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The List of Nominations (4/5/2020)


Darren H
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This is very preliminary (as in I scanned down the Excel sheet and wrote in things from memory), so I no doubt missed a few, but I thought it would be helpful for +1s and voting and considering director limits to see director breakdown in nominations:

  • Anderson, PT (3)
  • Anderson, Wes (2)
  • Aronofsky (2)
  • Assayas (2)
  • Bergman (8)
  • Bresson (4)
  • Chaplin (2)
  • Coens (4)
  • Coppola, F (2) 
  • Cuaron (2)
  • Dardennes (5)
  • Demme (2)
  • Denis (2)
  • Dreyer (3)
  • Farhadi (2)
  • Ford (6)
  • Gerwig (2)
  • Godard (2)
  • Haneke (3)
  • Hertzfeldt (2)
  • Herzog (2)
  • Hitchcock (4)
  • James (2)
  • Jarmusch (3)
  • Kiarostami (4)
  • Kieslowski (3)
  • Koreeda (2)
  • Kubrick (3 -- maybe and 1/2 if you count A.I.)
  • Kurosawa (7)
  • Lang (2)
  • Leigh (2)
  • Linklater (2)
  • Lynch (3)
  • Malick (5)
  • Miyazaki (3)
  • Murnau (2)
  • Ozu (2? is that right)
  • Renoir (2)
  • Rohmer (3)
  • Rossellini (5)
  • Sayles (2)
  • Scorsese (6)
  • Spielberg (6)
  • Stillman (3)
  • Tarkovsky (4)
  • Varda (4)
  • Von Trier (2)
  • Weir (3)
  • Welles (3)
  • Wenders (2)
  • Wong (2)
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There are on the list above 51 directors with multiple nominations. (Not including the +1s and I may have missed a few.) 

Assuming (and this is a huge assumption) that each of those 51 gets at least one film in, that means the the additional 49 slots have maybe 280 films vying for them, including second entries by a director with one film already in there. 

I say that's a big assumption, and yet...look over that list and tell me who you would be shocked by not putting at least one entry into the final 100? Not who you think belongs but who would wouldn't seriously surprise you? (For me that's maybe Cuaron, Demme, Farhadi, Hertzfeldt, Sayles, and von Trier, though none of theme would shock me if they placed one or even both in). Edit: Okay, maybe Gerwig, too, though given our call for diversity, I would probably be greatly surprised, if not *shocked* if she didn't put at least one of those two in the Top 100.

Add to that the films that are single entries but would seem to be shoe-ins (Man for All Seasons, First Reformed, Make Way for Tomorrow, Miracle Maker, Night of the Hunter, Babette's Feast, etc.), and I'm suddenly entertaining Gareth's suggestion about 1/director rather than 2. 

But that's raises the question of what our purpose is? To define who we are? To revitalize and update the list? I'll confess that I'll be a little disappointed if we go through this whole thing and 90% of the list is identical to the 2011 or 2010 lists. But that maybe is just me. I don't want change for change's sake, but...

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I was surprised by some of the directors who received multiple nominations -- Assayas, Cuaron, Denis (even though I nominated one!), Gerwig, Jarmusch, Leigh, Sayles, Stillman, and Wong. I'm not at all saying that they don't deserve spots on the list, but I'm really curious to see if any of their films are consensus picks.

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This is really helpful, Ken.

I counted 4 by Miyazaki: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away

5 by Kiarostami: Close-Up, Where is the Friend's House?, Taste of Cherry, Certified Copy, Like Someone in Love

 

Edited by Rob Z
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3 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I'm suddenly entertaining Gareth's suggestion about 1/director rather than 2. 

But that's raises the question of what our purpose is? To define who we are? To revitalized and update the list? I'll confess that I'll be a little disappointed if we go through this whole thing and 90% of the list is identical to the 2011 or 2010 lists. But that maybe is just me. I don't want change for change's sake, but...

This makes me see the value of 2 films per director versus 3, but I feel pretty strongly against having just one per director. It changes the nature of the list, and it would have pretty significantly changed how I went about nominating films too. I'm fine with the process being somewhat "in process" as we go, but I think that would have needed to be a parameter before we nominated.

This will definitely affect how I vote though, in my giving some films lower scores when I put other films by the same director ahead of them.

I know there is some hyperbole here, but based on what was nominated, the 2 per director rule, and no grandfathering, the maximum overlap is 63% (I think), and that's only possible if no films from after 2008 make the new list (not a realistic scenario, and some of those recent films will likely further displace others by the same directors already on the 2011 list). So I'm not worried about the lists being too similar. The different process alone will result in change. I think there are indeed many films that are shoo ins but there's a lot of (new) diversity to be had as well. As I've said, I think that it should come from how we vote rather than just parameters.

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For all you letterboxd users, I made a letterboxd list. Ken and others, if you don't want the list appearing there for some reason, let me know, and I'll set the list to "private," but then only I will be able to see it.
I found it much easier to track what I have and haven't seen there, and maybe some of you will as well:
https://letterboxd.com/magadizer/list/af-top-100-nominations-2020/

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Because I'm working on transferring old lists to new formatting, here is my cursory glance at the 2010 list and which films from it were not nominated:

  • 9 Early Summer
  • 18 Floating Weeds
  • 25 Nostalghia
  • 27 The Child
  • 50 Cyclist
  • 51 Spirit of the Beehive
  • 54 The Straight Story
  • 57 The Wind Will Cary Us
  • 60 Fanny and Alexander
  • 61 Lorna's Silence
  • 70 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Day
  • 71 An Autumn Afternoon
  • 75 Rashomon
  • 76 Beckett
  • 77 Black Narcissus
  • 78 Eureka
  • 79 Meshes of the Afternoon
  • 81 Syndromes and a Century
  • 82 Rosetta
  • 83 Yi Yi
  • 84 Pickpocket
  • 85 Punch-Drunk Love
  • 87 Stroszek
  • 90: Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher
  • 91: Au Revoir Les Enfants 
  • 92 Son of Man
  • 97 M. Hulot's Holiday

I guess the thing that jumps out to me is that all three Dardenne films that were on the list are now gone, almost surely to be replaced by two (the new max limit) different Dardenne films. 

The Straight Story has already been commented upon. I wonder if it was a compromise choice between fans of Lynch's less accessible work and those who don't. (Speaking of which, didn't The Elephant Man used to be on at least some of these lists?)

Early Summer went from #9 to #94 a year later to not nominated. That seems a pretty strange plummet even if it was replaced by other titles.

I'm probably not as happy to be rid of Punch Drunk Love as Evan is to be rid of Dogville, but I'm in the same neighborhood, even if suspect that 2 film limit just means a greater consensus around which PTA films to nominate. (No noms for Inherent Vice or The Master, either.) 

On a total non-sequitur note, I see Michael Mann has released exactly one full length movie since the 2011 list came out.

 

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5 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

On a total non-sequitur note, I see Michael Mann has released exactly one full length movie since the 2011 list came out.

I wondered if there would be any Mann films nominated, but I'm pretty sure there aren't. If Ryan Holt were still active at A&F, I imagine there would have been nominations for Mann and De Palma films.

I also noticed that we no longer have any films from the Apu trilogy, but we do have two Satyajit Ray films.

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4 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

I wondered if there would be any Mann films nominated, but I'm pretty sure there aren't. If Ryan Holt were still active at A&F, I imagine there would have been nominations for Mann and De Palma films.

I also noticed that we no longer have any films from the Apu trilogy, but we do have two Satyajit Ray films.

Apu is transcendent cinema, but I feel that The Music Room even more directly addresses specifically spiritual themes.

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> I guess the thing that jumps out to me is that all three Dardenne films that were on the list are now gone, almost surely to be replaced by two (the new max limit) different Dardenne films. 

I have to say, I think we got this one right. When I rewatched all of their films a few years ago, those were my least favorite. For twenty years I've felt the odd man out for not fully embracing Rosetta, and The Child, imo, isn't very good by any standard. I like the ambition of Lorna's Silence, even if it doesn't fully come together.

Ken, I just noticed that your list of multi-film directors doesn't include Powell and Pressburger, who have at least two, The Red Shoes and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

Edited by Darren H
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I just noticed that Josh Wilson nominated Dekalog III. We'd decided to allow films made for television but not series, so maybe this meets the criteria? No one else has objected, so I'm okay with it. (If I'd thought about it from this angle sooner, I would've been tempted to nominate episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return.)

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17 minutes ago, Darren H said:

I just noticed that Josh Wilson nominated Dekalog III. We'd decided to allow films made for television but not series, so maybe this meets the criteria? No one else has objected, so I'm okay with it. (If I'd thought about it from this angle sooner, I would've been tempted to nominate episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return.)

Josh messaged me and asked the rules regarding Dekalog. I told him we decided it was ten film, but films made for television were acceptable, and I thought they were all films for TV, not a TV series, especially considering most of them got theatrical releases; therefore, he could nominate them individually.

"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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37 minutes ago, Darren H said:

I just noticed that Josh Wilson nominated Dekalog III. We'd decided to allow films made for television but not series, so maybe this meets the criteria? No one else has objected, so I'm okay with it. (If I'd thought about it from this angle sooner, I would've been tempted to nominate episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return.)

I object(ed), but not out loud, and the noms were listed after the fact. 
I hope/hoped that it was moot in that people might not have the same commitment to individual episodes as to the collective, and I'd hate it if it made the list for exactly the reason Darren mentions...it would open the door to other episode (particularly pilots?, but also stuff like S3 of NYPD Blue or series finale of Six Feet Under or something. 

But...one can impose one's will on everyone else or one can be part of a community. Haven't yet figured out how to do both simultaneously. 

As an aside, we really ought to make television series our next Top 25. 

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2 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

As an aside, we really ought to make television series our next Top 25. 

YES.

Regarding Dekalog III, I suppose I don't have major objections to the nomination, although I will say that I wouldn't vote for it in the same way that I would vote for Dekalog as a whole. I ranked the film/series/whatever-it-is a few years ago, and III was #7 on my list. So, if only two Kieslowski films can make the list, I would frankly be quite surprised if Dekalog III outranks The Double Life of Veronique and Three Colors: Blue in our collective voting.

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17 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I guess the thing that jumps out to me is that all three Dardenne films that were on the list are now gone, almost surely to be replaced by two (the new max limit) different Dardenne films. 

The Straight Story has already been commented upon. I wonder if it was a compromise choice between fans of Lynch's less accessible work and those who don't. (Speaking of which, didn't The Elephant Man used to be on at least some of these lists?)

I'm probably not as happy to be rid of Punch Drunk Love as Evan is to be rid of Dogville, but I'm in the same neighborhood, even if suspect that 2 film limit just means a greater consensus around which PTA films to nominate. (No noms for Inherent Vice or The Master, either.) 
 

 

I think this may be in part due to not just grandfathering in the top 25 from the prior list. I bungled my nominations for this on that account, in that fearing the loss of standard titles I did not include Cyclist or Inherent Vice on my top 25, even though they were both on my initial draft. And Straight Story was in the longer shortlist. 

"...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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I think DEKALOG belongs on the list as a whole, but if we were going to make it 10 films, I had to pick only one, which is kindof a tough thing to do. Upon more reflection, I'd pick either Blue or (not nominated) Red over any individual episode of the DEKALOG for this list, but I think of it as a unified 10-part film, even moreso than TP: The Return. Anyways, it is fine with me if you all either want to remove it from the nominations, or I guess just don't vote for it.

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18 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

(No noms for Inherent Vice or The Master, either.) 

The Master was on my short list, and I'm fairly disappointed I didn't add it, but not sure what I'd remove. I do think it's one of the most fascinating portrayals of religion and the whole spiritual situation of post-war America.

 

"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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1 hour ago, Joshua Wilson said:

I think DEKALOG belongs on the list as a whole, but if we were going to make it 10 films, I had to pick only one, which is kindof a tough thing to do. Upon more reflection, I'd pick either Blue or (not nominated) Red over any individual episode of the DEKALOG for this list, but I think of it as a unified 10-part film, even moreso than TP: The Return. Anyways, it is fine with me if you all either want to remove it from the nominations, or I guess just don't vote for it.

Probably the second. My participation in critics' groups has nudged me in the direction of "let the voters decide" if something truly seems ambiguous. A couple of years ago, one of them nominated Okja for "best foreign language film" and we received some scorn for that. But we never defined (nor did I want to) what percentage of the film had to be in a foreign language to qualify. I trust(ed) the members enough to know that they weren't going to nominate some English movie just because a character utters "c'ez la vie" or "madre de Dios" somewhere in it. (I don't even remember if we nominated The Farewell in that category or not, because it wasn't going to win anyway.)

Sometimes that ends in results I disagree with. I objected when the same group (and later the Ecumenical Jury here) classified O.J.: Made in America as a film rather than a television mini-series just because it ran for a week at some theater in NY or LA to be Oscar eligible. But I think (to steal Russ's terminology) they were making a good-faith argument rather than using a technicality to get around the spirit of the law. Sometimes it results in decisions I agree with. Was it Moonlight that the Academy reclassified as "adapted" screenplay because Jenkins had written a draft of the same material years earlier? I thought that was asinine and I was glad many of the voters in my group agreed (or were unaware) and left it in the "Original" category.

To put on my pretentious academic hat for a second,...I always tell my students that categories are academic organizational conveniences that art (especially great art) doesn't feel beholden to. Moby-Dick was an abysmal failure because it did not conform to the category distinctions of a Romance, and it took nearly a 100 years for readers and critics to finally say, "yeah, so?" Does Jane Austen belong to the 18th or 19th century? Yes. Is Salman Rushdie British or Indian? Is Chess an "opera"? (I think so, but those who like "real" opera may feel some scorn at me for saying so.)

There will always be works like Moby-Dick, like Dekalog that suffer because their greatness transcends or transforms the categories that we like to use to define greatness. And there will always be critics whom we absolutely need, to question those categories and champion those works exactly so that they can evolve and find some way to include the shameful omissions. My historical objection to Dekalog on these lists was not necessarily that it wasn't or couldn't possibly be one of the works that necessitated such transformation but that it was assumed and deemed to be one without, so far as I could see, any argument or explanation. (Of course, I wasn't always here, so that argument may have been articulated in my absence.) I feel less bad about Dekalog's omission because Kieslowski has other *films* that fit the definition of film better and that are, in my mind, comparable in quality to Dekalog. I feel less sure about shorts (The Man Who Planted Trees, Wavelength, Mothlight) because I am not sure the same could be said of Brakhage or Snow or Back.) Is "Sonny's Blues" a short story or a novella? Is Paradise Lost not an epic because it doesn't invoke the muses specifically? Ultimately these distinctions matter until they don't, and I at least take comfort in the fact that if we decide wrongly, our decision will only reflect poorly on us and not hurt the reputation of the work(s) in the least.

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2 hours ago, Joshua Wilson said:

I think DEKALOG belongs on the list as a whole, but if we were going to make it 10 films, I had to pick only one, which is kindof a tough thing to do. Upon more reflection, I'd pick either Blue or (not nominated) Red over any individual episode of the DEKALOG for this list, but I think of it as a unified 10-part film, even moreso than TP: The Return. Anyways, it is fine with me if you all either want to remove it from the nominations, or I guess just don't vote for it.

My thoughts exactly.

I was actually thinking that Dekalog III would fit very well on an A&F Top 25 Christmas/holiday films list.

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