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Should we run the Top100 in 2006?

Revision Cycle for the Top100  

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Bizarre, I'm the only person who's voted so far in favour of doing this every year.

My main reason for voting thus is because people come and go from this board so quickly that the Top 100 is bound to change in drastic and surprising ways no matter WHEN or HOW OFTEN we vote -- and I think it would be cool to get a snapshot of each year, the same way we get snapshots from the Oscars or from the FFCC awards or from various other things that happen every year.

Then again, all those awards ceremonies are deliberately focused only on the years when they take place, whereas the Top 100, in theory, takes into consideration all films from all time. And obviously an extra year here or there isn't going to make much difference in terms of the available pool of films. And then there's that magazine -- crap, can't remember the name right now -- that publishes its all-time best-ever lists every ten years or so (or is it every five?). So us doing it every year might easily seem excessive.

So, y'know, my vote is a SOFT vote for doing it every year. But I won't complain if we do it less often.


"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 Thomas wrote:

: But from what I found last year, lurkers and even people who stay away from the board participated.

"Stay away from..."? But they had to be registered board members in some sense, right?

I wonder. Should we restrict the list to people who are involved in the board somehow? I mean, if the Top 100 is going to bear the board's name and all. The FFCC, and most similar groups, expect their members to be actual film critics who actually write film critiques. Why would the official A&F lists be open to people who don't have a history of participation here?

(I am reminded of how Chuck Cadman, a popular sitting MP, was voted out as his party's representative in the 2004 election because members of a certain community flooded the party's membership in that riding and voted in one of their own as the nominee for that election; Cadman ran as an independent and won. I am also reminded of a story I heard about Engineering students at some university or other signing up en masse for some Marxist student club and then voting it out of existence. Obviously, those are extreme cases and the existence of A&F is not in peril here; but it might be reasonable to expect people who vote in the Top 100 to meet some sort of "threshold" beyond merely having signed up for the board.)


"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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I voted for doing it this year, although my vote is also only a weak Yes. The reason why is pretty simple - each voting cycle, it seems to me, will provoke discussion which moves the list closer and closer to a state where I would be comfortable recommending non-movie-buffs to look at it. As it stands, I have some reservations, in particular because of the lack of context included with each entry. I find myself increasing frustrated with lists which simply list, and don't go past the listing to offer a justification of the choices made.

So, if we were to decide not to revise the list, we could (theoretically) collectively decide to devote a comparable amount of time to creating summaries and essays which explain and justify the list. That would be awesome.


That's just how eye roll.

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: : I wonder. Should we restrict the list to people who are involved in the board somehow?

:

: No. Many folks--including professional critics--are lurkers, and, well, it's VERY clear to me that activity does

: not in any way equal value.

That may depend on what sort of value we're talking about. If the ostensible "value" of the label "Arts & Faith" is that the list produced under that label is somehow representative of this board, then surely activity on this board or the lack thereof would affect how representative that list is, no? And if the list is NOT representative of the board, then that would affect the list's "value" as a product of A&F, no?

Hmmm, a thought just occurred to me. When the list is published, is it accompanied by a list of all the people who took part in it? I assume that most film-critics organizations have lists of the people who voted on their awards, and I assume it isn't too hard to find out who the voting members of the Academy are, etc.

: I now have to use two hands to count the number of board users who don't post here in part because they

: want dialogue, when they so easily can get tangled up in petty bickering.

It's an interesting question, whether a person can be a "user" of this board if he or she does not post here. I mean, you don't have to register in order to read the film threads -- only to write to them, right?

(Leaving aside the question of how reliable your counts have been in the past.)


"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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And then there are people like me - I am registered, I lurk, I sometimes post (often in response to interesting discussions), and I would LOVE to be a regular film critic and published as some of y'all are, and yet I can't seem to make the time to do so, with my three kids and church and work and ... and ... and ... Once a part of PFCC, I didn't publish enough to stay on. So, even though it is not the same as pounding out a review once a week or once a month, voting on the Top 100 gives me SOME outlet and input into what I love and want to do.

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I've been more of a lurker this year because I've been busier, but I found the discussion leading up to last year's list very interesting, and there are still some films I'd like to see either added to the list or restored to it.

I'm not sure exactly what GreetingsEarthling means by "lack of context"--capsule reviews or summaries? or justifications of how any particular film exemplifies "spiritual significance"? If the latter, I think that's a point that might be considered in the reviews. I, too, want to be able to recommend the list to non-movie-buffs.

The 2004 list was immensely useful as my colleague and I developed our "pop culture & the gospel" course last fall; I'm not sure the 2005 list is quite as non-specialist-undergraduate-friendly, though it certainly includes many fine films. For example, one of our students was inspired by the 2004 list to do a project on the films of Peter Weir, ALL of which were new to him and real eye-openers. If we'd been guided by the 2005 list--no Peter Weir.

The question has arisen before and will again of how or whether the Top 100 strikes a balance between apparent aesthetic "respectibility" and the stated mission of the list: spiritual significance.

Another reason to revise yearly: each year new films released and older films become available on DVD. For example, the Criterion release of Whit Stillman's Metropolitan. I'll put my extended plug for that film in the proper forum.

Edited by BethR

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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I suppose it depends how you read the statistics. Whilst "Votes to delay are leading 13-10", the most popular single option is to proceed as originally planned. If the vote had been cast as either "should it be an annual cycle or a 2 year cycle?", or simply, "should we delay yes/no" that might have produced a differen result.

...and I say that as someone who is in favour of a delay.

Matt

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