Divine comedies

February 28, 2014

The folks at Image Journal (a fairly high-brow arts journal informed by Christian faith) have put together a list of what they are calling the ‘Top 25 Divine Comedies’ — a list of films broadly comic yet concerned, in one way or another, with “questions of ultimate import”. The list is here, and some introductory comments (with a remarkably Chestertonian flavour) can be found here.

The first thing I notice, with some gratification, is that my all-time favourite comedy sits atop their list. Clearly they are on to something. I am also surprised to find that I have seen nearly three-quarters of the films they selected. That doesn’t usually happen with me. I suppose it must just be my superb comic instincts.

In years past Image Journal has produced a number of other similar lists, including a list of horror films, films about marriage, and even a Top 100 Films list.

9 Responses to “Divine comedies”

  1. Janet Says:

    I love Groundhog Day. This list makes me want to sit down and watch a movie, although I haven’t done. So since Christmas Eve.


  2. cburrell Says:

    A few weeks ago I had the luxury of sitting (because I was too sick to move) and watching an entire movie in one session. (It was Captain Phillips.) Usually these days I watch movies in 15-20 minute chunks over the course of a week or so. It’s not as bad as you might think.

  3. Janet Says:

    Yesterday, I watched a movie for the first time since before Christmas, the main reason for this being that we have two Netflix DVD’s that have been sitting here for over a month and I want to send them back so I can get the movie that’s at the top of the queue at the moment.

    Whenever I have a moment to sit and watch a movie, I always decide I’d rather read.

    I tried to post a comment yesterday or the day before and was not allowed. Hope this works.


  4. cburrell Says:

    Odd about the difficulty of posting a comment. I don’t know what the reason would have been. The spammers don’t seem to be having any trouble!

    I would rather read too, most of the time. I sometimes watch a bit of a movie while I eat lunch, either because I forgot a book or because I don’t want its pages bespattered with drippings.

    Yesterday we watched The Miracle-Maker, an animated film about the life of Jesus. It was surprisingly good! I was surprised, anyway.

  5. I’ve only seen nine of them, and three were cartoons, or whatever you call things like WALL-E. None except Groundhog Day made any great impression on me. I must not have a sense of humor.

  6. cburrell Says:

    Well, Groundhog Day is undoubtedly the greatest of them, I agree. There is a rather high proportion of animated films in the list, and animated films — at least the hyperactive ones that tend to find wide audiences (and get onto lists) — don’t appeal much to me. But I do love The Princess Bride. I don’t know what kind of gymnastics are required to construe it a film about “ultimate things,” but it is a great film in any case.

  7. stpaulmemphis Says:

    Oh, I didn’t notice The Princess Bride. I definitely love The Princess Bride.


  8. I like The Princess Bride a lot, too. But…I don’t know, offhand I really can’t think of any comedies that put me much in mind of Ultimate Things. However, it is difficult for me to conceive of any list of best comedies, no matter how qualified, that wouldn’t include something by the Marx Brothers.

  9. Janet Says:

    And despite whatever truth people seem to find in The Truman Show, I’m sure it was written with anti-Christian intent.


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