With social networking changing quickly and for the better, it can be hard to keep track of what all is out there for film aficionados. The most obvious one is Facebook since you can just search for your favorite film and become a fan of it. If it's not there you can create one, the same way I did with the Leonard "Bones" McCoy page. But if you're serious about film, even THAT'S not enough. Eventually you have to find others how there who share the same passion as you so you can discuss and learn from them. Sometimes you even learn about movies you'd never have considered before.
- First Pick: The Auteurs
A back in November I got an email from Amazon.com announcing the release of AK 100: 25 Films of Akira Kurosawa (Criterion Collection) As a film collector, you can imagine how excited I was, as Kurosawa was one of the greatest directors of all time. I went to the Criterion website to see what else they had and found my way onto their film social network.
The Auteurs is more than just a social network for film junkies, which it is really good at, but it also has a selection of film you can view online. Some, such as Kids Return, cost only $5 to watch, while others are free, such as Touki Bouki, are free. There are over 7,000 movies available to rate and review. You can sink your votes and reviews with your Twitter or Facebook. They are constantly adding new films to the database. You can befriend film lovers who share the same passions you do. The website has been up for two years now but is still listed in Beta. I'm not sure why but it is. When I R&R a movie, it's instantly posted to my Twitter so others can see. It also introduces you to many different films out there you probably never considered or even heard of.
- Second Pick: TCM's Classic Film Union
I just recently discovered this while watching Turner Classic Movie's 31 Days of Oscar. I'm a major fan of TCM and have discovered a lot of classic films I didn't realize existed. When I joined, it took me a minute to learn everything. Obviously THIS site is still in Beta, as some of my changes take a little bit to show up on my profile (I haven't had a new message in a few days and the icon at the top says I do).
I found my way around the site easily enough. I do enjoy the "I'm Watching Now" feature, which does exactly what it sounds like. I watched some of TCM's special today and selected the movies. Some of the films don't have pictures with them, but that works for me. I've met up with some interesting people and been introduced and have introduced others to some fascinating films.
So those are two sites you should definitely check out, but what about other stuff? What other things should you look for to learn more about film?
- Start with Twitter
Sure, this seems obvious or maybe naive, but following the right people can open up venues you never thought possible. It's always good to watch for the VERIFIED badge in the top right corner of whomever you plan on following. This generally applies to famous people as I don't have one of those. I could recommend quite a few out there, but the list is so long it would take forever to do. I follow Kevin Spacey, Roger Ebert, and Lionsgate Movies, the last of which is following me in return. Don't expect a lot of the major ones to follow you, but you should follow them anyway. You never know what you could learn. Ebert and Spacey are very active with theirs, Ebert more so than most people I know. You can learn a lot by the people you follow.
There are also newsletters you can subscribe to, different venues you can check out, websites that have lists of festivals you should attend. Even if you're an amateur just looking to enjoy movies, you should attend at least ONE festival in your lifetime. You never know the people you could meet. Then again, you could just subscribe to my horrible articles and subject yourself to amateur writings.