Arts & Faith’s Top 25 Films on Marriage list was recently released by Image Journal, in concert with Arts & Faith.com. Over forty people in the Arts & Faith community participated in nominating and voting for these films: a large group of cinephiles from a wide variety of vocations, including some film critics. This Valentine’s Day, curl up with a film that doesn’t just play to romantic tropes, but challenges and illuminates as it explores the wellspring and cipher that is marriage.
A guest post by M. Leary of Filmwell.
In the introduction to the recently published I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies, Jeanine Basinger argues that as cinema was getting its commercial sea legs, films about marriage were a hard sell. Not only were producers not interested in films about marriage, those that were became billed as romantic comedies or dramas when they hit the theaters.
This is partly because domesticity is boring, filled with dishwashing and school pickups. Cinema, after all, is a medium of escape. Who wants to go to the theater to see the last fight they had with their spouse rehashed in painstaking detail?
Basinger, who found it was difficult for people to name a film specifically about marriage, had trouble finding a list of films about the subject. Well, little did she know that the Arts & Faith community had selected marriage as the theme for their next “Top 25 Movies About…” list long before Basinger’s publisher released the title.
I am not sure that this list is exactly what Basinger would have had in mind, as it spans almost the entire history of cinema from L’Atlante to A Separation. In addition, it consciously grapples with what actually constitutes a film about marriage, which is why films as varied as The Face of Another, Tender Mercies, and Certified Copy successfully ran the voting gauntlet. [Read more…]