Films are a thing, aren’t they? I’ve been playing catch-up recently, ploughing through loads of films that ‘I’ve been meaning to see for aaaages’. The list is a long one, hard to prioritise, and by its nature limited. How do I prioritise the films on it, and where do I turn when I want to give something ‘off-list’ a try?
I mention these rhetorical questions by way of introducing two things in the world of film that have brought joy to my life recently: Letterboxd and 20th Century Flicks.
Letterboxd is a free website that lets you keep a diary of the films you’ve watched, build up lists of films you want to watch, and connect with friends to see what they’re watching. It’s been great to finally consolidate my ‘notes-to-self’ into proper online lists that I can access anywhere, and have instant access to the recommendations of friends. There are various ways to tag, rate, and review films and to share these views with friends in your social network (or strangers in the wider world) and the whole site is clean, attractive and simple to use. Give it a go!
20th Century Flicks, on the other hand, is at the other end of the ‘recommend me a film’ spectrum – real-life humans in a real-life video shop. I became a member earlier in the year and have enjoyed chatting with the staff when choosing or returning DVD rentals ever since. They’re friendly, they know their stuff, and they’re extremely helpful when you want to pick their brains on what to watch. As great as the internet and the growth of pretty data-crunching websites can be, there’s surely no substitute for that.
You’ll find 20th Century Flicks on the Christmas Steps in Bristol, and they recently ran a competition to design a film poster for that delightful little alleyway of shops. Flexing my nascent design skills I gave it a go one evening with the below effort – the eventual winner was much more deserving, but I got a runner-up prize. Thanks, 20th Century Flicks!
Of course, you can always let me know your own film recommendations by getting in touch. I’ll try anything once.