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1 film per director or 2?  

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I voted one film, but I want to lobby hard to everyone (except for Christian, please ignore the following. :) ) to choose The Music Room over the (still wonderful, but to my mind less spiritually significant) Pather Panchali.

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7 minutes ago, Joshua Wilson said:

I voted one film, but I want to lobby hard to everyone (except for Christian, please ignore the following. :) ) to choose The Music Room over the (still wonderful, but to my mind less spiritually significant) Pather Panchali.

Heh. But if I haven't seen one of the two films, I have to vote for the one I've seen.

Right??

"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, Christian said:

Heh. But if I haven't seen one of the two films, I have to vote for the one I've seen.

Right??

You were supposed to ignore that! But since you asked, you should first watch The Music Room, and then vote for it. Easy!

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22 minutes ago, Joshua Wilson said:

I voted one film, but I want to lobby hard to everyone (except for Christian, please ignore the following. :) ) to choose The Music Room over the (still wonderful, but to my mind less spiritually significant) Pather Panchali.

Seconded!

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2 hours ago, Christian said:

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.

Yes, and this is why I voted for the one-film per director. 

"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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19 hours ago, Jeremy Ratzlaff said:

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?

 

5 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

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/

 

Could we just call Ordet and Joan co-#1? I have a clear preference, but I really think that they're both essential to this as an A&F list. I know we are all more rigid about some aspects of the process than others, but if things are up in the air, then this seems to me the most honest thing to do if we end up going with one film per director. With other directors' top films, I could either take either one or don't feel like either is so essential that I'd be heartbroken if my favored pick lost out.

I am not in cinema studies, and I'm not invested in auteur theory, though I've found it to be a helpful heuristic at times. I think we could say that Cleo and Gleaners are also very, very different, despite having the same director, but the two films that are directed by Dreyer seem like an exception that I think would be worth making.

Edit: NOT invested in auteur theory

Edited by Rob Z
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1 hour ago, Rob Z said:

 

 

Could we just call Ordet and Joan co-#1? I have a clear preference, but I really think that they're both essential to this as an A&F list. I know we are all more rigid about some aspects of the process than others, but if things are up in the air, then this seems to me the most honest thing to do if we end up going with one film per director. With other directors' top films, I could either take either one or don't feel like either is so essential that I'd be heartbroken if my favored pick lost out.

I am not in cinema studies, and I'm invested in auteur theory, though I've found it to be a helpful heuristic at times. I think we could say that Cleo and Gleaners are also very, very different, despite having the same director, but the two films that are directed by Dreyer seem like an exception that I think would be worth making.

 

Or we could just go the academic route and rename the list The Arts & Faith Carl Theodor Dreyer Endowed List of The Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films.

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On 5/13/2020 at 1:02 PM, kenmorefield said:

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).

Ken, I voted before reading the post I quoted. I voted for the 2-film option. So, in case you have any difficulty with the results, do you want me to email you that vote like those who are changing votes even though I'm not changing, or will this post be sufficient?

Edited by Ed Bertram
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7 minutes ago, Ed Bertram said:

Ken, I voted before reading the post I quoted. I voted for the 2-film option. So, in case you have any difficulty with the results, do you want me to email you that vote like those who are changing votes, or will this post be sufficient?

Please e-mail. That way I have them all in the same place.

Ken

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I'm also slightly confused/concerned by this poll... it says FIFTEEN MEMBERS HAVE VOTED at the top, but the breakdown of votes only adds up to 14. What?

edit: Ken, so you'll be counting votes that are emailed to you and disregarding the results of this poll? 

Edited by Jeremy Ratzlaff
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Just now, Jeremy Ratzlaff said:

I'm also slightly confused/concerned by this poll... it says FIFTEEN MEMBERS HAVE VOTED at the top, but the breakdown of votes only adds up to 14. What?

I don't know for sure, but it probably counted me as voting because I clicked "show results" without voting, which it probably counted as a non-vote. This was because a couple people asked me to change their votes, and I thought I could do it as admin but was having trouble figuring out how. Also [redacted] sent me a vote via email and I was trying to add it to the tally so that people who had already voted would have a more accurate sense of where things stood. 

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4 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

I don't know for sure, but it probably counted me as voting because I clicked "show results" without voting, which it probably counted as a non-vote. This was because a couple people asked me to change their votes, and I thought I could do it as admin but was having trouble figuring out how. Also [redacted] sent me a vote via email and I was trying to add it to the tally so that people who had already voted would have a more accurate sense of where things stood. 

I figured it out...remembered that for polls, I have to choose "Edit" for the first post.
I have changed the votes from 2 to 1 for Ed, Evan and Andrew, as requested and added two votes from people who voted offline.

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5 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

Or we could just go the academic route and rename the list The Arts & Faith Carl Theodor Dreyer Endowed List of The Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films.

A Facebook-style LOL emoji is what this post/response deserves :D

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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1 hour ago, Darren H said:

This vote will more directly affect the list than any other we cast. I hope it isn't decided by non-voters. After months of discussion, that would be a bummer.

I understand this and sympathize. The problem is that I'm really in two minds here, afraid to choose either option for fear of regretting it later. Some compelling arguments have been made on both sides.

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On 5/13/2020 at 12:04 PM, Joshua Wilson said:

I voted one film, but I want to lobby hard to everyone (except for Christian, please ignore the following. :) ) to choose The Music Room over the (still wonderful, but to my mind less spiritually significant) Pather Panchali.

Yes! Fully agree one this.

Otherwise, I appreciate the careful points delivered for either option in this thread. 

"...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 took it as a matter of course, but I am not sure that I ever said (or we ever agreed) that if we went the 1 film / director route and had the Round 2 picking between the two films, that the film's position on the Top 100 list would be the higher of the two positions regardless of which won the vote off.

So, for example, if The Music Room (82) were preferred over Pather Panchali (60), we'd move up the Music Room to #60 (or whatever it's place was when we eliminated other doubles. 

Rationale: some of the lower rated films may  have had scores depressed by the assumption that we were doing 2 films per director. I know, for example, that I would have given The Kid With the Bike (31) a higher score (I think I gave it a 5) if I had known there was the possibility of just one Dardennes film making the cut.

Does that seem reasonable to everyone?

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34 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

I took it as a matter of course, but I am not sure that I ever said (or we ever agreed) that if we went the 1 film / director route and had the Round 2 picking between the two films, that the film's position on the Top 100 list would be the higher of the two positions regardless of which won the vote off.

So, for example, if The Music Room (82) were preferred over Pather Panchali (60), we'd move up the Music Room to #60 (or whatever it's place was when we eliminated other doubles.

I don't think this was ever discussed. Why wouldn't the film stay in the order where it landed on the list? As to the rationale, I guess I just don't see why that warrants taking a film and putting it in a different films' place. It's not like this is a seeded bracket tournament.  I'm sure we'd all have voted differently with the 1/director rule (and nominated differently), we're working off this ranked list, not a list that might have been, so it makes sense to me that the film would keep it's current rank. I don't think anyone is suggesting we to voting over again. 

I didn't compare every one of the entries, but at least four films would be jumping 40+ spots and one film, if chosen, would jump 73 spots. That doesn't make sense to me.

34 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

Rationale: some of the lower rated films may  have had scores depressed by the assumption that we were doing 2 films per director. I know, for example, that I would have given The Kid With the Bike (31) a higher score (I think I gave it a 5) if I had known there was the possibility of just one Dardennes film making the cut.

When I see this scenario, I picture someone just as easily saying, I really think The Son should be the one Dardennes film on the list, so I'm going to give it a 6 and all there other films a 4 or even a 3, meaning votes for the 18 directors' second films could have been even more depressed.

I think leaving the order according to the result of the vote is a much better expression of how the group ranks them. That seems obvious to me when I write it, unless we revote, which I don't think anyone is proposing.

Edited by Rob Z
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I guess I somewhat understand the rationale of moving films into a higher position, but that dramatically affects the final results. To keep with the Dardennes example, if The Kid with a Bike is voted as the single Dardenne pick, it jumps from #31 to #7? Or Cleo from 5 to 7 moves from #83 to #33? Or Red Beard from #86 to #10? This seems like it would negate/ignore how we voted for any of these films originally. Edit: Rob made similar points above; we must have been writing/posting at the same time.

I'm assuming that if the 1-film-per-director list is chosen, then we'd be voting on the 18 pairs to decide which film stays...and then we'd also vote on the Top 25? Or is the Top 25 second round of voting no longer happening?

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24 minutes ago, Joel Mayward said:

I'm assuming that if the 1-film-per-director list is chosen, then we'd be voting on the 18 pairs to decide which film stays...and then we'd also vote on the Top 25? Or is the Top 25 second round of voting no longer happening?

I think Ken made the call that if we go with the 1/director list, the order would stand as it is currently. I don't remember in which thread. The current order is fine with me, but I'd gladly go along for another round. For some reason, the 25 with multiple films by the same director seemed like we'd want to reorder it more, plus that was the original next step in the plan, and if we're changing plans, then maybe that's not the next step?

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I assumed we'd keep the winning film wherever it had originally landed (except for shifting a couple places as we remove the other films), but it doesn't make a difference to me.

Edited by Evan C

"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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Joel and Rob both make good points. Before I address them, in the interest of transparency, I should probably say that I am now at a point where my patience is strained, not because anyone is being a brat -- far from it -- but because:

  • I've been up late and am running on less sleep mostly to meet some work deadlines that were not helped by matters outside of my control making things harder than they should have been. There are probably points of intersection in the two processes that I need not get into specific details about but which make some of this push my buttons. (Some of the work issues were exacerbated by people waiting until the last second, not voicing questions or issues earlier and forcing me to repeat myself more than I think I should have to). 
  • My own internal work up has a strong preference for following the rules, agreed upon in advance, and not making any changes to rules/procedures. So the process of thinking through implications of changes, especially on the fly.........stretches me emotionally and temperamentally.

I've been told -- and I believe it -- that I am notoriously tone-deaf to social media and e-mail communications, so if this comes across as more hostile than I mean it to, please forgive me.

Quote

I'm assuming that if the 1-film-per-director list is chosen, then we'd be voting on the 18 pairs to decide which film stays...and then we'd also vote on the Top 25? Or is the Top 25 second round of voting no longer happening?

Per e-mail update/instructions, we are doing one or the other but not both. If we go with the 1 film/director list, we will not have a Rd. 2 to re-rank the Top 25.

Rationale: We did not agree to have a vote on the 1 film / 2 film in advance, though we (I) left the door open for more substantive changes to the list. The underlying discomfort or objections that were used to justify the 1 v 2 vote were that bunching of films by the same auteurs in the Top 10 or Top 25. That could be addressed with the Rd 2 that we were originally going to do. It could also be addressed through changing to the 1 film plan. If we did the latter, we probably wouldn't need the former in addition. And I'm somewhat anxious about nudging us forward (book deadlines and all) so I'm comfortable doing one or the other but not both.

Regarding the ranking of the films *if* the 1 film side carries the day...

I think people may be more concerned about ordinals than they need be. 83 to 40 (for Varda) *looks* like a big jump, but...

If we look at the data Darren included, I don't think there is as much difference as it initially looks. The difference in raw score for Rublev and Stalker was 0.20. The difference in adjusted score for Pather and Music Room was 0.08. A difference of a single vote (5 to 6, 4 to 5, 3 to 4) could well have caused a change of 20-30 spots.

For those that were a little more separated (the Varda films had a difference of 0.4 in both gross and adjusted), I strongly suspect that this indicates enough of a preference that the higher ranking film will probably win the vote-off anyway (if we even have it). 

The strongest argument I hear for keeping the ordinal the same is essentially Rob's: we don't know what would have happened...anyone might have changed their votes for any number of reasons. But (see bullet above), I see that as a stronger argument for doing nothing (i.e. keeping with what we said that we would do) than for choosing one alternative correction over another. 

I bring this up now, even though it's a hypothetical, since it could change they way people vote in 1 v 2. (At least 4 people have already changed their vote at least once). *If*, for example, some fan of Of Gods and Men is thinking "it could end up at number 2 if I voted for the 1 film list and Stalker beat Rublev..." then they may want to rethink that vote. (I realize this example is silly, but once you give people a vote, you have to let them have their own reasons for it....there may be people, like Anders or Christian who like the 1 film list just because a cherished film is currently on the outside looking in and about to get the Tim Gunn save. That's just as legitimate a reason for voting one way as any other. I'm just trying to be clear(er) about the implications so that people's votes will be informed and not based on assumptions.

Edit: Also (paragraph above) -- someone might be less inclined to vote for the film they actually favor (Red Beard or Music Room or Cleo) if they think doing so will cost the auteur 40+ spots on the list. I would be much less embarrassed about moving Red Beard up 60 spaces than about having Kurosawa around 70 because of the way the process unfolded.

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On 5/13/2020 at 7:07 PM, kenmorefield said:

I figured it out...remembered that for polls, I have to choose "Edit" for the first post.
I have changed the votes from 2 to 1 for Ed, Evan and Andrew, as requested and added two votes from people who voted offline.

Ken,

The email I sent you said I voted for the 2-film per director list. I never wanted to change that. Perhaps my subject line was confusing. I'm sorry if that's the case, but I am standing firm on my 2-film per director desire.

Edited by Ed Bertram
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