Some time ago, I decided to embark on a new project. I have decided to attempt to view every movie nominated for either an Oscar, a Golden Globe, or an Independent Spirit Award during the course of my life. This includes any movie nominated from 1971 until now (no matter when it was filmed).
After watching this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, I noticed how many interesting movies had come out that I had never heard of. So, a few weeks ago, I embarked on a hobbyist project to determine just how many we were talking about. In the process, I decided to eliminate certain categories from my project. To wit:
- Any movie nominated only for “Best Original Song.” A movie that only got a nod because Elton John sold a few million soundtracks doesn’t merit consideration, if only because that doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the movie.
- Any short movie nominated (“Documentary Short”, “Animated Short”, “Live Action Short”), because of the impossibility to find them reliably on DVD.
- Any movie unavailable via Netflix, or unlikely to be available in the future (generally, movies that have been out more than a few years who are not in Netflix’s database — either as “Add to Queue” or “Save”).
In order to build a master list of all of the movies (and eliminate duplicates), I built four tables in a MySQL database (not here), manually grabbed and culled the lists from IMDB, wrote a PHP page that generated an HTML list of the movies, ran ‘sort’ on it, and built a list of all the movies (minus Short Subjects and Best Original Song). From this master list, I found all the movies I’ve already seen, and began clicking on the others (which popped me over to IMDB). Any movies I found that didn’t indicate US DVD availability in that Amazon corner, I searched for them on Netflix. Those that I found were added to my Queue. Those that I didn’t got crossed off the list. In the process, I added them in blocks of 100 (with a status indicating unavailable, added to queue, already seen, or left to see) into a master MySQL table.
This evening, I finished the list. It is rather large:
- Total: 2,265 movies
- Already Viewed: 489 (21.59%)
- Unavailable on DVD: 417 (18.41%)
- Left to See: 1359 (60.00%)
- Added to Queue: 245 (10.82%)
When the awards ceremonies roll around again, I’ll add the nominees to my database and watch those, too. Given that I have over 1350 available (or to-be-available) movies in my database, I am hoping to catch up with whatever the current year is in about five years. At an average movie length of 2 hours, this is 113¼ days of movie viewing.
This project in no way restricts me from viewing movies I’ve already seen, movies that weren’t nominated, or TV series on DVD or in tivo. I’m pretty excited, though. I know I’m going to hate some of these films, but a number of them will probably end up in my DVD collection.
Wish me luck!