Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Overstreet

CT Article on Top 100 - UPDATE: Published!

20 posts in this topic

Not being a Top 100 voter, I guess I can officially write an unbiased article about it!

So here goes: I want to pose questions to those who participated. Careful, though... your answers may be quoted in the article.

When you answer, please note how you would like to be credited. (Seriously. Otherwise, I won't be able to excerpt your answer.)

1) What about this year's list pleases you most?

2) How do you define a "Spiritually Significant Film"?

3) What do you wish had made the list, but didn't?

Please answer in replies on this thread, or PM me with your answers. I need your replies by Thursday night (Nov. 10).

Thanks!

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any statistical info you find particularly interesting?

How many voters voted?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not being a Top 100 voter, I guess I can officially write an unbiased article about it!

So here goes: I want to pose questions to those who participated. Careful, though... your answers may be quoted in the article.

When you answer, please note how you would like to be credited. (Seriously. Otherwise, I won't be able to excerpt your answer.)

1) What about this year's list pleases you most?

2) How do you define a "Spiritually Significant Film"?

3) What do you wish had made the list, but didn't?

Please answer in replies on this thread, or PM me with your answers. I need your replies by Thursday night (Nov. 10).

Thanks!

Scott Cunningham Jr. [the Jr. is necessary because my dad is pretty well known in some circles, I wouldn't want him to be saddled with my thoughts smile.gif] says:

1. I'm really pleased that it steers clear of movies that are superficially concerned with pop-spirituality. The Matrix and Star Wars, I'm looking at you! I also like the fact that it's more interested in movies that engage viewers with a variety of spiritual ideas and not just movies that espouse traditional Christianity (for example, I don't believe in the picture of Jesus given by The Last Temptation, but it does lead me to contemplate His nature and draw nearer to Him through such meditation.)

2. I define a spiritual film as one that leads me to think about spiritual matters, for example, the nature of God and His relationship to creation, and the nature of Man and how he relates to the rest of creation and to God.

3. Iron Giant and Blade Runner

Edited by solishu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deadline: Friday morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2) How do you define a "Spiritually Significant Film"?

To me, a "Spiritually Significant" film is one that has reached a wide audience and has impacted their knowledge of and appreciation for the things of God, for good or for ill. For example, the Star Wars films helped define some of the terminology that people have to use when talking about spiritual things. Christians have to define that they are not talking about an impersonal Force, but a personal being, when they talk about God. That's spiritual significance. You can't talk about God and the things of God without referencing Star Wars directly or indirectly.

EDIT: You can just call me "Denes House, a seminarian pursuing ordination in the Christian & Missionary Alliance."

Edited by CrimsonLine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I haven't gotten around to a full study and comparison to last year's list, but my initial impression is that I prefer last year's list to this year's. (Although both list have their plusses and minusses.) This year's list seems a bit more obscure and esoteric. Although I have to admit that I was very pleased that Bad Lieutenant went away. (Although I'd be willing to let it back in if one of Weir's films would be included again, which probably answers question 3.)

2. Since I'm more in line with Process Theology than most on the list, I probably think of "spiritually significant" differently than many. It is what draws me into serious thought about how I, the cosmos and God are connected. Some films do that with Biblical allusions or themes. Other films can be totally humanistic and still draw me into such thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) I'm just profoundly grateful to have such a list to work off of. It has provided direction to my desire to see great cinema. There really aren't enough resources for Christians who want to get deep into film as an art form.

2) I think the films I voted for as "spiritually significant" are not the ones which have changed my opinions about what a movie can or should be, but the ones which have most strongly influenced what I think my life can or should be. After all, that's the ultimate reason we make art, isn't it - to change people's lives?

3) I'm not really in a position to say, at this point. Maybe in a few years.

(I'm David Smedberg, film student, and I authorized this message.)

Edited by GreetingsEarthling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2. Since I'm more in line with Process Theology than most on the list, I probably think of "spiritually significant" differently than many.  It is what draws me into serious thought about how I, the cosmos and God are connected.  Some films do that with Biblical allusions or themes.  Other films can be totally humanistic and still draw me into such thought.

I find it interesting that you attribute this opinion to Process Theology, as I am completely opposed to P.T., yet it's very similar to my own view of a "spiritually significant" film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. What was true of last year's list and is even truer of this year's list the list has so many films that I've not seen. But I trust the list, because the films I DO recognize are stellar. This opens up a year of potentially life-changing movie moments for me. That's exhillerating.

2. A spiritually significant film must meet two requirements. It must be true and it must be excellent. The lack of formal definition of a "spiritually significant film" is one of the best attributes of the process. Any attempt to put paramters on those terms probably would've taken the bite out of the list. We'd lose films that approach the transcendent through backdoors and hidden alleys.

3. I'd love to see films that are layered with themes. Specifically, I think of Quiz Show and The Insider. On the surface they may be about rigged game shows and journalism, respectively, but each film explores the issues of integrity, vocation, moral compromise for the good of one's family, and much more. Oh yeah, and ALL of Peter Weir's films should come back.

Edited by DanBuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeffrey, I look forward to reading your article on this.

1) What about this year's list pleases you most? The variety of films in style, subject matter and nationality.

2) How do you define a "Spiritually Significant Film"? A spiritually significant film is one that raises the questions of life in a way that respectfully confronts our prejudices and beliefs. When such a film deals with religious issues it does so with sensitivity and insight. When it is not overtly religious, it is spiritually informed and reveals the universal human condition.

3) What do you wish had made the list, but didn't?

Amistad, Kolya, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, Paradise Road, To End All Wars

Denny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My name is Michael W. Todd. I am from Earlington, KY. I am not a film-reviewer, a writer, nor am I involved in professional Christian ministry. I think that I am a unique person to this board. Cite me at will. smile.gif

1. Though I participated in this year's list, and not the previous, I prefered the 2004 list. I agree with Dan, this list is more "obscure and esoteric." What I do like in regards to this list is that the films are ranked according to how they were weighted. Gives me a good idea of how to vote so I can kick off stuff I don't like next year.

What I like about boths lists is that they do "recognize the wideness of God's grace." If I were to encounter this list as I once was, a nontheist, and were to read this list, and know it was compiled by Christians, many evangelical, I would be impressed to know more, for these are not the evangelicals I grew up with.

2. To be earnest, this is a new term to me, but I like it. I have not seen most of the films on either list until I made up my mind to see as many as possible. Many remind me of what I think of when I think of the human spirit, especially in terms of time. The human spirit takes time to grow, much like a tree. From my observation, that is what I see in regards to many of the films on this list: they are slow to develop. I am not sure everyone is into that, but then again, I doubt few get giddy over spiritual formation.

Also, I believe that every human is trichotomous; one has a body, a soul, and a spirit. The body is world consciousness. The soul is self-consciousness. The spirit is the least used interface, God-consciousness. The spiritual movie is bigger than the world or the self. It plugs one into the world of the spirit.

3. Personally, movies like The Matrix, Star Wars, and Groundhog's Day have done more to clue me into thinking about my own spirit than Ikiru, Cries and Whispers, or Magnolia. This is primarily due to accessibility. The Matrix has a wider audience. I think that Ikiru is a phenomenal spirit-filled film, but for me, Star Wars has been spiritually significant for a longer time and to a larger body of people.

Edited by Michael Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) What about this year's list pleases you most?

(Like Dan) I think it's great having a list that you can work off, find titles from and discover new gems. There are 100 films on the list that I strongly suspect are nearly all great films.

(Just to give a bit of balance to the article)... I was disappointed that the list was so heavily slanted away from what the average person on the street would choose to watch. The 2004 list had enough popular films on it to make the list of interest to normal people, which would draw them in to the lusher pastures beyond. I feel the current list will put similar people off this time who will see it as irrelevant to them.

The upside to this is that serious film students willbe drawn in a little more than they were previously, but for me the losses outweigh the benefits.

(but hey it was a very democratic process and that's what we decided as a group)

2) How do you define a "Spiritually Significant Film"?

Any film that speaks to you about spiritual issues.

3) What do you wish had made the list, but didn't?

Field of Dreams, Waking Life, and (what the hell) The Matrix

Matt Page, UK

Faith and Film Critics' Circle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yeah add Crimes and Misdemeanours, Secrets and Lies and Dogma

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3) What do you wish had made the list, but didn't?

Amistad, Kolya, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, Paradise Road, To End All Wars

To End All Wars is on the 2005 list--#48.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find it interesting that you attribute this opinion to Process Theology, as I am completely opposed to P.T., yet it's very similar to my own view of a "spiritually significant" film.

Drop by the religion forum and let me know why you're opposed to PT. (There are a few topics which allude to PT, none dealing directly with it . The closest is here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beth, thanks for the correction - that makes me feel even better about our list!

Denny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article is published.

It's been trimmed and edited significantly from what I submitted, so I'll be publishing the full article at Looking Closer soon.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On a related note: Does anything think ...

Something might think so.

But as for me, I think it highly unlikely that CT-print would publish anything about it. It's very difficult to get even a faith-oriented film reviewed in the pages of CT.

As for Books and Culture, it would depend on the article. They would want a commentary on the list by an eloquent writer, not just a news story. Chattaway might be a candidate there, since he's published there frequently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0