Thursday, August 11, 2011

Things to Learn from the MIFF Critics Poll

After all the films and fun of the 60th Melbourne International Film Festival - yes, we're still discussing it! I should hope that the 60+ films I saw shouldn't be immediately deemed "old news" less than a week later - was over, a bunch of us filmy criticy folks submitted grades for every film we watched into a critics poll being hosted by At the It's a fascinating look at how people respond to certain films and fail to connect with others. Most of the films at the very top of the poll receive unanimous acclaim while, likewise, the bottom rungs of the chart are almost universally negative.

I've included the feature poll here, but click over to this link to see what we all thought of the documentaries and shorts that screened.

Click for documentaries
Click for short films

Of the films that had several grades attributed to them, I can deduce the following facts:

  • I am the sole representative to give 5 stars to Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture and the only one to give Markus Schleinzer's Michael 1 star out of 5.
  • I appear to be in the minority on Jon Hewitt's X (4 stars from me; average of 2.33/5) and Markus Schleinzer's Michael (1 star from me; average of 3/5).
  • Werner Herzog's highly anticipated 3D documentary Cave of the Forgotten Dreams must surely take the title of the festival's biggest disappointment, scoring an average of 2.40 out of five. It was certainly the film that, for me, had the greatest discrepancy between levels of anticipation and end results.
  • The King of Comedy, Martin Scorsese's 1983 satire masterpiece, was the festival's best-received title. Who cares that it was a retrospective title when it's able to amass eight 5-star raves from the nine critics who saw it? After The King of Comedy it was a three-way tie between A Separation, Senna and Melancholia, which all received six 5-star raves from the critics polled.
  • Of the critics polled, I was the only one to see Ruhr, the Melbourne shorts programs, French child fable On the Sly, African drama Sleeping Sickness and French animation Tales of the Night.
  • Three films managed 1 star from three separate critics: Norwegian Wood, Post Mortem and my personal choice for worst of the fest, Innocent Saturday. Another diabolically bad film, Greek import Wasted Youth, ranked equal last with two critics polling it with 1 star. I note that I know of at least one of the other critics here who ditched their later screening of Wasted Young based on the reception greeted to it.
  • The lowest ranked film from the most amount of votes was another Greek film, Attenberg. Averaging a score of 3.0/5 from 12 critics.

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