The Arts & Faith community, a group I've been affiliated with in one incarnation or another for the past seven or thirteen years (depending on how you count), is currently working on one of their favorite endeavors -- list making. Known for their Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films list, as well as their Top 25 Horror and Top 25 Road Movies lists, the community is in the process of nominations for a list that will eventually revolve around the complexities of marriage.
I wasn't too terribly excited about this year's topic until I began seeing the titles to some of the nominated films. We're only in the first weeks of the nominating process, and some of the nominations for this theme are just plain awesome. I think this might be our best category yet.
As the nominations roll in thru early January, I've decided to see some of the films and blog them here. I'd really like to see some of what I haven't been able to get to before, and be a part of the voting process with confidence that I'm giving this vote my all.
The community itself is more than just another board discussion. These are friends of mine. Many are close friends, whom I have known for years. Most of the heavy hitters there I've met face to face, and many others are life long friends who I hold in the highest regard. Over the years, some of the most fascinating discussions (and some heated ones, too!) have shot back and forth on the walls of the A&F boards, as we wrestle together about art, life, faith, morality... and sometimes we just plain wrestle each other for fun.
My friend Jeffrey Overstreet once described the community as:
...a perpetual conversation that began in 1999. Participants at “A&F” are passionate about the art of filmmaking, and about the themes and questions that movies explore.
Among them you’ll find film critics, playwrights, professors, parents, pastors, novelists, graphic designers, even a filmmaker with two blockbusters on his résumé. And they don’t just talk to each other; their voices have been heard in publications like Paste, Salon, Sojourners, The National Catholic Register, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and Image.
I'm looking forward to blogging a few of the films that will end up on our Top 25 Films on Marriage. With this particular hodgepodge group, I'm thinking that the films and the criticism will be a great deal of fun for thinking about and further reflection.