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We could do "Crime and Punishment while Coming of Age in Small Towns" and just have The Night of the Hunter as our list.

These are all excellent topics, and ones which could elicit good discussion and interesting film choices. I'm still a strong advocate for "Coming of Age," but I am also intrigued by Jeremy's suggestion of "Waking Up," as well as the "Crime and Punishment" theme.

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: We could do "Crime and Punishment while Coming of Age in Small Towns" and just have The Night of the Hunter as our list.

Brilliant.

"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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7 hours ago, Ryan H. said:

How about a Top 25 about cultural conflict? 

Ooh. I like that.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Consider The Top 25 about cultural conflict to have my vote.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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On 1/23/2017 at 8:13 AM, Ryan H. said:

How about a Top 25 about cultural conflict? 

I like this a lot too, but I think it needs a bit more teasing out, definition, and explanation. For example, I'd be much more interested in "Top 25 Films on Encountering the Other" rather than "Top 25 Films about Worldview Debates," if that makes sense.

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Hm.

I'm thinking more in terms of "cultural upheaval." Moments where society's status quo is strained or shattered and factions are formed as a result.

"Encountering the Other" isn't a bad idea on its own, but it suggests something different.

To cite one example, CABARET is a film about cultural upheaval. It's not really a film about encountering "the Other."

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1 hour ago, Ryan H. said:

Hm.

I'm thinking more in terms of "cultural upheaval." Moments where society's status quo is strained or shattered and factions are formed as a result.

I nominate the Lynch Dune.

...seriously, though, cultural upheaval would be an interesting direction to go. I can dig it.

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3 hours ago, Ryan H. said:

Hm.

I'm thinking more in terms of "cultural upheaval." Moments where society's status quo is strained or shattered and factions are formed as a result.

"Encountering the Other" isn't a bad idea on its own, but it suggests something different.

To cite one example, CABARET is a film about cultural upheaval. It's not really a film about encountering "the Other."

Ryan, thanks for clarifying, and citing Cabaret as an example is a helpful distinction. I also like "Films on Encountering the Other," but the idea of cultural upheaval is interesting on a number of levels. Lots of good possibilities for films.

We've gathered a lot of unique and brilliant potential list ideas in this thread.

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If we're talking about cultural upheaval and the end of an age, surely Jackson's Lord of the Rings films deserve some consideration. The end of the Third Age and all that.

"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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On 12/18/2016 at 6:02 PM, kenmorefield said:

This is something that would obviously require permission/discussion with Greg, but would anyone be interested in doing a book companion to a Top 100? 

I mentioned in another thread that the publisher for F&S in Masters of World Cinema asked me to pitch another project a few months ago. I did a CFP for a Koreeda book along with a colleague but it didn't get enough responses. They like anthologies/group publications, and I know there are a number of academics here (or budding academics) who might like a publication. 

Probably wouldn't have space for full essays on a full 100 films, but could do a mix of essays and reviews, or full reviews of all (as opposed to blurbs). 

I've got other projects I could work on, of course, but given the vagaries of the Internet world it might be nice to have something slightly more concrete in case the web site ever went away. 

 

Edit: None of the anthologies I've done have made any money (cost, price, limited audience), but I'd certainly be willing to work out something where royalties (if any) went back to Image to defray web site support.

 

I think this would work extremely well for Image as long as the book is constructed in a specific way. Working through 100 films that were selected by a voting process one specific year would lead to a really diffuse collection. But I am familiar with a recent volume from an Episcopalian church and culture non-profit organization that was excellent because even though it is basically a survey of a bunch of random films by different authors, the parameters were set well. This resulted in a tight, focused, and helpful volume that I have dipped into several times even though I am really overly picky about film books.

I would be happy to talk at some point about how that might all need to be shaped by editors to ensure the volume would actually sell - or at least be attractive to Image's typical audience. And if offered digitally, that would certainly enhance the ROI question for all involved.

 

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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  • 2 weeks later...

So now hopefully we're all settled enough to devote some time to compiling and assembling a Top 25 list for 2017. So far, the topics discussed are the following:

 

Films about coming of age

Films about crime and punishment

Films about cultural upheaval

Films about government

Films about idealism vs. reality

Films about small towns

Films about "waking up"

 

I want to open up this week as an official nomination period to see if there are any topics others would want to suggest before we open voting on a specific topic next week.

Edited by Mr. Arkadin
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Just as an interested observer…wonder if you’d consider films about journalists. The topics of government and cultural conflict/upheaval are so timely, but maybe too broad (or cynical).  Seems like there have been many good films about journalism, both fictional and true.

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Also just as an interested observer, but one who has really appreciated using past A&F Top 25 lists:

I’m guessing this conversation has been had over these lists in the past, but it seems the unifying category of the lists can have pretty different guiding principles.

For example, I mean that Horror and Comedy are pretty clear genres.

Marriage is a pretty tangible theme.

Mercy and Memory are more intangible themes or motifs.

Road films have a common narrative motif, even broader than a theme, a motif of the way the plot develops or setting changes. (Of course there can be specific genres and conventions that might fall under road films, such as the picaresque.)

Of the current nominations, I’d classify them this way:

genre: coming of age

tangible theme: government, journalists, small towns

intangible theme: crime and punishment, idealism vs. reality

broader narrative motif: cultural upheaval, "waking up," (and I suppose coming of age could be classified here, too, but the bildungsroman—bildungsfilm?—is its own genre with conventions and all that)

I really like that these aren’t just like the AFI 10 Top 10 genres lists or similar “best of” lists. For examples, the Marriage theme and list is way more interesting than your standard “best of” rom com or relationship drama fare. And I could see “crime and punishment” being a great A&F take on several related genres, everything from gangster to detective/noir to heist/caper to courtroom drama! Same potential for the broader ones like cultural upheaval or waking up. On the other hand, such lists could be too broad, not unified enough. Or wonderfully idiosyncratic—who knows? But I think the kind of category might affect that outcome.

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