The Arts & Faith Top 100 Films

The Arts & Faith Top 100 Films March 1, 2010

Fire up the Netflix Queue. It’s The Arts & Faith Top 100 Films.

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  • Odd. Not one movie, except the “proto-Marxist” Gospel of Matthew, that is the Gospel. The JESUS Film? King of Kings? Jesus of Nazareth? The Greatest Story Ever Told? The Passion of the Christ? Any number of the other films portraying the life of Christ? Nah.

  • Heh. They probably could have just reprinted Criterion’s catalogue. In fact, they may have. Also: I like how they snuck in Blue, White, and Red in as a single film. Also: I have no complaints about this list.

    @Mr. Poet – It might be because the Image list was supposed to be movies that didn’t suck.

  • Huh. Amusingly enough, I was right. From the list’s FAQ:

    Question #4: Now, hold on…where’s The Ten Commandments? Where is Facing the Giants? The Passion of the Christ? I thought you said this list was made by Christians who love movies.

    Sure, you might expect a list of “the Great Movies” chosen by a group of Christians to favor titles popular with religious audiences…like Fireproof, “the Jesus movie,” The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, or The Nativity Story.

    But it is exactly this tendency that fires up the folks at

    Christian media have in recent years tended to celebrated art and entertainment for its “evangelical potential.” In other words, many Christians have become so concerned about the usefulness of art as a tool of ministry and evangelism, they’ve forgotten—or never known in the first place—what art really is, and how it works.

    As a result, “Christian art” has become more and more didactic and simplistic. Its messages are easily paraphrased. No wonder the rest of the world dismisses it so easily.

    Who can blame them? People turn to art for an imaginative experience, not a lesson or a sales pitch.

    It is also worth noting that the conversation about art, especially in America, has narrowed considerably. Most American moviegoers—Christian or otherwise—are familiar only with what is contemporary, commercial, and American. They lack an education in film history, and are largely ignorant of independent and foreign cinema.

    The list was developed by film enthusiasts who are as passionate about film history as they are about international artistry. Nine of the group’s top 100 come from the 1950s. And the two most popular directors are a Swede and a Russian.