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Top 100 2011: Results and Discussion


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#301 kenmorefield

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:19 PM

P.P.S. I miss the days when and places where people could disagree about some artistic preferences without calling each other (or thinking of each other) as idiots.

Hmm. Are we stooping that low? I guess I'd been hearing a tone of tongue-in-cheek jabbing in this thread, nothing like mean-spirited put-downs. But maybe I'm overestimating my friends here? I tend to think that SDG would put a stop to any actual meanness. He usually does. I agree with Stef that "the feeling around here over the last year or two has been the best I've ever seen at A&F." The mood around these parts has been fairly welcoming lately, I think, relative to many other chapters in our past.

FWIW, I'm not sure Ken was suggesting A&F has gone downhill in this respect -- the contrary perhaps (viz. cries of heresy over impugning Magnolia in the past). I think we're generally pretty grown-up about dissenting opinions these days, and I agree that we've thriven under Image, and maybe a number of us (myself included) have grown up some in the last several years. I'm sorry for some of the people we've lost along the way.


Deep breath....count to 10....

I guess in part it depends on who is "we" and what is meant by "stooping this low." Some people may be more bugged by the substance of a message than its tone. I can find very flat, toneless ways of calling someone an idiot that nevertheless express my contempt for them as people but make me feel justified that I have conducted myself in the most Christian of manners. Also, people tend to get frustrated when they are losing arguments and fall back on personal insults (however well couched). Part of that is a maturity issue and is the cost of doing business on a public venue. If you choose to participate you are, in many ways, giving yourself over to those who may not be as scrupulous in their interpersonal interactions as some others. I see an awful lot of people investing more energy in defending and attacking critical opinions than in actually articulating them.


That said, yes, I don't mean to imply any direct comparison to some past iteration of this board and the present one. For one, although I do pop in from time to time to do self-promotion (announcements of things that I think would be of interests to the friends I retain who hang out here), I don't really troll this board enough to make generalizations of the current tone and demeanor. This particular thread strikes me as having much of the dogmatism that marked this board in the past...the tone may be dialed down a notch but the bulk of the substance of the argument or the discussion still veers into the talk-radio style of taking sides, assuming one is self-evidently right, and expending more energy into constructing a strong rhetorical argument than in actually exploring the subject matter. Still, the subject matter in this thread may be near and dear to a lot of people, so perhaps it isn't typical of a thread on, say, No Strings Attached.

My implication in the link is that the medium is the message. It is the nature of Internet boards and communication (and talk radio) to have an agonistic style, and although it would be nice to think that the Christian content in some places would leaven that, in my experience the reverse is generally true (i.e. even Christians become conformed to the style of the medium and the culturally prominent methods of discourse). But even in the worst of times and places there are people who are able to civilly disagree. I think the energy cost of doing so--of remaining civil, of adopting a listening posture when the bulk of the community does not do the same, of being open to persuasion when the world wants to make every film a shibboleth, of staying patient with people who say "it's your job to convince me but I have no intention of allowing myself to be convinced, only to use your inability to convince me as some sort of evidence that you are wrong"--is out of whack with whatever benefit some personality types might derive from participation in such endeavors. I don't think that the overall nature of the medium has changed much or was different at such and such a time but it seemed to me that there were at least pockets of resistance against the flow of the medium that allowed some tenuous connections to be made...and I miss those.

Edited by kenmorefield, 24 February 2011 - 12:38 PM.


#302 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:38 PM

Ken, I'll admit I'm a little confused. What would "pockets of resistance" look like here? To me, other than a few outlier examples, A&F is one grand pocket of resistance. Not a criticism on my part, just an honest question.

#303 SDG

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:57 PM

I can find very flat, toneless ways of calling someone an idiot that nevertheless express my contempt for them as people but make me feel justified that I have conducted myself in the most Christian of manners.

Yeah, that happens. When it happens here, I tend to think it's less intolerance of contrary opinions about movies than clash of personalities and long-standing grievances. I don't know what can be done about it. What I like about the current board culture is that it seems to have become a problem to be managed, rather than a periodically paralyzing crisis.

I see an awful lot of people investing more energy in defending and attacking critical opinions than in actually articulating them.

Well, that's true too. I'd like to think that part of that is just the way we test our critical theories, and part of it is, I dunno, a kind of sportsmanship. Maybe I'm being optimistic or naive.

This particular thread strikes me as having much of the dogmatism that marked this board in the past...the tone may be dialed down a notch but the bulk of the substance of the argument or the discussion still veers into the talk-radio style of taking sides, assuming one is self-evidently right, and expending more energy into constructing a strong rhetorical argument than in actually exploring the subject matter.

Um. Well, I guess I hope we're doing our best, but it's something to think about. Thanks, Ken.

I don't think that the overall nature of the medium has changed much or was different at such and such a time but it seemed to me that there were at least pockets of resistance against the flow of the medium that allowed some tenuous connections to be made...and I miss those.

Oh, well. Here I think I can say that tenuous connections are definitely being made here ... and if a recent episode with a newbie is any indication of the outside world, this whole board even in its less attractive moments can fairly be called a pocket of resistance. I guess we shouldn't hope for too much, though.

#304 vjmorton

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:04 PM

And as for Black Narcissus, Christian, I only said it because I hate that movie. :)


::w00t::

Someone else with a modicum of taste who hates BLACK NARCISSUS. And someone into the popery too -- I feared admitting that I hated a nun movie would be excommunicable.

#305 Christian

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:05 PM


And as for Black Narcissus, Christian, I only said it because I hate that movie. :)


::w00t::

Someone else with a modicum of taste who hates BLACK NARCISSUS. And someone into the popery too -- I feared admitting that I hated a nun movie would be excommunicable.

Since you raised Catholicism (Steven didn't), is that the objection -- negative portrayal of Catholics, or something along those lines?

#306 SDG

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:07 PM

Since you raised Catholicism (Steven didn't), is that the objection -- negative portrayal of Catholics, or something along those lines?

They aren't Catholics, although I guess you could say they're "something along those lines." They're Anglicans.

#307 Christian

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:09 PM

Since you raised Catholicism (Steven didn't), is that the objection -- negative portrayal of Catholics, or something along those lines?

They aren't Catholics, although I guess you could say they're "something along those lines." They're Anglicans.

::blushing:: Been a while since I watched my laserdisc. (Hear the Blu-ray is killer; gotta get me one of them Blu-ray thing-ys.)

Edited by Christian, 24 February 2011 - 04:09 PM.


#308 vjmorton

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:20 PM

Since you raised Catholicism (Steven didn't), is that the objection -- negative portrayal of Catholics, or something along those lines?

They aren't Catholics, although I guess you could say they're "something along those lines." They're Anglicans.

I remembered after I had posted that they were CofE, though I think like the name "Mary" and any form of beads, nuns are always Catholic even when they're not.

#309 Ryan H.

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:45 PM

I see an awful lot of people investing more energy in defending and attacking critical opinions than in actually articulating them.

Well, that's true too. I'd like to think that part of that is just the way we test our critical theories, and part of it is, I dunno, a kind of sportsmanship. Maybe I'm being optimistic or naive.

I don't think so. I've always seen it as a kind of fun sparring, rather like debate club or what have you.

Here I think I can say that tenuous connections are definitely being made here ... and if a recent episode with a newbie is any indication of the outside world, this whole board even in its less attractive moments can fairly be called a pocket of resistance.

I know I'm relatively new here, but judging from experience, A&F is a rather rare kind of internet community.

#310 Thom

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 07:01 PM

I don't know if I am interested in the discussion of "is animation film" but I would be interested in the discussion of removing it from the Top 100 voting process.

I'm with SDG. Horrible idea. I'm all for allowing short films back into the conversation (I think we made a mistake in excluding them), but I see no legitimate reason to exclude animated film.

Every genre is mostly not great.


I love this comment! If it were a false statement this list would be even more difficult to "agree" upon.

Huh. A community of disparate individuals can't completely agree on a list of the one hundred best or most meaningful movies, and as a result there are differing opinions as to the merits of particular films. That's weird, wild stuff, as Carvey-as-Carson would say.


Even so, I liked the 2010 list the best so far. Maybe we should start voting on a list that shows a list of the lists we liked the best -- The Top 5 Top 100 Lists List.

#311 Anna J

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:48 PM

For clarity, I've split off the Top 25 discussion and put it in a new "Choosing the next Top 25 List" here.

I'm going to keep this thread open for us to talk about the 2011 Top 100 list in general--what films should have been on it, etc. It's been kind of tangential recently but I don't see that that's a reason to close it.

If you're watching or rewatching films from either list, post in Stef's thread here. If you're discussing the Top 25 Horror list in general, go here.

I hope that helps!



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