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Here is a link to my thoughts on the new list.

If we are going to have a press thread on the list this year, I can move this post.

Edited by MLeary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I liked your thoughts on the list. It is a perilous thing to put together a list by popular vote of our group and then all of us put our names on it. I suppose, though, it isn't much different than all of us sharing the name of "Christian" or "American."


Since 1995 we have authored a commentary on film, cinema in focus. Though we enjoy cinema as an art form, our interests lie not so much in reviewing a film as in beginning a conversation about the social and spiritual values presented. We, therefore, often rate a film higher or lower due to its message rather than its quality of acting or film-making.

Cinema In Focus Website

Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara Website

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re: MLeary's commentary/introduction to the new list...

I was quite moved by your thoughts - you put fine words to the aesthetic/spiritual experience that I treasure in my favorite films - thank you.

I think I have a fairly unique position within this group because [a] I've studied international art film for years, but mostly only love ones that touch on the very spiritual themes that are emphasized in this list, and last time I checked, I was in no way a Christian. ("jubu" - get it?) Concerning the first matter, here are my stats from the old to new list:

Total Seen: [2004=77] 2005=72

All-time Personal Favorite Top 250: [2004=49] 2005=45

All-time Personal Favorite Top 100: [2004=23] 2005=34

I was surprised that my total films seen went down; and was sorry to see some favorites go (ex. Crimes-n-Misdemeanors, Waking Life), but happy to see some others enter; but what is quite striking (and frankly, expected on my part) is how many of my top-top favorites have made the cut. As a member of DVD Beaver, CriterionForum, IMDB-Classics, etc., and a compulsive movie-list-hound as well, so it really means alot to me that there are 34 overlaps between my top 100 and the new list.

BTW, anyone in the NYC area who want to chat about the second matter over coffee, I look forward to such a potentially meaningful discussion. Truly.


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