Monday, September 02, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions about my Grading System

 
Frequently Asked Questions about my Grading System
 
1.My grades don’t indicate how good or bad a film is. It just shows roughly how much I like a film at the exact moment that I’m giving the grade. For example, I gave A+30 to “DO YOU THINK IT’S FUNNY?” (สนุกหรอ?) (2013, Nalintip Wongwiwat), because I like it very much, though I think it is aesthetically inferior to other films in the JENESYS 2.0 program. DO YOU THINK IT’S FUNNY? extremely fulfills my vengeful desire. There is no redemption in this film. So I gave the best grade to this film, though I think it is not the best film in the program at all.
 
2.As for now, my full mark is A+30.
 
3.I give grades according to my feelings, not reasons. If I “feel” I would like to give a film A+25, A+20, or A+15, I give that grade to it. Many times I cannot explain why I give a film that grade. My feelings are often unexplainable. I always know how much I like a film, but I can’t explain easily why that film affects me that much. I guess many films I like affect my “subconscious”, so I know how much I like the films, but I’m not sure why.
 
4.Normally I give a film A+30 if it corresponds to what Emily Dickinson says about poetry. She said ““If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it.
 
So if a film makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, or if a film makes me feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I give that film A+30, no matter how bad or how flawed that film is.
 
Many times I give a film or a stage play A+25, because it makes me feel “hesitate” a little bit to give it A+30, or because I like it very much, but it doesn’t overwhelm me like A+30 films.
 
5.The number that comes after A+ is actually not important at all, and it always fluctuates every minute according to my unstable feelings. Hahaha.
 
6.I first started giving grades about ten years ago. My full mark was A+ at that time. After a while, I found that it was very easy for me to give A+ to a film. That caused me some troubles at the end of each year when I tried to make the list of my most favorite films of that year. So sometimes I wrote A++++++++++, so that it would be easier for me at the end of each year to make a short list of the films which got A++++++++++ from me.
 
Later, I found that assigning a number after A+ is much more convenient for me than writing A+++++++++++++. So that’s why I started assigning numbers after A+. The films that I gave A+30 are usually the ones that I want to be included in the list of my most favorite films of that year.
 
In conclusion, “A+++++++++”, A+5, A+10, A+15, A+20, A+25, A+30 all equal “A+”. The number after A+ is just meant to make it easier for me when I try to make a list of my most favorite films of the month or of the year.
 
6.My feelings always fluctuate a lot. Many films that I gave A+15 after I had just seen it ended up in my year-end list, or were given A+30 later, because I found that these films lingered in my mind for a long time, though these films didn’t overwhelm me when I was watching them.
 
7.I’m not serious about the grades I gave. I just try to record how much I like a film at any given moment. So I hope no one is serious about them.
 
8.I consider myself a film lover, not a film critic. It is easy for me to fall in love with a film. That’s why many films got A+ from me.
 
9.I give a film a grade NOT because I think everybody is equally capable of judging how good or how bad a film is, but because I think everybody has equal right to express his own opinion, no matter how right or wrong his opinion is. Everybody should have the right to express his own opinion. That’s what I strongly believe in. So that’s why I give a film a grade. I believe I have “the right” to express how much I like a film (like everybody else), though I may not be capable of judging how good or how bad a film is.
 
10. I strongly believe that “IT’S NOT THE CRITIC WHO JUDGES THE ART. IT’S THE ART WHICH JUDGES THE CRITIC.” So the grades I give in fact don’t tell you anything at all about the films. These grades just tell you about me.
 
In conclusion, I like to give grades, because many films I worship give me “unexplainable feelings”, such as TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND (1976, Bruce Conner), ZOETROPE (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi), WHY DO YOU JUMP? (2011, Korn Kanogkekarin), films by Teeranit Siangsanoh, etc. So I can’t explain why these films overwhelm me. Giving A+30 to them is the best way to indicate what I feel for them.
 
The photo comes from the film UNKNOWN (2012, Teeranit Siangsanoh, 30min, A+30).