Wednesday, January 26, 2011

40 spiritually significant films | a&f 100

I've started messing around with my Soul Food Movies book again. I doubt that I'll be able to get back to it as a book any time in the imaginable future, but I'll admit I've been toying with the idea of setting up at least a website. A book, you need to finish the whole darn thing before you can send it off to a publisher (oh, and you need a publisher): a website, you can build it as you go. So, maybe. We'll see how things go.

Anyhow, contemplating my book means playing around with my movie lists, and as I did so it occurred to me that there are forty movies that have appeared on all four iterations of the Arts & Faith 100 poll of "spiritually significant" films - though they decided to drop that descriptor for the last poll (and I think it shows in the list's drift away from films with a specific spiritual emphasis toward a more generic list of "great films.") Be that as it may, it's still a great list - and especially interesting to me when all four polls are combined. And I think it's significant when any film finds a place on all four polls, with their varying methodologies and parameters.

Here they are.

40 Spiritually Significant Films
selected in all four Arts & Faith 100 polls: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010

Andrei Rublev (1966, USSR, Tarkovsky)
The Apostle (1997, USA, Duvall)
Au Hasard Balthazar (1966, France, Bresson)
Babette's Feast ("Babettes gæstebud" 1987, Denmark, Axel)
The Bicycle Thief (1948, Italy, Vittorio de Sica)
Breaking The Waves (1996, Denmark, von Trier)
Chariots Of Fire (1981, UK, Hudson)
Close-Up ("Nema-ye Nazdik" 1990, Iran, Kiarostami)
Day of Wrath ("Vredens dag" 1943, Denmark, Dreyer)
Dekalog ("The Decalogue" 1989, Poland, Kieslowski)

Dersu Uzala (1975, Japan, Kurosawa)
The Diary of a Country Priest ("Journal d'un curé de campagne" 1950, France, Bresson)
The Gospel According to St. Matthew ("Il Vangelo secondo Matteo" 1966, Italy, Pasolini)
Ikiru (1952, Japan, Kurosawa)
It's A Wonderful Life (1946, USA, Capra)
Jesus Of Montreal ("Jésus de Montréal" 1989, Canada, Arcand)
Magnolia (1999, USA, P.T. Anderson)
A Man Escaped ("Un condamne a mort s'est echappe" 1956, France, Robert Bresson)
A Man For All Seasons (1966, Fred Zinnemann, Robert Bolt play)
The Mirror ("Zerkalo" 1974, Russia, Andrei Tarkovsky)

My Night At Maud's ("Ma Nuit Chez Maud" 1969, France, Eric Rohmer)
Open City ("Roma, Citta Aperta" 1946, Italy, Roberto Rossellini)
Ordet ("The Word" 1955, Denmark, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Kaj Munk play)
The Passion Of Joan of Arc ("Le Passion de Jeanne d'Arc" 1928, France, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
Ponette (1996, France, Jacques Doillon)
La Promesse ("The Promise" 1996, Belgium, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
The Sacrifice ("Offret" 1986, Sweden, Andrei Tarkovsky)
The Seventh Seal ("Det Sjunde Inseglet" 1956, Sweden, Ingmar Bergman)
Solaris ("Solyaris" 1972, USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky)
The Son (2002, Belgium, Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Stalker ("Сталкер" 1979, USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky)
The Straight Story (1999, USA, David Lynch)
Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (1927, USA, F.W. Murnau)
Tender Mercies (1983, USA, Bruce Beresford, Horton Foote screenplay)
The Three Colors Trilogy (1993-1994, Poland/France, Kieslowski)
Tokyo Story ("Tokyo monogatari" 1953, Japan, Ozu)
Wild Strawberries ("Smultronstället" 1957, Sweden, Ingmar Bergman)
The Wind Will Carry Us ("Bad Ma Ra Khahad Bord" 1999, Iran/France, Abbas Kiarostami)
Wings Of Desire ("Der Himmel über Berlin" 1987, Germany, Wim Wenders)
Yi-Yi ("A One and A Two" 2000, Taiwan/Japan, Yang)


Rosie Perera said...

Great list! Thanks. Looks like you've got a bunch more to do blog write-ups on. And maybe those will make it into your book/website.

Ron Reed said...

"Lots more to do blog write-ups on..." Oh yeah. And that's only from THIS list, a number of which wouldn't necessarily be top priorities for my own. Even here, still so many I've not even seen, let alone written about; The Bicycle Thief, Breaking The Waves, Dersu Uzala, Ponette, The Sacrifice, The Seventh Seal, Solaris, Sunrise, The Three Colors Trilogy (I've seen only Red), Tokyo Story, Wild Strawberries, The Wind Will Carry Us.

And then there are the 185 films that made at least one A&F list, but not all four (though there are several I wouldn't feel obliged to cover in any detail). Plus another 44 that I consider essential Soul Food Movies that didn't make any of the A&F polls, and a further 283 I've tagged as "must include" if not quite essential.

Fortunately, there are an additional 120 films I HAVE already written up (no, more, actually: that's an old list I'm working from). But all told, still a big undertaking.

I think website is definitely the way to go.