As I mentioned in the post-script to my Hobbit review, that film was the 900th feature film that I’ve seen. Or, more precisely, the 900th that I’ve seen and remember clearly enough to have rated on IMDb. There are, no doubt, several films from my youth that I no longer remember clearly, but if it’s something that I’d want to see again as an adult to evaluate, then it doesn’t really count (those that I do remember clearly are rated and counted). And, as stated before in my Reeling in the Years post, I’m only counting those feature-length films that have been released to theatres. Now, I’m waiting for the 1000 mark to do a breakdown of what years I’ve seen, but 900 is good enough to take a look at the genre breakdown.
I’m aware this is something that may be of interest only to me, but what the hey. It’s Sunday, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and most movie bloggers are probably watching Fogs torture himself with all the Twilight Movies, so it’s kind of a slow day. Here’s the rundown, using IMDb’s genre categories:
So what does this tell us? Well, for starters, the experience of going through this tells me that IMDb’s genre categorization leaves something to be desired. There are, naturally, a lot of films that are placed under more than one genre (hence these bars adding up to well over 900). This isn’t a bad thing; it’s a good thing, actually, since films aren’t easily pigeon-holed. But sometimes it’s pretty redundant. I have a pretty clear distinction between a music film and a musical film, but I don’t think IMDb does. (For the record: A musical film is one that features characters breaking into song as they go about their business; a music film is a film that’s about music. Beauty and the Beast is a musical film; This is Spinal Tap is a music film; The Blues Brothers is both.) And it’s obvious that action and adventure are pretty much in lockstep because most films that are tagged with one are tagged with the other; someday when I have a ton of time I might go through the films I’ve seen just to see what is actually unique to each category. Probably not though. Thriller (an ill-defined genre at best) is usually synonymous as well. And three-fourths of everything is labeled either a comedy or drama.
There’s also some weirdness with certain films being given odd genre labels. Tombstone for example, is labeled with several genres… including romance. I’ve kept the genres as IMDb gives them, but some of them are a little questionable.
Even so, it’s still possible to get some ideas of my genre preferences. I pick out more comedies than dramas. I like action/adventure/thriller films quite a lot. I hardly ever check out anything from the realm of “reality”, whether it’s a biography, historical film, or documentary. (My sole documentary is The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.) Fantasy just barely edges out sci-fi, though both are among my favorite genres, and there’s a lot of overlap (Star Wars, for example). I need to check out more westerns and mysteries; more war films as well. Romance looks stronger than it is due to IMDb’s gratuitous tagging; I doubt very many of the films I’ve watched would be considered primarily romances, it’s just that so many films have a subplot of romance.
I’m amused by the fact that I’ve seen more crime films than family films. I’m surprised that film noir is made up of only four films, though; I guess most of the classic films I’ve seen don’t count, but I thought the number would be higher, even so.
It may come as a surprise, given that I’ve had “Halloween Haunters” as a section of this site since its inception, that I’ve only seen 79 films in the horror genre. The simple truth is that I didn’t watch many horror films as a child, teen, or young man. Most of the horror films I’ve seen have been in the past three years; “Halloween Haunters” is an online continuation of a personal goal I started the year before to watch some horror films during October. So it makes sense that the number is about what you’d get from somebody watching horror films for three Octobers in a row.
As for what it all means… well, it’s mostly just a curiosity thing. I’m not going to make huge sweeping changes to my viewing habits, though I may try to shore up some of the weaker-represented genres.
One hundred films to go until I hit the 1K mark.