kenmorefield

2016 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury -- Nominations and Discussion

Which Voting Format Do You Prefer?   13 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Voting Format Do You Prefer

    • 1 Ballot where members rank each nominated film using a Likert (1-5) scale; winners are films with highest average from critics who have screened film.
      3
    • 1 Ballot where critics select their 10-15 favorites, unranked, from all nominees; winners are determined by second ballot where critics rank the 10/15 finalists.
      10

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166 posts in this topic

Through Ken's connections, I've contacted a few publicists requesting screeners for films. So far, I've received a link to view The Innocents, a film which I feel really does need to be seen and considered for this list. I also requested screeners for Paterson and Captain Fantastic, and was met with a positive response (we'll see if/when the screeners arrive in the mail).  If you'd like the contact info for the few publicists I've been in touch with, let me know!

Also, I nominate Arrival.

Edited by Joel Mayward

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Hey, if anyone has a few minutes this weekend, feel free to skim through the first post and make sure everything you've nominated has been added to the list and anything you've seconded is in bold. I came in to second Captain Fantastic and I didn't see it nominated, but I thought for sure it had been. It's possible I missed some stuff. 

I've been having second thoughts about tinkering with the voting. While I like the idea of simply selecting 10 from all nominees and then ranking, that will, I realize favor those more widely seen/distributed, since there is no way until the Top 10 to distinguish between your #1 and #10. Soo....here is what I'm proposing....

First ballot will be like last year, all nominated films on a Likert scale (1-5) with option of haven't seen. Top 10 determined by highest average, among films seen by at least 1/2 jury. I will then send out an *optional* second ballot that allows jurors who care to do so to rank the Top 10. For those who don't, I'll just use their scores from the first ballot. That way, if you gave more than one film a 5 you can have an opportunity to say which you prefer (if they both make it). Also if a film gets in Top 10 that you didn't vote for, you will have an extra day or two to see it and rank it. My hope is to allow people to vote strategically by giving high scores to films they hope qualify for Top 10 while still having *some* opportuinty to distinguish between films that you ranked at same level (5,4,3,2,1) etc. It may be, for instance, that someone hase a clear #1 that they want to stand out (or 2-3 films they care about more than the others they still value highly). 

Does that sound okay to everyone? I'm trying to balance giving people every opportunity to make nuanced input without forcing people to do more than they want. 

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I nominate Cameraperson

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I nominate Almost Holy.

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19 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

First ballot will be like last year, all nominated films on a Likert scale (1-5) with option of haven't seen. Top 10 determined by highest average, among films seen by at least 1/2 jury. I will then send out an *optional* second ballot that allows jurors who care to do so to rank the Top 10. For those who don't, I'll just use their scores from the first ballot. That way, if you gave more than one film a 5 you can have an opportunity to say which you prefer (if they both make it). Also if a film gets in Top 10 that you didn't vote for, you will have an extra day or two to see it and rank it. My hope is to allow people to vote strategically by giving high scores to films they hope qualify for Top 10 while still having *some* opportuinty to distinguish between films that you ranked at same level (5,4,3,2,1) etc. It may be, for instance, that someone hase a clear #1 that they want to stand out (or 2-3 films they care about more than the others they still value highly). 

Does that sound okay to everyone? I'm trying to balance giving people every opportunity to make nuanced input without forcing people to do more than they want. 

Sounds good to me.

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21 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

Hey, if anyone has a few minutes this weekend, feel free to skim through the first post and make sure everything you've nominated has been added to the list and anything you've seconded is in bold. I came in to second Captain Fantastic and I didn't see it nominated, but I thought for sure it had been. It's possible I missed some stuff. 

I've been having second thoughts about tinkering with the voting. While I like the idea of simply selecting 10 from all nominees and then ranking, that will, I realize favor those more widely seen/distributed, since there is no way until the Top 10 to distinguish between your #1 and #10. Soo....here is what I'm proposing....

First ballot will be like last year, all nominated films on a Likert scale (1-5) with option of haven't seen. Top 10 determined by highest average, among films seen by at least 1/2 jury. I will then send out an *optional* second ballot that allows jurors who care to do so to rank the Top 10. For those who don't, I'll just use their scores from the first ballot. That way, if you gave more than one film a 5 you can have an opportunity to say which you prefer (if they both make it). Also if a film gets in Top 10 that you didn't vote for, you will have an extra day or two to see it and rank it. My hope is to allow people to vote strategically by giving high scores to films they hope qualify for Top 10 while still having *some* opportuinty to distinguish between films that you ranked at same level (5,4,3,2,1) etc. It may be, for instance, that someone hase a clear #1 that they want to stand out (or 2-3 films they care about more than the others they still value highly). 

Does that sound okay to everyone? I'm trying to balance giving people every opportunity to make nuanced input without forcing people to do more than they want. 

I'm game for whatever approach you think works best, Ken. 

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I second Doctor Strange.

Ken, your proposal sounds good, as it allows for some parsing and nuance in that second round of voting, without making things unnecessarily complicated. Thanks for your work on all this, btw!

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On 11/8/2016 at 7:22 AM, kenmorefield said:

Colin (last year) took point on organizing people who were actively looking for screeners. Not sure we'll have anyone doing that this year, but...I'm willing to share contact info for where individual jurors can request screener(s) directly from reps. (Whether they'll send them is a different story.) I mention that because I just got a DVD screener for OJ: Made in America.

Though I'm not participating in the voting this year, I can help get screeners from studios and distributors, if they are willing to send them.

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Nominate HyperNormalisation.

Now freely accessible on Youtube: 

 

 

Edited by M. Leary

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Second HYPERNORMALISATION.

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I'll second Captain Fantastic, because it has enough good ideas to warrant voting on it.

I nominate Certain Women, because even if I wasn't entirely sold on the ending, the rest of the film is really good, and the changing perspectives we gain regarding the characters in each of the segments is a reminder about the importance of withholding judgement on others.

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The Light Between Oceans (not yet seconded) was inadvertently omitted from nominees list, so I'll remind everyone it has been nominated.

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I appreciate O.J.: Made in America, but does anyone want to make a brief argument as to why it is good fit for our list?

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7 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I appreciate O.J.: Made in America, but does anyone want to make a brief argument as to why it is good fit for our list?

I second Ken's question.

I also second Cameraperson.

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I nominate Tower

Kino Lorber is pushing this film pretty hard (deservedly so), so they would probably be responsive to jurors asking for screening link if you have not yet seen it. 

Hard for me to pick between this and Newtown, but man it is powerful.

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On 11/19/2016 at 6:56 AM, kenmorefield said:

I appreciate O.J.: Made in America, but does anyone want to make a brief argument as to why it is good fit for our list?

I'm assuming the question pertains to the "faith" aspect of our Arts & Faith jury, as in, where's the faith element here and why should Christian audiences see this film out? Its comprehensive evaluation and critique of the late-20th century American ethos points to the power of the cult of celebrity. I don't think it's far-fetched to say that the black Americans in the film viewed O.J. as a savior of sorts, for reasons which evolved over the course of his life (he was the sports hero; the movie star; the scapegoat for the L.A. police, etc.). I think it also delves deeply into systems of (in)justice regarding both police brutality and violence, as well as the American judicial system, a system where O.J. can be acquitted for the murders, then sentenced to decades in prison for his Las Vegas stealing-my-stuff-back crime (which the film suggests is reparation for the acquittal). It forces the viewer to really wrestle with what "justice" means in such a complex world. Between its exploration of media/celebrity culture, racial tensions, and the justice system, it's an insightful look into what Walter Wink (and Scripture) call the Powers, those invisible forces which seem to take on a spiritual life and presence of their own. I do recall that there were scenes with O.J. and his church involvement, as well as moments where he spoke about being a Christian, though I'd have to revisit the film to see how much those contributed to the larger themes.

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2 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

I'm assuming the question pertains to the "faith" aspect of our Arts & Faith jury, as in, where's the faith element here and why should Christian audiences see this film out? Its comprehensive evaluation and critique of the late-20th century American ethos points to the power of the cult of celebrity. I don't think it's far-fetched to say that the black Americans in the film viewed O.J. as a savior of sorts, for reasons which evolved over the course of his life (he was the sports hero; the movie star; the scapegoat for the L.A. police, etc.). I think it also delves deeply into systems of (in)justice regarding both police brutality and violence, as well as the American judicial system, a system where O.J. can be acquitted for the murders, then sentenced to decades in prison for his Las Vegas stealing-my-stuff-back crime (which the film suggests is reparation for the acquittal). It forces the viewer to really wrestle with what "justice" means in such a complex world. Between its exploration of media/celebrity culture, racial tensions, and the justice system, it's an insightful look into what Walter Wink (and Scripture) call the Powers, those invisible forces which seem to take on a spiritual life and presence of their own. I do recall that there were scenes with O.J. and his church involvement, as well as moments where he spoke about being a Christian, though I'd have to revisit the film to see how much those contributed to the larger themes.

Yes, all this. The film asks questions about justice, celebrity, and the way that people are looking for institutions to deliver transformational change. Also, I think OJ does as good a job as any other film in seriously looking at race in America. OJ himself has a fraught and ambivalent relationship to civil rights causes. The film goes back to two AME pastors a regular commenters on the case, both then and today.

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Joel and Anders, it's interesting that you focus on race quite a bit in your comments, without mentioning gender at all. I haven't watched the documentary yet, but surely gender is a key part of this story too? The fact that male police officers were so in thrall to OJ's celebrity that they failed to investigate allegations of domestic abuse properly, the fact that the prosecutor allowed the jury to be filled with black women on the (mistaken) belief that the jurors would identify more strongly with the murdered ex-wife than the accused black man, etc.? There were many narratives in play here, and they didn't all point in the same direction.

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Given that one of the female jurors affirms the assertion that verdict was "payback for Rodney King," I'd say that race and gender and inextricably mixed, though I agree with the interpretation that Marcia Clark thought gender would trump race in terms of how the jurors would identify themselves and the opposite was true. 

I'm kind of at the point where I think this is great binge television (like the Making of a Murderer) but that I have doubts whether that's the same thing as a great *film*.

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9 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Joel and Anders, it's interesting that you focus on race quite a bit in your comments, without mentioning gender at all. I haven't watched the documentary yet, but surely gender is a key part of this story too? The fact that male police officers were so in thrall to OJ's celebrity that they failed to investigate allegations of domestic abuse properly, the fact that the prosecutor allowed the jury to be filled with black women on the (mistaken) belief that the jurors would identify more strongly with the murdered ex-wife than the accused black man, etc.? There were many narratives in play here, and they didn't all point in the same direction.

The film does address gender, sure, but that's not one of its primary themes compared to racial tensions, the cult of celebrity, and the evolution of the role of media in America. There are plenty of other themes I could have mentioned, as the film also addresses wealth and economics, the nature and value of friendship, sexuality (I learned that O.J.'s father was gay from this film), the unique aspects of the city of Los Angeles, the American religion of sports/football, etc. It's such a comprehensive film that addresses so many issues, many of which are given significant screen time and attention. What impressed me was how the film manages to keep all these themes in check, giving just enough attention to each and editing the film in such a way that it builds to this elaborate Big Story without becoming muddled or diluted.

Also, you should watch the film. :)

 

1 hour ago, kenmorefield said:

I'm kind of at the point where I think this is great binge television (like the Making of a Murderer) but that I have doubts whether that's the same thing as a great *film*.

I was going to address that in my earlier comment, but deleted my thought, which was essentially this: is this best viewed as a TV show (broken up into segments and watched at separate times) or as a film (an extensive documentary feature)? While the former allows for more mental processing in between the segments, the latter is overwhelming, in a good way, in its evaluation of late-20th century American culture through the story of a singular figure in this society. I actually had both Citizen Kane and some of David Lean's epic films come to mind watching this, not necessarily in their formal qualities (this is an ESPN documentary!), but in their scope and their focus on one key person's rise and fall in the midst of a particular time and place in history.

Edited by Joel Mayward

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: Also, you should watch the film. :)

I know, I know! But the screener is almost EIGHT HOURS LONG...

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Moonlight hasn't been nominated? (I'm more surprised than anything else; I thought I remembered seeing it nominated.)

I confess I wasn't as wild about it as most critics seem to be, but I still thought it was pretty good, and as a coming of age story it provides an intimate look at a demographic about which I know nothing, with some beautiful scenes of life changing compassion in the midst of a cruel, hard-knock world.

So, I nominate Moonlight.

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25 minutes ago, Evan C said:

Moonlight hasn't been nominated? (I'm more surprised than anything else; I thought I remembered seeing it nominated.)

I confess I wasn't as wild about it as most critics seem to be, but I still thought it was pretty good, and as a coming of age story it provides an intimate look at a demographic about which I know nothing, with some beautiful scenes of life changing compassion in the midst of a cruel, hard-knock world.

So, I nominate Moonlight.

I started a thread on Moonlight here. It's presently one of my favorite films of the year, but one I've hesitated on nominating for this particular list, partly because I've nominated or seconded quite a few films here and didn't want to seem like I was overdoing it, and partly because there's nothing *overtly* religious/spiritual about the film, and I'm trying to take the "faith" aspect of our "arts & faith" moniker seriously. (This is also why I haven't seconded Anders' nomination of Green Room, an excellent film, but perhaps not for this list.) Still, I did write this in my review of Moonlight:

Quote

In short, the entire film is a spiritual experience. While overt talk of religion or theology are notably absent, the images and emotions of the film embody a sort of spirituality in themselves, an ambiance of the transcendent in a film focused mainly on the human body, its longings and needs, its maturation and affections.

So, consider this my second of Moonlight.

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8 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

I was going to address that in my earlier comment, but deleted my thought, which was essentially this: is this best viewed as a TV show (broken up into segments and watched at separate times) or as a film (an extensive documentary feature)? While the former allows for more mental processing in between the segments, the latter is overwhelming, in a good way, in its evaluation of late-20th century American culture through the story of a singular figure in this society. I actually had both Citizen Kane and some of David Lean's epic films come to mind watching this, not necessarily in their formal qualities (this is an ESPN documentary!), but in their scope and their focus on one key person's rise and fall in the midst of a particular time and place in history.

I'm with Joel here. It is epic. And thorough, in a way few documentaries are. I'm not sure I quite get Ken's idea of this as merely great "binge" watching. I guess I'd need to know what Ken thinks would constitute a "great film." For me, the treatment of its subject (e.g. narrative) and formal presentation are both excellent, so I think it's a great film.

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