even more than the ones on the list, films that I think are even more deserving. To see why at least one person in the community thought a film worth including, especially for ones that I didn't see as especially list-worthy, I've found it helpful to read the blurbs that link from the Top 100 page or are on the Image Journal site with the films.

And the list is a group effort with a particular process, so of course there will be substantial variance from what any one person thinks the list should look like. (I should add that I'm new here and didn't contribute to the lists.)

On 4/11/2017 at 7:32 AM, Joel Mayward said:

I saw Ozu's Late spring and found it terribly boring. How then could I manage watching any other of the 3 Ozu's films in the list which seem similar to that one indeed?

Ozu is not particularly my cup of tea either. But "boring" isn't a word I'd use to describe his films. "Slow-paced" perhaps, but nevertheless engaging. Honestly, I think boredom with a work of art has more to do with the disposition of the viewer than the work itself. I tend to find Hollywood superhero movies "boring," for instance. Viewer experience is an important part of interpreting a film for me, but only to the extent that I know myself as a viewer, including my weaknesses. (And I'm not saying you don't, but there was a time when I probably would have found Ozu boring, too, and it corresponded to a time when I was less mature in my understanding of film.)

Some artists choose to pick a particular kind of setting or conventions or structure for their work and then create variations within that. I think the Dardennes' films are another good example of this. Or the novels of Jane Austen.

I think Late Spring was on the 2010 list but not the 2011 list, by the way.

On 4/11/2017 at 4:58 AM, Mau said:

The same happen with Bicycle thieves and Chariots of fire. I understand they all have profound issues and good messages but movies (at least the best ones) should be expected to be entertaining as well.

I think Chariots of Fire is supremely entertaining, in addition to its profundity and positive message! We all find different things entertaining, I guess. And Bicycle Thieves certainly doesn't conform to conventions that some film watchers are accustomed to, especially current Hollywood conventions. I had the good fortune to first see it shown as part of a college world cinema class, so that helped me appreciate it even though I may not have been "entertained." We probably just disagree on the value of "entertainment." I do think viewer engagement is important, but see my previous comment.

To be honest, I think that films are often "entertaining" at the expense of developing deeper artistic or spiritual profundity, which I personally value more.

On 4/11/2017 at 4:58 AM, Mau said:

Why not including instead 1962's The miracle worker and/or 1993's Groundhog Day?

I could probably think of 100 additional films that I think would belong on such a list! Can't have them all, which is part of what's helpful about the list. Groundhog Day is on the Divine Comedies list.

On 4/11/2017 at 4:58 AM, Mau said:

I'm shocked noticing The gospel according to St Matthews, 2001: A space Odyssey and There will be blood in a some how "spiritual" movie list when this movies seem to be blasphemous or skeptical about faith in the end.

Again, we all live out our spirituality differently, and find different things "spiritual" in film. For some, it has more to do with the "art," and I believe these three you mention are all very fine works of art. For some, it has more to do with "faith." Of course spirituality has other aspects, and both are integral aspects to spirituality. I'd argue that the aesthetic and the religious (broadly defined) are integral to human personhood--and if you believe humans are made in God's image, then pretty much anything can be spiritual to some extent! 

One of the reasons I love this list of films is that it has expanded my understanding of spirituality. While I certainly don't agree with everything on the list, as I mentioned, I trust the A&F community's judgment, and it hasn't disappointed. It's helped me to approach the list not as an exercise in seeing whether or not I agree with a film's placement on the list. Instead, I watch to film to be challenged. Instead of judging the films (though that's unavoidable), I try to let the films judge me.

An example of this from the Top 100 is Dogville. It's a difficult film, and I utterly disagree with what I take the film's worldview to be. Ultimately, I think it is anti-gospel. But it taught me a lot about human nature, including my own veniality and need for God's grace, in addition to showing me things done with cinema that I hadn't even considered were possible before.

I think it's important to be skeptical of our own faiths. We're human, after all, and thus prone to self-deception and idolatry. Skepticism is an important step toward a maturing faith.I think the latter two films have much to teach us about the dangers of technology and greed. And they both point to truths about what it means to be human. And they're beautifully crafted and also just to look at. And they're skeptical of aspects of faith that I think Christians should also be skeptical of.

On 4/11/2017 at 4:58 AM, Mau said:

whats keeping me going is Dreyer, Bresson, Akirosawa, Tarkovsky

AH, YES! Sounds like we share some favorites!

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