106 Movies (but who’s counting?)

Michael Branson Smith is awesome!

Since Alan Levine arrived in Fredericksburg we’ve been watching our fare share of movies. It couldn’t happen at a better time for me because I’ve been missing my movie blogging. Too much ds106 blogging makes Jack a dull boy. For me, there’s nothing better than riffing on film and sharing around the medium that still gets me most excited. So far we’ve watched four films (not to mention a number of HBO series episodes, which represent their own magic—but that’s another conversation) and we got to thinking we’d blog about the films we watch, but also trace the choices we make over time as a way of building on what we’ve already watched. We started with the parodic spaghetti Western [[My Name is Nobody (1973), that I already blogged briefly about here, and then Anto suggested Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966), a classic, and the following night we ended up watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954). What was remarkable was the deep thematic relationships between Blow-Up and Rear Window that Alan blogged about already here.

So, the idea came to us last night that we might be able to turn our watching into some blogging fun. What we are thinking is that we watch at least 106 films over the next year (but I hope it’s many, many more than that). And in order to track the distributed discussion and open up the experience, we figured we would try and syndicate all relevant posts for the various films using the tag 106movies to an aggregation site (not unlike ds106.us). What’s more, we’ll be working on ways of filtering posts by response to specific movies through related tags, categories, etc., but more on that we actually have a plan—-which will probably emerge half-way though. Hopefully the use of tags, categories, etc. will help us link related responses and start to build a nexus of discussion, relationships, and a general sense of how the experience evolved over time, i.e., which movies the community chose, why, etc. And as you may have guessed, there won’t be a pre-determined list, rather we’ll figure out ways to choose a film that relates to a previous film, genre, theme, etc., as we go—and that will hopefully be community driven—assuming there even is a community 🙂

As with any good, open experience, you come in and drop out of the process as you see fit. This would be about doing whatever interests you and leaving the rest. You can blog from your own space and we’ll syndicate and filter the work according to tags through you blog, twitter, etc. as a means to experiment with how we can use a central aggregation space as a way to help us come together around various films we watch and want to share with one another, talk about in more depth, make animated movie posters of, etc.

As you can probably tell at this point the idea is still a bit rough, but Alan and I will be sitting down next week working out a number of the details and I would like to invite anyone interested in working on the idea and design of such a site to let us know so we can bring you into the conversation. I know a lot of you who are reading this love film, and I hope that this might provide an occasion to push all of us to share that love together in a space where it might even turn on others to the power of the medium.

And finally, if you might be interested in playing along with this experiment stay tuned, more details will be following very soon wither on this blog or Alan Levine’s. I’m really excited about this not just because I love watching and blogging about film, but also because this provides an opportunity to experiment with a framework like the one we built around ds106 for a truly distributed, informal learning experience that is not necessarily attached to a classroom. I am taking my inspiration here from Chris Lott’s awesome Motley Reading experiment, but this occasion will center around films rather than books. So, what do you think? Any feedback? Want to play along?  Interested in helping us make this happen? Let me know.

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3 Responses to 106 Movies (but who’s counting?)

  1. Maura says:

    There is no such thing as too much ds106 blogging.

  2. Mikhail says:

    I’m in. Sounds amazing to this ragged cinephile.

  3. Ben Harwood says:

    The best way to spend time in G+ hangouts is watching movies en communauté.

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