If you’re like me, you probably hate when people ask you to compile a list of your top ten favorite movies. If you’ve seen a good number of a wide variety of films, your Top Ten list is probably fairly fluid, constantly fluctuating, seemingly dependent on whatever mood you may happen to be in when asked to compile your list.
The new website Flickchart, though, is looking to help you compile the ultimate list of films you like.
The premise is simple. The site presents you with two films and you pick the one you like more. If you haven’t seen either one or both, you click on a button and a new choice is presented. As you go begin to vote more and more, the site analyzes your results, compiling a list of what should be your all time favorite films. And remember, you’re voting on which film you liked more, not which is the better film. There are a number of films that I like, even though I know that they are flawed. My Top Ten list of Best Films would probably be very different from my favorite films.
Although many of the pairings are easy to vote on (12 Monkeys vs Aliens Vs. Predators is no contest), but some of them can really force you to think. Although they’re two radically different films, I like both Boogie Nights and Sin City and having to choose between them took more than a quick gut check. Ultimately, what makes some of the decisions hard comes down to when you first saw a film. I liked both Beetlejuice and Wall-E, but there is two decades separating when I first saw each one. When faced with realizations such as this, you start think about how the process of how you may have evaluated films has changed over time.
While the site is still in beta testing, you’ll need an invitation to sign up. If you can’t score an invite, the folks over at Cinematical have a link to sign up without one.
I will have to admit that I don’t quite understand how the site compares the results for the rankings. Currently, Army Of Darkness is at my number one spot, based on one vote, yet Once Upon A Time In America is at number 2, based on winning eight votes. At one point, Blade Runner was number three on my rankings list after voting for it a couple of times. Yet, when I choose The Sting over it, the first time that The Sting had appeared to be ranked, Blade Runner dropped down to fourth place and The Sting moved in to Blade Runner‘s number three spot. How does The Sting‘s one win outweigh Blade Runner‘s multiple wins?
I would also like to see more foreign language films tossed into the mix. (Especially in light of the number of foreign language movie posters that I’ve seen.) Out of the first 150 rankings I did, I only was asked about two non-English language films- Run Lola Run and Amores Perros. The same goes for films produced before the mid-1970s, with Casablanca and Citizen Kane being the only two films that one could consider a classic from Hollywood’s golden era.
Now granted the site’s faq does state that they start new users off with more popular films before filtering into the mix more obscure films. But many of the titles I’ve voted for probably wouldn’t even make it into my Top 200 list over older films like The Maltese Falcon, Forbidden Planet, The Thin Man or anything by the Marx Brothers or foreign fare like the original Godzilla or many of the films of Hayao Miyazaki or John Woo. After 300 pairings, I have started to see a few more classic films – Citizen Kane and Some Like It Hot – but no additional foreign fare.
Now, since these rankings are ultimately the product of the aggregate data, it stands to reason that the more you vote of pairs of films, the more statistically correct the ultimate list will be. That is certainly the site’s hook, that you’ll keep coming back to try and refine your list. Will that be enough for Flickchart to survive on? We will see…