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2020 Top 100 -- Discussion and Blurbs


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One of my concerns over this iteration is that with the smaller number of participants there may not be enough people to write blurbs. So don't be bashful if you genuinely want to write something. Films with (*) indicate that we have a pre-existing blurb in some other list if needed, though you are welcome to claim a film if you want to update that blurb....I may have missed a couple of those, but they are the ones I am sure I know where there are blurbs from. Remember that based on new app, there is a little more space, so you can go as long or as short as you want. 

I don't have any updated ideas about introduction, though I will circle back to CT now that we have a list. If I don't hear any better ideas, I'll write up the intro at 1More Film Blog and link to it in the header of the list, but I'm happy to hand that off if someone has a better idea. 

  • Silence (2016) -- Russ
  • Diary of a Country Priest (1951)*
  • First Reformed (2017) -MLeary
  • The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)*
  • Into Great Silence (2005)* -- SDG
  • The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)* -- SDG
  • The Seventh Seal (1957)* -- Anders
  • Three Colors: Blue (1993)* -- Overstreet
  • Night and Fog (1956) -- Darren
  • Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)*
  • Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)*
  • Monsieur Vincent (1947)*
  • The House is Black (1963)*
  • My Night at Maud's (1969)* -- Darren
  • Heartbeat Detector (2007)*
  •  A Moment of Innocence (1996)*
  • Close-Up (1990)*
  • To Sleep With Anger (1990)
  • The Gleaners & I (2000)*
  • Spirited Away (2001)--Anders
  • The Apostle (1997)*
  • The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)
  • Beau Travail (1999)* -- Darren?
  • Munyurangabo (2007)*
  • Frisco Jenny (1932) -- Darren
  • Tokyo Story (1953)*
  • Amazing Grace (2018)
  • The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) -- Josh Wilson
  • Tender Mercies (1983)* -- Ken
  • The Music Room (1958) - Josh Wilson
  • The Song of Bernadette (1943)* --SDG
  • Dead Man Walking (1995)*
  • The Burmese Harp (1956)*
  • Cameraperson (2016)--Joel?
  • The Mill and the Cross (2011)
  • Chariots of Fire (1981)*
  • Secret Sunshine (2007) -- Russ
  • In Praise of Love (2001)*
  • Ponette (1996)*
  • After Life (1998)* -- Anders
  • Witness (1985) --SDG
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989
  • Fiddler on the Roof (1971)*
  • Magnolia (1999)--writerAndrew
  • Silent Light (2007)
  • The Phantom Carriage (1921)*
  • Schindler's List (1993)*
  • The Work (2017) -- writerAndrew
  • The Ushpizin (2004)*
  • The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)*
  • The Immigrant (2013)*
  • Timbuktu (2014)* -- Overstreet
  • Still Life (2006) -- Anders 
  • Nazarin (1959)*
  • What Time is It There? (2001)
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5 minutes ago, Joel Mayward said:

Are we advocating for which films we'd like to write blurbs on here in this thread? If so, here are films I'm interested in writing on (subject to change later if I feel so inclined):

Yes, though I'll wait a day or two before any assignments so that if more than one person wants to do a blurb for a particular film that can be evident.

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I'd be up for blurbing some of the following — but not all of them — from #26–100:

  • Timbuktu
  • This is Martin Bonner
  • The Gleaners and I
  • Spirited Away
  • The Apostle
  • The Tree of Wooden Clogs
  • Beau Travail (although if Darren wants to blurb that one, I enthusiastically surrender)
  • Wings of Desire
  • Blade Runner
  • Cameraperson
  • Vertigo
  • A Serious Man
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Selma

[AMENDED with titles from 1-25]

  • Ordet
  • Andrei Rublev
  • Babette's Feast
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Three Colors: Blue
  • Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

Jeff, I didn't know how many you were willing to do, but if you are up for more than what I've already go you down for (Andrei Rublev, Timbuktu, Blue) I'd apreciate you doing Cameraperson and/or Tree of Wooden Clogs




Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.


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Here are the films from my original 25 nominations that made the final cut. Asterisk beside the ones I've advocated for most strongly over the years. Two asterisks beside the ones I'd love to write about.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Beau travail (1999) **
Close-Up (1990)
Frisco Jenny (1932) **
In a Lonely Place (1950) *
In Praise of Love (2001) *
My Night at Maud's (1969)
Night and Fog (1956)
Ordet (1955)
Still Life (2006) *
The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)
The Gleaners & I (2000)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
What Time Is It There? (2001) **

I didn't end up nominating Heartbeat Detector (I chose In Praise of Love for that slot instead), but I'd enjoy writing about it too.

Edited by Darren H
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FWIW, my gut reaction (always subject to second thoughts or corrections from cooler heads) was to allow Joel, Andrew, and Darren first dibs on any blurbs they wanted to claim sine they have done the most grunt work on the site or the list itself. 

If you are thinking about (or have already volunteered) to write blurbs, please make sure you look at the the in-site lists for an understanding of what it looks like. Because populating the lists is app driven, you can have the choice of writing just the blurb and sending it to me, which I will cut/paste into the entry. Alternately, I can give you "add" permission to the list, which allows you to use the app to enter your info directly. The later is a bit more work as some of the fields require data entry from IMDB, Wikipedia, link threads, etc. but it also allows you to choose the accompanying photo still you want and/or video clip from YouTube. 



It's been customary from the past lists that those writing blurbs are encouraged to provide a byline. If you choose to do so, I would prefer you did not use aliases. Also, you are welcome to include a link back to a blog, personal web site, linkedin profile, or whatever in the byline. The easiest way for me to handle permissions is to create a board *category* (like member, moderator, administrator, etc.) that has permission to add new films using the app and then make you that category.

I had one inquiry about whether it was okay for people who didn't vote to write blurbs. I would assume anyone would be welcome as we've allowed people to hop in or off at various stages. If anyone objects to that, send me a PM or e-mail and we can talk.

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By the way, I was going to talk to a filmmaker friend of mine who is not part of the community, but if anyone here is interested, so much the better. I was wondering how hard it would be to create a 2-5 minute video along the line of a filmfestival trailer that has clips from various films on the list. I'd be willing to pay $$.We should have something like this for the Top 100. 

Something like:




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On 5/23/2020 at 6:20 AM, kenmorefield said:

Films with (*) indicate that we have a pre-existing blurb in some other list if needed

These films also have blurbs from 2011 or 2010:

  • Spirited Away
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • Vertigo
  • Magnolia
  • Silent Light
  • Ushpizin
  • The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
  • Still Life
  • Places in the Heart

This Is Martin Bonner was on the Waking Up list. There may be others.

I'll think about which ones I might want to write on!

Edited by Rob Z
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2 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

FWIW, my gut reaction (always subject to second thoughts or corrections from cooler heads) was to allow Joel, Andrew, and Darren first dibs on any blurbs they wanted to claim sine they have done the most grunt work on the site or the list itself. 

I appreciate the consideration, Ken, but I'm 100% okay with sharing around the responsibility of blurb writing, to whomever is most passionate about a particular film.

Judging by the asterisks on Ken's list that opened this thread, it looks like we definitely need blurbs for 40-odd films to the list.  So am I right in thinking we could do with 2-3 blurbs from each voter?  I'm also wondering if it would be optimal to have blurbs come from active A&F members, if possible.

Anywho, here are the films I'd be game to blurb about, in descending order of preference.  Again, I'd like to start with two or three, to share the wealth:

- Ikiru (if we wanted to give it a new blurb, since Edward Allie no longer participates here)

- I Am Not Your Negro

- First Reformed

- Embrace of the Serpent

- Do the Right Thing

P.S. I'm glad that Jeffrey is interested in doing a blurb for A Serious Man.  For reasons I won't get into on a public forum, I'd like to see the one replaced that I formerly co-wrote.


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


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I'd be willing to write about any (but not all) of the following:

  • Three Colors: Blue (1st choice)
  • Babette's Feast
  • Amadeus
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • The Red Shoes
  • The Phantom Carriage
  • Lourdes

"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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Hi everyone.  Exciting list. 

For starters among the films with no asterisk, I would be up for writing blurbs for The Grapes of Wrath and On the Waterfront.

Selma would be a joy to write as well, but I wouldn't want to steal that joy from those who've already listed it!

Note : It looks like A Moment of Innocence and Ushpizin should have asterisks as I see they both have blurbs on the 2010 list.

Edited by Brian D
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I think the best way to proceed, to make sure nobody is overburdened and so that I can not become a nag is to assign willing blurb writers 1 blurb at the time. If you finish and want another, let me know in this thread and we'll proceed. That way if someone needs a break, too, then we'll know what films are still available.

My inclination about films with previous blurbs is that anyone who wants to write a new/updated entry is welcome to do so. I will use the previous blurbs only if nobody volunteers to update it. FWIW, films with previous blurbs on one of the lists already in the new format do not need to have all the data re-entered from IMDB. I can copy the entry from a previous list and the writer can simply "edit" the entry on the new list with a new blurb (and new pic if desired).

If I greenlight a blurb, I'll give you authoring "permission" to use the app for the new list. You should see an "Add New Film" button in the upper right corner of this page: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/year/8-2020-top-100/  

The app will only accept new entries if all the mandatory fields are filled in. So if you only want to write the blurb and can't enter the required fields, just send me the blurb and I will cut/paste it into the text box once the other information is added. I won't assign any Top 25 entries until we have the order straightened out next Wednesday. Thank you for all you do.

First up:

Joel Mayward: Secrets and Lies

Darren: Frisco Jenny

Jeffrey: Timbuktu

Rob Z: Vertigo (I'll populate that with the info, so you need only edit the blurb and pic if you want)

Josh Wilson: Music Room

Andrew S.: I Am Not Your Negro

Michael S: L'Avventura

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By my count, thirty films appeared both on the inaugural 2004 Top 100 and the 2020 Iteration. That's actually remarkable considering that a certain percentage were second and third and fourth films by the same director. https://web.archive.org/web/20050205014615/http://artsandfaith.com/t100/

That suggests to me that the "canon" is more stable than we think despite the appearance of recency bias. 

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34 minutes ago, Andrew said:

I'll have my blurb for I Am Not Your Negro completed before the afternoon is out.  What shall I write about after that, Ken?

Embrace of the Serpent okay?

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3 minutes ago, Darren H said:

Do we have a target word count for blurbs?

Not really. The format allows people to go longer if they want, but nobody should feel obligated to do so. Standard movie review instructions for a blog post is 800-1200 words, so I would discourage people from having more than that. I expect most will be shorter, but I want to give people freedom in this, particularly as some of voters have expressed a desire for a little more "contextualization" in the blurbs. 

Sorry that's not too specific. 

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54 minutes ago, Andrew said:

Ken, I'm a little confused on the blurb app:  what goes in the "Description" box?  I'm assuming the actual blurb goes in the larger "Info" box?

So, in other lists, what does in the "Description" box will appear directly below the title in the list format (before you click on the individual entry): http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/year/8-2020-top-100/

That's typically been the director so that he/she will be listed in the quick survey. (d. Akira Kurosawa) But...some discussion was made for using that line to list other films that *would* have made the Top 100 by score if it were not limited to 1 film per director. (example: Also: Red Beard). I kind of like that idea since it helps highlight that, no, we didn't just suddenly leave The Passion of Joan of Arc off the list, even if the reader doesn't click through to the actual blurb. 

But for most of them, I would choose the director.

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