Thursday, February 27, 2014

Arts and Faith Top 25 Divine Comedies


The Arts and Faith Forum and Image Journal present the fourth annual film list from the Arts and Faith community:

Top 25 Divine Comedies.

(You can also check out the top 25 horror moviesroad movies, and marriage movies, as well as the top 100 films list.)

Compiled after nominations, voting, and plenty of vibrant discussion, the Arts and Faith community--comprised of film critics, writers, pastors, seminarians, and good ol' fashioned cinephiles--has crafted a list that spans 81 years in film history. At the top of the list is Groundhog Day,  the directorial debut of Harold Ramis, who passed away on Monday. I hope he'd be honoured. His film about a man (Bill Murray) stuck in a time loop for a single day embodies the merging of the spiritual and the slapstick, the contemplative and the comical.

It's certainly a more accessible list than previous ones; with four Pixar films, three Coen brothers', three from Charlie Chaplin, two from Wes Anderson, and two from Terry Gilliam, it's also a bit less diverse. If I could add a few films, they'd include: the whimsical French romantic-comedy, Amelie; a classic silent film from Buster Keaton, The General; a quirky comedy from Richard Linklater about small-town Texas and the nature of grace, Bernie; Woody Allen's charming ode to nostalgia, Midnight in Paris; Hal Ashby's dry satire and Peter Sellers' best performance, Being There; the Hugh Grant coming-of-age and discipleship film, About a Boy.

I wrote two of the blurbs for this list: The Truman Show and Up. My blurb for The Truman Show:
A seemingly-perfect paradise is created for the home of insurance salesman Truman Burbank, who unknowingly serves as the protagonist for an elaborate television production broadcasting his life to the world. Truman (Jim Carrey) serves as the ordinary guy—the “true man”—navigating the world presented to him by the creator, a shrewd television producer, Christof (Ed Harris), who quietly manipulates Truman from afar. Comically prophetic in its analysis and indictment of reality television, The Truman Show is an enlightening exploration of the gods of media and the religion of consumerism.
Stephen Greydanus wrote a wonderful introductory blog post for the list. While overtly religious themes aren't particularly present here, the divine comedies list overall reveals a genre worth exploring, and points out that laughter and spirituality make for a delightful partnership.

What spiritually-enlightening comedies would you have added to this list? Share in the comments!

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