Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Arts & Faith Top 100 films (2011)

Arts & Faith, an online forum run by Image Journal released their 2011 list of The Arts & Faith Top 100 Films. This is something they've done every year since 1999, and this is the second release since Image Journal assumed responsibility of the forum. They cover the arts from a Christian or spiritual basis.

Surprisingly, the list is an excellent and representative assortment of ourstanding films, regardless of one's religious inclinations. It doesn't skew to recent years as many lists do, but includes older classics such as the silent film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc) by Carl Theodor Dreyer, which was chosen as the number one film. Many are foreign films -- in fact, they boast of an increase since last year's list which had fewer than one-quarter of the selections in English. They've included documentaries such as Born into Brothels and animated films such as Miyazaki's Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away).

But there are also many titles that one might think were completely unsuited for the faithful. It included the Romanian abortion story 4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days). Some seem to have no discernible spiritual themes, while others are have an outright anti-religious tone such as There Will Be Blood.

On the other hand, the list excludes some titles that you might think would be an obvious fit for a Christian audience. Films such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Passion of the Christ, The Blind Side or any Kirk Cameron movies such as Left Behind are nowhere to be seen.

It would seem that the forum has done an excellent job of creating a list that highlights quality films that have spiritual depth, rather than just choosing films that advocate a specific belief. I would have no problems recommending this viewing list to anyone, religious or not.

Indeed, many of the titles are carried by the high-end label Criterion. The list includes works by great auteurs such as Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Andrey Tarkovskiy, Satyajit Ray, the Dardenne brothers, Edward Yang, Krzysztof Kieslowski, and even Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

For this, they are to be commended.

The Arts & Faith Top 100 Films (2011)

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc)
Andrey Rublyov (Andrei Rublev)    
Dekalog (The Decalogue)    
Au Hasard Balthazar    
Make Way For Tomorrow    
Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to Matthew)    
Le Fils (The Son)
Ikiru (Living)
10  Babettes gæstebud (Babette's Feast)    
11  Zerkalo (The Mirror)    
12  Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans    
13  Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal)    
14  Trois couleurs (Three Colors Trilogy)    
15  Stalker    
16  Magnolia    
17  Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light)    
18  The Searchers    
19  Tôkyô monogatari (Tokyo Story)    
20  La Promesse    
21  Tender Mercies    
22  The Apostle    
23  Le Journal D'un Cure De Campagne (The Diary of a Country Priest)    
24  Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves)    
25  A Man For All Seasons   
26  The Miracle Maker    
27  Paths of Glory    
28  Grave of the Fireflies    
29  Smultronstallet (Wild Strawberries)    
30  Die Grosse Stille (Into Great Silence)    
31  Munyurangabo   
32  Apu Trilogy - Pather Panchali, Aparajito, Apu Sansar   
33  Francesco, Guillare de Dio (The Flowers of St. Francis)    
34  Le notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria)    
35  The Night of the Hunter    
36  2001: A Space Odyssey    
37  Chariots of Fire    
38  The Straight Story   
39  Touch of Evil    
40  It's a Wonderful Life    
41  4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days)    
42  Apocalypse Now    
43  Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages  (Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys)    
44  Black Narcissus    
45  Vredens dag (Day of Wrath)    
46  L'Enfant (The Child)    
47  Nema-ye Nazdik (Close-Up)    
48  Yi Yi (Yi Yi: A One and a Two)    
49  Ponette    
50  Biruma no tategoto (The Burmese Harp)    
51  Stroszek
52  Places in the Heart
53  The New World
54  Sanxia haoren (Still Life)
55  Jésus de Montréal (Jesus Of Montreal)
56  Moartea domnului Lazarescu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu)
57  Yûrika (Eureka)
58  Le question humaine (Heartbeat Detector)
59  L'heure d'été (Summer Hours)
60  Playtime
61  Ran
62  Rashômon
63  La double vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Veronique)
64  Ma nuit chez Maud (My Night at Maud's)
65  Becket
66  Stellet Licht (Silent Light)
67  Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire)
68  Un condamne a mort s'est eschappe ou Le vent soufflé ou il veut (A Man Escaped)
69  Faust
70  Lawrence of Arabia
71  Koyaanisqatsi
72  Paris, Texas
73  Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (My Life To Live)
74  How Green Was My Valley
75  Vozvrashchenie (The Return)
76  M
77  Ostrov (The Island)
78  Days of Heaven
79  Crimes and Misdemeanors
80  Papurika (Paprika)
81  Ukigusa (Floating Weeds)
82  Born Into Brothels
83  Vertigo
84  Sang sattawat (Syndromes and a Century)
85  Wandâfuru raifu (After Life)
86  Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
87  The Trial
88  La règle du jeu  (The Rules of the Game)
89  Sullivan's Travels
90  Schindler's List
91  Dogville
92  There Will Be Blood
93  El espíritu de la colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive)
94  Bakushû (Early Summer)
95  Amadeus
96  Fiddler on the Roof
97  Sophie Scholl: die letzten Tag (Sophie Scholl: The Final Days)
98  Ratcatcher
99  The Iron Giant
100  The Story of the Weeping Camel

The Arts & Faith Top 25 Horror Films

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Vampyr (1932)
The Exorcist (1973)
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Let Me In (2010) / Let the Right One In (2008)
Psycho (1960)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Fly (1986)
10  Frankenstein (1931)
11  Peeping Tom (1960)
12  The Shining (1980)
13  Repulsion (1965)
14  The Thing (1982)
15  I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
16  The Haunting (1963)
17  Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
18  Freaks (1932)
19  Alien (1979)
20  Eraserhead (1976)
21  Don't Look Now (1974)
22  Dracula (1931)
23  The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
24  Curse of the Demon (1957)
25  Onibaba (1964)

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