Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flickchart is awesome!

Flickchart is an amazing website that not too many people seem to know about.  For cinephiles with too much time on their hands, there's not much on the internet that's nearly as addictive.

Essentially it's FaceMash, but with movies.  It all started with an argument over which was the better movie: Pulp Fiction or The Empire Strikes Back.  In the words of the website "If they're all Five Stars, then which one's the best?".  Flickchart has a pretty great solution to all of this.  If you sign up for a free account, you are given a series of choices between two films.  You click on the poster for the movie you like better, then a new choice is provided.  If you haven't seen a film, you can say so and it won't come up again.

As you continually choose between films, Flickchart gradually fills in a list of every movie you've ever seen, ranked by your preference.  It will start by offering well known films, then using your choices it will suggest films you are likely to have seen.  So far, I have over 1200 films on my chart.  You can also search for a film by title and reslot it into your chart, which I now do for every movie I see.

As a movie fanatic who loves listing things I like, I've become a hopeless Flickchart addict.  It's like a slot machine for me, as I constantly click and am rewarded with movie posters.  Some of them bring back memories, while others inspire me to check out films I've never heard of.  Meanwhile, the website also combines the results of everybody's Flickcharts to create what they hope is a better barometer of film quality than the imdb top 100.

What sucks about the top 100 is that when some hot new fanboy property comes out millions of idiots rate it 10, and suddenly The Avengers is the greatest film of all time according to imdb.  Flickchart has methods of avoiding this.  Recently, they implemented a few behind the scenes algorithms, such as scaling films based on how new they are to counteract "fanboy rush".  Other algorithms are harder to explain, but the net result is a pretty good picture of what self-proclaimed movie fanatics on the internet think are the best films.

It's a work in progress, but I like the list.  It doesn't mirror my personal best of all time, but I think it's accurate.  What's really great about it is that it clearly is a list of people's "favorite" movies.  It's refreshing to see a best of list that's actually populated with movies people enjoy regularly.  While I like Citizen Kane very much*, isn't it more believable that the Internet's favorite film is Star Wars?

Check out my Flickchart by clicking on the banner I just added to the sidebar on this page.  Let me know what you think!  And make sure to comment with a link to yours, if you feel like sharing... I'd love to see!

* Before any smart aleck brings up the 2012 Sight and Sound poll, I haven't seen Vertigo yet.

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