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

16 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

.. 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,

I wouldn't worry about that. I suspect some jurors may welcome head's up on stuff to see as much as opportunities to nominate their own stuff.

Speak of which, I'm curious about nobody yet seconding The Innocents. I know why I haven't yet, though I still might...but I'm a bit surprised. Have people not seen it, or seen it but don't really care to second it? 

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Good grief. I second The Innocents.

Almost Holy, anyone? (Still unseconded.)

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7 minutes ago, Overstreet said:

Good grief. I second The Innocents.

THANK YOU. I plan on viewing Almost Holy in the near future. 

 

37 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

I wouldn't worry about that. I suspect some jurors may welcome head's up on stuff to see as much as opportunities to nominate their own stuff.

Sounds good. Ken, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on The Innocents if you've seen it now, as I'm discerning that you may have had mixed feelings on it.

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On 11/23/2016 at 0:01 PM, Joel Mayward said:

THANK YOU. I plan on viewing Almost Holy in the near future. 

 

Sounds good. Ken, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on The Innocents if you've seen it now, as I'm discerning that you may have had mixed feelings on it.

I'm slightly reluctant because I wasn't sure if the film was condescending to the nuns or that was just the main character's attitude. 

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I'm conflicted (what's new?) but I'll go ahead and nominate Gleason

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I just noticed CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR hasn't been seconded, so I'm seconding it.

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I'm halfway through The Innocents, and so far I think it would be a great choice; however, since thematically it has a TON in common with Silence, I started wondering: will our voting schedule leave time for enough of us to see Silence? Because given that Scorsese is a competent filmmaker, provided that it's a fairly faithful adaptation of the book, it would be a huge shame if that didn't make our list because it was released too late.

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38 minutes ago, Evan C said:

I'm halfway through The Innocents, and so far I think it would be a great choice; however, since thematically it has a TON in common with Silence, I started wondering: will our voting schedule leave time for enough of us to see Silence? Because given that Scorsese is a competent filmmaker, provided that it's a fairly faithful adaptation of the book, it would be a huge shame if that didn't make our list because it was released too late.

I think we said on Page 1 of this thread that we were closing nominations December 26 to allow people to screen Christmas releases. and assuming it is nominated (perhaps by those of us who get advanced screenings) there's a few more days to vote. 

I have less hope for A Monster Calls, Fences, or Paterson, though those are ones that get festival releases and possibly screeners. Truthfully, though, those late releases have a tougher time meeting the quota of having been seen by at least 1/2 the jurors. Selma probably would have made our list two years ago but for its January release except in major markets. Not sure if The Revenant qualified last year or not. It was mostly January release, but studio did give it a lot of screenings for critics who were in voting associations. Star Wars isn't exactly our kinda movie for this list but a number of critics societies voted last year before it was screened for critics. (Didn't one even retroactively change their votes?) Ditto Hateful Eight. 

My own feeling is that it is more important to have a representative jury and a list that comes out around New Year's Day. If that means one or more critics can't see a particular film, all the more reason to use the Likert average rather than straight vote count...I'd trust the jurors who did see it. 

 

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That works for me. I think it's quite possible that the Dec. 23rd release is going to be limited, and then it will get a wide release in January, in which case I guess we'll have to hope enough of us see it for it to qualify. So consider this my reminder for those of us who get screeners and into advance screenings to prioritize Silence.

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I nominate Sound of Redemption.

Also, if you get an opportunity, I encourage everyone to watch Certain Women, from Kelly Reichardt, director of Meek's Cutoff, which I recall got a lot of love around here.

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On 11/20/2016 at 4:18 PM, kenmorefield said:

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.

Seconded. I watched Tower last night, resistant at first to the rotoscoping and questioning as to why the story was being told the way it was. But those concerns slowly faded, then were transformed toward the end of the film, or maybe just subsumed by other, overriding impressions. I doubt anyone who starts Tower will want to bail on it, but just in case, be sure to stick with it until the end.

Edited by Christian

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I second The Light Between Oceans.

Almost Holy is absolutely devastating and sorta ruined me for the remainder of the evening. Imagine the premise of The Overnighters, only instead of an economic crisis and blue collar workers, it's a living hell and abused, homeless drug-addicted children. It does feel like essential viewing, but it's also not an easy watch. In the final act, I found myself thinking of last year's Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, which offers some further insights into the political turmoil within that region of the world.

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On 11/9/2016 at 3:36 PM, Jess Gibson said:

Nomination to add: Moana. I got to see an early screening of it yesterday and it blew me away. Music, animation, humor, all hold up in true Disney fashion - the narrative is the real kicker though, a genuinely empowering, encouraging, heartfelt female-driven story that was satisfying in ways Frozen and Brave weren't. I don't want to spoil it before it's out, but for anyone who's interested I'd love to keep talking about it. 

So I'll give this a tentative second. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the whole demigod representation for a list specifically aimed at Christian viewers, but I agree with Jess as to the importance (in a year in which there were, what, eight whole films directed by females?) of female-driven stories in our gender-divided culture. And it's not that I object to the spirituality in the story...just haven't really thought through if my recommendation of the film would be faith targeted. 

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21 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

So I'll give this a tentative second. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the whole demigod representation for a list specifically aimed at Christian viewers, but I agree with Jess as to the importance (in a year in which there were, what, eight whole films directed by females?) of female-driven stories in our gender-divided culture. And it's not that I object to the spirituality in the story...just haven't really thought through if my recommendation of the film would be faith targeted. 

I know this is my third plug, and I won't make another, but speaking of female-driven stories: Certain Women is directed by a woman, about three women whose lives are completely unrelated, and each segment explores the assumptions we make about different people, and how our expectations and cultural differences inform those assumptions, and it also explores how subtly ingrained sexism affects the assumptions we make about women. All the women make choices which would get them called, "pushy," or "control-freaks," yet, if a man made those same choices, no one would bat an eye. That point is driven home in the first segment when a man repeats what Laura Dern's been saying for months, only to have his verdict instantly accepted whereas her identical verdict had been questioned constantly. The film is not saying these women are saints; indeed, a couple of them make some rather questionable choices, but it's telling their stories as everyday, normal human beings, and it strongly highlights the different ways we respond and make assumptions regarding what men and women do.

I complained about the ending in my nomination, and what I was referring to was a coda which ties all three threads together, which I found redundant. But it was a tiny misstep in what I otherwise found to be a flawless movie. And again, Kelly Reichardt also directed Meek's Cutoff, and if one liked that, I imagine one would like this a lot as well.

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The Reinhardt is sitting in my increasingly unwieldy FYC pile...sure I will make a dent in that once final exams and grading are done...maybe...

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I nominate Jackie, which, in addition to its superb central performance (YMMV, no doubt) and structure, includes a few significant stretches of dialogue between Jackie and a priest. Faith is treated skeptically by Jackie and isn't always as robustly defended by the priest as I might like, but I was riveted during those scenes - and pretty much by the rest of the movie as well.

Edited by Christian

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36 minutes ago, Christian said:

I nominate Jackie, which, in addition to its superb central performance (YMMV, no doubt) and structure, includes a few significant stretches of dialogue between Jackie and a priest. Faith is treated skeptically by Jackie and isn't always as robustly defended by the priest as I might like, but I was riveted during those scenes - and pretty much by the rest of the movie as well.

Thanks for that. The film was getting a little buzz at OFCS FB page, but I had been putting it off...I'll bump it up.

After some consideration, I 'll second THE WITNESS. I think I have publicist info somewhere still if any juror members want to screen it and need a link.

 

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I've been on a screener jag, which is just about to end, so please forgive the spate of nominations from me. But I have one more to add.

I nominate Things to Come, which I saw only last night and immediately went to Twitter to gush over. There's a lot of philosophy and academic stuff in there - not my strong suit, although I would expect others at A&F to sink their teeth into it - but also some more direct interaction with Christianity and faith (which aren't separate from philosophy, of course, but are more directly dealt with in ways I could engage). I was overwhelmed by the film, but confess I'm not sure, exactly, what it has to say about faith. Not yet, not after one viewing. Like Jackie, it may take a skeptical view of faith, although if it does, it doesn't feel as overt as it does in the Larrain film. 

Overall, this movie was a feast. It nourished my soul, and that's why I'm nominating it. I haven't felt the way I felt after Things to Come since the end credits rolled on Summer Hours a few years back.

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If anyone is wanting info for a screener for ALMOST HOLY I was successful and can pass along the contact info. I also requested a screener for CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR, since I feel I need to see it before casting my votes. I was successful on that, but I'm not sure if the distributor info for Canada is the same as the USA (here it was the folks at Movies We Love that I got in contact with).

PM me if you need info.

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1 hour ago, Anders said:

I also requested a screener for CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR, since I feel I need to see it before casting my votes. I was successful on that...

Great! It is pretty incredible, and I think his most accessible so far. Its commentary on our souls being co-opted by political history may be particularly relevant for this season.

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I nominate Accidental Courtesy. Rep said the film is getting a December qualifying release, though DVD may not be available until January. I was able to get a screening link though, so let me know if you want contact info for film's rep.

From my review:

 

Quote

In our interview, Davis cited an example, not in the film, of how his own faith helped him to eventually persuade a Klan member that his practices were not compatible with a professed Christian faith. Rather than directly preaching against racism from the Bible, Davis asked the man why, as a Christian, he burnt the cross. Wasn’t that sacrilegious? Sometimes a cross burning was a threat, the Klansman explained, but sometimes, at a rally, it was a symbol of purity and meant to light the way for Jesus’ return. “My God lights the way for me, not the other way around,” Davis replied. Eventually the conversant realized that his attitude of superiority had even infected his posture towards God.

 

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I'm going to nominate HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (Dir. Taika Waititi, New Zealand) because I think it's a lovely little film about family and connection to the land. It's a good fit for a list like this, in that I think it would benefit Christians to track it down and watch it. It's about the broken systems of the world and how connection between people go some way to healing. It's also about indigenous peoples, though not obviously and in an upfront way (though the director and most of the main characters are Maori). In one of the film's funniest scenes, the Waititi plays a goofy Anglican priest, but it's not demeaning or dismissive of him.

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I'll nominate La La Land which is a great film but borderline for this list. 

I do see the film's exploration of the modern attempts to balance work and relationship as a theme that is relevant, particularly as it (perhaps very obliquely) speaks to egalitarian/complementarian divisions. It's also very meta in the way it explores how narrative (and thus art) shapes our lives. 

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On 12/3/2016 at 3:54 PM, Christian said:

I've been on a screener jag, which is just about to end, so please forgive the spate of nominations from me. But I have one more to add.

I nominate Things to Come, which I saw only last night and immediately went to Twitter to gush over. There's a lot of philosophy and academic stuff in there - not my strong suit, although I would expect others at A&F to sink their teeth into it - but also some more direct interaction with Christianity and faith (which aren't separate from philosophy, of course, but are more directly dealt with in ways I could engage). I was overwhelmed by the film, but confess I'm not sure, exactly, what it has to say about faith. Not yet, not after one viewing. Like Jackie, it may take a skeptical view of faith, although if it does, it doesn't feel as overt as it does in the Larrain film. 

Overall, this movie was a feast. It nourished my soul, and that's why I'm nominating it. I haven't felt the way I felt after Things to Come since the end credits rolled on Summer Hours a few years back.

Oh, yeah. I would be happy to see this film high on our list. Such a beautiful choice of pairing its final images with that specific song.

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