The Movies I Saw in 2013

As regular readers know, I keep a list of all of the movies I see each year. Breaking a trend, I saw fewer features (146) than I had in the previous year (160). I don’t really have any insight into this other than a strong suspicion that ~160 isn’t terribly sustainable for me.

I never actually got around to writing my “Best Of” 2012 post… As you may remember, I decided to stop waiting until the Oscars and instead just judge the movies I saw in the calendar year. I may be backtracking on this for 2013. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

This year, You’ll see some pretty graphs that I spent entirely too much time on. If you are interested in the technical guts of these graphs, look here. Luckily, all of the time I spent on writing the code for this year will make posting these graphs in the future a no-brainer. (I might even go back and spruce up the past few years with the new graphs).

The graphs, as well as the list itself, are behind the jump below.

  • Total # of movies:
  • Total # of features:
  • Total # of shorts:

A pretty large drop in the percentage of movies I saw in a theatre in 2013, down from 47% last year. Part of this is having a number of social obligations that kept me away from the SNFC, but some blame probably also lies at the foot of the ever-souring (mainstream) theatre experience. The indie theatres in Boston are still wonderful, but the skyrocketing price and cruddy service/experience at the mainstream theatres is disappointing.

The graph below is new for 2013, though I’ve been tracking this data for a few years now. You can use the button below the graph to omit the “Home” category if you are strictly interested in the breakdown of actual movie theatres.

20-25% repeat viewings seems pretty standard over the past few years. This number probably wasn’t helped by the several times I saw The Act of Killing, which is one of the best documentaries ever made.

No surprise that after an atypical lull in the number of documentaries I saw last year that the number rose in 2013.

Second year with a spike in viewings in February. For it being such a short month, the fact that it competes with IFFBoston in April is impressive. I have no idea what happened in September… I averaged ~13 films a month this year.

That’s it for the graphs, below is the raw list of movies. As an added bonus, this year if you hover your mouse over the title of a film you should get a brief review from me in the tooltip.

5 thoughts on “The Movies I Saw in 2013

  1. Fascinating data-porn, Sean. Holy smokes that’s nearly a movie every two days! I didn’t realize you were so deep into it.

    My graphs would look very different – with about 2/3 bluray, 1/3 netflix, and maybe one movie in a theater.

    So what’s the data input? Are you storing these in Google Spreadsheets, or something custom?

    1. Originally, I just kept a simple text file which was just a simple list of the titles of the movies, separated into two categories, “Theatre” and “Video”. Back in the LiveJournal era I would just copy and paste these lists into a post.

      A few years ago I started tracking a bunch more metadata, and that is when I started keeping it all in a Google Spreadsheet to make it easier to add data from anywhere. But Google Spreadsheets graphs are (were? Maybe they’ve gotten better) pretty ugly, so at the end of the year I’d export the spreadsheet and import it into Numbers to generate the graphs. You can see those over the past few years. When I went back and looked at these older charts on my new retina MBP, they looked lousy, and I also wanted to eliminate most of the manual intervention required of that process (exporting from GApps, importing into Numbers, manually creating all of the graphs, etc).

      My plan starting in 2014 is to use a database with a simple webapp for input to make this even easier in the future. To get the data out of GApps and into something a bit more usable from JS, I wrote a Google Apps Script to email me the contents of the sheets in JSON. But we’ll see if I follow thru on this database plan… Even if I don’t, I’ve already simplified the process immensely.

  2. Very cool. If it’s any help, Len de Groot and I wrote an app called Freedive that pulls live data out of Google Spreadsheets into searchable visualizations. The code is crap – my first real JS app – I’d do it in Angular.js if I were doing it today.

    http://multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tools/freedive/

    but help yourself to whatever you find that’s useful in it. Anyway, love what you’re doing with this.

    Suggestion: install an “email comments” plugin here so people know when there’s comment activity on a post they’re tracking.

    1. I’m using the Miso.Dataset library to manage the data. Originally I was using it’s Google Spreadsheet importer to pull the data live from GS, but that just introduced an unnecessary layer of delay for data that wasn’t complicated and didn’t need to be live.. So I wrote the JSON exporter for GApps that I linked to above so that I could just load the simple JSON blobs from my own web server.

      And funny enough I *had* an email comments plugin installed but it somehow became disabled. Fixed.

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