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Darryl A. Armstrong

Coverage of the Top 25 Divine Comedies List

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Figured I'd start a thread so we can keep tabs of discussions about the list.

 

My blog entry.

 

Besides SDG's introduction, has anyone else written up a blog post yet?

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Matt Zoller Seitz posted Steven's intro on his Facebook page before I could even bring the link to his attention.

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Steven's getting shared all over the place this week!

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My blog.

 

I gave shout outs to Network, Frances Ha, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Ruling Class, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

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My blog.

 

I gave shout outs to Network, Frances Ha, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Ruling Class, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

 

High five for highlighting The Ruling Class as I did!

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

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Is there a common hashtag to use in tweets?

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Great job, everyone.  (Except, of course, for your voting.)

 

I am considering writing a post about this for my own website, but I am trying to figure out how to do it without being too critical.  On the one hand, even if I write something criticizing the results of the list, it will still cause more readers to see & think about the list than would otherwise if I didn't write something about it.  On the other hand, I'd feel guilty criticizing results that I prevented from being changed for the better by trying to enforce the rules.

 

Of course, no Top 25 list has turned out exactly how I wanted, but I've always been impressed with all of them until now.  It hasn't disillusioned me with the idea of doing more Top 25 lists.  In fact, I'll start a new discussion thread on how we can lengthen and improve the process soon.  But this list is so ... so ... not informed.  I think it's missing a comprehensiveness that I've come to expect for our lists.  But also I'm trying to take into account what are admittedly my own biases and prejudices.  We'll see.

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How would we approach a do-over? 

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Great job, everyone.  (Except, of course, for your voting.)]

 

I am considering writing a post about this for my own website, but I am trying to figure out how to do it without being too critical.  On the one hand, even if I write something criticizing the results of the list, it will still cause more readers to see & think about the list than would otherwise if I didn't write something about it.  On the other hand, I'd feel guilty criticizing results that I prevented from being changed for the better by trying to enforce the rules.

 

Of course, no Top 25 list has turned out exactly how I wanted, but I've always been impressed with all of them until now.  It hasn't disillusioned me with the idea of doing more Top 25 lists.  In fact, I'll start a new discussion thread on how we can lengthen and improve the process soon.  But this list is so ... so ... not informed.  I think it's missing a comprehensiveness that I've come to expect for our lists.  But also I'm trying to take into account what are admittedly my own biases and prejudices.  We'll see.

  

If you're too bitter or apathetic about the outcome to work up any enthusiasm, however qualified, don't write about it. 

 

I haven't written up every list we've done. 

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For what it's worth, Jeremy, I'd urge you to go easy on the self- and group-flagellation.  It's a decent list, limited by its monolingual quality and over-representation of certain directors and studio-auteurs.  But within those limitations, I think we've got some good stuff in there:  Lars and the Real Girl, Whit Stillman, Dr. Strangelove, etc.  And the intro and blurbs are terrific.  In balance, I think we can be modestly proud of our creation. 

 

For me, the key is to learn from this experience; we were going to run into such difficulties sooner or later.  My suggestions for future Top 25 lists, that I'll copy and paste into the new thread whenever you start it:

 

1) No more than 2 directors or studio-auteurs per list - for me, this strikes the right balance between recognizing the great auteurs of a genre (in this case, Pixar, the Coens, Charlie Chaplin, etc.), while allowing for diversity.

 

2) Have some more pre-voting time to allow for advocacy of particular overlooked gems.  I would love to see this list-making allow for maybe 3-4 in-depth film club discussions.  For comedies, for instance, I would've loved to see discussions of Tampopo, Good Morning, a Jacques Tati film, Sherlock Jr., etc.

 

3) Perhaps in 3-5 years' time, with these lessons learned, we can return to comedies and vote in a new list.

 

I hope, too, that this experience will motivate this year's non-voters to get off their keisters and vote!  It only takes 15-20 minutes, and unlike U.S. presidential elections with their cursed electoral college, your votes here actually make a difference. 

 

However, I would not want you or any other folks involved in the list organizing process to do more to get certain people to vote.  I think there are reminders aplenty for all us busy folks juggling families, one or two careers, and our avocations; and singling out certain folks for special pleading smacks of elitism. 

Edited by Andrew

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I had already read SDG's intro in Peter's blog and thought it extremely good, and now that I look at the list itself, so are all your blurbs.  I would also have liked to see more voices and wider involvement in the write-ups, and there are members whose eloquence and insight and independence I've admired and wish wrere present. I agree wholeheartedly  about limiting the number of appearances by a single director or studio, yet I'm not disappointed in the films themselves - the films that made the list.

 

I noticed that the first sentence of my own blurb was abridged from this:

"From the scene that unveils his comic genius to the close-up that sees right through it to the heart of the Little Tramp, Chaplin intoxicates us. "

to this: "From the first scene, Chaplin intoxicates us."

 

I'm not sure if it was because of length constraints or because it was poorly worded,  but I'm very disappointed. Not because my words were changed or because I was referring so pointedly to the opening and closing scenes in the film, but because what I most wanted to impart about City Lights  and found most relevant to the outlying list (besides the final parenthetical words of my blurb)  is gone. I feel I've done the list and the film a disservice. 

 

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Is there any possibility of working with Josie on a new edit of her blurb? I hate to cause rework to anyone, but I feel her pain over the loss of an essential point from her first sentence. (Not to add to her pain, but when I first read the abbreviated sentence in the capsule, I thought it was an odd opening, but now that I see the full sentence as she wrote it I understand what she was going for.)

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Thanks for the reminder, SDG.  I just sent them another message about this.  It was edited by the Image staff, but I think we can allow it to go back to more of what she originally intended.

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Is there any possibility of working with Josie on a new edit of her blurb? I hate to cause rework to anyone, but I feel her pain over the loss of an essential point from her first sentence. (Not to add to her pain, but when I first read the abbreviated sentence in the capsule, I thought it was an odd opening, but now that I see the full sentence as she wrote it I understand what she was going for.)

On the contrary, I'm really grateful for this post. First because I assumed the possibility had been forgotten or dismissed. And most because even though the two versions say very different things, I didn't know if my dismay would make sense to others here or just seem petty. I'm reluctant to create more work for Tyler too and generally need to wrestle with things and get them right the first go round/draft or scrap them, but I'd like to try to preserve my original point. 

 

 

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