The Stranger's FIrst annual SIFF Know-It-All Movie Quiz has come and gone, leaving in its wake one winner, one loser (also a winner), and several dozen disgruntled (but good-natured) also-rans. Jammed into tiny desks in an unventilated room, cheat sheets, pencils, and Scantrons in tow, around 50 participants were made to answer 25 multiple-choice questions and one essay. Prizes were awarded to the highest and lowest scores, on a grade scale between 100 and -90.

The winners: Annie Wagner (who scored an 84) and Kate Preusser (-73), friends in real life who swore they didn't cheat. Annie will receive the Grand Prize (two full-series passes to SIFF, two passes to Satellites 2001, a $50 gift certificate to Video Vertigo, dinners at -ing, Adobo Taco Lounge, and Kabul, among other things), while Kate gets the runner-up prize (one SIFF full-series pass, and a bunch of crap that says The Stranger on it). As a consolation to Kate, who will probably have to help her friend carry all that loot, here is her winning/losing essay, a response to the following question: "Movies are better than paintings. Comment."

"This is a big lie, actually. Paintings are far superior to movies, and I'm not just saying that 'cause I don't know anything about film. Because I don't. I think you should automatically disqualify anyone who tries to pull any of this 'you can't compare two different genres' hoo-ha. These are the same kids who cheated their way into always getting the piece of birthday cake with the frosting flowers by telling the cake-cutter they 'didn't care what piece' they got. What weasels. No, I think painting is far superior, for the simple reason that people who like paintings are a lot less annoying than people who like film. God, they are the worst. Film majors. Always going on about lens angle, this pan, that, and blah blah. My friend Annie criticized me for not liking Chuck and Buck because she thought I was 'expecting too much from it as a narrative.' I said narrative schmarrative, it was a goddamn boring movie. Like watching that cartoon coyote get worked over the head with one anvil after another. Annie said, blah blah camera angle and blah blah film speed and blah blah color. I said, whatever, it's still boring. If I'm roped in somewhere for two hours it should not be like watching that turtle-hopping roadrunner get ground into dust over and over again. At least with paintings you can walk away if they bore you. Plus, if one lives--as I do--by the dictum, DESTROY WHAT BORES YOU ON SIGHT, well, it's a lot easier to trash a painting than it is to trash a movie. I know because I thought about it once; I was alone with a horrible Ingres at the North Carolina Museum of Art--but that was a long time ago. The girl who is sitting next to me has on very uncomfortable-looking shoes. I feel badly for her. Anyway, what I mean to say is paintings move me a lot faster than movies. And if they don't, then I move on. Maybe some of this is because film is such a 'new genre'--another thing Annie is always harping about. I say, well if it's so goddamn great, why wasn't it invented a long time ago? That shuts her up. Also, film draws a world around you in a way painting doesn't. I'm not saying this is a good thing. It's claustrophobic. You don't get any input. The filmmaker demands you to feel; the artist requests. I can't believe there are people outlining this stuff. So blah blah, maybe I need to take a film class or something, and then Annie will quit making faces at me when I roll my eyes about her pretentious French documentaries. Although I took a poetry class and I didn't like that any better. Poets, now they're the worst. They trump film majors, easy. The guy in front of me is writing so fast there are veins standing out in his arm. Bet he's a film major. He has a ponytail--major sign." n