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kenmorefield

2015 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury

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I'd like to second Experimenter. An interesting self-aware approach to the biopic and loads to think about ethically. Obedience is a thorny topic for Christians, as we consider it a virtue, and the abuses of authority are always an important issue for Christians to contend with. Going Clear deals with a lot of the same stuff, but the artistry of Experimenter puts it ahead of that one for me. It also goes on from that to contend with issues of calling and personal worth. 

I also tell everyone to watch Experimenter because people have a hard time understanding what I do all day, and the events of this film are one of the events that set the stage historically for the research ethics in the US. Ergo, it explains what I do all day.

And... its existential (post-Holocaust) commentary on what it means to be a human is a real tribute to Milgram's core insights.

I will third the recommendation for Experimenter. All of what Lauren and Michael said plus it's one of the most playful films I've seen in some time–formally and thematically. It deals deftly with its heavier subject matter while also reveling in its awareness of craft; it's at times both very silly and deeply melancholic. Peter Sarsgaard's performance is brilliantly affected, and the supporting cast is aces, notably Winona Ryder (glad to see her back doing some significant work!). Also, the film has swagger in spades which really had me wanting to rewatch it immediately. And–not to be *that* guy–but it transcends its biopic subject matter to really deal with, ultimately, the experiment that is film/theater and the ethics of filmic representation itself. The debate ever-rages on the nature of adaptation, be it literary or biographical, and I think Experimenter is a near-perfect adaptation in how it evokes the essence of a man's life, work, and relationships without ever betraying the human life behind it all. 

I feel like I need apologize to everyone who received those Magnolia screeners because of the inclusion of the film Entertainment. I'm not sure if any of you have watched it yet; I was curious about it so I requested it. But it may be the worst, most pitiful film I've seen in years. So, if any of you have seen it, I owe you some 100-odd minutes from my own life. Get in line.

Has everyone received the screener links for Listen to Me Marlon and The Armor of Light?

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Thanks for getting those screeners set up Colin! I watched BEST OF ENEMIES this afternoon and I'm sitting down to watch EXPERIMENTER right now. 

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I'm excited to revisit Experimenter Saw it in less than ideal conditions at VIFF (early screening, lack of coffee/food, didn't take notes, and general exhaustion of seeing 4 movies a day), and I don't remember it particularly well, but all y'all's reactions have me kicking myself for not paying closer attention to it.

And I have received the Armor of Light screener, but not Marlon yet. (And add my thanks to the chorus for all the screeners Colin!)

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I screened James White and was incredibly impressed by the story, and the emotional character-driven piece of coming to terms with "reality" . Questions of "how do we face pain, how do we face responsibility, how do we face sadness" all provide relevance for critical thinking for Christians and non-Christians. 

Edited by Noel T Manning II

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I heartily second The Assassin, and now want to see it again. A deliberately, beautifully obscure film.

I'd like to second Experimenter. An interesting self-aware approach to the biopic and loads to think about ethically. Obedience is a thorny topic for Christians, as we consider it a virtue, and the abuses of authority are always an important issue for Christians to contend with. Going Clear deals with a lot of the same stuff, but the artistry of Experimenter puts it ahead of that one for me. It also goes on from that to contend with issues of calling and personal worth. 

I applaud both of these films as well

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I screened James White and was incredibly impressed by the story, and the emotional character-driven piece of coming to terms with "reality" . Questions of "how do we face pain, how do we face responsibility, how do we face sadness" all provide relevance for critical thinking for Christians and non-Christians. 

For the record: is that a nomination?

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After quite a bit of thought, I decided I am going to second Homeless. It's highly relevant subject for Christian audiences, and it's a fairly well made film as well, so it should definitely be considered.

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After quite a bit of thought, I decided I am going to second Homeless. It's highly relevant subject for Christian audiences, and it's a fairly well made film as well, so it should definitely be considered.

I agree, Evan. I was planning on doing the same. Ken makes a good argument for it.

 

Also, I want to nominate Stray Dog. 

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I may have missed conversation on this somewhere in the thread, but if it hasn't been nominated yet, I would recommend Panahi's TAXI, even while I have some leftover questions about what's scripted and what isn't and what the answer to that means.

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Hey everyone....sorry to be *that* guy, but it looks like the title of one of the films being promoted is The Armor of Light, not Armor of Light. Since there is another 2015 film listed on IMDB as Armor of Light, that distinction is important.

I may have missed conversation on this somewhere in the thread, but if it hasn't been nominated yet, I would recommend Panahi's TAXI, even while I have some leftover questions about what's scripted and what isn't and what the answer to that means.

I don't believe it has been nominated as yet. I enjoyed the Panahi film, though, much like Closed Curtain and This is Not a Film I have a hard time separating the work of art from the cause. That's perhaps more so in Taxi....excuse me JAFAR PANAHI's TAXI. (Yes, his name is part of the English title, though the original appears to have been simply TAXI). 

I found it a film I appreciated more than anything he's done since OFFSIDE, and some of the themes are near and dear to my heart: the nature of art, the resistance of the artist to external pressures. The latter, too, makes me able to see (if I squint) a special distinction for/from Christian audiences. Though, honestly, if that were the reason I wanted a Christian audience to watch it (to better understand some aspects of Islamic states), I'd probably be more inclined to give them A SINNER IN MECCA since the gay issues in that film tie the critique of Islam to similar critiques of American Christianity. 

 

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Bcolinstacy wrote:
: I feel like I need apologize to everyone who received those Magnolia screeners because of the inclusion of the film Entertainment.

Oh, don't! I missed it at VIFF, but a clip from it was featured prominently in the VIFF trailer, so I've been curious to see it. Plus it does feature a scene in which John C. Reilly sings 'Away in a Manger' quite beautifully. :)

: Has everyone received the screener links for Listen to Me Marlon and The Armor of Light?

The Armor of Light, yes. Listen to Me Marlon, no.

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The Armor of Light, yes. Listen to Me Marlon, no.

My recollection was that Colin's request for Listen to Me Marlon was early in the process and predated his having the e-mail roster. I gave him the contact info for the publicist (which I had from OFCS) and he asked for that one individually. Part of that, too, might have been that the film had already been nominated and seconded and at least two others (me/Steven) I knew/assumed had it (Steven because he is also in OFCS). 

If anyone wants to send me a PM or e-mail, I will be happy to send you the contact info to request it.

After quite a bit of thought, I decided I am going to second Homeless. It's highly relevant subject for Christian audiences, and it's a fairly well made film as well, so it should definitely be considered.

Thank you; on reflection, it may be (for me) the sort of opposite of Taxi or some others...scoring high on the relevance (vertical axis) but less on the artistic/aesthetic (horizantal axis). Though, for a first film, made for 20 K, with volunteer actors, I found it pretty impressive on that score. 

On reflection, I am going to go ahead and nominate A Sinner in Mecca.  (It's on Netflix in US.) Akin to what one juror told me about another nomination, it's not like I'll be hugely shocked or offended if it isn't seconded, but I'll feel better about myself for having nominated it. 

Edited by kenmorefield

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Just a heads up, I got emails this morning saying the Magnolia screeners expire tomorrow, so if anyone wants to see them, you'll have to do so quickly. I'd definitely recommend watching Experimenter.

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Slow-going on the film-viewing for me right now. I'm catching Spotlight tonight, which has been at the top of my must see list. I had 90 minutes last night, so I managed to catch Cop Car, which was a joy ride of a thriller. Saw Tu Dors Nicole as well and loved it, but I don't feel much in the way of an arts-and-faith vibe from it.

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Regarding the Magnolia screeners (thanks again to Colin!): A Bird Who Sat on a Branch... is also streaming via Netflix in the US. I enjoyed Experimenter, but might not as much as a few others in this group. It's certainly a unique approach to a biopic, but I'm unsure if I was in the right mood to truly be engaged by that approach, which was tonally confusing for me. Was it supposed to be funny? Serious? Experimental? Historical? It was all of these, but that tonal mashup threw me off.

I, too, will be seeing Spotlight this evening. And I'm putting Homeless high on my to-watch priority list.

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The Armor of Light, yes. Listen to Me Marlon, no.

My recollection was that Colin's request for Listen to Me Marlon was early in the process and predated his having the e-mail roster. I gave him the contact info for the publicist (which I had from OFCS) and he asked for that one individually. Part of that, too, might have been that the film had already been nominated and seconded and at least two others (me/Steven) I knew/assumed had it (Steven because he is also in OFCS). 

If anyone wants to send me a PM or e-mail, I will be happy to send you the contact info to request it.

Ken, I asked the publicist to send out LISTEN TO ME MARLON screeners to the whole jury earlier this week. He said they'd be happy to, looks like he hasn't sent them yet though. Also, everyone should be receiving A MIDSUMMER'S FANTASIA, nominated by Josh.

I will also be seeing SPOTLIGHT tonight. Be sure to share your initial thoughts! 

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Ah, okay. That particular publicist is one I've worked with and actually met (at TIFF) and I know he's super busy, particularly with that film. There was a delay in between when I asked for it and when he sent it, so probably he's at a Fest or something and will do it when he gets back.

By the way, does anyone want to comment (here or in the thread) about 99 Homes?
 

I confess I'm all over the map. There are days I think its crackers and will end up on my Top 10 (was thinking Monday how Michael Shannon is even great in tripe like .... the embargoed movie I saw on Monday night.) But then there are days where I think, man Ramin Bahrani movies sure are great...at making me want to put my head in an oven! It's just so bleak. I mean it's topical, and I'm always down for telling Christians they should see how people suffer as a result of some of the systems (political/socio-economic) that they often idolatrize. But then I remember the blue-haired Illinois lady who walked out of Hoop Dreams in front of me and snorted, "don't have money for electricity but plenty of money for basketball shoes!" and I think, ah is it really about making them see or is it more about stoking my indignation that they don't?

 

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SPOTLIGHT opens here tomorrow. Hoping I can catch it this next week.

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Bcolinstacy wrote:
: I feel like I need apologize to everyone who received those Magnolia screeners because of the inclusion of the film Entertainment.

Oh, don't! I missed it at VIFF, but a clip from it was featured prominently in the VIFF trailer, so I've been curious to see it. Plus it does feature a scene in which John C. Reilly sings 'Away in a Manger' quite beautifully. :)

Did you get around to Entertainment, Peter? If only John C. Reilly singing had the power to save this film. If only...

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Bcolinstacy wrote:
: Did you get around to Entertainment, Peter?

I actually wrote my previous post while I was watching the film, so yeah, I did. I actually thought it wasn't bad, though the main character is certainly not the sort of person I'd ever want to spend any time with in real life. The film is certainly nowhere near the list of "worst" movies I've ever seen.

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Nominate: Amour Fou (which played at TIFF in 2014 but listed in IMDB as 2015 release in USA). 

Jessica Hausner is perhaps an acquired taste, I don't know. But I've seen this film three times and yowza it's great. (Steaming on Amazon and available from Film Movement.) Just don't get the dubbed version.

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Nominate: Amour Fou (which played at TIFF in 2014 but listed in IMDB as 2015 release in USA). 

Jessica Hausner is perhaps an acquired taste, I don't know. But I've seen this film three times and yowza it's great. (Steaming on Amazon and available from Film Movement.) Just don't get the dubbed version.

I think it's also on Netflix (though I'm not sure which version)

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Nominate: Amour Fou (which played at TIFF in 2014 but listed in IMDB as 2015 release in USA). 

Jessica Hausner is perhaps an acquired taste, I don't know. But I've seen this film three times and yowza it's great. (Steaming on Amazon and available from Film Movement.) Just don't get the dubbed version.

Second!

Netflix has the subbed version.

 

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Nominate: Jauja (A&F Thread)

Argh. I keep waiting for Netflix to correct the aspect ratio on this, but on my TV, no matter what adjustment I make, it is letterbox-stretching the image. I just can't watch the movie that way.

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