Letterboxd = Best Social Network
Given the current state of social media, it’s a novel idea to bring people together around a singular topic (and without the intention of influencing elections). I’m sure there are quite a few sites like this that I’ve never heard of - I can only think of two off the top of my head, Untappd and Letterboxd, but with my beer intake reduced to almost nothing as a general “feel better” rule during the pandemic, I am focused fully on the latter. Letterboxd is truly the only social network that I love.
I don’t know what part of my personality makes me obsess with tracking and analytics, but Letterboxd does a really good job of satisfying those proclivities.
This site has not only replaced IMDb for me for quick look-ups of film details that escape me, it also contains a vibrant community of people who love films.
The film-logging part is especially cool, not because I ever forget a film I’ve watched, but rather the richness of reporting that the site generates from you watch activity.
At any point, overall or for any year that I have data on, I can take a deep-dive into my viewing habits and see what I liked best that year, how many films I watched and when, breakdowns in genre, director, actors, and crew, as well as by country of origin.
At the start of each new year, Letterboxd also sends a beautifully designed report of the previous year’s watching habits and totals.
Ok, this is where things get a little crazy..
I started making lists of people that I really liked; first to see how much of their work I’d actually seen and also to learn about what I hadn’t.
- Quentin Tarantino (90% watched)
- Steven Seagal (75% watched)
- Alien Universe (100% watched…and then some)
- Keanu Reeves (41% watched)
- The Work of Stan Winston (48% watched)
Then I went a bit further and made lists based on Oscar wins going as far back as the categories existed.
- Best Picture Winners (1929-Present) (37% watched)
- Best Animated Feature Winners (2001-Present) (63% watched)
- Best Visual Effects Winners (1963-Present) (67% watched)
Loving how the list feature works (you can even fade out the films you’ve already seen in each list), I started thinking up random lists like the “Movies I can’t stop watching no matter what point I start watching them.” (100% watched) or “The Films That Raised Me” (100% watched).
Lists are more functional for me as well - I have 2 separate lists that contain the contents of my media library and purchases I’ve made through iTunes (or MoviesAnywhere).
Letterboxd has an AppleTV app that is equally well-designed; this is my preferred method of figuring out what I should watch next and then knowing exactly where to look for it.
(But, like, not in the creepy Facebook way.)
Overall, Letterboxd is the perfect example of an idea distilled down to simple elements and presented with beautiful design.
You can’t call yourself a film lover without at least checking out this site.