I hadn’t realised till seeing this list how many of my favourite films fit into a spiritual genre- The Green Ray, Sunrise. Paris Texas along with the more obvious ones like Tarkovsky; wayhay, forget not belonging to any religion, i must have a deep transcendental nature!
A totally crap list. Total crap. If it were anymore crap, I’d use it to fertilise my garden.
Try these on for size:
“JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR”….not listed! Are you FRIGGIN’ kidding me? I’m an atheist, and I LOVE this film! It’s a film ABOUT Jesus, the music is DIVINE, the colours and photography are GORGEOUS, it’s a FAMOUS FILM, and it doesn’t make the list? DREADFUL!
“THE NUN’S STORY”…not listed! Was this list somebody’s idea of a joke? Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch…am I missing something here?
“SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS”…not listed! Nevermind the fact is was based upon the tragically short life of an extraordinarily courageous real life person…SHAMEFUL it does not appear on this list.
“BELLA”…don’t even try telling me I’m wrong. One of the most underrated films of the 2000s. Largely ignored by people who can’t accept a film with anti-abortionist politics. (Margaret Pomeranz, stick your head in a toilet)Absolutely beautiful film, to be witnessed, experienced and cherished…an inspiration!
“HERE COMES MR. JORDAN” and/or “HEAVEN CAN WAIT”…pick one: if “It’s A Wonderful Life” can make the list, certainly one, if not both of these, can qualify.
“FIDDLER ON THE ROOF”…come on people, let’s here it for the Jews!
“NETWORK”…a cynic’s dream, I know, but Howard Beale’s speech and his obviously messianic positioning qualify it…
“This is not a psychotic episode. This is a cleansing moment of clarity. I’m imbued, Max. I’m imbued with some special spirit. It’s not a religious feeling at all. It’s a shocking eruption of great electrical energy. I feel vivid and flashing, as if suddenly I’d been plugged into some great electromagnetic field. I feel connected to all living things. To flowers, birds, all the animals of the world. And even to some great, unseen, living force. What I think the Hindus call prana. But it’s not a breakdown. I’ve never felt more orderly in my life…”
“ROCKY”…right from the opening scene, the first thing you see is Jesus on the wall…the triumphant gallop up the steps, “going the distance”, THAT Bill Conti score…it’s an intensely spirited and beautifullly crafted film. How can “Chariots” make the list (although I do agree with its inclusion) if you have no “Rocky”?
“Viridiana” has been mentioned…I think that’s a fair call. Numerous nun films could qualify. “La Religieuse” is another that springs to mind. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but “Agnes of God” might also qualify.
For crying out loud, no “Superstar”, no “Fiddler”, no “Agnes”…oh, sorry, Norman Jewison is Canadian and does Hollywood films…I s’pose he doesn’t count as much as those highly regarded Euro auteurs.
Art…spirtuality…NOT ONE ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIAN FILM? “Ten Canoes”, anyone? One could also make a case for a Maori themed film like “Whale Rider”…but I guess nobody gives two craps about Australian and New Zealand film.
Finally, I can’t resist the temptation to list “Religulous” as an omission. Hey, it’s ALL ABOUT religion, isn’t it?
I think Dim might have found a soul mate…
Man, that is an awfully long post just for irony’s sake.
I can’t say i’m quite convinced by the merits of JC Superstar or Fiddler on the Roof (The Nun’s Story and Sophie Scholl a different matter), but Mark does have a point about aborigines and down under
Have some more Ritalin, Blue Boy.
@ Kenji, come on. Don’t feed the troll, lol.
i’m in saintly outreach mode
@ Kenji, you could be just boring. :) Since there’s no vitality in the spiritual, as some in this thread maintain.
I had something to say . . . but then I read Mark’s post and my mind went blank.
Kenji: Come over to the light side………
Don’t feed the troll?
You talk about irony.
In fact, if you think about it, it’s double-irony.
Blue, this is a DISCUSSION BOARD. Instead of giving us your not-so-clever ADD posts, how about contributing some ideas of your own? It’s bad enough you can’t read anything longer than the back of a sweepstakes envelope…it seems you can’t write either.
Look at my list of favourites and look at my post count…I’m not just some troll, I’ve got things to say. You are entitled to disagree with my opinions, yet you offer none of your own.
Kenji: I’m glad you acknowledge “Sophie Scholl” and “The Nun’s Story”, but I’m curious…
Why in the Sam Hill WOULDN’T you listed “J.C.S.” and “Fiddler”? These are damned obvious choices.
One more reason to loathe this crap Top 100 list:
“Powaqqatsi” might also qualify.
LOL @ Scarface (and not the 30s version)
I simply don’t like JCS or Fiddler on the Roof, (with musicals i’m more of an Astaire fan), but i know quite a lot of people do- another very different group might well pick em. The Art and Faith list may not be perfect, but it does have lots of wonderful films
Matt: ask Blue for some Ritalin.
Kenji: yeah I know you don’t like “J.C.S.” and “Fiddler”, but WHY don’t you like them?
I can only guess from what you say about Astaire, the music and set pieces might not be to your liking.
That’s fine, but would you not agree, your own personal taste aside, these are fine movies that, thematically, also warrant a high place on this list?
Also, wouldn’t you list “Baraka”?
Baraka is a piece of shit which aesthetisizes the poor. It’s documentary filmmaking at its most vile and exploitative.
Great list, but a few films are out of their element.
“I’m happy with it and look forward to watching all of those films”
You betcha. I’ve seen less than one third of them. You guys who are pros can decide on the merits of any given list. For me the beauty is that a list offers additional opportunities to see the output from minds at work.
A particular film that I am pleased to see here is After Life. I referenced it in a thread about a movie to be shown at the occasion of our own interment. Don’t recall seeing it mentioned elsewhere and nobody gave feedback. I’ve watched it in wonderment half a dozen times.
Col, I think you’re confusing “Baraka” with “Powaqqatsi".
I disagree with your statement. I wouldn’t call it (“Powaqqatsi”, which I believe is the film you mean) an exploitative film.
A better case could be made for the network news doing the same with the horror stories of everyday life. I don’t think the “no-dialogue” films of this type (starting with “Koyaanisqatsi”) were distorting or exploiting life to make some didactic political point or to make mindless entertainment out of tragedies like you might get on the tube.
Personally, I didn’t find “Powaqqatsi” to be escapist entertainment made strictly for aesthetic value. Just watching some of those scenes felt like a chore…which was exactly the point.
Do you also hate “Koyaanisqatsi” for aesthetisising the drudgery of everyday capitalist society, with people working on production lines for a few sheckels an hour?
If you really do mean “Baraka”, you might want to offer a little deeper insight. How is showing tribes in their native habitat indulging in spiritual god-wirship rituals crass exploitation of impoverished people? Are these so-called primitives really as impoverished as you think?
If you really do mean “Baraka”, you might want to offer a little deeper insight. How is showing tribes in their native habitat indulging in spiritual god-worship rituals crass exploitation of impoverished people? Are these so-called primitives really as impoverished as you think?
You might want to get the right film before belting it with your thoughtless commentary.
Matt: ask Blue for some Ritalin—-
That’s even less clever than it was the first time you used it, Mark.
Seriously, though, you think that Jesus Christ Superstar is on of the 100 best films “characterized both by artistic excellence and a serious wrestling with questions that at root might be called religious or spiritual?”
insight, or lack there of, is exactly the word I would use to describe Baraka’s portrayal of the people. They are presented in no context. They are given no voice to give us their own insight of their lives, instead Ricke imposes his own shitty association of their poverty along with his shitty new age music and faux spirituality. Watch Bunuel’s Land Without Bread if you think people could not be misrepresented in nonfiction film.
Your problem, Mark, is your perverse concept that any film about religion should be included in this list. I mean, Religulous? I enjoy the documentary, and I love Bill Maher, but that film doesn’t have an ounce of artistic merit. Heaven Can Wait? C’mon. I fucking love that film, but, what, because it shows “heaven” it should be in this list? Be real here. These are films that test both religion and the capabilities of cinema, many films you listed simply don’t.
I’ll give you Viridiana, but you lose a shit ton of cinecreds for your inclusion of Rocky.
Every friggin’ list out there seriously needs more camp.
They keep on cheating by including all from the Apu trilogy and the Colors trilogy as well, instead of just choosing one from each. What a bunch of wimps. That makes 104, fool, unless I missed another trilogy or something similar in the list XD.
Always glad to see Ordet in numbah 1 though :D.
Matt: given your own sense of cleverness is the cerebral equivalent of a vacant parking lot, I feel you should exit your glasshouse before tossing stones.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” is both visually appealing and has beautiful music, and is not music an artform? I would dare say Andrew Lloyd Webber composed some of the most fondly recalled, downright gorgeous music of all time.
Furthermore, the film is about the final days of Jesus and tells the gospel from the perspective of Judas. The fact this film is still the point of hot debate among religious folks and inspires such hatred and love alike from Christians, I feel, gives it some merit according to your criteria. Unbeknownst it must be to you, the film (and the stageplay) has drawn VERY strong condemnation from numerous Bible-thumpers.
Also, Matt, would you say “It’s A Wonderful Life” is anymore artistically appealing, anymore analytical about the wrestling with spiritual questions, than “J.C.S.”?
What “challenging questions” does “Wonderful Life’”ask about the history of Christianity and religion in general?
Hey, I’m only going by what’s already on the list. The list itself has some questionable choices.
Col: it’s quite clear you’re thinking of “Powaqqatsi” and not “Baraka.”
I wish you’d get it right before making your analysis.
“Powaqqatsi” is the “third world poverty” film, showing the neglect of traditional peoples lost in the shuffle of a rapidly changing planet. “Baraka” deals with spirituality, different ethnic cultures…and these cultures are not necessarily “impoverished.” Part of it was filmed in my own country (Australia) and highlights Australian Aborigines. Just because people wear loinclothes and live on wild nuts, berries and wild animals, that doesn’t make them “impoverished.” You ranting says less about the films themselves, more about your inability to distinguish between two films and your perception any “primitive” peoples caught on film are poor and being subjected to “exploitation.”
Glemaud: YOUR problem is to guess (incorrectly) what I’m thinking…and get it totally bass ackwards.
Mentioning “Religulous” was quite obviously meant half-jokingly. No kidding it’s not an art film, it’s a documentary. I’d just find it hilarious if it WERE listed..it’d get up some noses. Obviously you take things so seriously and to heart, I’m surprised you had the humour to enjoy “Religulous.”
No, “Heaven Can Wait” doesn’t make the list “just because it shows heaven.”
I really wish you (and others) would ask me to explain myself further, instead of guessing (incorrectly) my reasons for fancying them.
“These are films that test both religion and the capabilities of cinema”
So “It’s A Wonderful Life” (and I do love the film) meets your criteria? But “Here Comes Mr.Jordan” and its remake do not?
Wasn’t “Heaven” singled out for its marvellous art direction and musical score? Yeah, it’s a Hollywood feelgood film…so effing what? Essentially, so is “Wonderful Life”. Not “artsy” enough for you?
If we are talking about films about the human spirit, that are great films, I don’t think “Rocky” would be out of place. No, it’s not an overtly religious film, more about the human spirit. I know it’s a push for some to include it, but I could say the same about certain other films on the list already.
Glemaud, I never said “ANY” film about religion should be included.
I never mentioned “Behind Convent Walls” by Walerian Borowczyk, did I now? Hahaha! Jesus H. Christ, if your (incorrect) reading of my mind were true, Ms. Warwick, I’d include every nunsploitation film ever made!
Take your cinecreds, magic crystals and black turtleneck and stuff ‘em in your jocks. I’d rather have strident unpopular opinions that are my own rather than attempt to be some hellish mixture of Pauline Kael and Sybil the Soothsayer.
I haven’t even seen Powaqqatsi. Switch spirituality with poverty if you like, which is not my main point. Certainly the director tried to show both in Baraka, it still doesn’t change the fact that he exoticizes the people, their rituals, and their culture with no insight to go with them. Stop putting your words in my mouth, since the film certainly shows the poor, and I never claimed that’s all it was showing. I never mentioned anything about whatever primitive nature that you accuse me of doing.
given your own sense of cleverness is the cerebral equivalent of a vacant parking lot, I feel you should exit your glasshouse before tossing stones—-
Nice mixed metaphor, Mark.
C’mon, even something like Tommy deals with spiritual issues more seriously than does Superstar. Better music too.
Religion is not the same as sprituality.
Anyways, it looks like a list I want to explore fully.
“I feel you should exit your glasshouse before tossing stones”
Is that a Radiohead reference, mayhaps?
“For me the beauty is that a list offers additional opportunities to see the output from minds at work.”
but not enough countries man….not enough countries….