When somebody finishes a film, there is nothing better than the discussion that follows. Whether it be a home viewing or one in the theater, audiences yearn for the discourse on some level. Unfortunately, some enjoy more avant-garde cinema or foreign films that major audiences will not be willing to discuss due to lack of access. Luckily, there is a community for all film lovers to come together and discuss whatever genre they adore most! This community is none other than the social networking site, Letterboxd.
Founded in 2011 by Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow, the New Zealand based app has a singular focus that remains true to this day. Letterboxd is a forum for anybody to discuss the film in any regard. Whether someone loves a film or hates it, there is a constant ongoing discussion pertaining to it. And whether it’s the tentpole blockbuster of the year or a deeply obscure documentary, users will be there sharing their thoughts. And these reviews are just the tip of the iceberg.
Letterboxd is more than just a site to leave reviews for films. It acts as a film diary for your entire life. You can check what you saw on any random day years ago as long as you logged it. You can even create custom tags to become even more specific with your search. Tags can be anything, from people you saw the film with or even the location/streaming service you viewed it on. While these may be minute details to some, it can provide a fun statistic for groups to come together and compare.
Since Letterboxd is made for a community of film lovers, it obviously has basic social media aspects. The ability to follow and be followed allows for a wider grasp on film itself. Now, you have an outlook into the constantly updated lists and watch lists of film lovers all around the world. There is a never-ending world of cinema, and Letterboxd is constant proof of this. On top of a basic watch list, custom lists can be created as well. Whether it be “Filmmaking Debuts From 1985-1995” or “Rankings Of Every Best Picture Winner”, there seems to be a list for everybody. This promotes the idea of expanding horizons past the genres we know. Instead, it encourages growth and may lead to a new favorite.
Most importantly, Letterboxd promotes discourse on film in any capacity. There are many users that review by having a single joke related to the film. There are others who write deeply impassioned essays as a whole. Letterboxd is a platform for those who may not want to write about film fully, but love to talk about it in any context. And that is arguably the most beautiful thing about it. Not everybody has to be a professional reviewer of film. Some merely love the medium and want to get their ideas out in any way they can. It’s very evident based on the service’s growth that these users love all kinds of film.
Best of all, the service is free! There are two paid tiers as well, which are worth it if you truly love the site and crave some extra features, but are by no means necessary for an enjoyable experience. It is basically a way to show appreciation for those that tirelessly work on this website to provide the best possible product for everyone. Some paid features include: more detailed filtering, list duplication, and arguably the coolest of them all, personalized “Year In Review” statistics. By year, users are able to essentially see a variety of statistics based on the films they watched over the course of a calendar year. From most watched filmmakers to listing films watched by country of origin, it is thoroughly extensive and worth the price.
More social media sites should aspire to be like Letterboxd. It is one of the few websites that truly feels like a close-knit community. Its members inspire each other to look into more films they may be unaware of. It promotes discourse to write fully to your heart’s content. It fosters a sense of love for film. Letterboxd is a place for film lovers, by film lovers. That shared passion is all that is necessary to elevate a great service to one that is simply a fantastic community for all.
There is an app available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, as well as at Letterboxd.com.
Do you have a Letterboxd? Comment your username down below and let us know what you love most about the service!