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kenmorefield

Top 100 for 2020 -- Organization

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Greetings all. 

In the discussion leading up to this year's Top 25, there was some indication about doing a Top 100 in 2020. 

That conversation has extended offline when I discussed book project(s) with possible contributors. 

Although it is some months off before 2020, one thing I learned in the 2019 Top 25 is that the smaller number of current A&F participants means such projects need a slightly longer lead time. Part of that is the principle of inertia -- people aren't in the habit of checking in at A&F as frequently. Part is the difference between "interest" and actual intention. It is harder for people to carve out time in their schedules for projects that pop up and need proximate attention.

Consequently, I went ahead and set up this forum and began this thread in order to:

  • Announce the intention to do a Top 100 list in 2020.
  • Solicit volunteer(s) to handle the logistics. 
  • Settle on dates and mechanics so that those on the fence would have a clear idea of how and when we would proceed. 

I have had 1-2 people tell me privately that they would be willing to take on an administrative role for a Top 100 list. I'm happy to just assign that, but I want to be conscious of giving anyone who wants to take a more active role a chance to speak up rather than just reflexively going to my friends or those I'm most comfortable with. 

So, what is this thread for? I'm glad you asked. I'd like to take a week or so and have a thread where anyone interested in doing a 2020 Top 100 posts any questions or concerns they might have and anyone can post his/her willingness to take on one or more administrative roles. It's my hope that the division of labor can be done by consensus, but I'm willing to make *some* decisions if needed. I just don't want a Top 100 to be "Ken's" project. I don't think it will be, but I'm worried that absent *someone* who is the final decision maker for logistical questions, thinkg will stall and dissipate because everyone is waiting for *someone* to make a decision but nobody feels empowered to do so. 

 

 

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I'm absolutely on board for a new top 100 next year. As I did with the Growing Older list, I'm happy to keep a running list of all nominated and seconded titles. I could probably help with other logistics depending on how much more time consuming they would be. How much different would the process for a top 100 be from a top 25 (other than many more titles to vote on)?


"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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Thanks for beginning the formal conversation about a Top 100 list, Ken. I'd be happy to lead or co-lead the organizing of the list. Coordinating the Ecumenical Jury for the past few years has been a pleasure, and I'd be glad to participate in the 2020 Top 100 list in a substantial administrative way.

I'm curious about the timeline--when would we envision a list like this being published online? And is the Top 100 book project still a go?

Speaking of the Ecumenical Jury--are we still up for doing that at the end of this year as well? That's probably another topic for a new thread, but this conversation reminded me about it.

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5 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

I'm curious about the timeline--when would we envision a list like this being published online? And is the Top 100 book project still a go?

 

I think that would ultimately be up to the point-person. I would be happy to offer suggestions or input but don't necessarily want to dictate. I guess my assumption was that it would be early in the year since that is slow season, movie wise, particularly after Oscars. Also, worth considering how long we want to keep nominations open. Perhaps that is or should be part of the discussion. I heard at least one participant say that perhaps the 2019 Top 25 dragged on a bit; I didn't necessarily feel that, but there is a different energy from maybe ten years ago when there was fresh content a couple times a day to here where we have more leisurely conversations. I haven't been involved in the Top 100 since one of the real early ones...like 2006 maybe?  So anyone taking point may need to do some listening and then some decision making about things like dates, rules (limit number of films by one director? count trilogies? reinstate the Dekalog Exemption? made-for-television movies now that Netflix is a playa? what requirements, if any, for voting? do we need to revisit the weighted voting? iMy management philosophy, such as it is, is to try to allow the people doing the work as much leeway to make the decisions.

Quote

Speaking of the Ecumenical Jury--are we still up for doing that at the end of this year as well? That's probably another topic for a new thread, but this conversation reminded me about it.

I am certainly interested, though I  tend to not think much about End-of-year stuff until post-TIFF, which is when I think awards season really gets going. Still, if the EJ involves drumming up jurors, a little too early is better than a little too late. I can post a forum for it it shortly. 

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kenmorefield wrote:
I tend to not think much about End-of-year stuff until post-TIFF, which is when I think awards season really gets going. 

I hear ya... but TIFF starts very soon, and even VIFF (which begins a week or two after TIFF ends) is already accepting media applications. It feels like festival season (and thus awards season) has basically begun already, in some ways...


"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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I do have interest / soft approval for an anthology of essays on the Top 100 that would include the publisher using its network for a CFP to solicit essays outside of just this community, so I am interested in solidifying dates for such a project. Given that I have a likely book project on the other side of it, I will coordinate if I have to, though it looks like Joel or Evan might be willing to help out. 

The most pressing need right now, this second, is to decide on a timeline -- I am flexible, but I would like to have something decided before we get too far into 2020. Is there anyone who has expressed interest who would be materially affected by a particular timeline? I'd like to be done sometime mid year so that we are posting results sometime in the summer, but I have some flexibility.

Also, if anyone other than me wants to coordinate/lead this project, now is the time to say so unequivocally. 

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That's great news about the anthology! I'm happy to help lead/coordinate, especially depending on the timeline. Regarding the timing, I looked at past Top 100 threads, and there was quite a lot of discussion about procedures before the actual voting began, but when the voting opened, it was relatively brief, about 3 weeks. It seemed to follow the same timing we've continued to use for the Ecumenical Jury, i.e. nominations and voting in December, list announced in early January and blurbs solicited, published in early-to-mid February, likely to correspond with the Oscars. If we followed this pattern, but transposed it to summer time (voting in May, finalize list and solicit blurbs in June, published in early July), would that work?

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I could live with that, though I'd like to hear any other thoughts about timeline.

My principle concern, which need not be shared by anyone else is that I have a different book contract with a manuscript due in January 2021, so Fall is going to be tough. On the one hand, this timeline would mean that a major project is done in the Summer, but I have a feeling like people won't want to submit essay proposals until the final list is done. (I think maybe a handful of people might have an idea for an essay that they reasonably expect will be on the list, but the external people may want to know the list). So if the list is done in early July...

Given the way academic schedules work, I think people may be more likely to be thinking about working in summer, so a CFP that goes out in late April/Early May might be better for me...but that's essentially guess work.

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I'm still happy to organize nominees and send out a ballot. As long as we start after February 10th, I won't have a problem with scheduling. I will be gone one week of July, but hopefully the list will be done by then. If for some reason we go into October, I'll most likely be MIA. Otherwise, I'm open to whatever is best for everyone else.


"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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Not that it revolves around me, but my most "free" months in 2020 are February, May, July, and August. I think my fall season will be busy with academic writing projects. So, if we aim for the list to be published by June or July, that works well for me.

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Thanks for getting the ball rolling on this! I think Ken's point is a good one from a practical point. I have a heavy teaching load, so I know if I'm going to write something longer than a blurb, and I'd love to contribute an essay to an anthology if possible, I'm going to need the summer to do it (which for me is mid-June to mid-September). If the list itself is finalized by June, or whenever, it could be used as part of a CFP to solicit essays before the actual list with blurbs is published on A&F, I suppose.

I also think it would be a good idea to have a second round of voting to rank the list. The unranked list would be sufficient for a CFP, I think. The ranking round could happen during the early summer. I valued that second round of voting with the Growing Older Top 25 because it gave me the opportunity to view a few more films that I hadn't seen yet but knew were going to be on the list.

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