Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Project)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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domino harvey
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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#176 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:08 pm

So the good news is that we have nine submitted lists so far, which means we've managed to at the very least tie our least-participated list project. The sad news is that several high profile contributors who've posted in this thread haven't submitted anything to me, though perhaps they're waiting til the last minute to punt in their own hail mary

EDIT: Also, no edits of your submitted list as of right now. Sorry, live with your regrets

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#177 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:08 pm

Okay, while we wait for any additional lists, as of right now there are only 81 qualifying films for the main list. On the bright side, and I'll spoiler this in case you really don't want to know this kind of hint (though it's only relevant to those who submitted)
SpoilerShow
Everyone's number one pick safely made the main list

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#178 Post by swo17 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:48 pm

Is it clear yet from the results which is the one true religion?

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#179 Post by zedz » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:04 pm

swo17 wrote:Is it clear yet from the results which is the one true religion?
List-making.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#180 Post by swo17 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:06 pm

Current membership: 9

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#181 Post by Shrew » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:03 pm

I'll be sending in mine after I get home from work today, since my not-quite-finalized list is on my home PC.

And as I mentioned earlier, here's a last ditch argument for Jia Zhangke's Unknown Pleasures as a film about faith, which fortunately will also double for a Jia Zhangke spotlight in the 2000s thread.

Unknown Pleasures- The Chinese title (Ren Xiao Yao, Let Free and Unfettered) comes not from Joy Division but the title of a Chinese pop song featured in the film. Both are referencing the first chapter of the Daoist classic Zhuangzi (Xiao Yao You, Wandering Free and Unfettered). It's a dense and complicated work, but the main relevant ideas are that 1) One may think they are "free" or have everything they need, but this is because their perspective is limited. 2) To truly be "free and unfettered" means not relying on the external world, i.e. a bird may appear free but still relies on the air and wind to fly.

Jia's film is concerned with exploring how modern China has inherited these ideas but not fully understood them. For example, the kids in the film have a larger perspective than their parents, because they can see western movies like Pulp Fiction and are aware of the global world, but this only convinces them that they are comparatively trapped. They want to be "free and unfettered" but don't recognize that relying on money is merely another form of entrapment. Hence, all the scenes of characters repeating an action over and over (trying to gun a motorcycle up a hill or running from an abusive ex only to be pushed back), which reflect the cycle the characters are trapped in.

In one passage of the film, Zhao Tao's character relates the famous story of how Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly (which she has a tattoo of), and after waking up could not remember if he was a man dreaming of being a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming of being a man. However, she misinterprets the story to mean that one should strive to be absolutely free, like the butterfly, which to her means doing whatever she wants (it's really more about the arbitrary separation of things). The one person who does seem to "get" Zhuangzi's philosophy is Jia himself, in a cameo near the beginning of the film as a man singing to himself in a near empty auditorium.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#182 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:47 pm

swo17 wrote:Current membership: 9
Last minute surge of lists has brought us up to

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#183 Post by knives » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:59 pm

Jesus? Does that make 13 or 14 lists.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#184 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:05 pm

As many lists as apostles

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#185 Post by swo17 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:06 pm

There are 12 apostles in that portrait but it looks like half of them also have a set of footsteps beside them, so there must actually be 18 lists!

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#186 Post by knives » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:10 pm

Honestly thought there were 13 apostles.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#187 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:23 pm

Can now confirm we now have well over 100 films for our list, much to my surprise. List has become slightly more expected as more submissions come in (as per the norm), but there's going to be some eye-opening films that managed to chart the same. Still one pretty giant shocker in terms of an orphaned title I would have bet money to make the Top 10, but a last minute reprieve could still come I guess!

EDIT: Ha, and it literally just did with lucky submission number thirteen! I got the PM notification the moment I hit submit. Talk about divine intervention!

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#188 Post by swo17 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:44 pm

domino harvey wrote:Also, no edits of your submitted list as of right now. Sorry, live with your regrets
Aw nuts, I just realized I forgot Meek's Cutoff, whose final shot is the perfect embodiment of the concept of faith. My apologies in advance if this ends up anyone's orphan.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#189 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:58 am

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THE FILMS OF FAITH TOP 102

01 Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer 1955) 342
02 the Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer 1928) 335
03 Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky 1966) 302
04 the Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman 1957) 262
05 Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman 1962) 229
06 the Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton 1955) 218
07 Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier 1996) 209
07 the Flowers of St Francis / Francisco, guillare de Dio (Roberto Rossellini 1950) 209
09 the Milky Way (Luis Bunuel 1969) 202
10 the Gospel According to St Matthew / Il vangelo secondo Matteo (Pier Paolo Pasolini 1964) 191
10 Simon of the Desert (Luis Bunuel 1965) 191

12 Black Narcissus (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger 1947) 172
13 My Night at Maud’s (Eric Rohmer 1969) 170
14 the Devil and Daniel Webster (William Dieterle 1941) 165
15 the Song of Bernadette (Henry King 1943) 164
16 Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky 1979) 161
17 Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson 1951) 152
18 Where is the Friend’s Home? (Abbas Kiarostami 1987) 147
19 the Wicker Man (Robin Hardy 1973) 144
20 After Life (Hirokazu Koreeda 1998) 135

21 Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders 1987) 133
22 Dogville (Lars von Trier 2003) 125
22 Faust (F.W. Murnau 1926) 125
24 A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson 1956) 121
25 the Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov 1968) 121
26 Leon Morin Priest (Jean-Pierre Melville 1961) 120
27 Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg 1973) 119
28 Marketa Lazarova (František Vláčil 1967) 117
29 Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman 1961) 114
30 Elmer Gantry (Richard Brooks 1960) 112

31 the Devils (Ken Russell 1971) 110
32 A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger 1944) 109
33 the House Is Black (Forough Farrokhzād 1963) 107
34 the Decalogue (Krzysztof Kieslowski 1989) 105
35 Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky 1983) 104
36 Devi / the Goddess (Satyajit Ray 1960) 100
37 Anna und Elisabeth (Frank Wysbar 1933) 98
38 Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen 1989) 97
39 the Master (Paul Thomas Anderson 2012) 87
40 Blaise Pascal (Roberto Rossellini 1972) 85

41 Austeria (Jerzy Kawalerowicz 1982) 84
42 A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger 1946) 79
42 the Annunciation (András Jeles 1984) 79
44 the Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese 1988) 78
45 the Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa 1956) 76
45 Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini 1968) 76
47 Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini 1945) 74
47 To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett 1990) 74
49 the Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (Stan Brakhage 1971) 73
49 the Tree of Life (Terrence Malick 2011) 73

51 the Ballad of Narayama (Shohei Imamura 1983) 72
51 Shoah (Claude Lanzmann 1985) 72
53 Anchoress (Chris Newby 1993) 71
53 Intolerance (D.W. Griffith 1916) 71
55 Homicide (David Mamet 1990) 70
56 the Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman 1960) 68
56 Wise Blood (John Huston 1979) 68
58 the New World (Terrence Malick 2005) 67
58 Viridiana (Luis Bunuel 1961) 67
60 Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Terry Jones 1979) 66

61 the Nun’s Story (Fred Zinnemann 1959) 65
62 Hail Mary / Je vous salue, Marie (Jean-Luc Godard 1985) 64
62 Heaven Can Wait (Ernst Lubitsch 1943) 64
62 Les maitres fou (Jean Rouch 1955) 64
62 the Son (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne 2002) 64
66 Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…Spring (Kim Ki-Duk 2003) 63
67 the Ruling Class (Peter Medak 1972) 62
67 the Village (M Night Shyamalan 2004) 62
69 the Holy Mountain (Alejandro Jodorowsky 1973) 60
70 Pickpocket (Robert Bresson 1959) 60

71 the Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel 1962) 59
72 Mirror (Andrey Tarkovsky 1975) 58
73 Doubt (John Patrick Shanley 2008) 56
73 God on Trial (Andy de Emmony 2008) 56
74 Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson 1966) 53
75 Fährmann Maria (Frank Wysbar 1936) 53
76 Melody for a Street Organ (Kira Muratova 2009) 52
77 Hawks and Sparrows (Pier Paolo Pasolini 1967) 51
77 Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Alexander Hall 1941) 51
77 To the Wonder (Terence Malick 2012) 51
80 Sgt York (Howard Hawks 1941) 49

81 La Main du diable (Maurice Tourneur, 1943) 48
82 Haxan (Benjamin Christensen 1922) 47
83 A Touch of Zen (King Hu 1971) 45
83 the Thin Red Line (Terence Malick, 1998) 45
85 A Brief History of Time (Errol Morris, 1991) 43
85 Le Pont des Arts (Eugène Green 2004) 43
85 Mujo (Akio Jissoji 1970) 43
85 Profound Desires of the Gods (Shohei Imamura 1968) 43
85 Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi 1953) 43
90 Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski 2013) 42
90 the Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira 2010) 42

92 Black God, White Devil (Glauber Rocha 1964) 41
92 Der mude Tod (Fritz Lang 1921) 41
92 I Confess (Alfred Hitchcock 1953) 41
92 Miracle in Milan / Miracolo a Milano (Vittorio De Sica 1950) 41
96 God Told Me To (Larry Cohen 1976) 40
97 Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen 2014) 39
97 Orpheus (Jean Cocteau 1950) 39
99 the Shoes of the Fisherman (Michael Anderson 1968) 38
100 After Death (Evgeni Bauer 1915) 37
100 Perceval (Eric Rohmer 1978) 37
100 the Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock 1958) 37


ALSO RANS

(35-30) A Walk through H, Onibaba, Antichrist, Lake of Fire, Mother Joan of the Angels, A Serious Man, Princess Mononoke

(28-22) Blue Like Jazz, I Walked with a Zombie, Frailty, L'Age d'or, the Baby of Macon, Der Dibuk, the Horse Thief, Pi, Secret Sunshine, There Will Be Blood

(15-13) God’s Angry Man, Godspell

(7) Persepolis


ORPHANS

A, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, A Chinese Ghost Story, A Dangerous Method, A Plea to God, A Taste of Cherry, Adam's Apples, the Addiction, Agnes of God, All the Ships at Sea, Alucarda, Amadeus, Angels and Demons, Apocalypse Now, the Apostle, Apotheosis, Antonio Gaudi, Anything Can Happen, the Apu Trilogy, Army of Shadows, Arranged, the Asphyx, Au revoir les enfants

Bad Lieutenant, Barton Fink, Beetlejuice, Being There, the Bells of St. Mary's, the Bible: In the Beginning, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Bimbo’s Initiation, the Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ, the Bishop's Wife, Black Robe, Black Snake Moan, the Book of Life, Brand Upon the Brain!, Bringing Out the Dead, the Brotherhood of Satan

Cabin in the Sky, Candyman, Chariots of Fire, Chronicle of Anna Magdalene Bach, City Lights, City of Pirates, Cold Heaven, the Color of Paradise, the Convent, the Cow, Cries and Whispers, the Cyclist

Daens, Dante's Inferno, Das blaue Licht, Days of Heaven, Day of Wrath, Dead Man, Dead Man Walking, Death and Transfiguration, Der Student von Prag, Der verlorene Sohn, Deseret, the Devil's Playground, Diabel, Diamonds of the Night, Die Pest in Florenz, Divine Horsemen: the Living Gods of Haiti, Dodesukaden, the Dragon Painter, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

8 1/2, Él, El Cid, Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, the End of The Affair (1955), the Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Essene, Europa 51, Everyday Life in a Syrian Village, the Exorcist, Eyes Wide Shut

Fanny and Alexander, Fantasia, Fata Morgana, the Film to Come, Final Destination 3, Finza, Fish and Cat, Footnote, the Fountain, Friendly Persuasion, Fuego en Castilla

Gandahar, Garm Hava, Gates of Heaven, Genesis (1998), Gertrud, the Girl in a Swing, Going my way, Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle, Golem, l'esprit de l'exil, Golgotha, Gone to Earth, Goodbye, Dragon Inn, the Green Ray, Guelwaar

Hadewijch, Hear My Cry, Heart of Glass, Higher Ground, Himala, How Green Was My Valley, Huis clos

I Live in Fear, I, The Worst Of All, In That Country, In youth Beside the Lonely Sea, Incident at Owl Creek Bridge, the Incredible Shrinking Man, Inherit the Wind, the Inn of the Sixth Happiness, It's a Wonderful Life

Jauja, Jean de Florette (1986), Jeanne la Pucelle (1994), Jesus Christ Superstar

Kapo, Kill List, King Neptune, Kundun, Kurosawa's Dreams, Kwaidan

L’Humanite, La Dolce Vita, La religieuse, La Sapienza, Land of Plenty, Land of Silence and Darkness, Landscape in the Mist, the Last Supper, Le diable probablement, Le quattro volte, Le Revelateur, Le samurai, Les visiteurs du soir, Life and Nothing More, Life on a String, Liliom (1930), Logan's Run, Lord of Illusions, Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers

the Magdalene Sisters, the Magician, Magnolia, Manos the Hands of Fate, Marcelino Pan y Vino, Marjoe, Marie, légende hongroise, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Matir Moyna, Medea, Melancholia, Missing, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Moses and Aaron, Motion Painting No. 1, My Father, My Lord

Naked Island, Nazarin, Near Death, the Nest, the Next Voice You Hear…, Night and Fog, the Night of Counting the Years, Noah, Noah's Ark, Nothing Lasts Forever

One11 and 103, Only the Young, Organ, the Ossuary, Our Daily Bread

Palms, Pastor Hall, Patriotism, Peter Ibbetson, the Phantom Carriage, Phantom of the Paradise, Pied Piper, Post Tenebras Lux, the Power of Kangwon Province, the Power of Nightmares, Priest (1994), the Prince of Egypt, Procès de Jeanne d'Arc

the Quince Tree Sun

the Rabbi's Cat, Ragbar, Raging Bull, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Raining in the Mountain (King Hu), the Rapture, Red Beard, Red Hook Summer, Romeo, Juliet, and Darkness

the Sacrifice, Saint Joan, Salomè, Santo Luzbel, Say Amen, Somebody, Sebastiane, 7th Heaven, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Signs, Silence, Solaris, Spirited Away, Stars in My Crown, Static, Stella Maris, Sullivan's Travels, Sunday Bloody Sunday, the Swimmer, Swing, You Sinners!, Syndromes and a Century

Tabu, Take Shelter, the Ten Commandments (1956), the Tenant, Tender Mercies, 35 Shots of Rum, This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse, Ticket to Heaven, Time of the Wolf, the Trial, Triangle, Tropical Malady, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Under Satan's Sun, Under the Skin, Unknown Pleasures

Vertigo

Wagon Master, Waking Life, Walkabout, War of the Worlds (1953), Warriors of the Magic Mountain, Watership Down, What Time is it There?, Where Are My Children?, Whistle Down The Wind, the White Meadows, Wild Strawberries, the Wind Will Carry Us, the Wings of Honneamise, Witches Hammer, Wristcutters: A Love Story

Xala

Yeelen, You Can't Take it with You

Zardoz

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#190 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:10 am

domino harvey wrote:We have a frontrunner. My hint is that the film has been released by the Criterion Collection. Not much of a hint, since the same could be said for at least a quarter of the final list so far, but there you go
As you may have surmised, this clue was never not accurate no matter what film switched places, given that all but one of the titles in the Top 10 (11) are Criterion releases. And Au Hasard Balthazar was the "obvious" film that nearly got orphaned

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#191 Post by swo17 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:48 am

I love this list--thanks for all your hard work, domino!

I must say I'm surprised by Dogville's performance. It hadn't occurred to me to include it and I didn't see anyone mention it in the thread. Was everyone in the community that took advantage of Nicole Kidman's character doing so in their capacity as members of a church? That's not a detail that I recall, though I see that IMDb lists "church" as one of the film's plot keywords. In any case, I think the film is more critical of human nature in general than of any one element of it like religion. Though it's been several years since I last saw it.

Here is my personal list, all of which I've commented on earlier in the thread (mostly here):

01. Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)
02. Where Is the Friend's Home? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987)
03. The Son (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2002)
04. Léon Morin, Priest (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961)
05. The Convent (Manoel de Oliveira, 1995) -- ORPHAN
06. Fuego en Castilla (José Val del Omar, 1961) -- ORPHAN
07. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)
08. Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968)
09. Blaise Pascal (Roberto Rossellini, 1972)
10. The Decalogue (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1989)
11. The Gospel According to Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964)
12. A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)
13. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
14. Our Daily Bread (King Vidor, 1934) -- ORPHAN
15. The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov, 1968)
16. The House Is Black (Forough Farrokhzād, 1963)
17. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
18. The Annunciation (András Jeles, 1984)
19. Anna und Elisabeth (Frank Wisbar, 1933)
20. Intolerance (D.W. Griffith, 1916)
21. Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson, 1951)
22. The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini, 1950)
23. Black Narcissus (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1947)
24. Él (Luis Buñuel, 1953) -- ORPHAN
25. Les Maîtres fous (Jean Rouch, 1955)
26. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)
27. Marketa Lazarová (František Vláčil, 1967)
28. Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983)
29. Where Are My Children? (Lois Weber & Phillips Smalley, 1916) -- ORPHAN
30. A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2009) -- ALSO RAN
31. After Death (Yevgeni Bauer, 1915)
32. Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman, 1963)
33. Melody for a Street Organ (Kira Muratova, 2009)
34. Horse Thief (Tian Zhuangzhuang, 1986) -- ALSO RAN
35. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931) -- ORPHAN
36. To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett, 1990)
37. Palms (Artour Aristakisian, 1994) -- ORPHAN
38. Simon of the Desert (Luis Buñuel, 1965)
39. Deseret (James Benning, 1995) -- ORPHAN
40. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006) -- ORPHAN
41. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978) -- ORPHAN
42. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) -- ALSO RAN
43. Landscape in the Mist (Theodoros Angelopoulos, 1988) -- ORPHAN
44. Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2013) -- ORPHAN
45. Le Pont des Arts (Eugène Green, 2004)
46. The Goddess (Satyajit Ray, 1960)
47. Near Death (Frederick Wiseman, 1989) -- ORPHAN
48. Le quattro volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2011) -- ORPHAN
49. The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ (Alice Guy, 1906) -- ORPHAN
50. Godspell (David Greene, 1973) -- ALSO RAN

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#192 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:49 pm

I voted for Dogville, but not because I read religious aspects into those subjecting Grace to suffering, but rather for the divine retribution she and her father strike down on the town in their moment of judgment.

My Top 10 Plus Orphans

01 the Song of Bernadette Beautiful, painful, inspirational, and exhaustively related, this is one of the greatest products of the Hollywood era, one produced and realized uncynically and with great wealth of emotion and belief.

02 Elmer Gantry I recently screened this for my students and I was surprised upon revisiting how deftly the film gives us all sides of the argument for and against Christianity as an organized religion. Arthur Kennedy's atheist is a historically important character in Hollywood film and shows the willingness of the studios to compete with foreign cinemas and TV by expanding their breadth. Brooks' film is filled with four of the best performances of the era, two of which justly took home Oscars. The film is perhaps ultimately less opposed to religion than to those who believe their own self-bolstered hype (or, as Mamet crudely put it elsewhere, when you start coming with the customers, it's time to quit)

03 Winter Light As sad and empty a movie as one can imagine, even for Bergman. A film of self-doubt and faith-in-crisis shouldn't be anything but.

04 the Milky Way Bunuel did quite well, which is to be expected for a director who relished thumbing his nose at organized religion while still exhibiting a vast insider knowledge of the ins and outs, leading to this film's hyper-specific criticisms and in-jokes. The ultimate in lapsed Catholic entertainment.

05 the Annunciation We've all seen the tales of the Old Testament many times over (and many of them made our list), but never have I seen anything quite like this Max Fischer production, placing an all child cast into the familiar narrative and disorienting the viewer with tangents into historically mishmashed encounters.

06 Sgt York Deeply sincere tale of rebirth and salvation. I know a lot of people get turned off by the violent turn this one takes, but this is one of the greatest "Hero Tales" ever made.

07 Pickpocket
08 Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Films of redemption, of the irredeemable finding grace and hope regardless of past sins and present flaws. The ending to Pickpocket remains one of the most powerful ever put on film, and transversely the opening to Heaven Can Wait remains the most cheerfully perfect first five minutes of any film.

09 Triangle ORPHAN
10 the Girl in a Swing ORPHAN
And here are films of damnation, of a world where our past sins are not forgiven but rather avenged by the world itself, with the laws of nature bending to the will of punishment and vengeance. I've already been pretty successful at getting people to see Triangle (though it didn't occur to me to vote for it here til too late in the game for it make an impact on the list), but I truly hope anyone reading this seeks out the Girl in a Swing, it hasn't quite left my head since first viewing and it deserves an audience.

14 Saint Joan Jeanne d'arc was a popular figure on the list, but with apologies to Dreyer and Bresson this is my favorite iteration of the familiar tale, helped immensely by Richard Widmark's one of a kind performance as the Dauphin.

18 the Bishop's Wife One of the purest works of goodness and joy ever put on the screen, this remains for me the ultimate Christmas film.

20 Raiders of the Lost Ark A deeply satisfying action film capped with divine punishment for the Nazis, what more could anyone ask for?

21 Land of Plenty I will never get anyone else to back my play on this film, but it remains a film of deep personal importance for me. Wenders' portrayal of Michelle Williams' former missionary, arriving in a homeless shelter in LA and working to reconnect with her paranoid uncle, is filled with complicated observations on Christianity, but ultimately shows its strength and power and ability to facilitate understanding and love.

23 Wristcutters: A Love Story One of the most creative interpretations of the afterlife ever committed to film, where the world beyond is just like the one we left, only a little bit worse for those who killed themselves.

27 the Inn of the Sixth Happiness A stunning true-life tale of an amateur Christian missionary who gives all she has to save the lives of countless innocents in the years leading up to the war, this is the kind of top shelf inspirational entertainment the world could use more of (and the same goes for its real life figure)

28 Final Destination 3 The greatest atheist film ever made. Earlier entries in this series showed a hand of fate, Death, God, whoever lining up complicated accidents in order to course-correct an earlier averted death. This film does something for more clever and disturbing: it posits no supernatural forces at work when people die, even when they bite it in a series of gobsmacking coincidental accidents. Every complex series of Rube Goldberg-esque killings in this film are merely a result of small individual component parts working together by sheer accident. This is in many ways a film like Surviving Edged Weapons in its ability to inspire panic and fear in the everyday, showing us an empty and cruel world ruled by nothing.

31 the Ten Commandments (1956) One of the best known of Hollywood's biblical epics is also still its best, with DeMille showing he knows how to entertain an audience while throwing money at the screen with wild abandon.

32 the Brotherhood of Satan Satan fared pretty poorly on this list, didn't he? Poor guy, he should've hired a lobbyist for this project.

38 Angels and Demons Justified and extrapolated on elsewhere in this thread.

40 Signs I was pleased to see the Village do so well (maybe in twenty years we can get the general assessment on that film rightly switched over to masterpiece), but this even more explicitly Christian film from Shyamalan unfortunately failed to register here.

42 Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey I think we all want to imagine being able to challenge Death to Battleship when we pass on to the next life.

46 Lord of Illusions
49 Martha Marcy May Marlene
Cults didn't fare too well on the list, either.

50 Agnes of God Flawed and ineffective for most of its running time, the audaciousness of its last ten minutes and the great perf by Meg Tilly still more than merit this one placing in the traditional wacky number fifty slot.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#193 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:15 pm

I voted for Dogville in part because it fit in well with the thread of politics and religious structures combining forces against itinerant individuals in my list! The use of church as a meeting place and Grace waiting on the edge of town listening for each toll of the bell ringing to signifiy each vote being cast adds an interesting political edge. Then there is the honest toil to earn followed by the destruction of Grace's little porcelain idols in front of her before her righteous retribution of performing the same actions just with a woman's children in the final scene. The punishment not entirely fitting the crime, but still horribly cathartic. It’s a very moral tale in some ways and religious for that, in the sense that people need the threat of greater outside forces to be imposed on them to keep them in check and prevent them from indulging in their natural tendencies to exploit weakness. This interventionism of course then itself gets critiqued in Manderlay.

Plus the God's eye top-down view at key moments or chapter transitions and the way that the bare stage with chalk outlines, in which every event is literally taking place in full view of the rest of the townsfolk (suggesting the full complicity of everyone in the events, not just the perpetrators. Even those who try to keep themselves willfully ignorant) itself adds an extra omniscient perspective to the action.

Fascinating list results! I expected mine to have a number of orphans, as I took a strange approach in trying to represent a number of different religions (though I weirdly kept getting drawn towards Catholic films. Perhaps I was just taken by the funny cassocks and elaborate rituals) and also wanted to broaden the topic out into moments of transcendence or miraculousness that were borderline religious. Hence my inclusion of Red Beard and Getrud, which feel like everyday religious films dealing with the big subjects of sacrifice and commitment outside of a particularly religious context.

My orphans were:

3. Red Beard - gets closer to the inner core of what it means to be 'a good person' than almost any other film

6. L’Humanite - the first transcendent film. The passive almost to the point of disabled lead character views other, more earthy characters with a mix of detachment and yearning. The briefly noticed moment of levitation is only matched by the final scene as the murder mystery is finally 'solved' and we get a beautiful (yet disturbing) image of sacrifice and mysteriously transferrable handcuffs.

11. Genesis (1998) - takes the basic premise from Ladyhawke(!) and transfers it across to a bereaved artist recreating his lost love and somehow wishing it into life, but at a considerable cost to himself. For one brief moment of connection. (If you have the stomach this gets immeasurably more powerful when double billed with Nacho Cerda's gruesome necrophiliac autopsy film Aftermath. But Genesis is the transcendent spiritual peak that comes after Aftermath's previous descent into nihilism of there being nothing but the shell of the body remaining). Genesis is currently up on YouTube.

13. The Wings of Honneamise - a fascinating film that equates (long before Interstellar) questing outward into the stars with an internal voyage in understanding who you are, what is important to you and how you connect with the entire lineage of humanity that came before you. Its also a film that isn't afraid to show conficting emotions, unsympathetic actions (notably the attempted rape scene), and characters failing or being unsure of their place in the world, set against the possibility of redemption.

14. Garm Hava (Scorching Winds) - Perhaps the greatest film on the Partition of India and Pakistan into two separate countries in 1947 and the migration based on religious lines that took place, as seen through the eyes of a family

16. Time of the Wolf - another film about transcendence and the possibility of redemption after heinous acts. The bonfire scene of attempted sacrifice and more importantly prevention by an understanding outsider is one of the highpoints of Haneke's entire filmography for me.

17. Static - at what point does truly felt religion merge with insanity? Does losing your mind in either sense provide some comfort, especially when the afterlife is involved?

18. Daens - clashing hegemonies here, as religious matters conflict against the decent treatment of workers and especially child labourers in the more Earthly, physical realm.

22. The Fountain - This is a film full of borderline silly imagery (the flowers bursting forth! the tai chi against the stars!) but its earnestness and doomed romance in service of a message about cherishing time with loved ones rather than questing for a way to defeat the inevitable cycle of death and rebirth always wins me over. It is also a film about the power of the way that fictitious stories can contain powerful messages and help the reader to come to terms with issues in their real lives, even if the story is half finished and has to be continued by different authors with different agendas or points of view. Or who can potentially miss the point entirely! If that isn't a metaphor for a religious text, I don't know what is!

23. Sebastiane - With this film we shift from politics and religion clashing to sexuality and religion clashing (for all three clashing, see The Devils). In particular sexual jealousy leading to martydom, and the sadomasochism of the willing death of an object of desire. The person becomes more than a human being and turns into a symbol. Or a Saint.

26. Being There - The other film that along with Red Beard portrays a 'purely Good' person, who because of that quality often seems like an alien visitor to our world. Plus of course for the final scene! If you've seen it you know what I mean, and if you haven't you'll know it when you see it!

27. The End of the Affair (1955) - This could easily have been the 1999 version instead. The 1955 and 1999 version are both flawed, but their flaws are strangely complimentary. The 1955 film has to be coy to the point of evasive about the central adulterous love affair (an affair that gets cut short by a bombing raid in which the male partner is almost killed. The woman then prays to God to let him live with the promise that she'll never see him again. He lives, and she keeps her promise, breaking up with her lover without telling him the reason why), while the 1999 remake got to show a few steamy love scenes between Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore (to the extent that there was a silly, and slightly manufactured seeming, controversy about a few extra buttock thrusts causing the film to get an 18 rating in the UK) but doesn't feel as if it has as good a handle on the personal qualms of morality intermingling with wider notions of religion element, which is key to believing the pivotal moment of this film. Plus, and this is perhaps my main reason for choosing the earlier version over the later one, the cuckolded yet strangely sympathetic (yet also triumphalist) husband is perfectly played by Peter Cushing in the 1955 film, compared to Stephen Rea in the 1999 one.

28. I, The Worst of All - One of the best films on the Spanish Inquisition and of expressions of faith being stifled by a kind of sexual and political (and creative) jealousy

30. Guelwaar - Even the dead aren't free of religious bickering!

35. Watership Down - Forget The Lion King, this is the true, unvarnished Circle of Life! Better song too!

36. Pastor Hall - based on the life of Pastor Neimuller, a German priest who was sent to Dachau concentration camp for criticising the Nazi regime, this is rather broadly played but understandably so for a film trying to spur the wider world up against Nazism made the same year as The Great Dictator

39. Gertrud - The commitment between two people as a form of faith in a union between two physical beings. The enormity of spirituality comes down to the couple, and perhaps just the individual themselves. I could have swapped this out for The Incredible Shrinking Man.

43. Cold Heaven - Talked about earlier in the thread

44. Priest (1994) - Another religion clashing with sexuality film, about a closeted gay priest suddenly getting outed in front of his congregation. I should admit that I didn't re-watch this before putting it onto my list so I don't know how well it stands up these days, but I still remember my grandmother coming in during the one rather explicit gay sex scene during the film and seeming surprisingly nonplussed by it!

45. Whistle Down The Wind - almost Forbidden Games levels of surprising subversion, as three children find an escaped criminal hiding out in their barn and presume he is Jesus Christ instead. I suppose a bearded Alan Bates could convince most people of his divine nature! Brilliantly cheeky anti-authoritarian final image too of the criminal putting his hands up to surrender to the police becoming a metaphor for Christ on the cross!

46. The Magdalene Sisters - "You're not a man of God! You're not a man of God! You're not a man of God!". Also manages to turn a film screening of The Bells of St Mary's into an unforgettably creepy indoctrination tool.

47. The Asphyx - I tried to keep the horror films to a minimum with this list, but this one scrapes into the bottom end. A scientist invents a device to photographically expose and capture the spirit that steals a person's soul at the point of their death, while a relative played by future Jesus of Nazareth star Robert Powell watches on worriedly. Is this a key to immortality or losing a part of one's soul?

50. My Father, My Lord - An Israeli film in which a Rabbi is aloof from his young son until a strangely inevitable tragedy causes him to reasses his life's work. I'm not entirely sure that killing off a man's son brings him closer to God, but hey I voted for Dogville, so...
Last edited by colinr0380 on Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:41 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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zedz
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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#194 Post by zedz » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:52 pm

It may be a little while before I can find time to comment on my list / also rans / orphans, but thanks everybody for an interesting list and thanks domino for his fiat lux.

And sorry to swo for orphaning Fuego in Castilla. It was in and out of my list half a dozen times before I abandoned it just outside the top 50. I'm a bad, bad (Old Testament) parent.

And it does boggle my mind that I was nearly the only person to vote for Au hasard Balthazar, which I thought was one of the most obvious inclusions on my list.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#195 Post by copen » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:42 pm

I usually stay away from movies with a religious plotline, but there are 2 that i like:

Santitos (1999 Alejandro Springall). I remember that when i saw this, i thought it was by far the best mexican film I'd ever seen (haven't seen very many). John Sayles is executive producer.

And recently I saw a great religious film. I think it was
Calvary (2014 John Michael McDonagh) by the brother of In Brudges writer/director, who's just as talented.

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#196 Post by zedz » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:36 pm

I wasn't surprised that my eccentric list was orphan-heavy, but there were nevertheless a handful of surprises for me.

My Top Twenty

1. The Colour of Pomegranates (Sergey Paradzhanov, 1969)
2. A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)
3. Andrey Rublyov (Andrey Tarkovsky, 1966)
4. The House Is Black (Forough Farrokhzad, 1963)
5. Apotheosis ( John Lennon / Yoko Ono, 1970) –ORPHAN
6. The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (Stan Brakhage, 1971)
7. Life and Nothing More (Abbas Kiarostami, 1992) –ORPHAN It seems a little strange to me that Where Is the Friend’s House? fared so well but all these other eligible Kiarostamis didn’t even register as also-ran blips.
8. Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955) –ORPHAN I’d assumed this was a shoo-in for the final list. Did people not consider it a spiritual film?
9. Where Is the Friend’s House? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987)
10. Motion Painting No. 1 (Oskar Fischinger, 1947) –ORPHAN
11. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, 1999) –ORPHAN
12. Le Revelateur (Philippe Garrel, 1968) –ORPHAN
13. The Quince Tree Sun (Victor Erice, 1992) –ORPHAN
14. Le Pont des Arts (Eugene Green, 2004)
15. City of Pirates (Raul Ruiz, 1983) –ORPHAN
16. A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1944)
17. Melody for a Street Organ (Kira Muratova, 2009)
18. A Walk through H (Peter Greenaway, 1979) – ALSO-RAN
19. In That Country (Lydia Bobrova, 1998) –ORPHAN
20. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, 2003) –ORPHAN

Also-Ran

44. Horse Thief (Tian Zhuangzhuang, 1986)

Other Orphans

21. Peter Ibbetson (Henry Hathaway, 1935)
22. The Power of Kangwon Province (Hong Sang-Soo, 1998)
23. The Ossuary (Jan Svankmajer, 1970)
25. Hear My Cry (Maciej Drygas, 1991)
29. The White Meadows (Mohammed Rasoulof, 2009)
30. Land of Silence and Darkness (Werner Herzog, 1971)
32. Medea (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969)
33. Fish and Cat (Shahram Mokri, 2013)
34. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)
36. La Sapienza (Eugene Green, 2014)
37. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
38. Diamonds of the Night (Jan Nemec, 1964)
40. The Night of Counting the Years (Shadi Abdelsalam, 1969)
42. Death and Transfiguration (Terence Davies, 1983)
46. Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971) – Very surprised to see this all alone at the end of the project.
47. Chronicle of Anna Magdalene Bach (Jean-Marie Straub / Daniele Huillet, 1968)

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#197 Post by knives » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:12 pm

Does anyone know if there is a better copy of Geoffrey Sax's The Disputation rolling around then the copy available on Youtube?

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#198 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:13 pm

Recent viewings:

A Christmas Carol (Edwin L Marin 1938) Slapdash b-picture rushed into production in order to meet a holiday release date, this horrid, loose adaptation of Dickens’ eternal holiday work has, I was dismayed to discover, become a beloved and popular Christmas film in the years following its release. Truly there is no God.

Inherit the Wind (Stanley Kramer 1960) That chill you feel is Hell freezing over: I liked this Stanley Kramer movie. Released the same year as the superior and more even-handed Elmer Gantry, Kramer’s film is, for once, actually provocative and daring rather than playing at it. Even watered down, the basic pro-Evolution, anti-fundamentalist argument furthered by this film is astonishing for a Hollywood film of its time, and the movie doubles down on some of the more daring aspects, especially in the figure of Claude Akins’ heartless preacher. The film is as subtle as every other Kramer film, ie not at all, but for once it fittingly matches his material, and the showboating of the two dueling prosecutors, expertly played by Spencer Tracy and the scene-stealing Frederic March, are the bombastic surrogates Kramer spent his whole career in search of. I thought Gene Kelly’s role as the sarcastic and relentlessly negative Baltimore reporter was a nice bit of casting as well. What can I say, I enjoyed this a lot and even recommend it to fellow Kramer skeptics.

the Left Hand of God (Edward Dmytryk 1955) The opening image is so striking that the film never recovers from the let down of all the follows: In the dead of night, Bogart, in full priestly regalia, brandishes a pistol and looks about suspiciously before entering a Chinese mission. The resultant story of who Bogart is (though Twilight Time spoiled it on the back cover— good job!) and why he’s there is intermittently interesting, but any movie where both Gene Tierney and Lee J Cobb fail to even register is doing something wrong.

90 Minutes in Heaven (Michael Polish 2015) In theory, what Polish does here is quite clever— always industrious in finding backers for his minusculely budgeted indie pics, here he turns to producers with easy and willing pockets, the religious market, and ostensibly tells the true life story of a man of God who survives a car wreck which (allegedly) left him dead and enabled him to ascend to Heaven, only to be brought back by the power of prayer. I don’t know if Polish is himself religious, but his film isn’t particularly and is far more focused on the long, extended scenes of recovery and misery as Hayden Christensen’s protagonist writhes in agony in a hospital bed for a good 100 minutes of this two hour film, while his good Christian wife Kate Bosworth (of course, it’s a new Polish film and she’s his Rebecca Pidgeon) looks on. Unfortunately, this is about as much fun to sit through as it sounds, and between this and Amnesiac, I think Polish needs a new and more vocal editor. One day the Polish Brothers will receive a critical reappraisal, but even then this will be more of a curious footnote than a milestone. The film does at least offer further proof of Polish’s love of men with mustaches, though!

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Kevin Reynolds 1991) I’ve been thumbing through Jack Shaheen’s fascinating Reel Bad Arabs, which despite some obvious flaws (pro-Israel films are automatically suspect as anti-Arab) is still an unparalleled and exhaustive work of tracking racial stereotypes throughout the entirety of existent cinema. All of the films discussed are cataloged and at the end of the book, Shaheen reveals a surprisingly small list of only fourteen films out of thousands to earn the distinction of “Best” in terms of their depiction of Arabs. This popular early 90s take on the Robin Hood story is one of the fourteen.

Pretty unpopular and subject to much mockery now, revisiting it for the first time since I saw it in theatres makes me confused on its poor legacy, as it’s the most entertaining and competent iteration of the myth I’ve seen-- though to be fair, I don’t really care about Robin Hood and don’t mind that the filmmakers made their vision “darker” than other, lighter efforts. What’s most interesting watching now is how the film is fundamentally a conservative’s wet dream— Robin of Locksley steals from a corrupt government overtaxing its citizens and gives back to the everyday folks— and yet the film is stridently pro-Muslim, with characters responding negatively to Morgan Freeman’s Moor and then, once he proves himself wise and competent, admitting they were wrong and seeking to learn more about his culture. How surreal it is to see a progressive film like this was made decades ago and made a ton of money, and yet in today’s allegedly more socially advanced society it would be immediately shunned and banned by many of its core audience members for such a view point! Beyond its religious aspects (there are also dueling Christian viewpoints— commerce versus common faith), the film is fun and never feels like it runs over two and a half hours. And with all the interminable Biblical epics this list has foisted on me (and will continue to foist til I finish working through the unwatched pillars), that alone merits copious praise. Highly recommended.

the Singing Nun (Henry Koster 1966) Hopelessly square tale of Debbie Reynolds’ real-life figure whose sweet singing made millions for the church. Inoffensive but instantly forgettable and utterly unremarkable.

Solomon and Sheba (King Vidor 1959) Tyrone Power died 2/3 of the way through filming this Biblical epic and was subsequently replaced by Yul Brynner in what could charitably be called the biggest downgrade in recorded history. Gina Lollobrigida gets the most out of being framed to jut her chest out as the titular Queen of Sheba, but this is a pretty flat and static-looking film otherwise. And like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going and going, mercilessly and without pleasure. Thank God Twilight Time discs are so easily resalable!

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#199 Post by Murdoch » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:17 am

domino harvey wrote:Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Kevin Reynolds 1991)
The derision this film's attracted lately is, I think, stemming quite a bit from Costner's phoned-in "accent," or at least that's the critique I always hear upon mentioning it. As someone who watched the movie more times than I can count in my childhood, the shifting critical opinion on it confused the hell out of me as it really is a well-done action film and the most fun I've had watching a live-action film based on the mythos (although Disney's anthropomorphic retelling gets a slight edge).

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Re: Films of Faith List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#200 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:47 am

Murdoch wrote:
domino harvey wrote:Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Kevin Reynolds 1991)
The derision this film's attracted lately is, I think, stemming quite a bit from Costner's phoned-in "accent," or at least that's the critique I always hear upon mentioning it. As someone who watched the movie more times than I can count in my childhood, the shifting critical opinion on it confused the hell out of me as it really is a well-done action film and the most fun I've had watching a live-action film based on the mythos (although Disney's anthropomorphic retelling gets a slight edge).
I read that Costner did actually try an English accent but it was so bad that he abandoned that idea. Still, better than Russell Crowe's whatever-the-hell-that-was accent in the Scott movie.

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