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Rating the Films


Andrew
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I think we've agreed on a 6-point scale, right?  Since that's the case, I thought it might be useful to hear how others plan to use the 6-point scale.  I don't start this conversation with the goal of groupthink dictating how people should vote, but the reality is, with only 20-odd folks voting, even a couple of folks using the scale in a vastly different way could juke the stats significantly.

Darren had earlier suggested applying a 6-point scale like this:

  • 6: Should be in the top 25
  • 5: Should be in the top 60
  • 4: Should be in the top 100
  • 3: A very good film but misses the cut
  • 2: I recognize the merits of the film but don't believe it should be on the list
  • 1: I will be disappointed if it makes the list

This looks good to me.  Other thoughts?

I'm also thinking I'll use the spreadsheet to make sure I don't over-represent the past decade in bestowing 4s, 5s, and 6s (which I could see myself doing otherwise).  I'll also want to share the wealth across genres, too.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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I'm planning to stick to that general rubric. I mentioned this briefly in another thread, but I'm thinking of the voting process as an opportunity to construct my ideal A&F Top 100, which is something a little different from Darren's Top 100.

I'll probably sit down with 120 or so contendors and shuffle the order until I get an interesting mix, especially at the top of the list. For example, I have no problem with a director putting two films on the list, but in my ideal version no one would have two in the top 25. It's probably inevitable that the list will be weighted a bit toward films of the past 20 years, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm going to make some effort to distribute my points to increase diversity of eras, styles, genres, race, gender, etc.

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It's a creative and clarifying rubric; I think it'll help me make make decisions that would have been tougher if it was just a point scale.

And I like your prioritizing of a "diversity of eras, styles, genres, race, gender, etc.", Darren. The more diverse our final list is in all of these aspects, the more credible and respectable it will seem to cinephiles outside of our community. But, of course, that is meaningful only if it's an honest reflection of what we value most.

I'm at a point in my attention to movies where I feel like a broader view of cinema history, and one that looks beyond the typical canon to a more international view, is my personal priority. "I know what I like," as they say; but I am not a film historian, and until I gain ground there, I feel silly making lists. There are huge stretches of film history that are as of yet unexplored for me, and I can only make progress on that in small steps, at a glacial pace, with my current schedule.

This is where Mark Cousins' series on film was eye-opening to me; I like the way he didn't make a big show of rejecting the America-centric view of film history, but just followed his curiosity to see what was going on in all regions of cinematic exploration and advancement. I'm trying to take that tack in my own viewing now. I like Alan Jacobs' perspective on "serendipitous reading" in his book The Pleasure of Reading in the Age of Distraction — the value of reading by whim and following rabbit trails.  

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I've run through an initial rating of all films. And I'm a little disappointed. Why? Well, let's disregard that I stupidly decided to paste the titles into a Word document, then tab over to a ratings "column" of sorts, making it exceedingly difficult to tally up my ratings. Should've pasted into Excel! Arrgh! 

I'm disappointed mostly because, after the excellent discussion about how to think more expansively about which films qualify for a Top 100 list of "spiritual" films, my highest ratings still go largely to the tried-and-true options. I'm pleased with the more recent updates - the titles I've rated highly that weren't part of our previous list - but I still have several titles that, even if we've lobbied for them, I've rated as "2: I recognize the merits of the film but don't believe it should be on the list." Sorry. I'm trying! Really, I am. 

I need time to rethink my ratings. I'm sure many will shift - either higher or lower. And I still have several titles I'd like to watch for the first time or revisit before finalizing my votes.

One more thing that I've been itching to say here, but have held back on. I'll just spill: I've used this vote to finally watch some Antonioni films - I'd never seen any! - and I was so blown away by those films on a visual level that a couple of highly regarded nominees I hadn't seen subsequently played as very flat when I watched them. I like to think I can appreciate all types of visual approaches to material, but I have a real weakness, it seems, for bold black-and-white compositions. After watching L'Avventura, I had to watch the copy of L'Eclisse I have on my shelf - even though it's not a nominee. And as posted in the "Introductions" thread, I've found myself thinking a lot in the past couple of weeks about how I might get my hands on a copy of La Notte and/or Red Desert - also not nominees - during a time when I should more fully be fleshing out my thoughts on the films that are nominated.

All of this has me thinking, again, about how much the "spiritual" descriptor has to do with form vs. content. There are some formally brilliant nominees on our list that I don't think fit our list, but part of me would rather have those films in our Top 100 than some of the more on-the-nose "spiritual" dramas that don't much move me.

Sorry if everyone's way ahead of me. Thanks for reading.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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It's just like me to miss a key attachment. Thank you!

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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