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Adding a Top 10 List?


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#41 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:29 PM

Are you saying that everything on the A+F Top 100 list is about Sehnsucht?

Yeah, that is what I'm saying. Certain films in particular, but most of the Top 20 (three or four of which I still need to see). I didn't look at your link and it's been years since I've used the word, but from what I remember it seems that this is a high qualifier that goes along with words like "mystery" and "spiritual." I like your word a lot better than "spiritual" though, in terms of how I think of the list.

I was referring to C.S. Lewis' discussion of his feeling/longing of "northerness" after being exposed to Norse inspired poetry, art and music (discussions of which first appear in his autobiography Surprised by Joy). He later goes on to explain this "longing" as painful, piercing, fleeting, and being just a tiny bit of a hint of the real joy that God meant for us. So when I think of the term Sehnsucht, I think of the longing for the things of heaven ... And while anything spiritually themed has the potential to include this longing, I've personally found that I experience it very rarely. But I do identify with what Lewis was talking about, every rare once in a while ... a scene in a film, a bit of music, a little light and wind flowing through a tree ... can give you just a hint of it, but it's a powerful hint and as soon as you realize it's there, it seems like it's gone.

So yes, it is a word much more specific than the word "spiritual." On the top 100 list for example, I could see Wings of Desire being focused on this theme. Not on the top 100 list, I could see Joe versus the Volcano being focused on this theme. Both films have characters at specific times trying to express exactly what C.S. Lewis was trying to express. They pretty much all fail at expressing it, but you still know what they are talking about.

But anyhow, if this discussion goes much farther, it should probably be broken off into a separate thread.

#42 Greg Wolfe

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 02:28 PM

Now that the wheels are in motion for the 2011 Top 100 list, I'd like to return to this Top 10/20/25 idea.

My sense was that "Horror" had the most votes in the poll and had just the right blend of specificity and focus on genre to do nicely.

Perhaps if we do Horror we could get Scott Derrickson to write the accompanying introduction/blog post on it.

Unless there are strong objections, I'd like to try to move this forward.

Any further thoughts on either the topic or the total number of films we should choose -- 10/20/25?

#43 Christian

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 02:41 PM

Greg, I'm late to the Top 100 discussion this year, so forgive me is this has already been bandied about, but how do the Top 25 horror films dovetail with the A&F Top 100? I'm thinking that as much as I've loved some horror movies, I'm not sure I've nominated any for the Top 100 in the past, nor do I remember for voting for more than one or two films I'd describe as "horror films" among the most recent list of nominees.

So, I guess my question is, Does it matter if the Top 25 horror films list includes no entries in our Top 100? I realize this is a hypothetical question, but I'm anticipating what a reader who compares the lists -- will anyone actually do this? -- might think if horror films aren't well represented on the main list.

#44 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 03:13 PM

So, I guess my question is, Does it matter if the Top 25 horror films list includes no entries in our Top 100? I realize this is a hypothetical question, but I'm anticipating what a reader who compares the lists -- will anyone actually do this? -- might think if horror films aren't well represented on the main list.

I don't know why it should matter. A top 25, or even a top 10 horror film that, oh let's see, "resonates" with Christianity could easily not make a list of the top 100 films of all time that "resonate" with Christianity. For example, I probably wouldn't advocate putting The Exorcism of Emily Rose on the Top 100 list, but I don't know if there is any other film that has produced more conversations for me with nonbelievers about God and faith.

#45 Christian

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 03:22 PM


So, I guess my question is, Does it matter if the Top 25 horror films list includes no entries in our Top 100? I realize this is a hypothetical question, but I'm anticipating what a reader who compares the lists -- will anyone actually do this? -- might think if horror films aren't well represented on the main list.

I don't know why it should matter. A top 25, or even a top 10 horror film that, oh let's see, "resonates" with Christianity could easily not make a list of the top 100 films of all time that "resonate" with Christianity. For example, I probably wouldn't advocate putting The Exorcism of Emily Rose on the Top 100 list, but I don't know if there is any other film that has produced more conversations for me with nonbelievers about God and faith.

I do like the horror-list idea, but I'm not sure that a "supplemental" list -- if that's what this list will be, essentially -- won't dilute the main Top 100 list in some ways. And then comes the Top 100 Romance films, or whatever, and if those films also aren't represented in our Top 100 ... maybe I'm just borrowing trouble? I can still see people reading the various genre lists and concluding that our Top 100 list is essentially a Top 100 Dramas list -- which is a concern that's been expressed over the years here. I wouldn't want to reinforce that impression, but would rather continue to advocate for more diversity during the nominations and voting periods for the Top 100. I worry that these other lists will be perceived as also-rans.

#46 Greg Wolfe

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 03:42 PM

Christian:

Not sure if you've read this thread from the beginning but the basic ideas are these:

1) The Top 100 list has both internal and an external value, both as a way we share our ideas inside the community here and as a service we offer to the world.

2) To the extent that we have a public face there's a question about how much our Top 100 list will vary from year to year -- and how noteworthy a relatively static list will be to the sort of media outlets, blogs, etc. that can spread the impact of the list we've worked so hard to create.

3) If we were to have a shorter, "flanking" list it would not only have intrinsic interest but help keep the Top 100 list in the public eye.

4) Precisely because 100 is such a small number, and because we're always frustrated about what gets left out, and because of ongoing concerns about biasing toward "Drama" or art-films or non-Hollywood films or what-have-you, the "flanking" list offers us an opportunity to promote good films in genres and from various angles that might not otherwise be celebrated.

5) It would be fun. We love making lists and people love reading lists.

I have no doubt that such lists might be judged in relation to the Top 100 list, but I'm just not sure who would get worked up over it or why.

I'm open to all thoughts on this, but that's the basic reasoning.




So, I guess my question is, Does it matter if the Top 25 horror films list includes no entries in our Top 100? I realize this is a hypothetical question, but I'm anticipating what a reader who compares the lists -- will anyone actually do this? -- might think if horror films aren't well represented on the main list.

I don't know why it should matter. A top 25, or even a top 10 horror film that, oh let's see, "resonates" with Christianity could easily not make a list of the top 100 films of all time that "resonate" with Christianity. For example, I probably wouldn't advocate putting The Exorcism of Emily Rose on the Top 100 list, but I don't know if there is any other film that has produced more conversations for me with nonbelievers about God and faith.

I do like the horror-list idea, but I'm not sure that a "supplemental" list -- if that's what this list will be, essentially -- won't dilute the main Top 100 list in some ways. And then comes the Top 100 Romance films, or whatever, and if those films also aren't represented in our Top 100 ... maybe I'm just borrowing trouble? I can still see people reading the various genre lists and concluding that our Top 100 list is essentially a Top 100 Dramas list -- which is a concern that's been expressed over the years here. I wouldn't want to reinforce that impression, but would rather continue to advocate for more diversity during the nominations and voting periods for the Top 100. I worry that these other lists will be perceived as also-rans.



#47 Andrew

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:12 PM

I'm excited about a Horror film list. Ten films would seem too small of a list, twenty-five a bit too expansive. I vote for 20 - it just feels like the Goldilocks number to me.

#48 Darrel Manson

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:44 AM

I'm excited about a Horror film list. Ten films would seem too small of a list, twenty-five a bit too expansive. I vote for 20 - it just feels like the Goldilocks number to me.

Perhaps the Goldilocks number for horror films is 13.

#49 Andrew

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:57 AM


I'm excited about a Horror film list. Ten films would seem too small of a list, twenty-five a bit too expansive. I vote for 20 - it just feels like the Goldilocks number to me.

Perhaps the Goldilocks number for horror films is 13.


Ha!

#50 Christian

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:03 AM

Thanks, Greg. I'll read through the thread more closely and will follow up with any additional questions I might have.

#51 David Smedberg

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:57 PM

4) Precisely because 100 is such a small number, and because we're always frustrated about what gets left out...

An interesting and revealing comment.

In my experience, my frustration is typically with what gets left in, rather than what is left out; and 100 is too large, not too small.

#52 Christian

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:56 PM

I've read through the thread, and am not sure I have much to add. Seems like concerns were raised, but then, if not dismissed, those concerns faded, or were supplanted by subsequent discussion.

Let's do horror. And let's not play it "safe." Let's mix it up!

It's interesting that this genre challenges my ideas of what our main list, the A&F Top 100, should consist of -- the types of films that should characterize it. I've argued against the "general excellence" rationale for those films, and advocated for films that engender a more "spiritual" response in viewers. But I don't know many horror films that create that kind of response, as I would define it. That means my criteria for this particular list would have to differ in some ways. Maybe "general excellence" will be my criterion.

Edited by Christian, 30 December 2010 - 01:57 PM.




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