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Joel Mayward

2019 Arts and Faith Ecumenical Jury: Nominations and Discussion

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I'd like to nominate Honeyland, which I've been chewing on for a few months now. It just won Best Nonfiction Film from 2019 from the New York Critics Circle. A Macedonian beekeeper and her mother find themselves with unexpected neighbors when a refugee family moves into their village. The resulting friction raises questions about appropriate give-and-take in social situations, and about cultivating relationships in community and with nature, especially when those relationships prove difficult. The material flows into the spiritual with the ever-present background humming of the bees.

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@dodgyboffin - I'll second Honeyland. I served on the Critics Choice Doc Nominating Committee and this one got tons of love. The narrative (and the visual way it was told) was magnificent. Key explorations of relationships (beyond individuals), life's struggles(and fragile balance), persistence of mission and focus (even in the midst of potentially destructive change) - What a wonderful slice of cinema. - NTMII

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A/an (exhausted, indifferent, conflicted?) second for Dark Waters, a film which is as relentlessly depressing as any I have seen since Beasts of No Nation. 

Yes, I will say that I second it not in spite of its grimness but largely because of it. Maybe there is an essay in here, maybe not, but I don't think it was a coincidence that I was listening to Brene Brown on audiotape on the way home and she was talking about despair. Excepting a half-hearted populist coda at the end, this flirted with being the legal thriller equivalent of On The Beach or First Reformed. As I waited...and waited...and waited...for it to turn triumphal in the last act, I started to think that maybe its greatness is that it channels an age that has given up a belief that anything can or will save us and thus forces us to think about how our lives might have meaning in such an era, whether its apocalyptic fears are real or manufactured.

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I know it doesn't officially release in the US until next week, but I'm still surprised that someone here hasn't seen A Hidden Life and seconded it.

I will nominate The Two Popes, a film which surprised me with its humor and emotional complexity. I'm not sure how well the characterizations match the actual real-life people, but Pryce and Hopkins both give excellent performances, and there are all sorts of interesting political and religious conversations to be had about the film. A divine bromance.

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I will also nominate Peterloo. This should be available on Amazon Prime (at least it is in the UK), and is worth your attention. Not an easy watch—lots of speeches and talking, all leading up to inevitable state-sanctioned violence—but lots of present-day resonance, and there's a brilliantly scathing scene with a British magistrate writing a letter and pontificating about his innate power and importance while a painting of Christ on the cross seems to peer down on him from the wall behind him.

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On 12/7/2019 at 3:30 AM, Joel Mayward said:

I know it doesn't officially release in the US until next week, but I'm still surprised that someone here hasn't seen A Hidden Life and seconded it.

My dvd arrived in the mail today. 

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On 11/27/2019 at 10:34 AM, Evan C said:

 

Missing Link - delightful and witty family film with a thoughtful cross-examination of self-centered childhood dreams and prejudices of the 19th century

I'm not there yet, but with swag like this...

Seriously, though, it made me think of the excessive coffee table books for Us, The Irishman, and A Marriage Story and sorta made me like the film all the more for it...quite possibly the best swag I've received since that Conjuring 2 incantation candle. 

78761874_10156992072343237_3687904931777347584_n.jpg

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On 11/18/2019 at 7:24 AM, Joel Mayward said:

 

 

 

On 12/9/2019 at 10:08 PM, kenmorefield said:

My dvd arrived in the mail today.  -a Hidden Life

Planning on checking out my screener on this soon

Edited by Noel T Manning II

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Brett McCracken emailed me this list of nominations:

  • A Hidden Life
  • Peterloo
  • Us
  • Diane
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
  • Ad Astra
  • Peanut Butter Falcon
  • Parasite
  • The Irishman
  • Knives Out
  • Age Out
  • The Farewell
  • Amazing Grace
  • Strange Negotiations
  • Waves

For those films already nominated, Brett's nomination will be considered as a "second" for the film.

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On 12/11/2019 at 3:08 PM, Joel Mayward said:

Brett McCracken emailed me this list of nominations:

  •  
  • Strange Negotiations
  •  

For those films already nominated, Brett's nomination will be considered as a "second" for the film.

Brandon Vedder sent me an e-mail and said he is willing to send a screening link to any jurors who want to consider the film. (I haven't watched mine yet). Sent me a PM if you want me to put you in contact with him.

 

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I just got back from Waves. Definitely second that.


"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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I finally caught up with Ozon's  By the Grace of God and give it my full-throated support and nomination. If you haven't seen it, please try to track it down. I'd be sad (but can always live with it) if it didn't made our list but I'd be sadder if the reason was that it fell through the cracks. I've got the e-mail for the rep at Music Box. I suspect they'd be amenable to jury members who want to screen. 

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On 11/22/2019 at 12:53 PM, kenmorefield said:

Does anyone know what the "T stands for? Insert best guess...

I'm thinking Terminator?

Decades ago, a friend of my sister's declared that it must be "Thaddeus". That's still my favorite guess.


"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 would like to offer a nomination for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Faith, hope, redemption, forgiveness, sacrifice, free choice, exploring purpose even when one's own live hangs in the balance are all on display in this final installment of the Skywalker saga. 

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Second By the Grace of God.


"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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Stuff I haven't seen yet -- anyone want to nudge me in terms of priorities as tine winds down (I have access to all, it's just a matter of priorities):
Little Joe, Diane, Atlantics, Les Miserables, Who Will Write Our History, Apollo 11, Honeyland, Wild Rose, 

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Joel,

We have two entries in the master list, one for Peanut Butter Falcon and one for The Peanut Butter Falcon. One is seconded the other is not.

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14 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

Stuff I haven't seen yet -- anyone want to nudge me in terms of priorities as tine winds down (I have access to all, it's just a matter of priorities):
Little Joe, Diane, Atlantics, Les Miserables, Who Will Write Our History, Apollo 11, Honeyland, Wild Rose, 

A minority opinion, but I loathed Atlantics.  Had I been watching it alone in Toronto, I would've walked out.  Pretentious tedium.

Honeyland should make my Best of 2019 list, while Who Will Write and Les Miserables will likely score honorable mentions.

Edited by Andrew

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

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

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On 12/21/2019 at 9:24 AM, Andrew said:

A minority opinion, but I loathed Atlantics.  Had I been watching it alone in Toronto, I would've walked out.  Pretentious tedium.

Honeyland should make my Best of 2019 list, while Who Will Write and Les Miserables will likely score honorable mentions.

@kenmorefield- Apollo 11 & Honeyland would be my nudges for you

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I second Frozen II.


"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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Has anyone actually seen Non-fiction? Was wondering if it's lack of buzz meant it was not very good or just that the pro-Assayas faciton of A&F has moved on to greener pastures....

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