From The Editor – 21.1.21

G’day folks! It’s been such a long time since I’ve written one of these kinds of “from the editor’s desk” type posts I’d almost forgotten how to write one.

Here at Fernby Films I’ve tried to offer fair and reasonable criticism of almost all the films I see throughout the years, and for the longest time I’ve offered my rating for each film at the bottom of my reviews. Recently, however, I’ve come to realise that film is quite a subjective artform, and that pinning it with some arbitrary score pulled out of my own ass personal enjoyment isn’t exactly something audiences really need these days. What I think of as a C-grade film, you might really love, or detest. My score is never going to mean as much as my opinion, which is where the focus of any good review should really lie.

As I’ve matured as a film critic it’s become apparent that my tastes in film have changed as well, and a film I really loved or hated back when I first started Fernby Films might not necessarily be awarded the same score rating today. My tastes are changing, score-wise, and I’m finding I’m either more or less tolerant towards specific films the older I get. My general thoughts about film won’t change much, but what I end up rating a film may just move a bit in the intervening years, which does nobody visiting older posts on this ol’ blog any favours.

So: the big announcement today is that I’ve removed the ratings from each of my reviews, and we won’t be including any kind of score for a film going forward. The thing about cinema is that, like any great or terrible art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and coming to read reviews with some kind of score out of five or alphabetical assignation defeats the point of people discovering a great or shitty film for themselves.

Recommending or dissuading a film for subjective reasons is perfectly fine, but the facet of assigning a value to somebody’s artwork seems like putting a “well done” sticker on the Mona Lisa.