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Voting is live. Deadline: Sunday, May 10


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The form for scoring all 350 films is now live. I'll close it at midnight (EDT) on Sunday, May 10. There are a few tips and instructions on the first page, so read them closely before beginning. If you run into any problems, feel free to email me.

As a reminder, the attached spreadsheet might come in handy as you're preparing to vote.

AnFtop100-final.xlsx

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As a younger, less-academically inclined sort whose life was changed ten years ago after finding the Arts & Faith Top 100 list from 2010, I'm struggling with a strong desire to participate in this ballot while also feeling a mounting tentativeness with every "Haven't Seen" box I'd have to check in order to get through the entire list.

I spent a good couple hours with the spreadsheet this morning, and of the 350 nominees I've only seen around 170, or not even half of all the films on the list.

On one hand, I'm eagerly anticipating all the diverse, new-to-me titles that will inevitably make it to the final 100... however, on that same hand, I'm very concerned that by participating in the vote I may inadvertently harm the chances of deserving titles that would otherwise show up higher on the list. I feel as though I *do* have strong, well-earned opinions relating to most of the 170 films I *have* seen, but I guess I'm just feeling anxious about not knowing how exactly my "Haven't Seen" boxes might affect the final scoring.

This list just means a lot to me, and perhaps I'm overthinking it. But I would hope that one of the community regulars here wouldn't hesitate to be blunt with me if in fact it would be better for everyone if I just held off for another decade. (Or for that matter, if there's some eligibility criteria for participating that I've just flat-out missed.)

Edited by Jeremy Ratzlaff
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Please do vote, Jeremy, especially if the list is meaningful to you. I haven't seen nearly as many films as some of those who will be voting, and while I'm an academic, I'm not an expert in film history or film studies. Nevertheless, as a member of A&F, I want my vote to count. I expect there will be more than enough participation from wide-viewing critics.

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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Jeremy, please vote! As I just mentioned to Ken in a separate note, I've always suspected that if we just reveal the final weighted and ranked top 100, nearly all of us will read it and think, "I wouldn't mind shuffling the order a bit, but this looks about right." With 22 voters and a slight bit of weighting, we'll end up with a list of consensus picks, along with some quirkier unexpected choices, which will make it more interesting in the long run. I'm guessing some of your strong opinions are shared by other voters and some aren't, so let your voice be heard!

From a nerdy statistical perspective, my only concern is that more than half of the nominated films are from the last 30 years and, because more of us are more likely to have seen those films, I worry we'll end up with a list that is a bit too heavy (for my tastes) on recent films. For what it's worth, I've made some effort to distribute my points across the decades.

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Jeremy, you're very invited, welcomed, and encouraged to vote and participate! AFAIK, the main criteria for participation is A&F membership. And I resonate with your sentiments, especially how significant the Top 100 from 2010 was for me—maybe even "spiritually significant." Somehow I've ended up as one of the academic-minded film critic folks, and I would largely attribute to my discovery of A&F via one of the Top 100 lists over a decade ago as a key part of that personal development.

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So, I've begun my initial ranking of films so I can sit on some of those "bubble" films and sort out approximately what my own top 100 would look like. Some tough choices.

Jeremy, I've done a PhD in literature and film studies and there are still just over 100 films nominated that I haven't seen, despite filling in a half dozen or so over the last month, so it's inevitably going to feel like we've got holes to fill. There's only so much time and resources a person can put into a labour of love (was it Darren who once wrote about the value of the amateur as the person who does something out of love and not vocation? that's always resonated with me), but the fact that it's out of love and devotion makes it valuable, I think.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Jeremy, you're obviously a cinephile for whom meaning matters in movies, and you're an A&F member, so I'll go beyond asking you to vote, and say that we need you to vote.  I suspect most of us here feel the impostor syndrome to varying degrees...and yeah, there will be plenty of "haven't seen it" marks on my ballot, too.  

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Hey Jeremy, couple of thoughts.:

--There are 23 people who did nominations. I don't have the data for every A&F list in the last decade, but I thought I saw from at least one of the early Top 25s (marriage?) there were 46 voters. Fewer voters means everyone has more of an impact, and while that can be intimidating, it is also refreshing. My experience with critics' organizations is the larger the group, the more the results all look the same. Instead of feeling bad about the film you haven't seen, rejoice that you are in a position to draw people's attention to a film you have seen. Is there *one* film that you really want to champion? That will make you feel like, "I'm so glad I did this, because, if nothing else, I got _________ in front of voters"? Or, if not, is there one film from the Top 100 that was meaningful to you...that you would be crushed to see fall by the wayside? Every group has holes in their knowledge and expertise, but every group also has blind spots. 

--When I bought A&F, I don't think Image or I knew at the time, but it was within 72 hours of being deleted by the the web host. (That wasn't deliberate on Image's part, they were just waiting to figure out who their next editor was going to be and in the meantime notice of unpaid renewals were going to staff emails that were no longer being monitored.) The lion's share of my reason for buying the site was to preserve past lists and the practice of making new ones. It encourages me to hear that the Top 100 had a positive impact on you. Thank you for sharing that; it makes me feel good about preserving the site. If the A&F Top 100 was meaningful to you, the best way to pay it forward is to participate so that there can be more lists for the people who are in the same place you were at and more health for the board so that the the past lists can live on as well.



 

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My goodness, what an overwhelming response. Thank you, A&F community. I'm so encouraged by all the words written here not only for my own sake but because the vision and intention of this list has been made more apparent than ever, and that's a massively exciting thing to be apart of. 

Ken, that near-miss story is intense. I'm so grateful you stepped in the way you did! Checking in on these forums to read the A&F hot take after watching a film that surprised me has become almost a ritual ever since my first year of college and it would have been a devastating shock to see it just disappear one day. 

Can't wait to see the results! 

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1 hour ago, Andrew said:

Wow, I had no idea...I would've been gutted by that loss.

Providential if one believes in that sort of thing. I had been talking to them for months, and neither of us was in a super hurry (though I was a little more impatient because it was in October and wanted to get it settled in time to do Ecumenical Jury). Once they agreed to sell, after I paid, In the process of looking for admin passwords they found e-mails from the web host that the account had been cancelled and we they had 72 hours to renew before the data was deleted. 

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I currently have twenty-eight 6s, forty-nine 5s, and seventy-seven 4s; I've made the easier cuts, now to start making the more difficult ones. I'm thinking about giving 4s to anything I wouldn't mind seeing in the last 25 or so slots, because there are definitely more than 100 films I would be pleased to see on the list, saving 3 and lower for films that would be a somewhat disappointing on the list given what the other nominees are.

 

And Jeremy, please do vote, you're a thoughtful cinephile, with great insights into movie's and your voice will make this list all the richer. If you're worried about not having seen enough nominees (and you really shouldn't be), just give out a few less 5s and 6s to save some space for films you haven't seen making the cut. That should also allow your 5s and 6s to carry a little more weight for the films you do want to champion. But honestly, there's no need for you to do that.

Edited by Evan C

"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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2 hours ago, Evan C said:

I currently have twenty-eight 6s, forty-nine 5s, and seventy-seven 4s; I've made the easier cuts, now to start making the more difficult ones. I'm thinking about giving 4s to anything I wouldn't mind seeing in the last 25 or so slots, because there are definitely more than 100 films I would be pleased to see on the list, saving 3 and lower for films that would be a somewhat disappointing on the list given what the other nominees are.

I am having the exact opposite problem. I feel like I've stretched for some of my 4s and I still only have 82 films making the cut. So I have to upgrade some of my 5s to 6s, some of my 4s to 5s, and at least 15 of my 3s to 4s. Well, I don't *have* to, but...

Not sure if I'm just a "get off my lawn" grump. I suspect part of it is that I'm trying to hold to the 2 director rule internally. I guess I could solve that by just giving 5s to all  all the films from the directors for whom I have an entry that I personally want at the 5-6 level, but I think I'd rather upgrade some 3s for films that I don't personally connect with but that people are making persuasive appeals for...

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I submitted earlier today as well. Thought I had posted here, but it looks as though I may have emailed Darren directly and left it at that. As I told him in my email and think is worth sharing here, although maybe a separate “Reflections on the 2020 Top 100” thread is called for, this has been tremendously rewarding for me. I had, and still have, several Criterion DVDs on my shelf that I hadn’t/still haven’t watched, and the Top 100 spurred me to watch many of them. A few of those titles underwhelmed me, but that’s in part because they paled in comparison to the films that bowled me over (don’t want to sound like I’m lobbying while the vote is still open, but I’ve posted here and or tweeted about intense responses to two Antonioni films as well as to films from Resnais and Renoir - which isn't to say that I rated them all "6"s). So, while the rankings matter, they’re not all that important to me. It really is the process that makes this list something I love being part of - this time more than any other A&F list I’ve been a part of, mainly because I invested more time in watching and weighing the nominees. Oh, and the discussions on the board! There’s something Darren wrote about what a “spiritual film” is in his experience and how that’s changed across our lists that encapsulated much of my own current thinking (even though his list will look different from mine). Sorry that I don’t have it ready to excerpt here, but know that moments like those, especially where I am currently in my own cinephilia, matter. I don’t begrudge others who think differently - I think differently on any given day! But those comments remind me of how special this place is and of how much I’ve cherished being here as long as I have been. Thanks to all of you.

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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I've done my initial ranking before I make final cuts and submit my votes tomorrow.

I'm at 15, 26, 66 in the last couple categories. Trying to decide what I think is really worthy is harder than cutting.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Of my 19 "6"s, five begin with the letter "A."

And on that note, I'm going to bed.

"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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11 hours ago, Christian said:

Of my 19 "6"s, five begin with the letter "A."

And on that note, I'm going to bed.

Five of my 6s begin with "A" as well!

"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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