Devious, Powerful Men: The Political-Film Voting Thread (Deadline: July 17 - 19)

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I made the deadline flexible. I'll start totaling points on July 17, but a little later is fine. I'll put all the images together that weekend, and commence counting down on Monday, July 22. (If there are 20+ ballots--if there are fewer, I'll make like a washed-up rock star: pretend I have a family emergency and cancel the tour.)

Nominations list:

Any films mentioned here that appear to be nominations, I'll add them to the list. Write-ins are fine.

Point allotment I suggested the other day:

# of Films Listed     Total Points Allowed        Maximum Points for One Film
10 100 30
20 200 40
30 300 50

If you can't work out anything, let me know and I'll suggest a point scheme.

clemenza, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 15:24 (three months ago) link

You need an address for ballots: sayhey at rocketmail dot com.

Voting in the comedy poll was straightforward: I based my votes on what made me laugh. The horror poll was somewhat less clear-cut: Rosemary's Baby is my favourite film, but it's more unsettling than actually scary, so there were lesser films (a handful, I think) I placed higher. This one I'll approach like the road-film poll, trying to balance how good a political film something is with how much I like the film period. So I probably won't vote for Taxi Driver, which has a politician (a John Lindsay clone?), an attempted political assassination, a Vietnam vet, and is an extreme example of American film's self-laceration during that era. But more than that, it's about Scorsese and Schrader and Bresson--all that other stuff is secondary.

clemenza, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 15:38 (three months ago) link

Saw this crossed over on the anime thread and I am glad that I did! What a great initiative, Clemenza!

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 18:14 (three months ago) link

Total shutout for John Sayles?

Chris L, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 18:30 (three months ago) link

I'm guessing you mean Silver City? Or was it Lone Star or Sunshine State? The only one I've seen for sure is Lone Star...let me know and I'll add to the list.

clemenza, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 20:29 (three months ago) link

Was thinking Lone Star and Matewan, but really any of them. Sorry, I forgot to nominate anything, I just noticed such an overtly political filmmaker got overlooked.

Chris L, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 20:43 (three months ago) link

Matewan, forgot about that (I know what it's about, but I've never seen it)--will add those two and Silver City.

clemenza, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 20:47 (three months ago) link

Tonight will be my third attempt to get through Blind Ambition--I keep nodding off and backing up 20 minutes for another try. It's not terrible, but it's kind of a slog. Rip Torn as Nixon has thus far had about six or seven minutes of screen time in the first hour-and-a-half (Theresa Russell as Maureen Dean has had substantially more). I did rewatch The Contender from 15-20 years ago, and I thought that held up fine. It's Hollywood gimmicky, with lots of liberal pieties, but as a more-or-less remake of Advise and Consent for the Clinton moment, I think it holds up really well. Jeff Bridges, Sam Elliott, and Gary Oldham chew much scenery expertly.

(This is not meant to be one of those awkward, needy, embarrassing-for-everyone please-please-vote-in-my-poll posts. It is a heads-up, though, that that post will be coming in two or three days.)

clemenza, Saturday, 13 July 2019 00:48 (three months ago) link

plan on voting, and realizing that films specifically about politics are not my thing, I much prefer films that may have a political element but which are about something else

Dan S, Saturday, 13 July 2019 00:58 (three months ago) link

I've got a list of 27 so far, and I think it's about half-and-half (which is quite a move off my original idea of films-with-politicians only).

clemenza, Saturday, 13 July 2019 01:00 (three months ago) link

I have a list of 18 core films and another 17 or 18 that I want to include. not sure I understand your points scheme, but I assume 30 is the limit for films we can vote for?

Dan S, Saturday, 13 July 2019 01:14 (three months ago) link

No--if you want to vote for 35, take 350 points (and, let's say, a maximum of 55 for one film).

clemenza, Saturday, 13 July 2019 01:30 (three months ago) link

By the way, of the two ballots I have received, here's what I thought was a good point distribution for a 20-film ballot. If numbers aren't your thing, feel free to use (or adjust as necessary):

#1: 25 points
#2: 20 points
#3: 16 points
#4: 14 points
#5-7: 12 points
#8-11: 10 points
#12: 8 points
#13-15: 7 points
#16-20: 4 points

Adds up to 200 points.

clemenza, Saturday, 13 July 2019 01:39 (three months ago) link

That dreaded post...We're on life-support here.


Address: sayhey at rocketmail dot com

Just throw together a list of 10. I'll bump this periodically the next few days so it doesn't vanish. Still need many ballots to hit 20.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:16 (three months ago) link

oh forgot about this, will get a ballot in

devvvine, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 13:37 (three months ago) link

ok, sent my list in!

Dan S, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 15:39 (three months ago) link

Got it, thanks.

I noticed Dan's e-mail was filtered into my spam folder. I'll keep checking that for the next few days--if, by any chance, anyone sent me a ballot earlier and I didn't respond, that may have happened. You'll need to resend--sorry.

Dan: you didn't assign points or rankings, so I assume you're just giving each film 10 points?

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 15:48 (three months ago) link

the first 15 are in a loosely ranked order, and are the ones I care about the most. I wasn't sure how to assign points, but if there is a way to emphasize those in your points tally that would be great. the rest I'd be fine with the same points for each.

you can do it however it's easiest for you, though

Dan S, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 16:03 (three months ago) link

No problem--sent you something that should work.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 16:18 (three months ago) link

it works, thanks!

Dan S, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 16:29 (three months ago) link

is the "watergate" on the list the 2018 film or the 1994 series?

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 16 July 2019 17:28 (three months ago) link

The 2018 film, which I saw last month--quite good.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 17:31 (three months ago) link

If you want to list 35 films, here are points I worked out for Dan S.:

#1: 25 points
#2: 22 points
#3: 21 points
#4-15: 19, 18, 17...8 points
#16-34: 6 points each

Adds up to 350 points.

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 17:35 (three months ago) link

(#16-35, that should read.)

clemenza, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 17:35 (three months ago) link

Just submitted my ballot (and probably skewed the poll with all my 1930s obscurities).

Anne Hedonia (, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 23:27 (three months ago) link

Got it, j. lu. That's good--I like different points of view.

clemenza, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 00:01 (three months ago) link

Voted. 10 movies, with an emphasis on comedy. Politics is something I can usually only confront with laughter, especially these days.

Herman Woke (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 17 July 2019 03:58 (three months ago) link

Got all the ballots, thanks. Halfway there to my arbitrary floor of 20 voters. Inside the Deadline Zone for the next three days.

A couple of films have already turned up on five ballots--one fairly obvious, the other somewhat of a surprise (a good surprise).

clemenza, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 12:09 (three months ago) link

Y'all are voting for Ballot Box Bunny, right?

Herman Woke (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:03 (three months ago) link

Off to a slow start...I haven't been adding write-ins to the nomination list, but a couple I should call attention to: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and The Corporation.

clemenza, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:14 (three months ago) link

I imagine at least one of my top choices showed up on multiple ballots, curious what the surprise might be

Dan S, Thursday, 18 July 2019 00:38 (three months ago) link

I've been doing some door-to-door canvassing...Getting there; 12 ballots, need 8 more. You have to go down to #24 right now for the first film with only one vote--but both #24 and #25 have only one vote. 20 ballots tend to smooth those quirks out.

It's not that the film I called a surprise (sitting fifth, one of three films on half the ballots) isn't great, I just thought it was more of a cult thing--that probably changed three or four years ago.

clemenza, Thursday, 18 July 2019 13:37 (three months ago) link

Something I should have clarified earlier, when it was nominated...Black Girl has gotten a couple of votes; I assume they're for the 1966 Ousmane Sembène film, not for the one Ossie Davis directed in 1972. (No need to answer unless I'm mistaken.)

clemenza, Thursday, 18 July 2019 15:58 (three months ago) link


frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 18 July 2019 22:08 (three months ago) link

Five more ballots to make quorum.

Meanwhile, I have an official popularity ranking based on the four polls I've run or co-run:

1. Neil Young
2. Yo La Tengo
3. road films
4. political films

If you nominated, send a ballot today--I checked the nominating thread and there'd be room to spare.

clemenza, Friday, 19 July 2019 12:13 (three months ago) link


Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 19 July 2019 12:33 (three months ago) link

Not nominated, and I didn't think of it 'til just now:
The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

Chris L, Friday, 19 July 2019 12:38 (three months ago) link

Ah shit just saw this now..

xyzzzz__, Friday, 19 July 2019 12:56 (three months ago) link

I'll see what I can do in a few hours

xyzzzz__, Friday, 19 July 2019 12:57 (three months ago) link

Got the last two ballots, thanks (and sent a couple of questions via e-mail).

Three more--if you need longer, xyzzzz, no problem. I'll be doing images over the weekend.

clemenza, Friday, 19 July 2019 13:14 (three months ago) link

Cool I was away for a week..

xyzzzz__, Friday, 19 July 2019 13:21 (three months ago) link

18 ballots, one pending. The leaders are very close in points to the highest finishers in the road-film poll, though (20 ballots), so I'll post results on Monday/Tuesday regardless. Right now, I'd say a Top 35, which would avoid any single-vote placements. It'd be nice to get two more ballots at least, though, which would likely back that up to a Top 40.

Nominations: (missing a few write-ins)

e-mail: sayhey at rocketmail dot com

clemenza, Friday, 19 July 2019 22:41 (three months ago) link

Ballot sent!

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 20 July 2019 13:22 (three months ago) link

That's 20, great. I'm going to start adding text to the images, so that's kind of it. But if anything else showed up today, I'd count it and adjust.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 July 2019 14:10 (three months ago) link

Damn, just sent one in. Hope it can slip in under the wire.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Saturday, 20 July 2019 14:34 (three months ago) link

just got mine in if it's not too late pal.

calzino, Saturday, 20 July 2019 14:47 (three months ago) link

Both have been counted, thanks.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 July 2019 14:52 (three months ago) link

Just sent one in too

Dan Worsley, Saturday, 20 July 2019 15:12 (three months ago) link

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