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Top 25 list for next year?


Evan C
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Since we usually have started discussing a topic for next year's top 25 list by now, I figured I would ask. Are we doing one, and does anyone have any ideas for a theme?

With Jeremy on hiatus (hope all is going well and he'll return soon), I don't know who will organize it, so maybe we should discuss that as well.

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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I think we should do one.  Weren't there some ideas for a theme that we had decided against previously, with the thought of revisiting them?  

Edited by Attica
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New question (per discussion on facebook): Should we do a top 100, seeing that it has been five years since our last one?

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Related question: Are there enough of us still participating here to make a list project worthwhile? I'm not implying yes or no. It just seems like activity at A&F has declined sharply in recent months.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I could be wrong, but from past years' results, it always seems like we have more people vote than those who actively participate, and it also seems like a list project always increases activity.

 

But let's see, (I'm inevitably going to forget someone, so I'm apologizing in advance)

Overstreet, Evan C, Attica, Peter T. Chattaway, SDG, Rushmore, Ryan H, Christian, Ken Morefield, M Leary, Darren Hughes, John Drew, NBooth, Nathan Douglas, Nate Bell, Anders, Tyler Petty, Andrew, Darrel Manson, Darryl A. Armstrong, Jason Panella, Nick Alexander, Mrmando

 

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Add Josh Hamm, Victor Morton, and Jason Morehead to the above list. I'm here too. :)

I think a new Top 100 list for 2016 would be intriguing and potentially spark some great new discussion (despite our admittedly busy schedules).

As an anecdote, I recently had a seminary prof comment on discovering this *wonderful* list of films about spirituality, which had one of his favorites (Babette's Feast) near the top. He was eager to know more about Arts and Faith, and I imagine others would be too.

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Related question: Are there enough of us still participating here to make a list project worthwhile? I'm not implying yes or no. It just seems like activity at A&F has declined sharply in recent months.

I've posted much less lately, due to a relocation with a new job, etc., and before that a shortage of Internet access. However, I'm still around and hope to ramp up my A&F activity again soon.

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FWIW, my own decrease in activity here is partly the result of an incredibly busy month (TIFF, VIFF, a presentation I gave in Toronto...), but I also find the new format for this site a lot less welcoming than it used to be.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Add Josh Hamm, Victor Morton, and Jason Morehead to the above list. I'm here too. :)

I blame your absence from the A&F Facebook group, which is what I checked to make that list. I'm still not sure how I forgot Jason Morehead.

You know, I'm going to add you to the group (it's what we use for board maintenance questions and similar stuff.)

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Related question: Are there enough of us still participating here to make a list project worthwhile? I'm not implying yes or no. It just seems like activity at A&F has declined sharply in recent months.

It has. I think it's partially due to formatting issues and all the technical issues we had with the site.

 

We're due for a new Top 100 (if Jeremy doesn't want to take the lead, I'd be willing), but I say we hold off a bit for the membership to get back together and to give some time for the site to be redesigned.

 

Besides, the timeline for these lists has often been intensely inconvenient, and a T100 vote takes more effort than a T25, so it would be nice to have things start up after the New Year.

Edited by Ryan H.
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I'm just not sure that there would be enough change to make the new list worthwhile just yet.  What new films might make the list?  Whose new here since the last list?

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I'm just not sure that there would be enough change to make the new list worthwhile just yet.  What new films might make the list?  Whose new here since the last list?

Rushmore, myself, Josh Hamm, and I think Joel Mayward are all new since the last list. There are probably a few others.

As I said on Facebook, Tree of Life and The Kid with a Bike are probably guaranteed a spot. Moonrise Kingdom, A Separation, and Of Gods and Men should all have good chances as well. And I eagerly look forward to dumping Dogville from the list.

 

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Perhaps to help speed up the process of choosing a theme, we could go back to the list generated in 2014 (the one that resulted in both the Divine Comedy, and Memory Top 25's) and forward the remaining themes that received votes, and give them a second wind here, along with whatever other themes that get suggested for 2015.  There were some good themes to choose from.

 

That list is here.  FWIW, I'd leave off the Films about Childhood category, as the site Wonders in the Dark is just finishing up their pretty incredible list of the same title (83 films in all).

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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If Ryan were willing to take the lead on discussion and format, and if Image was willing to host it, and we had adequate time and community to make a solid list, then a 2016 Top 100 list would be fruitful. I agree that the end-of-the-year timeline has often been what makes previous lists difficult, as key voices will often get busy with fall and Christmas schedules, then suddenly realize there's a list when it's published in February. 

Perhaps to help speed up the process of choosing a theme, we could go back to the list generated in 2014 (the one that resulted in both the Divine Comedy, and Memory Top 25's) and forward the remaining themes that received votes, and give them a second wind here, along with whatever other themes that get suggested for 2015.  There were some good themes to choose from.

That list is here.  FWIW, I'd leave off the Films about Childhood category, as the site Wonders in the Dark is just finishing up their pretty incredible list of the same title (83 films in all).

Thanks for that link on Childhood Films! Were we to do a shorter list based on the previous suggestions, a Top 25 Coming-of-Age films would be excellent. It's become my favorite genre, so much so that I'm considering PhD work in this direction. :)

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I'd be up for doing a top 25 and a new 100 (we did horror the same year as our last top 100, after all). If we did decide to do that, I think Ryan's idea of waiting until after the new year to start working on the top 100 would be best. However, does anyone think it would be a foolish idea to produce a top 25 following our usual schedule? I'd be willing to take the lead on the top 25, as long as someone else (Ryan?) spearheaded the top 100.

 

Also, I'm just going to throw this idea out there for a top 25 (I'm not sure I would want to do this, but I do want to discuss it.) Top 25 Guilty Pleasures - Cinematic favorites that we acknowledge may or may not be "great" films, but we love watching them as a sort of comfort food. I thought the result might have some surprising differences from our usual lists. On the other hand, the results could also be a list of mediocre films which we'd all dislike. Then again, I think it's worthwhile to acknowledge that there is a time and place for cinematic candy bars once in awhile. Also, how else I am going to get Beetlejuice on one of these lists? :)

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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I just want to clarify that we at Image will support whatever the A&F community wants to do this year! ^_^ We've got a beautiful new site to base a list or lists (with the goal of migrating the old ones as well) and plenty of intern support this winter. (Just don't forget to discuss what you want the list to result in, content-wise.)

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Evan.  If your list is correct then there are more regular "new" contributors than I had expected.

If we are going to do both then I would agree that we should get going on the top 25 right away with plans for the top 100 later.

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Add Josh Hamm, Victor Morton, and Jason Morehead to the above list. I'm here too. :)

I blame your absence from the A&F Facebook group, which is what I checked to make that list. I'm still not sure how I forgot Jason Morehead.

You know, I'm going to add you to the group (it's what we use for board maintenance questions and similar stuff.)

I wasn't aware of any A&F Facebook group, either.

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I've been posting less because a lot of our interactions have migrated to other forums (Facebook, Twitter, Letterboxd), and I've had a very busy last six weeks between new teaching posts, new job for my wife, children starting school/daycare, family visits, and TIFF (and the Blue Jays playoff push). So, I'm still very attached to this site, but just haven't had a lot of time for it.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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I have a request, if you're still taking requests.

 

Please do a Top 25 FAMILY FILMS list. 

 

People keep asking me what I recommend they want to watch with their families, with their 10 year olds.  How cool it would be to recommend "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (brief mother-related nudity), or "Andrei Rublev" (brief nudity), or "The Bicycle Thief" (scene in a bordello), or a Dardenne brothers film (mature themes), or ....

 

You see what I'm saying?

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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But let's see, (I'm inevitably going to forget someone, so I'm apologizing in advance)

Overstreet, Evan C, Attica, Peter T. Chattaway, SDG, Rushmore, Ryan H, Christian, Ken Morefield, M Leary, Darren Hughes, John Drew, NBooth, Nathan Douglas, Nate Bell, Anders, Tyler Petty, Andrew, Darrel Manson, Darryl A. Armstrong, Jason Panella, Nick Alexander, Mrmando

 

I have historically not participated in the Top 25 voting for reasons I needn't reiterate here. I voted in one Top 100 (at least) but haven't since then...for reasons I need not get into here.

But since my name was brought up and one of the issues raised is end-of-year calendar, it might be a place to raise the question of whether or not A&F is going to do an Ecumenical Jury this year. Last year, that was more or less my thing, as it replaced the Christianity Today critics' poll. It included some A&F members but was not limited to A&F. After much discussion, the results were appropriated by Image and the title changed to the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury (if I recall correctly.) If A&F is planning on another iteration, it might dilute both to have them going on at the same time.

 

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I think (per the facebook discussion) that we decided to wait until the new year to do any top 25 or top 100 list, so that would probably make doing the Ecumenical Jury easier, were we to do it again in December.

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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I'd love to be involved in curating a new list; the last Top 100 is what drew me to the site originally. I've been absent largely because of similar conversations taking place on Twitter and Letterboxd (and to some degree Facebook), combined with the lack of others' participation at A&F.

"What's prayer? It's shooting shafts in the dark." -- Frederick Buechner, Godric

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I would love to be a part of helping create a top 25 list, though I'm sometimes a bit limited in what I have access to because of where I live 80% of the time. "Coming of age films" and "Family films" both sound intriguing.  Would the "Coming of age" category have too much overlap with the top Memory films list from a year ago?  Maybe not... 

Here's another idea : Best "crime" films.  I imagine there would be a lot of different opinions on what we would want to include there, or what would be appropriate for A&F.  Crime films can, however, cut to the heart of certain spiritual and moral themes in ways more direct than other genres.  This could be reminiscent in some ways of the top 25 horror films from a few years back, as that is also a genre very unique in the way it evokes the spiritual and the moral.

 

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This would be a very, very long shot but: I would love to see this community curate a Top 25 Avant-Garde/Experimental list. I know there used to be discussions here on the spiritual properties of Brakhage, Dorsky, late Godard, etc, and that we have a wealth of knowledge on the topic amongst many members. Access to films would be a challenge, depending on the filmmaker, but at the same time there is a striking amount available on home video and Youtube (Criterion's Brakhage and Frampton sets, the Treasures sets, individual works by filmmakers like Godard, Bunuel, Akerman, Jarman, more obscure shorts, etc). It would also likely be a shorts-heavy list, which would be something we haven't tried yet (and perhaps easier to catch up with, as far as seeing new films). 

As I said, I imagine this will be a hard sell, but if any community has the chops to exegete experimental cinema from a grounded and curious religious perspective, it's A&F.

Edited by Nathan Douglas
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