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1 film per director or 2?  

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I would like to bring up something that was discussed in the Zoom Chat today...if we eliminate one film for each director, I think that we should do a mini poll of voters to see which of the two films stays on the list.
To bring up an example from my own preference, I think both Pather Panchali and The Music Room are worthy films, but if I could pick only one for its spiritual significance, it would have to be The Music Room.
That being said, it's not my list, but the board's.

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10 minutes ago, Joshua Wilson said:

I would like to bring up something that was discussed in the Zoom Chat today...if we eliminate one film for each director, I think that we should do a mini poll of voters to see which of the two films stays on the list.
To bring up an example from my own preference, I think both Pather Panchali and The Music Room are worthy films, but if I could pick only one for its spiritual significance, it would have to be The Music Room.
That being said, it's not my list, but the board's.

I think you made/make a great point about possibly re-ranking the list through the choice of which, of two, films by a certain filmmaker we'd rate higher, knowing that only one will appear on the final list. As someone who suggested during the Zoom call that the one-film-per-director list could be an answer to some of the voters' broader concerns, I know that choosing between two films for several of the directors would result in some heartbreaking cuts. For instance, while I'm a big fan of A Hidden Life, which ranked above The Tree of Life on our Top 100 - I gave both films "6"s in my voting - given the chance to vote between the two, I'd have a slight preference for Tree. I'd really rather have both, as the current Top 100 has both. I'd just prefer the order be reversed. And if I had to sacrifice one of the two films, it'd be the currently higher ranked Malick.

Edited by Christian

"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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11 minutes ago, Joshua Wilson said:

I would like to bring up something that was discussed in the Zoom Chat today...if we eliminate one film for each director, I think that we should do a mini poll of voters to see which of the two films stays on the list.
To bring up an example from my own preference, I think both Pather Panchali and The Music Room are worthy films, but if I could pick only one for its spiritual significance, it would have to be The Music Room.
That being said, it's not my list, but the board's.

Agreed. I just sent out an e-mail. If we vote for the 1 film/per director list, than round 2 will ask you to pick between the 2 films of the 17 directors with multiple entries but we won't reshuffle the Top 25. 

If we vote to keep the 2 films/directors list, Round 2 will allow those who wish to do so to rerank the Top 25 but not move films in or out of it.

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How many strong feelings are going to be tied to the results, one way or the other, of the Ordet/Joan choice?

My brain keeps spinning about this: there seems to be such a wildly extreme difference between the two films by Dreyer and the two films by Malick, for example. Malick's films are both stylistically identical, came out within the same decade, and were both written by him, I believe. That's a fine example of auteur theory. Dryer's films on the other hand were produced not only decades, but entire cinematic eras apart, are stylistically distinct from each other to the greatest degree, and for me at least presents a bigger affront to auteur theory as I understand it (Joan would not be anything without Falconetti). 

And if the limiting threshold is whatever name happens to be in the director's slot doesn't that cheapen just about every other unique factor that contributed to the film?

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One observation about the 1 vs. 2 films-per-director is how auteurist/intentionalist this approach can be, as if the directorial vision matters most (or only matters) to what makes a film spiritually significant. For instance, we would lose one of the greatest on-screen performances of any gender, Maria Falconetti in Passion of Joan of Arc, with the current 1-film list. Conversely, we would also lose Beau travail, a female-directed film about masculine bodies and identities. This isn't to advocate for one list or another, only to mention that a strict auteurist view neglects other contributors (acting, editing, producing, etc.).

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Up late -- weird, I normally sleep pretty easily.

I did mention my own skepticism about auteur theory during the nominations to anticipate the diversity question. (So it surprises me a little less than it would have when we started that at this point  I miss Clarice Starling even more than I miss Michael Corleone.) 

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post, informed by discussions here over the years, about what is a "Christian" film?  I agreed this couldn't just be limited to studio branding, but did the term have any meaning? The definition I came up with, which was not elegant but has helped me over the years, was: By Christians, For Christians, About Christians -- does it meet two of those criteria?

When I think about the issue of diversity, the 2/director list has 7% films "by women." I'd argue that the "for women" is less meaningful since I don't think I care as much about "women's pictures" in the "genre" sense. But I went back and looked at the list and asked, how many are "about" women? I counted about 15 films by men that I would be more insistent were in some significant way women-centered: Passion has already been mentioned; Babette's Feast has a female protagonist and is based on a female's novella; others include The Kid With a Bike (which we would probably lose if we went to the 1-per director), Sophie Scholl, Secrets and Lies, Firsco Jenny, Amazing Grace, The Song of Bernadette, Secret Sunshine, Ponette. 

There are also a number of films that are about family or love relationships  or conflicts where females play a significant role even though it is arguable who the lead might be: The Night of the Hunter, Rome, Open City; Late Spring, The Best Years of Our Lives, Witness.

For me, personally, even though I am not a PTA fan, Magnolia is inseperable from Aimee Mann's music. David Byrne is unquestionably the face of the Talking Heads, but you can't have Stop Making Sense without Tina Weymouth. Deckert may or may not be a male (or a male model replicant), but Blade Runner is far more concerned about what it means to be human than what it means to be male. 

I guess what I am saying (I haven't voted in the poll yet), is that if we probe past the auteurist assumption, the list might be a *little* more diverse that it appears at first glance. Or, at least, that is a defense I feel like I could make in good conscience.

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Darren sent out a list of the 18 films that would be added in the 1 director scenario (although Uncle Boonmee would be added instead of Stevie). Could someone post  list of the 18 #2 films that would be cut, or rather the 36 films films we'd chose from?

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23 minutes ago, Rob Z said:

Darren sent out a list of the 18 films that would be added in the 1 director scenario (although Uncle Boonmee would be added instead of Stevie). Could someone post  list of the 18 #2 films that would be cut, or rather the 36 films films we'd chose from?

I think (the higher of the two after Round 1 listed firts):

  • Ordet / The Passion of Joan of Arc 
  • Andrei Rubles / Stalker
  • A Hidden Life / Tree of Life
  • The Son / The Kid With a Bike
  • Ikiru / Red Beard
  • The Flowers of St. Francis /Rome, Open City
  • Faust/ Sunrise
  • My Night at Maud's / A Tale of Winter
  • The Seventh Seal / Through a Glass Darkly
  • Close Up / Where is My Friend's House?
  • The Gleaners & I / Cleo from 5 to 7
  • My Neighbor Totoro / Grave of the Fireflies
  • 35 Shots of Rum / Beau Travail
  • Late Spring / Tokyo Story
  • Pather Panchali / The Music Room
  • The Wrong Man / Vertigo
  • Wings of Desire / Paris, Texas

I don't think we''d actually do a vote off between At the Death House Door and Stevie since the latter didn't actually make the list, Darren just mistakenly said it would enter into the 1 film per director list because he didn't realize that At the Death House Door was Steve James.

Edit: Man, just typing out that list nudges me in one direction. It's easier to focus on what is *gained* in the one director list than on what is lost because the latter is still undetermined. But if we do go 1/director I am pretty confident there will be at least one person who votes for doing so who ends up saying, "In retrospect, if I knew  _________________ was going to get cut, I might have voted differently."

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23 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:
  • Ordet / The Passion of Joan of Arc 
  • Andrei Rublev / Stalker
  • A Hidden Life / Tree of Life
  • The Son / The Kid With a Bike
  • Ikiru / Red Beard
  • The Flowers of St. Francis /Rome, Open City
  • Faust/ Sunrise
  • My Night at Maud's / A Tale of Winter
  • The Seventh Seal / Through a Glass Darkly
  • Close Up / Where is My Friend's House?
  • The Gleaners & I / Cleo from 5 to 7
  • My Neighbor Totoro / Grave of the Fireflies
  • 35 Shots of Rum / Beau Travail
  • Late Spring / Tokyo Story
  • Pather Panchali / The Music Room
  • The Wrong Man / Vertigo
  • Wings of Desire / Paris, Texas

And these would be the films essentially replacing one of the paired films above, correct?

7th Heaven (1927)
Silent Light (2007)
On the Waterfront (1954)
The Phantom Carriage (1921)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Ushpizin (2004)
The Work (2017)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
The Immigrant (2013)
Selma (2014)
The Red Shoes (1948)
Timbuktu (2014)
Places in the Heart (1984)
Still Life (2006)
Nazarin (1959)
What Time Is It There? (2001)
This is Martin Bonner (2013)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

I count 17 pairs and 18 films in the other list...what am I missing?

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5 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

I count 17 pairs and 18 films in the other list...what am I missing?

Ken, you also need to add A Man Escaped / Diary of a Country Priest.

Copied/pasted from another thread:

For what it's worth, I'm voting for one film per director because it addresses my two biggest complaints with the list. I really dislike the idea of giving eight of the top 25 slots to four people, even while acknowledging that those four have long been the patron saints of this forum. (My first comment on this subject, months ago, was something like, "I'd advocate for one film per director except that it's hard to imagine our list without Ordet and Passion. I'm now totally fine with the idea.) I also really like the added diversity of styles and perspectives we'll be adding to the bottom of the list. Having Ordet and Silent Light as bookends would make me happy.

Edited by Darren H
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Okay, so this seems to be the breakdown:

2-films per director (we have to choose between these films):

  1. Ordet / The Passion of Joan of Arc 
  2. Andrei Rublev / Stalker
  3. A Hidden Life / Tree of Life
  4. The Son / The Kid With a Bike
  5. Ikiru / Red Beard
  6. A Man Escaped / Diary of a Country Priest
  7. The Flowers of St. Francis /Rome, Open City
  8. Faust/ Sunrise
  9. My Night at Maud's / A Tale of Winter
  10. The Seventh Seal / Through a Glass Darkly
  11. Close Up / Where is My Friend's House?
  12. The Gleaners & I / Cleo from 5 to 7
  13. My Neighbor Totoro / Spirited Away
  14. 35 Shots of Rum / Beau Travail
  15. Late Spring / Tokyo Story
  16. Pather Panchali / The Music Room
  17. The Wrong Man / Vertigo
  18. Wings of Desire / Paris, Texas

1-film per director (we are choosing to add these films and remove the lower-ranked or chosen film from the pairs above):

  1. 7th Heaven (1927)
  2. Silent Light (2007)
  3. On the Waterfront (1954)
  4. The Phantom Carriage (1921)
  5. Schindler’s List (1993)
  6. Ushpizin (2004)
  7. The Work (2017)
  8. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
  9. The Immigrant (2013)
  10. Selma (2014)
  11. The Red Shoes (1948)
  12. Timbuktu (2014)
  13. Places in the Heart (1984)
  14. Still Life (2006)
  15. Nazarin (1959)
  16. What Time Is It There? (2001)
  17. This is Martin Bonner (2013)
  18. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)
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I meant to mention/confess during last night's call that another thing that appealed to me about the one-film-per-director list is that it gets Uncle Boonmee onto the Top 100. I gave that film a "6" and would love to see it on our list. Based on his comments last night, I think Anders might agree, although I don't know how he'll vote.

"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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I'm torn, but leaning toward the two films per director, if only because that list has two Varda and Denis films, and we'd be losing those two while only gaining one film directed by DuVernay if we went with the one film per director.

"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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Having recently moved some pat Top 100s and Top 25s to app-generated pages, I note that in the Horror List (2011) voters listed Let Me In and Let the Right One In together, in one slot. 

It is possible, if we want to have one director per space to list multiple films per slot in alphabetical or chronological order. I don't think I'm in favor of that; I find it clunky and I always sort of resent as a reader whenever critics make a Top 10 list with 13 movies in it by going TIE -- but there is precedent: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/year/11-2011-top-25-horror-films/

 

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Aside -- beginning to construct the Alt-100 Women's Edition made me realize I never actually said something else I slightly favor about the 2 film/director list. Agnes Varda and Claire Denis both have two films, and I think there is a status that attaches to that. If it the canon perpetuates itself, then "The Gleaners & I" and "Beau Travail" are not just reflections of Agnes Varda and Claire Denis, they are hard-won footholds that that make it likely that those who want to "explore the list" in general or want to explore more films by female directors but don't know where to start could seek out these films first. Both Varda and Denis have been in the A&F canon just long enough that, I think, they are now starting to expand their influence in the canon beyond just the foothold films. (35 Shots of Rum seems to have even surpassed Beau Travail in our estimation, but my point is, I don't think 35 Shots of Rum would be in the A&F canon if people, mostly Darren and Leary, hadn't fought so hard for Beau Travail in the first place.) I think Balthazar, largely from Doug C's influence was the first Bresson film to crack the A&F consciousness, and I've never warmed to it. But today it isn't even one of the top 2 Bresson films on the list. So I confess I am a little reluctant to cut back on some of the progress that Denis and Varda have made on our list at a point where they are really becoming more firmly established as not just belonging on the list but belonging in the same tier as Malick, Bresson, Dardennes, Bergman, Tarkovsky, etc.

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It just occurred to me, right now, this second, that this thread is the figure of  Two Days, One Night. 

It now strikes me as inevitable that the vote will end in a tie.

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26 minutes ago, Darren H said:

Evan, we'd also be adding films from Mexico, Israel, Romania, Mauritania, China, Taiwan, and Thailand. That to me more than makes up for the loss of additional films by Denis and Varda.

Good points. Can I change my 2 films vote to 1 film?

Provided of course, everyone votes for Faust and Through a Glass Darkly for Murnau and Bergman. ;)

"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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32 minutes ago, Darren H said:

Evan, we'd also be adding films from Mexico, Israel, Romania, Mauritania, China, Taiwan, and Thailand. That to me more than makes up for the loss of additional films by Denis and Varda.

Yep, that clinches it for me.  Please change my vote from 2 to 1.

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

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

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I am not sure how to use admin to alter poll data. And it occurs to me that since the poll is anonymous someone could vote in it that was not part of the process or vote multiple times, assumign that those who don't frequent forum might not come in and vote. So if you want to change your vote, maybe just e-mail me. (One or two have already send me their votes via e-mail).

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The Romanian New Wave contingent applauds these recent developments.

"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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