PopGap #15: Movie Slot Machine, Round Two, Completed

PopGap #15: Movie Slot Machine, Round Two, Completed

Written by dorrk
31 March 2016

The Movie Slot Machine needs repair.

This is the second month in a row that the Movie Slot Machine has yielded mediocre results. I dipped deeply into obscurity with some of March's 12 titles, but instead of mining hidden gems, only one movie from this month's slate cracked my Flickchart Top 1000, and then just barely, with my favorite of the group, The Gunfighter, coming in at a measly #925.

How March's Movies Stacked Up

  • The Gunfighter (1950)
    Dir.: Henry King
    My Rank: #925 (73%)
  • Eternity (2010)
    Dir.: Sivaroj Kongsakul
    Theme: IFFR Tiger Award Winning
    My Rank: #1248 (64%)
  • Touchy Feely (2013)
    Dir.: Lynn Shelton
    Theme: Rosemarie DeWitt
    My Rank: #1308 (62%)
  • Digging for Fire (2015)
    Dir.: Joe Swanberg
    Theme: Rosemarie DeWitt
    My Rank: #1582 (54%)
  • Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010)
    Dir.: Jake West
    Theme: Watchlist Lottery
    My Rank: #1852 (46%)
  • Café au lait (1993)
    Dir.: Mathieu Kassovitz
    Theme: Mathieu Kassovitz
    My Rank: #2006 (41%)
  • Something Must Break (2014)
    Dir.: Ester Martin Bergsmark
    Theme: IFFR Tiger Award Winning
    My Rank: #2081 (39%)
  • The Crimson Rivers (2000)
    Dir.: Mathieu Kassovitz
    Theme: Mathieu Kassovitz
    My Rank: #2135 (38%)
  • Babylon A.D. (2008)
    Dir.: Mathieu Kassovitz
    Theme: Mathieu Kassovitz
    My Rank: #2143 (38%)
  • The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
    Dir.: Roman Polanski
    Theme: Watchlist Lottery
    My Rank: #2150 (37%)
  • Kill the Messenger (2014)
    Dir.: Michael Cuesta
    Theme: Rosemarie DeWitt
    My Rank: #2588 (25%)
  • The Dog Pound (2006)
    Dir.: Manolo Nieto
    Theme: IFFR Tiger Award Winning
    My Rank: #2856 (17%)

Together, March's 12 movies averaged out to a dispiriting 44% ranking on my chart. This is a new low by some margin. February's debut of the Movie Slot Machine felt lackluster, but still managed a 55% average. During 2015, the first year of PopGap, only three months dipped below 60%. With three months also surpassing 70%, all of 2015's PopGap movies combined scored a full 24% higher than March's slog. Even if you factor in all of my extracurricular viewing from 2015, 360 movies in total, I beat March's average by 14%.

April will impose a break from the Movie Slot Machine, as that's the month I perform my annual Watchlist Spring Cleaning, so maybe I'll also take a closer look at the options loaded into the four slots and re-engineer them to hopefully produce a greater a yield of good movies in May.

This month's mini-themes, randomly selected from curated pools, were: