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Comments from the 2005 Top100 Survey Round ONE

22 posts in this topic

: Sometimes I wish there were a few more structured things (like Film Club) to balance

: out the free for alls that tend to get monopolized by the same few voices.

Huh, I thought the Film Clubs were just like all the OTHER free-for-alls. They certainly aren't "structured" in the way that, say, the Dekalog threads are -- and even THOSE aren't particularly structured, apart from having their own separate forum.

: My idea of a "spiritual film" is one that contains special insight - a film that touches us

: by offering profound truths about the human condition and our relationship to God. You

: don't get that from Monty Python's Life of Brian . . .

Oh sure we do.

: . . . but you do get it from Bresson's L'Argent and Pickpocket (two very important

: spiritual films that aren't very popular and that aren't on the list).

How many Python films are on the list? And how many Bresson films are already on the list? Never fear, we've got him covered.

: . . . if you DIDN'T put all of Tarkovsky's on there, add whatever ones you missed (if

: any).

Ah yes, and there's ANOTHER artist who is, if anything, over-represented ...

BTW, I found it puzzling that each of the Star Wars films was listed separately -- and each of the Lord of the Rings films, too, which is an even more cohesive and integrated trilogy.

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Incidentally, my comments about filmmakers being over-represented is not meant as any diss to the directors in question ... but if we've only got room for 100 filmmakers maximum, then it seems odd to give so many spaces to the same two or three names. I would almost propose limiting ourselves to one film (or group of films) per director. Almost.

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Yep, I'm there as well. So many of us have voiced the idea that it is not our first intent that the list be an accurate listing of THE most spiritual films, as we've all recounted the problems with such. But rather, it seems we most like the idea of introducing spiritually significant films to people who'd be drawn to such a title. And I dare say, if someone loves a film by Tarkovsky, she's going to check out his other flicks all by herself.

Let's spread the love. There are far too many great directors to give so many spots to Tarkovsky, Bresson, and Weir.

I also like the fact that there is a nice spread of immediately accessible films to more challenging ones and I hope subconciously we're thinking that way. If the average johnny filmgoer looked at a list of the top 100 and didn't recgnize a single title, I think he'd discredit the list.

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I'm not sure I'd want to set the limit at 1 film per director. Maybe 2 or more likely 3. Some directors just do this well. Tarkovsky, Weir, Von Trier. Trying to pick the single best example of each would be difficult.

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I'm not sure I'd want to set the limit at 1 film per director. Maybe 2 or more likely 3. Some directors just do this well. Tarkovsky, Weir, Von Trier. Trying to pick the single best example of each would be difficult.

I fail to see how that is logical or workable. This is supposed to be a list of the 100 most spiritual films of all time, isn't it? If so, then to dismiss 75% of Robert Bresson's filmography in order to be able to accommodate George Lucas' soulless marketing exercise and a Christianity-hating "comedy" must seriously undermine the credibility of the project.

Edited by The Invisible Man

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Invisible Man - Are you really THAT committed to this list being an accurate, quantifiable measure of HOW spiritual films are?

In that case, what's the purpose of this list? I say, as I did above, that its to get people expoed to more films. How many times do we need to expose people to Bresson on one list?

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DanBuck wrote:

: And I dare say, if someone loves a film by Tarkovsky, she's going to check out his

: other flicks all by herself.

Amen. And they're all pretty much alike anyway.

Now, picking only one KUBRICK film -- THAT would be hard. smile.gif

Even HARDER would be picking, say, only one HAWKS film, or one WILDER film -- some of those Hollywood directors were extremely flexible and capable of working in almost any genre.

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Invisible Man - Are you really THAT committed to this list being an accurate, quantifiable measure of HOW spiritual films are?

Well, perhaps I am misunderstanding the list's point, Dan. I think it likely that the term "spiritual film" is just way too broad and way too ambiguous. It might help if I knew if this project was meant to be just a bit of fun (nothing wrong with that, of course), or a serious attempt to define and draw attention to an interesting sub-genre of cinema.

Edited by The Invisible Man

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The Invisible Man wrote:

: It might help if I knew if this project was meant to be just a bit of fun (nothing wrong

: with that, of course), or a serious attempt to define and draw attention to an

: interesting sub-genre of cinema.

False dichotomy, bucko.

And since when is spirituality a "genre", much less a "sub-genre"?

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And since when is spirituality a "genre", much less a "sub-genre"?

Well, of course, it isn't really. But that is kind of my point, um, "Bucko": the term "spiritual film" doesn't actually mean anything, does it? And what might seem spiritual to you might not feel the same way to me (I find Life of Brian an insult to my faith; you think that once you've seen one Tarkovsky film, you've seen them all, etc). It would have been far better to call the list the Top 100 Christian films, or such.

Edited by The Invisible Man

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FWIW, I find myself serious about the films on the list, but not so serious about the title of the list.

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Well, of course, it isn't really. But that is kind of my point, um, "Bucko": the term "spiritual film" doesn't actually mean anything, does it? And what might seem spiritual to you might not feel the same way to me (I find Life of Brian an insult to my faith; you think that once you've seen one Tarkovsky film, you've seen them all, etc). It would have been far better to call the list the Top 100 Christian films, or such.

At some point in our work to put the 2004 list together we hashed out terminology. We also hashed out what it took to make the list. There was a wide range of interpretation -- which to me is a good thing.

I'd oppose calling it a Christian film list for a few reasons. One of them is that I keep challenging people here who want to narrow the term Christian to evangelical. If I have to keep pushing for an open definition of Christian, how could I hope to have a broader range of films in this list? Besides, very few films have been baptized.

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I'd oppose calling it a Christian film list for a few reasons. One of them is that I keep challenging people here who want to narrow the term Christian to evangelical. If I have to keep pushing for an open definition of Christian, how could I hope to have a broader range of films in this list? Besides, very few films have been baptized.

Aren't you yourself guilty of narrowing the term Christian with your baptism comment? I realize that Arts and Faith are trying to do something interesting and that finding a satisfactory terminology is difficult, but the current list does seem a tad eccentric, and, given the many bizarre new nominations, I don't anticipate the revision being any less so. People are obviously looking at their favourite films through misty eyes and finding spiritual significance where clearly there is none. I kept half-expecting someone to nominate The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie lol. After all, Spongebob does come back to life after being sort-of baptized with water, and he does overcome the forces of darkness through his essential goodness and strength of character, and in some parts of the world David Hasselhoff is regarded as a symbol for peace who sang to the masses as the Berlin Wall was torn down (clearly significant!), and and and...

May the force be with you lol.

Edited by The Invisible Man

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Something else: like many people, I have been using the Top 100 as a guide when renting or purchasing films, but on several occasions I have been left scratching my head. This happened most recently on friday when I picked up the DVD of The Sweet Hereafter. Could the people who voted for this film explain how exactly it is spiritually significant or if not could they please give me my money back. wink.gif

Edited by The Invisible Man

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The Invisible Man wrote:

: It would have been far better to call the list the Top 100 Christian films, or such.

Oh, God, no -- anything but THAT. If you think "spiritual films" is a can of worms, "Christian films" is like a crate of those cans of worms.

Plus we would be forced to leave off films like Tokyo Story and 2001: A Space Odyssey that are spiritually quite significant yet definitely not "Christian" in any known sense of the word.

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A quote to sum up where I come from when approaching this list:

(actually quoted in Phillip Yancey's "rumors of another world")

"I was brought up in a Christian environment where, because God had

to be given pre-eminence, nothing else was allowed to be important.

I have broken through to the position that because God exists, everything

has significance." - Evangeline Paterson

Granted, that can be taken to extremes in such a list. But, in most cases,

if a film is good and requires a person to think about their own lives or

the world around them, I feel it qualifies as spiritual. I think a lot of times

God is more concerned with how we live and interact with the world around

us than our theology. In my mind, something doesn't have to be overtly

religious or "Christian" (whatever that means in terms of art, etc) in order

to enhance or challenge the way we live our faith.

A friend of mine and I were talking about film today, and he suggested that

movies are like modern-day parables, stories that can provide valuabe insight

if we let them. It is that valuable insight, that challenge to examine my own life,

that I search for in a spiritually significant film.

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Darrel Manson wrote:

: Besides, very few films have been baptized.

That may be, but I think a few of my DVDs got sprinkled with holy water when the priest came over to bless the apartment. smile.gif

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I'd be with Darrell's 2-3 films idea, as lots of people don't think in terms of directors, and even those of us who do, don't always know where to start on a list of 100 films that they've only seen half of.

For me the fact that there are 3 Breeson films (or however many) made me realise that I had to get hold of some of his stuff and check it out becuase he has consistnelty produced spirituality interesting work, opposed to other directors who may just have made one spiritually interesting film.

But the problem would be how to make that workable, for a vote, and I'm not sure you can, plus it would be an awful long caveat to explain it!

Matt

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Alan, I wasn't implying you'd made a policy change, in fact, maybe there doesn't even need to be one. Perhaps this is something we as voters can keep in mind. Then those who think the idea is bunk can poo-poo the idea with their votes.

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I suppose we want to steer clear of the Oscar debacles of snubbing somebody one year for somebody who is long overdue, etc, etc.

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: IE, ignore the director/language/year/etc. Look at each film separately.

Oh, I dunno, I'll probably be paying some attention to year, just as some people will be paying attention to whether it's an "obscure" movie or not. The fact that so many nominees came out in just the last decade indicates a certain short-sightedness that it is the duty of lists like this to correct.

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