The Way We Watched
When looking back on the absolute plethora of classic film I've enjoyed since becoming truly interested in the genre nearly ten years ago, I realize with some incredulity that only the dullest of movies escape me: dozens of titles, timeframes and trivia seem to come easily to me (must be displacing all of the mathematics lessons I can never retain). But would I be an aficionado, self-professed or otherwise, without some sort of helpful cataloguing to remind me of the hundreds of movies I've watched in a decade? I think not. Luckily, I've graduated from using rote memory and a beat-up spiral notebook to house my personal reviews, and have found equally reliable but easier means of logging all the films I've loved. Why not check out:
Flixster is an intriguing and very addictive new way to rate, organize, and share your favorite films online. Sign-up for the service is free and brief, and within minutes you'll be compiling your list of favorite movies, actors, and directors, along with categorizing those films you want to see. Each movie allows you to rate it out of five stars, add comments or a summary, and then compare your results to any other user's on Flixster. Why would this be useful, you ask? Planning movie nights are a snap - just line up your profiles along with those you want to invite to your festivities, and Flixter gives you a complete and detailed list of all the films that appear on your mutual favorites' list, as well as those that everyone has filed under "Want To See". I appreciate the fact that it's a much more visual way of organizing and envisioning my cinema favorites, much like movie-watching itself. Flixster also hosts movie clips and trailers, photo galleries, and forums - it's IMDb meets Netflix, with a pinch of MySpace's customizability thrown in for good measure.
You can view my Flixster profile and see how our movie tastes line up. Feel free to add me as a friend!
A simpler and more practical approach for tried-and-true TCM devotees like myself to keep account of their film-watching is The Film Lover's Journal, a true improvement upon the battered Meade notebooks of old, published by Journals Unlimited. Spiral-bound and durable, each of its 200 pages has blank areas to fill in a film's title, starring actors and directors, and your personal rating, along with ample space for additional information and comments. I received mine from my great friend (and frequent comment-poster) Kelly, and find that it's the perfect size to tote along in both my backpack or my purse and flip through, or add to, whenever I've viewed something truly spectacular or notably horrible. It's also great at sparking movie-related conversations when left lying amongst my coffee table books for guests to page through!
You can order a copy of the journal from JournalsUnlimited.com; various sizes and types of personalization are available. What a spectacular Christmas gift for the movie lover on your list!