A Life in Film – my Letterboxd stats

I was recently inspired by the stats visualizations on Letterboxd.com, a movie review website. The stats page is available for Pro subscribers only, but I’ve enjoyed Letterboxd as a free subscriber since 2013. Now that I’ve paid for a year of Pro, I can actually look at stats for each of the years that I’ve used the service.

This overview of Letterboxd stats will serve as my 2019 in review, but I’ll also point out some of the “all-time” stats features.

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Changes in the Hollywood Production Code

Sex perversion. White slavery. Childbirth. Miscegenation. Obscenity. Salacious titles. These are just a few of the subjects that were forbidden by the “Production Code” that governed Hollywood on-screen morality from 1930 through 1968. It’s been a challenge to find a good summary of the changes in the Code, so included here are links to original sources as well as a downloadable quick-guide I created showing the three major changes to the code before it was strictly enforced in 1934.

Text of the 1934 Production Code
1934 Production Code from the Motion Picture Herald
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Best Movies of the Decade: 2010s, Part 1

I’ve pored over my movie spreadsheet to curate a list of films that you should see. I arbitrarily ended up with 40, so I’ll present 20 of them here; my absolute favorites will be revealed soon, in Part 2.

This is a mixture of personal, critical, blockbuster, and groundbreaking favorites. You’ll notice that I gravitate towards drama, sci-fi, and documentary films, but I’ve included a few horror and comedy flicks in here, as well.

Read more Best Movies of the Decade: 2010s, Part 1

Video clips and history of world cinema: 1918-1927

10 Years 10 Films (10Y10F) is a project to display embedded YouTube selections of cinema history. This is Part IV of a series that gives the viewer a quick time-lapse view of how movie technology and style has developed throughout the world – one clip each year – from 1888 through 2017, starting with the foundations to see how filmmakers build or deconstruct them.

World cinema 1918-1927

As “the war to end all wars” came to a close in 1918, the destruction in Europe shifted the center of the film world to Hollywood. By 1928, the “Big Five” studios had been established and they dominated the artistic and economic production of films in the United States.[1] This was particularly stifling for women directors as alpha males created a toxic environment on set.[2]

Despite – or perhaps because of – their lack of resources, German filmmakers in particular were especially creative during this time. Foreign language films were rarely exhibited in the States, but as the political situation worsened, several directors from Europe and Russia were recruited to Hollywood.

This is an era that continues to be revered today, with frequent exhibitions of classics like Metropolis, Within Our Gates, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, The Gold Rush, Battleship Potemkin, Nosferatu, and The Mark of Zorro to name a few. Read more Video clips and history of world cinema: 1918-1927