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VOTING (FINAL ROUND): Films on Mercy


TylerMcCabe
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Hi, all!

Here's the final vote for the Top 25: rank your top picks with a 5 and your lowest picks with a 1. Folks who have been a part of our community actively will have their votes weighted based on how often they've contributed to A&F, but anyone and everyone is welcome to participate. If you don't know a movie, do not rate it.

We will close voting at noon PST on Tuesday, April 26.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SD67ND2

Have at it!

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Can we open the survey to see the films, and then close it, and still be able to vote later? I definitely want to see what the top 50 are before voting.

"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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2 hours ago, Evan C said:

Can we open the survey to see the films, and then close it, and still be able to vote later? I definitely want to see what the top 50 are before voting.

Here's the Top 50:

 

Adam’s Apples (2005)
Calvary (2014)
Child, The (L'Enfant) (2005)
City Lights (1931)
Close-Up (1990)
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Devil and Daniel Webster, The (1941)
Diary of a Country Priest (1951)
Elephant Man, The (1980)
Frisco Jenny (1932)
Goodbye Solo (2008)
Hadewijch (2009)
Happy Together (1997)
Immigrant, The (2014)
Island, The (2006)
Joyeux Noel (2005)
Kid with a Bike, The (2011)
Kid, The
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Look of Silence, The (2014)
Love & Mercy (2014)
Merchant of Venice, The (2004)
Miserables, Les (1935)
Monsieur Vincent (1947)
Munyurangabo (2007)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Night of the Hunter, The (1955)
Of Gods and Men (2010)
Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943)
Phantom Carriage, The (1921)
Philomena (2013)
Pianist, The (2002)
Pickpocket (1959)
Pieces of April (2003)
Schindler's List (1993)
Scrooge (1951)
Short Term 12 (2013)
Son, The (2002)
Spirited Away (2001)
Stevie (2002)
Tale of Two Cities, A (1935)
Tender Mercies (1983)
This is Martin Bonner (2013)
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The (2005)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Troubled Water (1998)
Tsotsi (2005)
Two Days, One Night (2014)
Visitor, The (2007)
Widow of Saint Pierre, The (2000)

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Thanks.

 

Thoughts on the list:
 

Overall, really good.

Whoohoo! No Dogville.

Sad to see Nausicaa and Spirited Away are the only animated films which made it.

I'm puzzled by Night of the Hunter. I love the film, but other than Lilian Gish's character towards the end, I don't think mercy plays out as a major theme, although I'm open to being persuaded otherwise.

"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'm also a little puzzled by Night of the Hunter.

 

But, anyhow.  Anyway we slice it, we are going to end up with a good list.

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Some great choices in this final 50.

One thought : Though I love the Dardennes and ranked them highly myself, I think we should take measures to make sure we don't put all 4 of those Dardennes films on our final 25.  That would be unbalanced.  On the flip side, this points up the fact that theirs is in many ways a cinema of mercy. 

Do we have a "filmmaker limit" for this list?

Edited by Brian D
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One thought about how to use this second round to shape the top 25 in a meaningful way :

I see that Stevie and Look of Silence are the only 2 documentaries remaining.  I would argue that we should try to get 1 or 2 docs in our final list.  Among many reasons for this, one of the compelling ones would be that it would give our list more real-world heft and relevance.  If you agree we should have documentaries in there and you respect 1 or both of these films, give them a big 5. ;)

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I wish our selection didn’t reflect as much chronological snobbery.  We can do better with over ten decades of cinema to work with.

Our "Top 50" per decade:

1910s -
1920s - 2
1930s - 4
1940s - 3
1950s - 4
1960s - 1
1970s -
1980s - 3
1990s - 5
2000s - 18
2010s - 10

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Yeah it's a lack of insight, memory, and access.  Many early films just simply get lost, but the ones that do remain do so for a good reason.  They are stand out films.  The 70's was an era of great films, but I can't really think of many about mercy, at least not at the moment.

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Does anyone want to argue for Nausicaa or Spirited Away over the other? 

Of the Dardenne films, I think clearly The Son and The Kid With the Bike are the most mercy-centered films. It's there in L'Enfant and Two Days, One Night, but not as centrally as The Son and Kid With a Bike

I can't tell you how overjoyed I will be if Monsieur Vincent makes the list. It's an older film, a foreign language film, a relatively unfamiliar film that deserves the attention of our list, a masterpiece, and its relevance for our list is of the highest order. 

I am also very much hoping Tsotsi and/or Munyurangabo makes the list. Even assuming Of Gods and Men makes the list, and by God I hope it does, while that is technically an African story the protagonists are all white, like the vast majority of subjects of our candidates. 

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Okay, I just watched The Phantom Carriage on Hulu. I'd never seen it before. 

OMG. What a film. And yes, what a mercy film. If you haven't voted yet and haven't seen it, definitely see it before voting. 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I watched The Phantom Carriage for the first time as well a few nights ago. And yes, SDG is right: it's an incredible film, thoroughly about mercy, that should absolutely make 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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If I had to choose only one film Spirited Away and Nausicaa for a "films about mercy" list, I'd likely pick the latter, even though I personally think the former is a stronger and more imaginative film overall. Nausicaa is such a remarkable heroine figure, and her acts of mercy are consistent throughout the story--it's not only a cathartic act of mercy at the climax (though that's there too), it's the small, pervasive acts of mercy that make it such a unique and beautiful story.

I'd also agree with Steven about the Dardennes' films, though I've mentioned elsewhere that I think The Kid with a Bike is more about *grace* while The Son is more about *mercy,* if we want to parse those terms. I think mercy is a theme in every Dardennes film, at least all their major features after La promesse.

For The Night of the Hunter, which I nominated--it's all about the immense contrast between Harry Powell and Rachel Cooper, which can only fully be appreciated when one has seen just how depraved Powell can be in the first acts. The lack of mercy is so weighty and spiraling at the beginning that Lillian Gish's arrival in the final scenes is like getting a sudden gulp of fresh air after almost drowning. She saves not only the children but the audience from being overwhelmed by human cruelty.

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For the future, it would be fantastic to have a few more weeks between the nomination deadline and the voting.  I noticed that several lesser-known films were nominated right before the deadline.  I'm sure that's just a reality of life, as folks are busy.  However, we would have a much higher chance of getting those more obscure films (especially the older ones) into our final list if there were a few more weeks in between knowing the final list and voting.  I myself hope to catch up with some of these lesser-known films, but my rate of film-watching doesn't allow me to do it before the voting deadline. :) 

Very excited about this list, though!
 

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When the final list is (likely) posted this week, I'll be out of the country and unable to post here, so I thought I'd put this here now: I'd love to write a blurb or two for the list on any of the films I nominated.

Also, I'll throw in my accolades for The Phantom Carriage as well. Was it considered for the A&F Horror list? It's a remarkable film in so many ways--the editing, the narrative structure, the visual effects, etc.

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