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Thread: Are judges able to "rank" skaters while they are judging?

  1. #61
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Blades, I cannot believe you fell for Inception. Wow. It was enjoyable, but not nearly as good as it should've been.
    It was far better than it should have been, actually. No other studio-designated summer blockbuster tentpole film in history has come close to achieving the level of depth that Inception did. It's stunning how Nolan was able to make a masterpiece art film within the confines of the "action" genre. Moreover, the action of the film reinfornces and compounds the dramatic thrust of the story.

    There are no structure problems at all in the screenplay. None. I can agree with you that perhaps a couple little lines of dialogue were not perfect, but that's ultimately irrelevant. What you perceive as "exposition" or "explaining the rules of Inception" is only a very surface level reading of what is happening in the film. That exposition is not a plot device but rather inherent to the fabric OF the plot. It is a continual entrenchment into the human mind and an exploration of how thought itself works.

    Furthermore, going by one of the many interpretations of the film that simultaneously exist at the same time (the film essentially acts as multiple universes at the exact same time), the "exposition" is in fact the reflection of Cobb's therapy (the DiCaprio character) and his quest towards catharsis. The Ellen Page character is continually asking questions and pushing against the boundaries of his perception because Cobb is in fact the subject of inception throughout the film. The only way for him to get over the death of his wife, a pain that has taken over the core and essence of his entire being, is for a team to incept the idea into his mind. And since Cobb himself is the most talented individual in the World at such things, the only way to incept HIM is to create a scenario where he believes he is incepting someone else. Thus, the plot of the film. If you scoff at this potential interpretation, just look at how dream-like his perceived World is. The way he is able to squeeze through a crack while being chased. The way helped suddenly arrives to rescue him. Many other examples I won't delve into right now.

    But that's only one interpretation. There about half a dozen possible interpretations of the film and the beautiful thing is that they all work, sometimes at the same time. The film thus becomes a touchstone to dreaming and memory and existence itself, showing how unquantifiable those properties are. Or, rather (in addition), it becomes a touchstone to circular thinking - just like the Escher staircase that is depicted and used within the film. But it's not just philosophical musing either because, again, the film's core is wrapped around an incredibly emotional and immediate depicting of human struggle and the vast wasteland of emotion within all of us that we have to overcome to defeat our demons. It's simply one of the best films ever. Period. (I completely disagree with your criticism of the cast as well, especially the bizairrely AGEIST criticism you are leveling against the film...it was the best Ensemble of the whole year with no weak performances at all, some wonderfully subtle moments from DiCaprio amongst the anguish, one of Marion Cotillard's best and most haunting turns ever, and a pitch-perfect and unique characterization from Tom Hardy)

    Mistakenly, the film received tons of praise for being "visually/stylistically amazing" but received criticism for lacking substance (or being "too confusing" ). No, No, NO! Exactly the opposite. The film could have been quite a bit better in terms of the visual shaping. I mean, it's still rather creative in that regard, but not in as dizzying of fashion as it might have been. The overlapping temporality and such certainly already makes your mind spin a bit (a phenomenal accomplishment in Editing this film most definitely is), but in terms of cinematography and the entire usage of space in every single frame and the creativity of the images, I do agree with people saying more could have been accomplished. The film is still an overwhelming masterpiece, though, because of how complex and effective the ideas and narrative thrust and humanistic draw is. But it's so frustrating how the "high brow" audience won't accept the film because it isn't visually esoteric enough and how the "middle brow" audience won't accept the film because the amazingly complex and powerful emotions and ideas here are not spoon-fed to them.

    Oh well. A lot of Hitchcock's best films weren't well received at first either.
    Last edited by Blades of Passion; 04-18-2011 at 02:45 AM.

  2. #62
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    I m an Escher uber freak, I have all books and designs printed. You like Hundertwasser?

    Many films you mentioned havent arrived yet, but the Illusionist was in anima festival and it was amazing, his previous animation also. If you like animations watch Chico & Rita and The Borrower Arriety of Hiromasa Yonebayashi.
    I m off topic, yes

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    With this thread, I'm not sure if I should comment on the Films of 2010 or the Scoring of the CoP. I'll stick with scoring as I am not a film buff.

    Given the Tech Panel is on the ball, it is without doubt that in the Tech Segment the GoEs blatantly go 6.0 system despite the directives for issuing grades of execution. It has nothing to do with conspiracies, it is the human nature of the judges and fans. Who would possibly check to see if there were no favoritisms' scores? It is my contention that there is no true quantitative results in the Tech Segment.

    How does the Tech Panel decide if a Fall did not affect the Air Rotations and the skater did not underrotate? Even with his closed TV circuit he saw the skater's a$$ at 50 degrees but his outstretch leg showed a toe pointing at 45 degrees, so he gets the partial credit.
    partial credit even though his body disallows it.

    Partial Credit goes against the grain of Good Sportsmanship. Either a skater does the element or he does not. This is a difference between the 6.0 system and the CoP. Ask Michael Weiss.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    It was far better than it should have been, actually. No other studio-designated summer blockbuster tentpole film in history has come close to achieving the level of depth that Inception did. It's stunning how Nolan was able to make a masterpiece art film within the confines of the "action" genre. Moreover, the action of the film reinfornces and compounds the dramatic thrust of the story.
    That might be true, but also irrelevant. That tells you just how bad Hollywood/action actually is

    There are no structure problems at all in the screenplay. None. I can agree with you that perhaps a couple little lines of dialogue were not perfect, but that's ultimately irrelevant. What you perceive as "exposition" or "explaining the rules of Inception" is only a very surface level reading of what is happening in the film. That exposition is not a plot device but rather inherent to the fabric OF the plot. It is a continual entrenchment into the human mind and an exploration of how thought itself works.
    It's definitely inherent. Except it's a flaw. The world doesn't flow organically but constantly fro the mouths of the characters

    Furthermore, going by one of the many interpretations of the film that simultaneously exist at the same time (the film essentially acts as multiple universes at the exact same time), the "exposition" is in fact the reflection of Cobb's therapy (the DiCaprio character) and his quest towards catharsis. The Ellen Page character is continually asking questions and pushing against the boundaries of his perception because Cobb is in fact the subject of inception throughout the film. The only way for him to get over the death of his wife, a pain that has taken over the core and essence of his entire being, is for a team to incept the idea into his mind. And since Cobb himself is the most talented individual in the World at such things, the only way to incept HIM is to create a scenario where he believes he is incepting someone else. Thus, the plot of the film. If you scoff at this potential interpretation, just look at how dream-like his perceived World is. The way he is able to squeeze through a crack while being chased. The way helped suddenly arrives to rescue him. Many other examples I won't delve into right now.
    Oh, but please delve (in pm if you'd prefer). I think one of the big flaws is that lack of dream-like feeling, actually. While you can make an argument that it remains a valid construction (due to the structured/deliberate nature of the dreams), in the end it counts against it.

    But that's only one interpretation. There about half a dozen possible interpretations of the film and the beautiful thing is that they all work, sometimes at the same time. The film thus becomes a touchstone to dreaming and memory and existence itself, showing how unquantifiable those properties are. Or, rather (in addition), it becomes a touchstone to circular thinking - just like the Escher staircase that is depicted and used within the film. But it's not just philosophical musing either because, again, the film's core is wrapped around an incredibly emotional and immediate depicting of human struggle and the vast wasteland of emotion within all of us that we have to overcome to defeat our demons. It's simply one of the best films ever. Period. (I completely disagree with your criticism of the cast as well, especially the bizairrely AGEIST criticism you are leveling against the film...it was the best Ensemble of the whole year with no weak performances at all, some wonderfully subtle moments from DiCaprio amongst the anguish, one of Marion Cotillard's best and most haunting turns ever, and a pitch-perfect and unique characterization from Tom Hardy)
    1. I've only seen it once.

    2. The ageist criticism is not bizarre. You talk about grief, memory and the weight of life. All these things implied having lived. A younger cast can certainly demonstrate that, except Nolan's surface Hollywood affectations get in the way. DiCaprio in particular is ill-suited to this role because of his perpetually boyish demeanour. So when he spouts of this dialogue (and I'm glad you recognize how purple some of it is), it comes across even more hamfisted. That said, this was no where near one of the best ensembles of the year. Not in a year with Another Year, Animal Kingdom, Night Catches Us, Carlos, Never Let Me Go, Nowhere Boy etc etc. Seriously. Saying it was the best ensemble of the year is like saying Lysacek's Olympic LP is one of the best ever.

    Mistakenly, the film received tons of praise for being "visually/stylistically amazing" but received criticism for lacking substance (or being "too confusing" ). No, No, NO! Exactly the opposite. The film could have been quite a bit better in terms of the visual shaping. I mean, it's still rather creative in that regard, but not in as dizzying of fashion as it might have been. The overlapping temporality and such certainly already makes your mind spin a bit (a phenomenal accomplishment in Editing this film most definitely is), but in terms of cinematography and the entire usage of space in every single frame and the creativity of the images, I do agree with people saying more could have been accomplished. The film is still an overwhelming masterpiece, though, because of how complex and effective the ideas and narrative thrust and humanistic draw is. But it's so frustrating how the "high brow" audience won't accept the film because it isn't visually esoteric enough and how the "middle brow" audience won't accept the film because the amazingly complex and powerful emotions and ideas here are not spoon-fed to them.

    Oh well. A lot of Hitchcock's best films weren't well received at first either.
    True. But they were also better. And it's not as if every Hitchcock film was a masterpiece. Compare Inception to Alain Resnais' Je T'aime, Je T'aime for a similarly dizzying but way smarter film.

    I'm not sure if I'm highbrow or lowbrow, though.

  5. #65
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    If I were to write this film review, it would be transported into Le Cafe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    In reality, I think they probably are surprised by the results for the reasons you would expect more than you think they are.

    Heck, even if they were trying to manipulate a desired outcome, since they can't control or in most cases keep track of the TES, they would probably often be surprised by their own rankings of the skaters from combining their GOEs and PCS with the tech panels call as if they were the only judge on the panel.

    The details of the math behind the TES are too complicated for judges to figure out in their heads. Tthey have no access to knowledge of what levels were called for spins and sequences. They can estimate, but they could easily be off by several points. And then they'd have to keep track of the factors for the PCS as well (easy to do with senior men, not so much with the factors for other disciplines).

    And of course individual judges don't know how the other judges on the panel are scoring each skater, whether their own marks are likely to get thrown out or not.

    I'm sure it happens quite often that a judge gives low PCS to a skater who didn't impress them and is surprised when that skater is announced in first place on the strength of technical content, or vice versa.
    THIS. Agree with all the points you made above.

    I myself tried out the "You be the judge" feature on the NBC Olympics site when it was up and running and until the score popped up at the end, I had no idea what the total would be for the skater.

  7. #67
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    I am waiting for a good skating movie.

    And isn't it about time to bring skating movies into the 21st century.

    Why not have a little twist in the plot for once with a story about two misfits, a hockey playing girl and a shy, sensitive male figure skater.

    Maybe Sasha and Johnny could play the leads

    Take the story in any direction but please don't have them wind up as a Pairs team (barf, barf).

    Instead let's see something more dramatic. Maybe the boy's once prominent family has financial problems so the girlfriend begins selling drugs to help pay for his training.

    A working title could be "Requiem for a Lutz."

    Let's not forget the bully scene only this time the girl, who we learn is from the wrong side of the tracks and prone to outbursts of violence, comes to her boyfriends rescue and beats the hell out of the bully. This could be the role of a lifetime for a feisty Sasha.

    So many possibilties (can't you see Rosie O'Donnel as the skatingmom from hell) but afraid Disney won't ever deviate from the traditional American Ice Princess story.
    If only Aronofsky was a skating fan.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-18-2011 at 10:30 AM.

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    I too am waiting for a good skating movie. One of my criteria will be that a lot of time would be devoted to actual skating. Like you, I expect that it would mean skaters playing the main parts--none of this partial-body photography showing just someone's head and shoulders in a spotlight. Real skating. My ideal for this is the ballet movies starring Moira Shearer, such as The Red Shoes, and the dance movie The Turning Point, which ended with a sequence of guest performances by the great soloists of the day, such as Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun, and which incidentally cast Baryshnikov and Leslie Browne in the main roles.

    My feeling is, why bother showing a kid training for the Olympics anyway? Been there, done that. Why not show a pro tour trying to get America interested in skating again? There would be a chance for lots of ensemble skating, as well as pairs and ice dancers.

  9. #69
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Can we discuss Figure Skating ranking in Le Cafe?

  10. #70
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    The ageist criticism is not bizarre. You talk about grief, memory and the weight of life. All these things implied having lived. A younger cast can certainly demonstrate that, except Nolan's surface Hollywood affectations get in the way. DiCaprio in particular is ill-suited to this role because of his perpetually boyish demeanour.
    Ellen Page's character was a college student and Cillian Murphy's was the young son of a rich tycoon so I'm not really sure what age of actors you would otherwise expect in those roles? I understand the DiCaprio criticism but I don't agree with it at all (it would make more sense for Shutter Island). He too is supposed to be fairly young, a prodigy of the next generation who has learned how to master a new technology, similar to how the age of the internet allowed very young people to create businesses and become rich in their early 20's. It increases the tragedy of the film that he is in fact relatively young because, despite that, he has lived an entire LIFETIME in hyper "dream" existence. He awakens to a continually increasing nightmare, is forced into exile, and now must spend an entire lifetime in regret and fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Saying it was the best ensemble of the year is like saying Lysacek's Olympic LP is one of the best ever.
    LOL, sorry, that's how I feel. The actors all fit perfectly into the World of the film, had great chemistry together, and individually excellent moments. I think they do not receive credit for their accomplishment because the characters are vague to begin with (not a bad thing in this case) and it's an "action" film so people don't take the work seriously.

    Anyway, I also disagree with the "lack of dream-like feeling" criticism. It would have been a massive mistake to have that kind of stylization because layers of meaning would have been lost, considering that the entire film also works on a premise of us not being able to tell for sure if anything we see is "real" or "dream". We humans can't even quantify exactly what a "dream-like feeling" is to begin with. Dreams exist within the cracks of our consciousness and who knows what meaning they hold. For an implicit, trashy depiction of "dream-like feeling" you can always go watch What Dreams May Come.

    ---------

    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    I am waiting for a good skating movie.
    I'd like a skating movie with Brian Joubert as the romantic lead, opposite of some other hot French guy. A star figure skater, unable to make his feelings public because of societal constraints, battling for supreme prominence in his sport and trying maintain the fragile relationship to the one he loves, who is becoming continually hurt by how closed off and secretive their relationship "needs" to be. Drawn to the sport because it provides a release of the need for expression that his suppressed subconscious constantly fuels and yet thwarted from truly expressing himself because of not wanting to deviate from his motorcyle-loving, "I want to be James Bond" tendencies that society says he can only inhabit if played stereotypically.

    This of course is only a character. It has nothing to do with Joubert himself. Nothing at all...

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    I can go watch What Dreams May Come? And here I thought you liked me.



    Anyway.... I've certainly derailed this thread enough for one twenty four hour period!

    Blades, do you think it's possible to judge PCS to a strict, non-relative (objective) standard? I have to admit I'm curious because I know you believe COP can be better than 6.0.

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    If it is possible to bring this excellent topic of Judging and Ranking, I would like to say that basically.

    All the Judges know the Skaters they will be judging and they will expect a certain competitive feeling for each one.

  13. #73
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Olympia can you write in Le cafe what ballet movies you suggest? Red shoes is a great one, I saw it after Aronofsky´s Swan, I want to know more
    I also saw on the plane the Stooges skating movie after I found it in Veoh. I havent seen Cuting edge(any number) until now.

  14. #74
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Blades, do you think it's possible to judge PCS to a strict, non-relative (objective) standard? I have to admit I'm curious because I know you believe COP can be better than 6.0.
    Your question can actually be answered by a film comparison. Ah hah! The thread comes together!

    Judging PCS in a non-relative standard is possible, but that standard will shift and also the measurement will never be precise even in the moment. For example, when we watch a film, how do we decide immediately afterward how we would grade the film if someone told us to score it out of 100? Is the film a 94/100? Is it a 95/100? We will compare the film to others in our mind and a process of cognitive thought and gut reaction will tell us which we ultimately preferred. If we have a long list of films that we have assigned exact scores to, we can then try to give an exact score to any new films we watch by immediately comparing them to those standards.

    However, we don't always know how we feel about something immediately afterward. The way we feel about other films that create "the standard" will also constantly be shifting, even if just subtly. Trying to rate films that precisely is not exact but rather a reaction at that one moment in time and it still doesn't answer the question of how we would rank a set of films that we gave the same score to. In skating, if we gave two skaters the same PCS, it would then come down to the technical score to determine the victory. However, even the technical elements themselves are judged in such a way that our opinions may change or be subject to snap reaction. We may give a certain spin +1 GOE at one point but then look at it again and think it really deserved +2.

    Further complicating matters, the PCS are not just one single score. They are 5 separate scores. That's where more deviation and lack of precise judging comes in. Especially with things like Skating Skills and Transitions, how can you watch a performance once and determine the exact score the performance should receive? After all, every single step a skater makes is part of their skating skills. If a single back crossover is more perfect than another between one performance to the next, then that should theoretically mean the Skating Skills score should be slightly higher for that performance. But we can't exactly judge every single crossover and turn and movement a skater makes (at least not within the timeframe of producing a score soon after a performance).

    Ultimately I'm fine with this manner of scoring, though. Even if it's not exactly accurate, it forces critical thinking. What needs to happen, though, is judges should see exactly what their scores are resulting in. They should be able to see the technical total, the PCS total, and the final score based upon what they are inputting into the computer. If the final score places one skater ahead of a another skater whom they felt clearly should have been ahead, then they should go back and look at their scores again and see if they did not score correctly or that maybe the other skater really was better. Often times the GOE and PCS grades are not used correctly and if the judge isn't thinking about exactly what scores they are giving, then it's not an accurate reflection of what they feel.

    It should not be uncommon to see performances separated in the PCS by an entire 10 points or MORE. The gap needs to be that large if it is deserved, otherwise artistry becomes and competitors will just go for the technical. Judges also need to really forget about who is "supposed to win" or who is "usually better" and just judge the performances given. They need to be open to the idea that anyone could potentially win a medal at a competition and give high marks to ANY skater if the quality is there. A skater being unknown, or never having achieved anything big, or being inconsistent in the past, or being buried after the SP should have nothing to do with judging the performance at hand.

    The other issue is that judges' scores should NOT be anonymous and the audience should be able to see exactly how a skater is ranked by each individual judge in real-time. The audience may not understand the exact CoP numbers but they can understand a "1" or a "2" or a "3" or whatever the ranking is that a judge's scores have resulted in for the skater's performance. Those rankings should be announced BEFORE the final overall score and ranking from the entire panel is announced, to create drama about what's going to happen. In the Long Program, the final ranking for the combined SP + LP score should also be displayed for each individual judge, after the rankings for just the LP segment have been shown. The exact score each judge awarded to the skater for the LP, and for the combined SP + LP, should be shown along with the rankings as well, although only the rankings should be announced. The final total score the skater receives for the segment and the whole competition should still be announced, though.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    Olympia can you write in Le cafe what ballet movies you suggest? Red shoes is a great one, I saw it after Aronofsky´s Swan, I want to know more
    I also saw on the plane the Stooges skating movie after I found it in Veoh. I havent seen Cuting edge(any number) until now.
    Seniorita, I don't know how to start a thread. If you start one, I'll be happy to contribute. Most of the best ballet movies are performances of actual dances rather than stories about dancers with dance involved--there just aren't many of those that I know of. For example, the same team that produced The Red Shoes (which is a story about dancers with a lot of ballet shown) also produced The Tales of Hoffmann (which seems to be an adaptation of the Offenbach opera done as a ballet). There's a bunch of great Russian dance movies, dating back to the postwar period with things like the black and white film of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet with Galina Ulanova and the Bolshoi Ballet. There was ballet included in some Hollywood films during the MGM golden era, including Gene Kelly's Invitation to the Dance and An American in Paris, with Kelly and a very young Leslie Caron.

    You saw Snow White and the Three Stooges? I've only ever seen the last few minutes of it, on TV. I think Carol Heiss even sings! Having heard her speaking voice, I suspect she was dubbed.

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