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Is May 10th the deadline or when voting opens? I would suggest the former, but if so, will the ballot be ready before then? Or will the 10th be like a national holiday election day?

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Are we settled on if there will be a voluntary Round 2 to rank the top 20 or 25 and if so how long that window will be open? I'd like to get that nailed down before I submit my votes and/or so that I can can tell people outside when results will be announced.

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So, Darren and I have talked via e-mail and we are currently leaning toward *not* having a second round. Reasons as follows:

  • Darren (not to put words in his mouth) doesn't think it is necessary. I'm not sure, but he was right about the nominations and grandfathering thing.
  • The rubric should build our ranking preferences into the the results more so than did the 5 point scale. That said, not having a second round may impact me slightly in distinguishing between 3s and 2s, since "3" is the most common number on my ballot and if I had to rank all the 3s, there would be a much bigger difference between a 3 that way my 101st choice and a 3 that was my 200th choice.
  • Having a second round raises logistical problems I don't want to have to deal with, such as: do we release the list before/after the second round. 
  • With social distancing being lifted in some areas, there may be people whose schedules are shifting.
  • Anxious to get the results out and start writing blurbs (and book chapters!)

But before we decided finally, does anyone want to weigh in and reiterate or argue for a Round 2? If you are in favor of it, will you be slightly disappointed at not having a Round 2 or seriously chafed?


 

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I think the 6 point scale fixed the problem of distinguishing where on the list we wanted specific titles, so I think we don't need a second round of voting. That is to say, I'm fine with one round of voting.

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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1 hour ago, Andrew said:

I'm fine with either (especially since I'm not doing any of the heavy lifting).  My sole reservation is if we see the list skewing heavily towards post-2000 films, a second round could balance things more satisfyingly.

How about we decide corporately at the livestream announcement of the results? If anyone has strong feelings but can't attend, they can give a proxy to Darren or me or someone who wants to attend. Might be easier to make the call after we see the results than to try to plan for every contingency.

 

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12 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

How about we decide corporately at the livestream announcement of the results? If anyone has strong feelings but can't attend, they can give a proxy to Darren or me or someone who wants to attend. Might be easier to make the call after we see the results than to try to plan for every contingency.

 

Did we decide on a time for the livestream?

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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13 minutes ago, Evan C said:

Did we decide on a time for the livestream?

Not yet, was at a loggerhead because didn't want to decide on a time until we resolved the Round 2 question because didn't know what we were rolling out. I'd like to do it as soon as possible after the deadline. If that's the 10th (Sunday), my idea would be sometime on the 11th (Monday) or 12th (Tuesday). I made a Zoom account, so I think I could just send out or post an invite. 

 

Edit: I told Darren, my ideal would be to to divide the 100 finalists by the number of voters able to attend and give each person 2-3 minutes to announce their portion and make any comments. (So if there were like 10 people, each person announces 10 finlms, if there were 20 each announces five. ) But I'm also not averse to just announcing the results at the beginning and chatting about them. I'm afraid that if there are more than 5-10 people that a meetup without an agenda could be a little disorganized, talking over each other, etc.

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Tuesday is probably slightly better for me, but Monday would work provided it's between 2:00 and 6:00 pm.

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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If I can't attend the livestream, I'm okay with a single round of voting unless, unless, as Andrew mentioned, the list skews heavily towards a particular decade, or maybe a particular filmmaker (e.g. if Bresson or Dreyer or Malick or Tarkovsky or Ozu or whomever had both #1 and #2 on the list, or the top 10 only had 5 filmmakers).

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I feel pretty strongly about keeping the second round of voting. 

For one thing, it was my understanding that we'd already reached a consensus that this was a good idea and that we were going to do it. The question was more about what the process would look like.

On 4/5/2020 at 7:39 AM, Darren H said:

There seems to be consensus that a second round of voting could be useful -- as a group activity, as an opportunity to watch/revisit/discuss more of the 100 films, and as a way to finetune the ordering of the final list. Several voters like the idea of submitting a ranked top 25, which would give 25 points to each #1 pick and 1 point to each #25 pick.

On 4/5/2020 at 7:39 AM, Darren H said:

The first round result could also be used to break second round ties. For example, if Ordet and The Passion of Joan of Arc both end up with 460 points, the "winner" would be whichever film had the higher ranking in round one.

There were no objections when we had this conversation a month ago to a second round of voting, though many didn't express strong feelings either way. I'm glad there's been flexibility in the process, but changing this would feel like going back on the process (certainly as I've been thinking for the past month).

My understanding was that ranking in round 2 would only determine the top 25, not the whole list (in order to prevent dramatic swings, and because the ranking of the top 25 mattered more to people that lower rankings) The only thing that didn't feel firmed up was whether the top 25 films we'd rank would be

  • choosing and ordering any 25 films out of the Top 100 or
  • just reordering the top 25 after the first round.

I could go either way, but, like Joel, I lean toward the latter. (I guess we didn't firm up if it would be 20 or 25, but we were mostly talking about a top 25.)

To address a few of the points raised above:

I disagree that the 6-point scale is enough. It's a very blunt tool. It is good for determining to what extent we think a film is worthy to be in the Top 100. And, as we've discussed, it's useful for generating a consensus of what we think should be in the list's top 25. But it's not designed for ranking the films near the top meaningfully.

I don't think the logistics would be too hard. We could use the same tool we used to rank the top 25 on growing older probably. It would be optional, and Ken discussed how first round votes could be translated into the second round if someone didn't participate in the second round ranking.

We wouldn't need much more time, if that's a concern. I'm guessing I'll have seen most of the films in the top 25, and I'm guessing we'll all have seen at least 25 of the top 100. I'd like a few days to watch/rewatch a film or two, but not more than that. I think a week would be the absolute longest. 

It won't make a difference for writing timelines since it won't change the contents of the list, only the order. But I think if the list goes out with the CFP, then it should be the final ranked list. I don't think a few days or a week will make that much difference.

Doing a second round is a way to address the concerns that Joel and Andrew mentioned: "the list skews heavily towards a particular decade, or maybe a particular filmmaker (e.g. if Bresson or Dreyer or Malick or Tarkovsky or Ozu or whomever had both #1 and #2 on the list, or the top 10 only had 5 filmmakers)" or others. I really think we should just decide to do the second round to address potential issues like these rather than seeing what the results look like and trying to negotiate from there. Of course, the second round isn't just about contingencies. It's about being able to participate in the list's character more meaningfully. Sacrificing that isn't worth streamlining at this late point.

I also think that framing this new discussion in terms of "is it necessary?" is really begging the question. Of course it's not necessary. None of this is. And voting with a Likert scale with some weighting as we are will produce a ranked list. But a second round of voting will produce a better list that gives us more say as to what the ranking is. That might not matter to some, but several of us have expressed that it is something we care about.

I agree that Darren's take on nominating and grandfathering were good ones (even though I argued in favor of some grandfathering when we had the discussion), and it's possible that a second round of voting wouldn't change the order of the top 25 much. The way we did nominating had benefits and costs, as we discussed, but the But this feels to me like cancelling the playoffs after the regular season. Sometimes the team with the best regular season record wins the championship, but sometimes not. As they say, that's why you play the game. (Maybe not the best metaphor as lots of sports seasons and tournaments have been cancelled or suspended! And this list isn't about winning like in sports.)

So, to answer Ken's question, I think I will definitely feel disappointed and somewhat chafed, though "seriously" would be too strong a descriptor--this is for fun and the stakes are low. But they're not so low that I don't care. We're planning on basing a book off it, after all. Like Jeremy, I'm an amateur cinephile and the 2011 Top 100 list has meant a lot to me. I'm so pleased I'm able to take part in this one, and I think the second round will make our new list a better list.

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4 hours ago, Rob Z said:

For one thing, it was my understanding that we'd already reached a consensus that this was a good idea and that we were going to do it. The question was more about what the process would look like.

This is a good point. And I will say again that the second round of voting for the Ecumenical Jury has nearly always resulted in some sort of significant change in ranking (for example, in 2017 The Salesman was ranked at #9 before the second round of voting but ended up at #2).

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I am not sure that we came to a consensus that we were going to do it. If so, I missed it. I found some discussion, especially on p.9 of this thread: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/topic/31836-top-100-for-2020-organization/page/9/

I bring that up, because one thing I am more likely to be adamant about (to the extent that I have any weight as admin) is to follow through on doing things the way I/we said we would. 

http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/year/4-2011-top-100/

I went back and looked at the 2010 and 2011 lists and tried to see if there would be much change if I ranked the Top 25 personally. The answer is, probably not much.I mean, if I moved Magnolia from 16 to 25 and a Man For All Seasons from 25 to 10, would that be enough overall to move Magnolia down a spot or two or AMFAS up a slot or two? And if I moved Dekalog from 2 to 25 on my ballot because I disagreed that it should be on there at all, does that have a disproportionate impact on the results?

That said, I think we should have a second round with a *brief* (24-48) hour window, for the following reasons:

  • The move from three films per director to two is new, and it could have unintended impact. Darren has said, I think, that he is limiting himself to 1 "6" per director and giving the second film by the director a 5 or 4. I'm mostly doing the same. But if there is not a consensus about which films by Bergman, Bresson, Tarkobsky, Dardennes, we want, they could all end up scoring lower because of the format and not because that is reflective of our true estimation. Conversely, I could see situations where we aren't sure which film by a canonical director will be higher and so inflate both of them. I don't particularly want to see a Top 15 comprised of two Dardennes, two Bressons, two Tarkovskys, two Bergmans, two Dreyers, Two Kurosawas, and two Ozus.
  • Unlike the initial ballot, it is a 5-10 minute endeavor. If Darren doesn't want to make out or collect Round 2 ballots, I'd be happy to do it. 
  • The point above means that even if a minority want to do it, it's a relatively easy accommodation for the minority without adding anything (except a 24-48 hour delay) to the majority who are "okay" with the Round 1 results.

What I don't know...and I don't think we can know until the Round 1 results, is whether I want to be able to pick my personal Top 20/5 from among the 100 finalists or just reorder the Top 20/5. The first seems too broad and could allow for shifts that don't reflect the will of the community. The latter seems a little too restrictive, especially if part of the issue is multiple films by the same auteur. I realize in discussing that I don't want a way to rewrite the Top 20, but I do want a way to tweak it.



 

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Fwiw, I don't have much of a dog in the fight for a second round of voting. My preference is to not have a second round, but I'm happy to build an online poll to whatever specs you settle on. As I told Ken, inviting everyone to assign 1-25 points to 25 of the 100 films doesn't make any sense to me. If the film originally ranked #100 gets 25 point in the second round (because of one enthusiastic voter) but the #35 film gets zero, does that mean the 100 film jumps ahead of #35?

Or, do we reshuffle the top 25 working only from the original top 40? Would that get us any closer to an ideal top 25? If there are two Dardenne films in the first top 20 and we only want one, aren't we just opening up the opportunity in round 2 for half of the voters to vote for one film and half to vote for the other, in which case we end up with the same result?

If one of our main motivations is to avoid having two films by one director or too many films from one decade in the top 25, then we can write rules (in programming speak) to make those tweaks. In the same way I'll be eliminating all but the top two films from each director in the top 100, I can also make adjustments to create other kinds of diversity at the top of the list. If Passion of Joan of Arc is #3 and Ordet is #10, we can write a rule that moves Ordet to, say, #26 (or any other arbitrary rank) and all of the films in between move up one slot.

I'm guessing this suggestion rubs some of you the wrong way, but I don't actually see much practical difference between that approach to solving "what ifs" and a second round of voting, other than it would be easier.

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I told Darren in an e-mail, I am ambivalent about what we decide, but it is important to me that we decide, because it will affect how I vote -- in a few cases significantly. 

In all sorts of organizations, it's nicer for everyone if everyone agrees. But, honestly, one of the things I like about this group is that the desire for consensus is balanced with a freedom and willingness to be the outlier, so that we don't just have the surface appearance of consensus. Still, that puts it on me to recognize when the time for input is up and a decision needs to me made so that implementation can start.

To summarize what I have heard (mostly from Ed and Rob), the reasons for having a second round are:

  • a less abrupt ending to to the process
  • greater feeling of ownership over the list/process
  • a final chance to view high ranking film(s) that the voter might have missed. 

Reasons to not have it seem to include:

  • skepticism that it will have much impact on the results (pending how it is done).
  • concern that it could have too much impact on the results (pending how it is done).

So here's where I landed on the next steps:

1) I'll ask Darren to send me a ranked list of provisional results that we (he and I or just me if he can't make it) can announce via Zoom on Tuesday (I'll post an announcement in  another thread) and e-mail to voters immediately after livestream. 

2) Voters who care to do a round 2 will have 72 hours (until Friday evening) to send me their personal ranking of the Top 25 films. (No dropping #1 and adding #93, but you can rearrange all you want). Anyone who doesn't submit a second round ballot will be assumed to be okay with the Round 1 results and treated as though they submitted a Round 2 ballot with no changes.)

3) I'll tabulate the results of round 2, and that will be the final list that we post online here and release externally to the world; we'll start collecting blurbs, etc.

4) Rather than make a series of contingent plans for each possible result, we'll build in this contingency: if at least 5 of the voters (approximately 22%) express reservations, either via the live stream or e-mail) that the list needs something more/other than tweaking, we'll reconvene here to discuss what additional changes to the process we want to make. 

 

As we've worked through this process, the criteria that has most consistently emerged for voting is, I think, that we want the list to be not a reflection of a certain set of formal guidelines but as accurately as possible a reflection of who we (Arts & Faith) are, at least as currently constituted. I want the process to reflect that as well as the films.

 

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Just so I understand, Ken, you're proposing that after the preliminary results are announced:

  1. If I'm okay with the top 25, I can sit out the second round and my points will be alloted in the first round order: 1 point to the #1 film, 2 to #2, and so on to 25. So if we have 20 voters, the #1 film will begin with 20 points, #2 with 40, and so on to 500.
  2. If Rob chooses to vote in round 2, he could drop the #1 film down to #25, which would raise its raw score to 44 (25 points from him, 19 from the other 19 voters). And so on.
  3. The new totals will determine the new order, with lowest score at #1, highest score at #25.

I kinda like this idea. With so many voters, no one person will be able to exercise too much influence over the results. And it also solves another problem I'd considered, which is that less than half of the voters are actively participating in these discussions, so getting everyone to vote a second time might be a challenge.

Ken, I'm happy to make an online tool to do the work for you. It would take 5 minutes tops.

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2 minutes ago, Darren H said:

Just so I understand, Ken, you're proposing that after the preliminary results are announced:

  1. If I'm okay with the top 25, I can sit out the second round and my points will be alloted in the first round order: 1 point to the #1 film, 2 to #2, and so on to 25. So if we have 20 voters, the #1 film will begin with 20 points, #2 with 40, and so on to 500.
  2. If Rob chooses to vote in round 2, he could drop the #1 film down to #25, which would raise its raw score to 44 (25 points from him, 19 from the other 19 voters). And so on.
  3. The new totals will determine the new order, with lowest score at #1, highest score at #25.

I kinda like this idea. With so many voters, no one person will be able to exercise too much influence over the results. And it also solves another problem I'd considered, which is that less than half of the voters are actively participating in these discussions, so getting everyone to vote a second time might be a challenge.

Ken, I'm happy to make an online tool to do the work for you. It would take 5 minutes tops.

Yes, thank you. You are understanding me. Also, as regards #2, no *one* voter could probably change the ranking of a film more than a slot (or maybe two) but if , say 4 or 5 voters flip flop 1 and 2 or raise #25 to somewhere in the Top 10, that should have a little more impact. 

Then again, if I decide Magnolia should go from 15 to 25 and someone else decides it should go from 15 to 1, it will probably end up at....15.

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For the sake of transparency, here's my plan for Monday:

  1. Rotate the table so each film is a row and each voter is a column.
  2. Add a column that sums the total points alloted to each film.
  3. Add a column that sums the total number of votes cast for each film (omits Haven't Seen).
  4. Add a column that divides total points by total votes = raw average score.
  5. Look at the distribution of number of votes cast for each film to determine the bottom limit. We will want to only consider films that receive a certain minimum number of votes. I'll look at the devations in the data to find a cutoff point that makes sense.
  6. Remove all films that fall below the minimum threshold for votes cast.
  7. Add a column that weighs the raw average using the formula we discussed here.
  8. Sort the films by weighted average with highest score on top.
  9. Go through the top films and cut out the third, fourth, fifth, etc. films by directors who already have two films until I'm left with the top 100 films.

Sound good?

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Thanks, D. 
I'm genuinely curious to see the results. Thanks for everyone for participating. It's been a nice way for me to take some of the edge off isolation.

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Just submitted my ballot! Apparently I like to make last-minute decisions on these things, and definitely swapped a few 3s and 4s as I read the titles again. Darren, thank you for your good work on the forms, spreadsheets, and voting process. Looking forward to seeing the results!

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I follow this plan, though I couldn't have come up with it. I salute your logistical skills.

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 also just submitted, calling a few rating audibles along the way. I confess that I'm not really understanding all the talk about what comes next, but whatever it is, I'll try to roll with it.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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2 hours ago, Darren H said:

For the sake of transparency, here's my plan for Monday:

  1. Rotate the table so each film is a row and each voter is a column

And for the sake of transparency on my end, and during the call announcing the results, can you confirm that the individual votes won't be visible to anyone but you (and maybe Ken)? I know most of us aren't shy about our opinions and have already shared our Top 25 lists, but with some rejiggering to follow the initial rollout of the "final" results (if I've kept up with the evolving conversation), I'd rather not be the object of some sort of lobbying campaign - during the results call or afterward - by proponents of a certain film I've rated lower than most. 

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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