Curated Movie Series/Clubs June 8, 2014 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Apropos of the horror movie club post below, I would like to suggest a system of having movie clubs/curated movie series, which would appear in a sidebar for upcoming watches. Details below.

(I suggested this in one of the first couple of FanFare threads but I was like 300 comments in so I'm sure nobody saw it.)

I think MeFites would really like to have (monthly?) movie clubs for particular genres for older movies, and also to watch a curated movie series where one MeFite (or a couple of them) pick out six (or whatever) interrelated movies and start a thread on one each week/month, on some particular topic, like "Best of Alfred Hitchcock" or "Bacon for the Ages: The Best Kevin Bacon Movie from Each Decade of His Life" or "Teen Movies of the 80s" or "60s B Movies" or "Trends in Tween Movies" or just anything.

One of the best things about MetaFilter is how knowledgeable and geeky people curate and explain their interests, and a movie series where someone who knows a lot about Hitchcock, or who is just an undying fan of 80s teen flicks, or who loves Tarantino, could curate a selection of the best movies in their mania. They could post each thread and then kick it off with a little commentary about why they chose it. This would allow one of the best features of MetaFilter -- its knowledgeable, interesting membership curating links -- to shine through in FanFare as well.

I would suggest having some method for moderators to "approve" a finite series or ongoing club, and then the upcoming movies could appear in an "upcoming meetups" type sidebar, where it would say, like:

Sept 1: Horror Club: Mothra
Sept 7: 80s Teen Series: Breakfast Club
Sept 8: SciFi Club: Bladerunner
Sept 15: Best of Bacon: Footloose

A refinement could be adding links to major streaming sources. If a sidebar of dates is too hard, maybe we could organize them on the wiki? I have no idea how any of this works on the back end so, just ideas!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Feature Requests at 9:31 AM (29 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

I would like this. One upvote.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:34 AM on June 8, 2014


Yeah, I think this can work in MetaTalk for now, but eventually we should be doing this on FanFare itself, in more general discussion threads. That's still a bit a ways away from being built, since it's a significant redoing of the backend to make open-ended discussions possible.

I've been wanting to propose re-watching the original Star Trek series, maybe one episode per week until the run is done. I've never watched a full episode of any Star Trek series, so I've always been meaning to catch up on the originals before trying out Next Generation, etc, and this could be a good way. Given they're 40+ years old, spoilers aren't really an issue, too.

We'd also need this kind of mechanism for a Book section, since it takes some significant time to get a bunch of people to all read a book together -- might be best scheduled a month in advance to let people read at their own pace.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:34 AM on June 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


I forgot to add, for now we can also do this kind of thing by hand on the FanFare sidebar, maybe starting with the horror club stuff, probably something we can flesh out and put up next week.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:36 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, this would be great for books! When I'm casting around for something to read, I'd totally check the FanFare sidebar for "upcoming book discussions" and see what looked interesting to me.

mathowie: "I've been wanting to propose re-watching the original Star Trek series, maybe one episode per week until the run is done. I've never watched a full episode of any Star Trek series, so I've always been meaning to catch up on the originals before trying out Next Generation, etc, and this could be a good way."

I did this the summer I had mono, all of ToS and TNG. This was before they were officially out on DVD; a friend lent them to me, they were pirated from Chinese TV, and they were in English but they all had Chinese subtitles on them. I learned to read a bunch of often-repeated Chinese words from watching them, but they're all kinda useless like "starship" and "Klingon-man" and "outer space" and "Make it so!" But if someone ever needs emergency deciphering of a short Chinese sentence about Star Trek, I AM ON IT. I mean, um ... you'll probably enjoy it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:43 AM on June 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


I am looking forward to how fanfare develops. I hope the mods can keep it as flexible as possible. It would be a shame if the process was either too unregulated that it became "everything gets a post" or too hard that interesting new efforts are stifled. Ofc that is a difficult balancing act - but mefi moos can handle that!

My back of the envelope idea was to do a "humanist fiction club" where we discuss on a semi-regular basis things I or likeminded souls have in a scatterbrained part of our minds labelled as humanist - which could be anything from books like "To Kill a Mockingbird", or "Midnight's Children" to the TNG episode Darmok or the Planetes anime. I don't have the time or energy to develop that idea now - but basically - yay! for more fanfare innovation, but lets be as flexible as possible please!
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:11 AM on June 8, 2014


Any news on the other subsite ideas? I ask as the world cup is just around the corner and you could try out sportsfilter for the world cup only maybe? The infrastructure must be in place, all you need is a new logo! (And having seen his photoshopping skills* I recommend cortex!) I know there has been a downturn in the uptake of moderators here recently, but I am getting the impression people are flagging things more, so I think it could work. Also, it would give me a place to make posts like "Neymar took a penalty -- You won't believe what happened next!" - WARNING - loud music. (and from the side)

Or I'm sure there are people who would voluntarily mod sportsfilter for you for the duration of the world cup. FanFare seems to be doing ok and the starting niggles are being ironed out, and sportsfilter is likely to be way way less a contentious place, and much quieter, as sports fans make up a smaller subset of mefites overall.
posted by marienbad at 10:16 AM on June 8, 2014


One idea for a system for clubs would be based on the IRL system. Instead of categories of events, there'd be a very general list of genres/media types in a drop down. You'd pick one of those, say, horror/film, then choose your title which would be something like "Best of 70's/80's Slashers, Week One: Halloween" then choose the date. You'd add a block of text where an event description would go saying what the film was and why it was chosen, you'd announce the date, then bob's yer uncle. A calendar listing akin to the IRL one could go in a sidebar to tell you which threads were coming for clubs.

This would have a few advantages and two shortcomings. The advantages would be: by being based off existing code, it would require less work to launch; by being similar to an existing part of MeFi, it would give a certain consistency; it would echo the very democratic nature of MeFi, I.e., anyone could add a future club thread. The shortcomings would be: it still wouldn't solve the matter of where, other than in infinite MeTa threads, groups could collaborate to choose films; the calendar style postings would be crap if people didn't follow up to post the actual threads on time.

Still... It could be a not-especially-labor-intensive starting point.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:27 AM on June 8, 2014


I like the IRL model suggestion. There's something about the idea of curation that really rubs me the wrong way, in how it elevates the status of certain participants by giving them the gloss of semi-official site recognition as an expert (or even as a superfan, person with a lot of knowledge, etc.). I'd argue that one if the strengths of MeFi is how these incredible people with insight and knowledge and enthusiasm bubble up to the surface, and I think something critical is lost here when we start designating people as subject-matter experts of a sort. The distinction may seem like a minor one, but I love the idea of people who share the same common interest coming together organically. That's very much how IRL works here, and if someone who was really stoked about Kubrick or someone wanted to propose a series of coordinated watches, that would be so great. Just as long as they can pretty much form and organize it however they want instead of having moderators determine that they're a kind of designated Kubrick expert.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:43 AM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I agree that there may not be a need for designated curators. Some movie club suggestions will gather their crowd even if no one has ever heard of the poster or the film, if the description sounds fun and is written well enough. And that's as it should be. This isn't to say informal curators wouldn't emerge. People can sort of establish their own credentials by amassing good posts.

I mean, at this point, if flapjaxatmidnite posts that there is some roots music worth checking out, I've seen enough of his posts that I am there. Same thing for ArtW and comics. There are undoubtedly MeFites I would come to trust similarly when it came to various genres of film.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:55 AM on June 8, 2014


It would still be interesting to have community/club discussions in which people collectively agree on films to watch. I just think it would be a bummer if some clever person couldn't invite people to a discussion all on their own.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:10 AM on June 8, 2014


Oh, yeah, I thought people would sort-of self-organize their clubs and designate someone to post, sort-of like we already do with Quonsmas and music challenges and whatnot. It's not so much that we need an Official Curator, but just someone who agrees to do the organizing for that bit, for some period of time. Then people could post as a tagline at the end of their post "Have suggestions for Horror Movie Club movies? Contact zarq" or something. We seem pretty good at bottom-up organizing this sort of thing and designating someone to be the organizer, and handing it off when they're tired of organizing it.

I guess I was thinking "mod approval" because right now posting movies still requires mods to push the button to approve. :) I guess I was thinking more along the lines if, they could line up your post approvals in advance or something if you told them you were doing "Classic 40s movies with DirtyOldTown" or you were the organizer for the Hitchcock club, but I actually have no idea if that sort of thing would work.

To me the important parts are a) encouraging people to create curated serieses/clubs because YO NERDS YOU HAVE INTERESTING TASTE I WOULD LIKE TO BENEFIT FROM and b) having an easily-accessible calendar of upcoming movie series/club picks. The mechanics of making that work are (to me) very secondary.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:20 AM on June 8, 2014


I like the idea of using the IRL style and having an actual "watch/read proposal" section inside FanFare. The nice things about that is anyone could propose an idea and then other people could comment or put themselves down as a "yes" or "maybe", and everyone could get a sense of whether there was enough interest to do it or not. I don't see why something like the horror suggestion couldn't go into something like this, with people commenting about which film they think is the best to start off with, and maybe the original suggester coming up with a short list/calendar based on the comments.
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:21 PM on June 8, 2014


I don't really see the need for any sort of official clubs... But I too think the IRL model could work really well. What I think matters the most is forewarning, so people can schedule to watch (or re watch) episodes before the threads show up.
posted by meese at 12:40 PM on June 8, 2014


I've never watched a full episode of any Star Trek series

It's inspiring how you've risen above your circumstances to succeed on the web.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:41 PM on June 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


+1 for an IRL model. The whole proposed/scheduled setup would work very well with minimal changes for organizing viewings, and it's been very amenable to a more democratic way of doing things than a single-curator method would be.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:24 PM on June 8, 2014


The IRL idea is pretty complex, and for something that's just an offshoot of an existing new site with tons of features still to be built, it's not something we'll be able to get to soon.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:10 PM on June 8, 2014


Sign me up for the bacon series as long as it doesn't involve the Porkies franchise.
posted by arcticseal at 4:01 PM on June 8, 2014


I'm signing up for the series/club pony, though I'm not ready to curate a series and am just interested in the series/club concept.
posted by immlass at 4:19 PM on June 8, 2014


Had just been thinking for books, as I'm reading the new Terry Pratchett with my kid, how perfect it would be for a mefi group read.

Also, I have been nonconsetually rewatching Every Single Episode And Movie of Every Single Star Trek Everything Including the Mother Fucking Animated Series people, because I'm such a good mom and Jesus my daughter is a fucking obsessive Trekie so anyway, I'm all for the Star Trek rewatch project because at least I'll get something worthwhile out of rewatching all this shit!!
posted by latkes at 6:22 PM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can haz book club plz?
posted by Quietgal at 9:46 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


We don't have Book functionality implemented for FanFare yet. It's very much on the list, though, and will come along at some point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:48 PM on June 8, 2014


Yar, this be a good idea. Have an upboat.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:41 PM on June 8, 2014


I've never watched a full episode of any Star Trek series,

Your world is hollow but you have not touched the sky.
posted by biffa at 11:52 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


When the Book Club thing is go, whenever that may be, I'm humbly putting in my two cents for The Culture series.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:51 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would suggest the Discworld series, but then you get discussions about the proper reading order :-)
posted by Pendragon at 4:16 AM on June 9, 2014


I've never watched a full episode of any Star Trek series

"Fascinating... it's [geek] life Jim, but not as we know it..."

Coincidentally I am contemplating a DS9 rewatch. I never made it to the end of it for assorted reasons, and it's been on the list of things to get round to for a long time.
posted by philipy at 5:06 AM on June 9, 2014


Count me as another who would love to participate in/suggest movies for guided watching. Vampire Movies Without Vampires! Anachronistic War Movies! The Death of the Cowboy! Films of the Soviet Thaw!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:14 AM on June 9, 2014


When the books and then the book clubs get up and running, whenever that may be, I'd be all about a nonfiction book club.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:58 AM on June 14, 2014


I would be interested in a nonfiction book club as well. Decent pop history or social science and decent pop science kinds of things, mixed with memoirs and journalism.
posted by immlass at 8:07 AM on June 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


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