Monday, 15 June 2015

The internet of making lists

After making a list of all the films I've watched on a film-diary-type-website, one thing has become clear: I don't watch many films. Since last November I've only seen 27 films. I always imagined I watched lots of films, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Maybe it never was. The thing about a list like this is that it turns your assumptions into bare facts. When I think I've seen lots of interesting films recently, the list will say 'No, you've only seen five films since February'. The films I imagined I watched were probably two years ago. The truth is that I don't feel the need to watch many films. With so much good television on these days, going to the cinema seems almost unnecessary. When I can watch Game of Thrones, or a new season of True Detective, or Mad Men, or Breaking Bad, I already have a lot of stories. Sorry films, I do love you really, but the list doesn't lie.

The internet is great at keeping track of these things. I use Goodreads to do the same thing with books. And as books take such a long time to finish, they enter the list with a satisfying thud. The slowly growing list, like this blog, will remind me that, look, this is a part of what you did on this day, or that month. My mind reduces the past into a squishy blob where the when of things is uncertain. But the lists remember. For instance, this blog will tell me that about two years ago I was watching a lot of James Bond films. I thought that was last year. The technology disagrees.

Blogging becomes an accidental diary. When I wrote 71 posts in 2011, that was just the present. Now it's four years ago, and my random thoughts on whatever take on more significance. This is what I thought then, or at least what I wrote down. Somehow, reminding myself of the time I watched The Host, a film about a rampaging fish monster, illustrates the passage of time more than anything else. Or it at least reminds me of the time I watched The Host. Unfortunately, I don't blog as much as I used to, because I'm a bad person. And I don't leave reviews on 'Letterboxd'. I need to write down what I thought of some of these films, so me in four years will remember. I'll do that now.

Best film Whiplash Film I really didn't enjoy as much as I wanted to Elysium Most grim The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Film I saw just before I started this list Interstellar Film that made me wish the director had spent the time doing something better Pacific Rim Someone is taken, but not for as long as before Taken 2 Second most grim The Girl Who Played with Fire Any Christmas film will do, it just has to be about Christmas Deck the Halls Film I'd never heard of but has Heath Ledger Ned Kelly I remember hardly any of this from when I saw it a long time ago Time Bandits Film I actually wrote a blog post about 2001: A Space Odyssey I just finished reading these books The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring There is nothing really to say about this film The Expendables 2 Action film where main character seems strangely laid back Rollerball I wonder if these films will get less popular soon; I mean they're fine, but there really are a lot of them Captain America: The Winter Soldier Now I understand what all the quotes about running meant Forrest Gump Films I saw half of, but couldn't put on the list because rules are rules Home Alone, Skyfall, other things I've forgotten about because I didn't put them on the list