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Sara

How did A&F website/forum begin?

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Check the OnFilm threads that Doug participated in between September 2000 and May 2001. We used to get along. He even posted a message called "A treat for Peter".

But somewhere along the way, things went sour. The way I recall it, it dates to the time he began hectoring people like me for giving Entertainment Weekly the time of day, and to the way he resorted to ad hominem arguments when disagreeing with people like me about the merits of Dark City and Memento; and I see that same hectoring spirit, and that same to-the-person instead of to-the-argument approach, in a lot of what he's written since. And it gets in the way of what could be genuine shared enthusiasm for film.

The fact that we have very different politics doesn't help -- and now that I think of it, the political flare-ups at Novogate, where there was no distinguishing between the different kinds of topics under discussion, were probably one of the reasons we moved to PromontoryFilm, so that we could have a forum in which the explicitly political or religious discussions were separate from the film discussions. However, Doug protested that move at the time, and indeed I believe he was still protesting it just a week or two ago in one of the threads here. He wants very much to integrate his politics and his film appreciation (his religion, on the other hand, has been somewhat de-integrated), and I do applaud that, but for years, Doug's comments in each of these areas have been tainted by moral indignation, and when you put the two together -- well, those who take a different position had best watch out!

Add to this that I privately e-mailed Doug a year or two or three ago about resolving our differences and I was, shall we say, rebuffed, and there's just this something, well, unresolved there.

There does come a time for shaking the dust off one's feet, but I guess I've never quite left the doormat. I'm just standing there and stomping. And as with so many melodramatic things, when I say "I long for healing", I'm being somewhat ironic and somewhat sincere at the same time. I don't want to have to leave the mat, at least not in a certain direction, not yet. Or, who knows, maybe I'm just providing an example of the "ambiguity" that Doug likes so much. smile.gif


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Agreed, though new wounds do occur, too. (See the recent post of Doug's that I linked to in my reply to stef in this thread.) Those aren't so easy to ignore, and even when they're little, they land on the old ones and away you go.

BTW, I'm not picking at anything here. kenmorefield asked me to extrapolate, and so I did, pretty dispassionately I thought. But maybe I shouldn't have.

I will confess I've always been a scab-picker, though. Which made life really interesting when I had a bike accident some 13 years ago and landed on both my elbows and had monster scabs the size of loonies (dollar coins) on my elbows for weeks. Oy, did I want to pick at those, especially when the scabs began curling away from my arm, at the edges. But only the very edges were even remotely pick-able; the rest of it was still, very painfully, attached to my skin.

But that has nothing to do with the history of A&F.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Alan, the only reason I'm not using my full name is because I locked myself out of my old account and it was easier to reregister.


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Historians don't merely look at WHAT happened, they look at WHY it happened.

Yes, but the Devil is LITERALLY in the details in this case. Saying this (as JO said):

There were some extremely tough times. I was an administrator for a good while, but grew weary of spending my time trying to put out fires, calm down tempers, and break up disputes. I wanted to ENJOY the board.
is OK. It

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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BBBCanada wrote:

: But your post #25 begins crossing territory from not only the history (and the why's

: of history) into the arena of disputation and I don't see how that is relevant to the

: question.

As I already said (in post #59), I wrote post #25 after "personal" issues were raised by other prodding posts.

: But bringing up RECENT history . . . is TOTALLY irrelevant (as is post #63).

Yes, that post was ALSO written in response to prodding from another post. And I think raising recent history in response to claims about recent history is completely relevant, as far as that goes.

: So guess what? I'm certainly all for looking at the why's of the history of this board,

: but you ARE picking.

Actually, as you can see, it is OTHER people who are picking, or prodding, or whatever. Had they said nothing, I would have said nothing. (And had YOU said nothing, I would now be saying nothing...)

: In this case, you may have to let this "die" for it to come back to life again.

'Twould be easy indeed, if it didn't keep insisting on coming back to life on its own.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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zipped.gif

dry.gif


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Brandon, with all respect, you're not setting the rules here. If you don't like the tone of this thread, please avoid reading it. If you don't like that I haven't closed this thread, then PM me to discuss my approach to such things.

Perhaps you forgot to insert "personally I'd prefer it if they'd" before "do so in a PM"--if not, then please refrain from ordering others around, because that is certainly how it came across to me.

Alan, I


Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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Whatever the "opponents" in a debate think, they are usually the least-qualified to objectively describe the history of their debates to the audience. That's not a put-down of Peter or Doug or anyone here, it's just a general rule. If you saw a recap of the presidential debates in the newspaper and realized it was written by John Kerry, you'd step back and look for a more objective, third-party perspective. The primary problem in this thread is that the subject of the PTC/DC debates in the board's history was explained from Peter's perspective, which is bound to carry with it either his particular bias or the appearance of bias. No matter how much he says about how he was just sticking to the facts, it will be difficult to separate his perceived bias from a reading of his account. And that's why we ended up where we did here.

Peter's entitled to his opinions, but it is, in my humble opinion, best for those participating in the debates to avoid recounting them or referring to them in an open public forum elsewhere unless they really want to resurrect the debate right then and there... because any recounting by one is going to bring on a defensive recounting by the other. (I, for one, am extremely grateful that Doug resisted here, and I admire him for it.)

Not that the rest of us would be capable of perfect recountings either, but frankly, I think the general acknowledgment that there were debates are really all we need to sum up the board's history for a newcomer. No need to go into the nitty-gritty of those debates, since I can only think of a few folks here with enough grasp of the situation to offer a "fair and balanced" treatment of this particular aspect, and they probably have no interest in doing so, and even that would stir up the hornets' nest again.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Please utilize PMs for all future personal replies that add nothing to the discussion.

Isn't that something along the lines of which Brandon suggested? wink.gif

And a little less sarcastically, what is this editing all about?

But, now, ask yourself: Who derailed this thread? Who went off topic?

Nobody. This thread has been on topic the whole time. I am not trying to sound cheeky, but someone asked for a history of the board, and they sure are getting it. It is a bit creepy that PTC does searches on internet posts that were made four years ago. (If you want to quote Doug, there are scads of essay and reviews out there that speak for themselves, perhaps those would be a more appropriate index of his thought.) I know it is an attempt to prove a point, but it is a bit dramatic nonetheless.

I tend to get a bit "meta" but sometimes that is what is called for. Over the years the various stages of this board has been in existence, some of us have grown in different directions in terms of film, church, and culture. I think it is fantastic that this board now represents a spectrum of reasoned Christian perspectives on the purpose and politics of film and that we have a space in which those perspectives are able to interact. Such perspectives weren't so clear five or six years ago. It would be preferable and reasonable to see the PTC vs. DC debate in this light. Sometimes that happens more effectively than others, but the spectrum has been slowly and creatively forged regardless of the attitudes of its forgers. I would say that this feature of the board represents a formidable evolution in the history of Christian cultural criticism. Feel free to disagree, but you will be incorrect.


"...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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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: Whatever the "opponents" in a debate think, they are usually the least-qualified to

: objectively describe the history of their debates to the audience.

True, to a point. I do think my original post was pretty objective, though. (For one thing, since my original post was concerned with the administrative evolution of these message boards, and since I have never been an administrator, I was not even a character in that story.) As I have already said here, I did not refer to any disputes or debates there. It's only in the follow-up posts that that became an issue.

MLeary wrote:

: And a little less sarcastically, what is this editing all about?

I am tempted to cite Russ's line about "totalitarian regimes", but I fear I'd be the only one smiling.

: It is a bit creepy that PTC does searches on internet posts that were made four years ago.

Dude, footnoting is what I do! (Have you not seen the links I've made in various threads to three-year-old threads of ours that now exist only at web.archive.org?)

Granted, my obsession with footnotes stems in part from a deep insecurity about my ability to remember things, but I still think it's helpful more often than not.

: If you want to quote Doug, there are scads of essay and reviews out there that speak

: for themselves, perhaps those would be a more appropriate index of his thought.

If "his thought" was the issue at hand, yes. In a way, it was, but in a way, it wasn't.

: I would say that this feature of the board represents a formidable evolution in the

: history of Christian cultural criticism. Feel free to disagree, but you will be incorrect.

smile.gif


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Granted, my obsession with footnotes stems in part from a deep insecurity about my ability to remember things, but I still think it's helpful more often than not.

If you're worried about your ability to remember things, well, shoot, then I should be traumatized about my own! I frequently refer to you as having the most formidable powers of recall of anyone I know! smile.gif


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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OK, now we're going too far, getting into rebuttals of complaints about manners of discussions of history involving personal disputes.

Thanks, Alan! You got me laughing with that one.

I'm trying to think when I joined up. I know it was Peter who invited me. There was a conversation going on about THE BIG KAHUNA and something came up about HOSPITALITY SUITE, which my theatre had previously staged, so I pulled up a chair and joined the melee. "And the crack was good..."

I met Jeffrey through an email circle that he and Peter used to take part in, an odd grouping of people they knew through various online groups. Some Christians, some not. Talk about books and tv and all sorts of random stuff, and occasionally movies. I remember defending PLEASANTVILLE and mocking STAR WARS even there. wink.gif

One interesting historical node was the Cornerstone Festival 2003, when a lot of regulars met in person, some for the first time. Not me, with regrets. The A&Fers I've met in person are Peter, Jeffrey, Doug and DanBuck. Near misses on anders and Darrel Manson. (Actually, here's a better thread on Cornerstone 2003).

Edited by Ron

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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Ron wrote:

: I'm trying to think when I joined up. I know it was Peter who invited me. There was a

: conversation going on about THE BIG KAHUNA and something came up about

: HOSPITALITY SUITE, which my theatre had previously staged, so I pulled up a chair

: and joined the melee. "And the crack was good..."

Hope you don't mind another "creepy" footnote, but you were an OnFilm subscriber, too, at least from April 2000 to July 2001. And if memory serves, you joined the message board in the Novogate days in 2003, and assumed at first that it was the same group that you and I had both been in before. . . . Ah yes, here is the thread on The Big Kahuna where you joined up under the moniker "fellowpilgrim".

: The A&Fers I've met in person are Peter, Jeffrey, Doug and DanBuck. Near misses on

: anders and Darrel Manson.

FWIW, I can't exactly remember the first time I MET you (though it was certainly no later than September 1995, when you spoke at Regent around the same time that I helped put together the first non-summer issue of the revitalized Ubyssey), though I can remember the first time I SAW you, when Pacific Theatre came and performed excerpts from The Cotton Patch Gospel at the high school I attended between January 1983 and June 1985.

I met Jeffrey Overstreet in person for the first time c. February 1998, when I drove all the way to Seattle to see The Apostle, which at that time did not even have a distributor in Canada yet. I knew him from Samposts, the Sam Phillips listserv at that time.

I first met J. Robert Parks at the rec.music.christian or Phantom Tollbooth tent at Cornerstone 2000 (or C2K), the first time I ever went to that festival, and I first met Crow and Nezpop and bgeerdes (are the latter two around any more?) at the Daniel Amos and/or Lost Dogs and/or Terry Scott Taylor concerts at that festival. (Oh, wait! I think I actually first met bgeerdes when he happened to visit Vancouver during the two months that I spent living in a certain apartment in the fall of 1999.)

So those are the people from this board that I met BEFORE the board existed. (I believe the time I met mrmando after a performance at Pacific Theatre was also before the board existed, though it might have been afterwards, not sure.)

AFTER the board came into existence, I met Steve Lansingh and Amanda Caldwell when I went to Seattle to visit Jeff (and to see Spider-Man) in May 2002.

And I think everyone else on (or associated with) this board that I've met in person is someone that I met at Cornerstone 2004 (Doug C, Russ, MLeary, stef, mike_h, Alan Thomas) or afterwards (Darrel Manson, when he came to Vancouver some months back; plus I've met meganbasham and a couple other people at the junkets I've gone on since December 2004).

My apologies to anyone I missed.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Oh, and I think I bumped into Steven (SDG) at Emily Rose junket, but since we were both working, I don't know that we were introduced...I'm pretty sure it was him, though, not too many Greydanus's floating around out there.

Yeah, that was weird. I actually knew beforehand that you would be at that junket, Ken, so I had it in my head that we would be meeting there... but then I forgot all about it and didn't think about it again until after it was all over... and then I thought back to what I could remember of the junketeers who had been at the table or in the God Room that I didn't know... and then I thought back real, real hard to that bootleg picture of you that Dan (?) posted for awhile on his Evil Evil outlaw photos thread... and I thought I could match up that photo with one of those quiet people on the periphery of the God Room. And then I had nothing to do with that except to say "Yup, I'm pretty sure that guy I didn't really talk to was kenmorefield."

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Ron wrote:

: I'm trying to think when I joined up. I know it was Peter who invited me. There was a

: conversation going on about THE BIG KAHUNA and something came up about

: HOSPITALITY SUITE, which my theatre had previously staged, so I pulled up a chair

: and joined the melee. "And the crack was good..."

Hope you don't mind another "creepy" footnote...

Not at all! I get a kick every now and then about pegging down my personal history, or the history of things I've been involved with.

You're absolutely right about OnFilm. Checking my own email archives, it looks like my first post to that message board may have been April 14, 2000 - a comment on "Marlon Brando Finally Gets Ad Offer He Can't Refuse." Joined the BIG KAHUNA conversation there June 15 2000. And then, yup, January 7 2003 I got caught up in the Novogate current, assuming it was essentially the same board as OnFilm.

Thanks, too, for the links to those two archives. I'm going to bookmark them: now and then something will come to mind about a particular film and/or its discussion thread, and if it predates the material included in A&F, it'll be nice to be able to dig it out. (Hmmm, I'm finding it tricky to navigate around there. Let's not derail this thread with more on that: could you email me a quick guide to searching for stuff at those old boards? Thanks.)

FWIW, I can't exactly remember the first time I MET you (though it was certainly no later than September 1995, when you spoke at Regent around the same time that I helped put together the first non-summer issue of the revitalized Ubyssey), though I can remember the first time I SAW you, when Pacific Theatre came and performed excerpts from The Cotton Patch Gospel at the high school I attended between January 1983 and June 1985.

I remember the September 1995 talk, at a Gate One event. My second time speaking at that event, topic was "Living The Disillusioned Life." I was at the height (depths?) of my burn-out. Yup, remember that.

I remember meeting you one time that might have predated that. We connected after I led some session at a little arts festival at St John's Shaughnessey, during which I happened to mention collecting people's Faves lists, and you nabbed me after and we agreed to swap lists. (Now, mine has changed since then... cool.gif ) Can't say for sure when that was, but I've got a hunch it was early in 1995, or even spring 1994.

So you saw a CPG excerpt, eh? Amazing. That would have been fall 1984 at the earliest: PT's first public appearance was a presentation of that same excerpt at Regent College in September of that year.

My first memory of you is your review of DAMIEN, when we opened the new theatre with it in October 1994. And when was it you came over to my townhouse in Richmond and I recorded Beatle covers off your CDs? Violet Burning, one of the Terry Taylor projects, others.

I believe the time I met mrmando after a performance at Pacific Theatre was also before the board existed, though it might have been afterwards, not sure.

Oh my gosh!!! How could I forget? I too met Martin before he joined this conversation, though we didn't actually make contact a whole lot, when he played divers kinds of stringed instruments for Molly Lyons' one-woman-show A MOST NOTORIOUS WOMAN early in 2002. Then when he did start posting here, it took me the longest point to realize who it was that lurked behind the "mrmando" alter ego. Yes, Martin and his wife (a fellow CalArts grad, as a matter of fact, to shrink the world even smaller) came and spent an afternoon at my place, when was it, last year sometime?

Edited by Ron

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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I met Jeffrey Overstreet in person for the first time c. February 1998, when I drove all the way to Seattle to see The Apostle

Yep. You walked into the theater wearing a t-shirt with a caricature of J.R.R. Tolkien on it... a t-shirt that I had until that moment believed was owned and worn only by yours truly.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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And Sara, how did you find your way here?


I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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And Sara, how did you find your way here?

Well, Ron, if I'd known all that I know now (via this thread) I might have come here without rose colored glasses. peepwall.gif

Seriously, I think I was looking up lists of good films and found A&F's 100 for 2004.

Anyway, I am glad to be here. grouphug.gif

Sara

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Well,  Ron, if I'd known all that I know now (via this thread) I might have come here without  rose colored glasses. peepwall.gif

I hereby nominate Sara for Outstanding Use Of A Smiley (2005). Hilarious!


I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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One interesting historical node was the Cornerstone Festival 2003, when a lot of regulars met in person, some for the first time.

That was a bit sad as well, as it was after this occasion that we started seeing less and less of J. Robert around here. FWIW, Stef has a cd of the Phantom Tollbooth panel session from that summer that also featured J. Robert and D.C. Lots of good A and F type commentary at that session. If Stef could ever be bothered to transcribe it, that would be nice for all of us.

And Ken, if you ever get that crew together for frisbee golf, count me in. I have my trusty old Cheetah DX around here somewhere.


"...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)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Bloody crashing computers ...

Take two ...

Ron wrote:

: Not at all! I get a kick every now and then about pegging down my personal history,

: or the history of things I've been involved with.

Ah, right, you're the lists man, the calendar-dates man, etc., etc. smile.gif

: Hmmm, I'm finding it tricky to navigate around there. Let's not derail this thread

: with more on that: could you email me a quick guide to searching for stuff at those

: old boards? Thanks.

I actually touched on this here. In this case, I Google'd ["big kahuna" "hospitality suite" ron chattaway] (which was almost a mistake, since you weren't going by the name "Ron" at that time, but thankfully that oversight on my part didn't hinder things), and fortunately, the thread in which you joined us was one of the three results that Google turned up.

Alas, the page with the thread itself no longer exists, but if all you want to do is read the thread, then you can click on "Cached" and read the copy that exists in Google's cache. However, Google will probably drop that page from its cache once it discovers that the page itself no longer exists; so the more permanent solution would be to enter the URL for that page into web.archive.org's "Wayback Machine" and hope that there is at least one copy of the page archived there, too.

: I was at the height (depths?) of my burn-out. Yup, remember that.

Ah, right, I remember you using the phrase "summer of ashes", or "time of ashes", or "fill-in-the-blank of ashes" during your presentation.

: I remember meeting you one time that might have predated that. We connected

: after I led some session at a little arts festival at St John's Shaughnessey, during

: which I happened to mention collecting people's Faves lists, and you nabbed me

: after and we agreed to swap lists. (Now, mine has changed since then... cool.gif )

Sounds about right. Not 100% sure on the details -- partly because I seem to recall being told by someone else to get in touch with you, and this other person might have told me to do that because I saw a reference to your listmaking prowess in a PT program and I told this other person that I liked making lists to -- but the basic thrust of it seems right.

: So you saw a CPG excerpt, eh? Amazing. That would have been fall 1984 at the

: earliest: PT's first public appearance was a presentation of that same excerpt at

: Regent College in September of that year.

I love it when the evidence converges like this. I know I went to high school there between Jan 1983 and Jun 1985. You know that PT's first public performance of anything, anywhere was in Sep 1984. So already, right there, we've narrowed it to the ten-month window covering my year in Grade 10.

: My first memory of you is your review of DAMIEN, when we opened the new

: theatre with it in October 1994.

Did I review that one? I remember seeing it. I also remember getting writers to review things for me, and scamming extra passes for myself along the way. smile.gif

: And when was it you came over to my townhouse in Richmond and I recorded

: Beatle covers off your CDs? Violet Burning, one of the Terry Taylor projects, others.

Oh, man, I can't remember when, exactly. But not too long after that. I remember you had just seen Four Weddings and a Funeral (released to theatres in 1994, though you might have seen it on video) for the first time, and I remember being a bit startled when you, Local Clean-Cut Evangelical Celebrity that you are, complained that the two protagonists were merely "f---ing" when they first meet.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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BTW, I don't know why I didn't try this before, but if you enter www.chiafilm.com into web.archive.org's "Wayback Machine", there are quite a few results between 2001 and 2004. From June 2002 on, the "Conversation" button at the archived page links to an archived copy of the Novogate board, but from January 2002 back to the beginning, the "Conversation" button at the archived page links to an archived copy of the original Chiaroscuro message board.

Or, duh, I guess the more direct route would be to simply go here.

Good luck trying to get the messages to work, though. Sometimes I get a simple "Unable to open msgboard.mv" message, and other times a post from a completely different thread pops up.

Oh, and here's a note for the history books: The Film Forum's logo appears on the message board, which is named "Film & Spirituality Conversation", in October 2001, but in August 2001 the board is simply called "Chiaroscuro Conversation" and there is no Film Forum logo there. So it looks like Steve Lansingh hopped aboard as a sponsor somewhere between those two points, though he was already posting messages in August.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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