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kenmorefield

Top 100 for 2020 -- Organization

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35 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

Even if that doesn't mean bringing in new people (I'm such a crappy evangelist anyway) it might mean being aware of the lack of diversity when making our own nominations and questioning ourselves about whether our lack of diversity effects things like perspective and how we define "spiritually significant." I don't think, for example, The Celluloid Closet has ever been nominated, and I probably will put it on my list of nominees.

Yep, I'm seriously considering putting "I Am Not Your Negro" on my list - the need for diversity on our list is a secondary matter (though it still matters), but I think it's a brilliantly-crafted film, and it rocked me like few films ever have.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Great thread! I agree with all the resolutions around voting and the timeline. I also agree with the overall ethos, as I have always seen this list more in terms of its differences from other lists - namely that it provides a sort of minority report against traditional factors in the "great film" decision making process and emphasizes connections between duration, craft, form, and that loosely shared constellation of experiences we label transcendent, spiritual, etc... I am reading Inferno with my daughter right now and Dante's first circle of hell (Canto 4) celebrates general human impulses for goodness, virtue, and discovery modeled by those caught outside the late Christian reframing of intellectual history. This struck me as a good metaphor for conversations in this thread. We are talking about a lot of limbo films here. 

On the diversity comment, I would simply be curious to see how the crop of nominations would look. I would wager we see a lot more nominations from female directors and more recent cinema emerging from discourse on race and ethnicity in the US.

And as much as it pains me, Twin Peaks would not work. But it is simple enough to explain this a bit in the list intro and name examples of excluded items.


"...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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22 hours ago, Andrew said:

Yep, I'm seriously considering putting "I Am Not Your Negro" on my list - the need for diversity on our list is a secondary matter (though it still matters), but I think it's a brilliantly-crafted film, and it rocked me like few films ever have.

Oh, yes! And because I keep documentaries on a separate year-end list, I might have overlooked this one when thinking about a new Top 100. As I told friends at the time, had I included docs in my Top 20 (and I have/had no good reason why I didn’t), this film likely would’ve been my #1 that year. “Rocked me” is an apt description of its effect on me as well. 
 

And yet, I’ll have to ponder its placement on this list. I can think of why it would fit, but my primary reaction to it wasn’t as a “spiritual film.”

Also, to Michael: It’s great to see you here! Sorry if you’ve been posting for a while. I try to keep up with A&F traffic, but my tracking of participants is poor. 

 


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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12 minutes ago, Christian said:

Oh, yes! And because I keep documentaries on a separate year-end list, I might have overlooked this one when thinking about a new Top 100. As I told friends at the time, had I included docs in my Top 20 (and I have/had no good reason why I didn’t), this film likely would’ve been my #1 that year. “Rocked me” is an apt description of its effect on me as well. 
 

And yet, I’ll have to ponder its placement on this list. I can think of why it would fit, but my primary reaction to it wasn’t as a “spiritual film.”

From my Lutheran childhood, I remember my pastor defining prophecy as a combination of fore-telling and forth-telling.  For me, Baldwin's writings and Peck's film are prophecy in the latter sense, the Book of Amos and Deutero-Isaiah for the 20th and 21st Centuries.

This was the penultimate paragraph of my review of I Am Not Your Negro:  "These images and Baldwin's words synergistically deliver a gut punch that left my wife and me speechless and in tears by the time Kendrick Lamar's The Blacker the Berry played over the end credits.  Baldwin preaches truth about an America where simplicity and immaturity (read: willful ignorance and historical denial) are esteemed as virtues.  The inevitable outcome is an "emotional poverty so bottomless" and existences "so empty, so tame, so ugly.""

Even now, I get gooseflesh just thinking of that ending (a fellow viewer in the cinema was audibly sobbing the first time I watched this).  


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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17 hours ago, M. Leary said:

 I am reading Inferno with my daughter right now and Dante's first circle of hell (Canto 4) celebrates general human impulses for goodness, virtue, and discovery modeled by those caught outside the late Christian reframing of intellectual history. This struck me as a good metaphor for conversations in this thread. We are talking about a lot of limbo films here. 

 

That's interesting to me because...well A&F is kinda in limbo too, isn't it? i mean really for the last year and a half, its sort of been like somewhere in between "I'm not dead yet!" but not yet reborn as whatever it might become next.

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47 minutes ago, Andrew said:

From my Lutheran childhood, I remember my pastor defining prophecy as a combination of fore-telling and forth-telling.  For me, Baldwin's writings and Peck's film are prophecy in the latter sense, the Book of Amos and Deutero-Isaiah for the 20th and 21st Centuries.

I did not have the same emotional reaction to the film, although I admired it. But as someone who has taught Baldwin many times (particularly "Sonny's Blues" and Go Tell It on The Mountain), I do see his conflicted relationship with Christianity (both because of his homosexuality and his race) as both personally interesting and prophetic in the sense of a mirror of a larger spiritual challenge shared by many of his and our generation. 

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I could have sworn I posted this somewhere in A&F before, but maybe I wrote it in one of my "off-again" phases? Anyway, I offer this up for those trying to cut to 25 or struggle with the "how many films by the same director?" issue:

http://1morefilmblog.com/2015/06/17/the-definitive-ranking-of-every-robert-bresson-film-ever/

 

Quote

This guy ranked every Robert Bresson film ever! What he put at #6 will blow your mind!

 

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2 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I could have sworn I posted this somewhere in A&F before, but maybe I wrote it in one of my "off-again" phases? Anyway, I offer this up for those trying to cut to 25 or struggle with the "how many films by the same director?" issue:

http://1morefilmblog.com/2015/06/17/the-definitive-ranking-of-every-robert-bresson-film-ever/

I had forgotten about this - you really achieved a nice balance between snark and earnestness.  Since I'm no longer sour on the Dardennes, I guess I need to give A Man Escaped a shot.

(And I have my list narrowed down to 28 films, for now anyway...)


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Just checking in to make sure we were on the same page. 

Sometime after he gets back from Berlin, Darren is going to open the nominations by creating a thread to solicit our Top 25 lists which will serve as our nominations. He has graciously offered to collate them and post the results.

After that stage is completed, Joel and Evan will create a voting ballot and post instructions for when we need to vote, how long we have etc. 

Is that correct? 

Edit: I have submitted the book proposal to publisher and will post a Call For Papers once I have been officially offered a contract. 

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5 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

After that stage is completed, Joel and Evan will create a voting ballot and post instructions for when we need to vote, how long we have etc. 

Is that correct? 

From our email correspondence, I believe Evan is going to format the ballot and nominees when voting time comes. I'm happy to help in any way I can, whether that's with the CFP for the book or communication with voters. And if there's nothing necessary for me to do, that's okay too!

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1 hour ago, Andrew said:

Am I understanding correctly that the Top 25 lists will be submitted to Darren secretly?

I believe so. I mean, I don't think we are supposed to post lists b/c then people can alter their own nominations, but I don't think there's a penalty for for not keeping it a secret. 

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16 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

From our email correspondence, I believe Evan is going to format the ballot and nominees when voting time comes. I'm happy to help in any way I can, whether that's with the CFP for the book or communication with voters. And if there's nothing necessary for me to do, that's okay too!

Same. I'm happy to format the ballot, although if Darren wants to do that since he'll have the list of nominees that's fine.

What was the decision regarding a list of grandparented films? Should we settle on a list of 25 that get nominated automatically due to presence and ranking on previous lists? And if we do, we'd need settle on those 25 and make it public before we submit our individual lists. I would be in favor of doing that, but I'm fine with whatever everyone else thinks is best.


"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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1 hour ago, Evan C said:

What was the decision regarding a list of grandparented films? Should we settle on a list of 25 that get nominated automatically due to presence and ranking on previous lists? And if we do, we'd need settle on those 25 and make it public before we submit our individual lists. I would be in favor of doing that, but I'm fine with whatever everyone else thinks is best.

I think the decision was no grandparented films for now, but we will revisit that decision in between when we do our own Top 25 lists and when we vote. 

FWIW, i was working on my own list yesterday, and I find myself caring more about films that have been traditionally neglected or overlooked than about films that are part of canon. That's not to say there are no traditional films on it, just that I can imagine it being an emergency if some film is left off everyone's list. Then how caonical can it be? Seems like between 2010 and 2011 there was a bit of movement. 

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Any further thoughts as to whether to invite/announce to the past A&F Ecumenical Jury members who may not be regularly checking this forum thread? There are also some regular A&F folks who have been somewhat silent or absent as of late, and who may want a reminder about this Top 100 process.

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5 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

Any further thoughts as to whether to invite/announce to the past A&F Ecumenical Jury members who may not be regularly checking this forum thread? There are also some regular A&F folks who have been somewhat silent or absent as of late, and who may want a reminder about this Top 100 process.

I have no objections if any particular person here wants to invite anyone else, for whatever reason, but I don't want to target anyone (or any groups) as a board policy. I've posted an announcement in OFCS Facebook and A&F Facebook as well as posted on Twitter and sent e-mails to NCFCA. So I'm dubious that anyone who might want to participate would not be aware that we are under way. 


 

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Back from Berlin (which was awesome, btw). I volunteered to collect and consolidate the top 25s, so my plan is to start a new thread with step-by-step instructions. Let me make sure I've got the guidelines right?

- 25 films. They don't need to be ranked at this point because this process will generate the pool of nominees for voting.

- Only individual films are eligible. Before Sunset is eligible; Before Trilogy is not.

- Films made for or distributed via television and streaming services are eligible; television and streaming series are not.

- Films of any length are eligible.

- Films from any year are eligible.

- Due date: April 1.

- Only people who submit a top 25 will be eligible to vote.

- In order to simiplify eliminating duplicates, titles should be copied and pasted from the top title line on IMDb. For example: Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) and The Kid with a Bike (2011)

- Lists should be emailed to Darren.

 

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4 minutes ago, Darren H said:

Back from Berlin (which was awesome, btw). I volunteered to collect and consolidate the top 25s, so my plan is to start a new thread with step-by-step instructions. Let me make sure I've got the guidelines right?

- 25 films. They don't need to be ranked at this point because this process will generate the pool of nominees for voting.

- Only individual films are eligible. Before Sunset is eligible; Before Trilogy is not.

- Films made for or distributed via television and streaming services are eligible; television and streaming series are not.

- Films of any length are eligible.

- Films from any year are eligible.

- Due date: April 1.

- Only people who submit a top 25 will be eligible to vote.

- In order to simiplify eliminating duplicates, titles should be copied and pasted from the top title line on IMDb. For example: Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) and The Kid with a Bike (2011)

- Lists should be emailed to Darren.

 

That sounds right to me. Thanks for doing this. (And happy to hear that Berlin was great and that you didn't get quarantined on a plane with Coronavirus!

EDIT: Maybe put in your post/instructions if you prefer the lists in a particular format (spreadsheet/MS-Word/Excel) or if cut/paste is okay.
 

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P.S. Darren, it probably goes without saying, but maybe add a line that to nominate, you must have an A&F account/be an A&F member. I'm pretty sure that you can/would weed out fishiy e-mails, but given our process, history, and guidelines, it might not be a bad idea to state the obvious.

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Will the nominations thread include nominees other than the superset of the all top 25 lists?

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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3 minutes ago, SDG said:

Will the nominations thread include nominees other than the superset of the all top 25 lists?

That is TBD. We are leaning towards "no," but after much discussion we agreed to revisit that question after nominations depending on how many films were nominated, how many people nominated them, and whether there were a lot of films from previous years' lists that were not nominated.

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I’m glad that there’s openness to revisiting the question. I’m concerned about the “leaning toward ‘no’” part. 

My top 25 picks for this list certainly include such perennial honorees as The Passion of Joan of Arc, Diary of a Country Priest, and The Miracle Maker

Of course, a lot of other A&Fers feel the same way about those films. The more of us pick the same films, the more “votes” will be wasted.

It’s possible that I could put together a list of 25 films and find that most or even all of my picks were wasted, while films I would have wanted to include were left out.

To make my vote count, then, I should try to pick films I think might be overlooked. But if everyone does this, the obvious picks might fall between the cracks.

Uncertainty about the final procedure leaves me up in the air about how to vote. I’m perfectly willing to vote my true picks, but if there’s no subsequent nomination process, I will resent every film I picked knowing or expecting that many or even most other voters would pick it too.


“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’m perfectly willing to vote my true picks, but if there’s no subsequent nomination process, I will resent every film I picked knowing or expecting that many or even most other voters would pick it too.

Steven, if you haven't read through the previous pages in this thread, it might be worth your time and relieve some of your anxiety. Choose your top 25 films, we'll all do the same, and then the relatively small group of us who have made the effort will review the resulting list and decide what to do next. Like Ken, I'm confident we won't need to do a significant amount of cleanup, but no one -- especially those of us who have participated in these lists for years -- should go into the voting process feeling any sort of resentment.

Really, just pick your true top 25. I'll be curious to see it.

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