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PopGap #17: Movie Slot Machine v2

PopGap #17: Movie Slot Machine v2

Written by dorrk
30 April 2016

The Movie Slot Machine: 12 Random Movies, One Specific Viewer

"May has 31 days… May has 31 days... May has 31 days... May has 31 days..."

That's been my mantra since pulling up the newly re-tooled Movie Slot Machine's selections for May. Out of the 12 movies it has chosen for me to watch this month, three of them combine for a longer running time than the other nine put together. I was tempted to monkey with the results, but after April's flu-riddled, lazy final week, I figure a movie-workout might help me clean out the remaining toxins. It's certainly a compelling and provocative schedule, and evidence that my engineers have successfully fixed the Movie Slot Machine's earlier predilection for spewing out uninspiring choices.

May's Movie Slot Machine Selections

  • Spellbound (1945)
    Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Fish Tank (2009)
    Dir.: Andrea Arnold
    List: Cannes Jury Prize
  • Point Break (1991)
    Dir.: Kathryn Bigelow
    Flickcharter: Ben Shoemaker
  • Le bonheur (1965)
    Director: Agnès Varda
  • The Best of Youth (2003)
    Dir.: Marco Tullio Giordana
    Cannes Prix Un Certain Regard
  • Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
    Director: Terence Davies
  • A Face in the Crowd (1957)
    Dir.: Elia Kazan
    Actor: Lee Remick
  • Shoah (1985)
    Dir.: Claude Lanzmann
    List: Paste Magazine's 100 Best Documentaries of All Time
  • The Great Divide (1929)
    Dir.: Reginald Barker
    Actor: Dorothy Mackaill
  • Lifeboat (1944)
    Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
    Dir.: Jacques Rivette
    Actor: Bulle Ogier
  • Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973)
    Dir.: Sam Peckinpah
    List: Time Out: London's 50 Greatest Westerns

Here's how I changed the Movie Slot Machine prior to May's selections:

  • Previously, I had four separate criteria for choosing movies: my personal watchlist of interesting movies, a crowd-sourced roster of notable actors, a crowd-sourced roster of notable directors, and a variety of curated movie lists from sources such as film festivals, awards organizations, prominent critics and other groups.
  • I combined all of these previously separated criteria — as well as adding in 20 Flickcharts from last year's Peer Review project — into one long list of 230 film-filtering rules.
  • I ran this one omnibus list through twelve times, each time assigning the top rule to one of the twelve slots in May's schedule.
  • Once a rule was assigned to each of the 12 slots, I located the highest-ranked movie that I hadn't seen (usually according to Flickchart's global rankings, with a couple of exceptions) which fit that rule.

Here are the rules and movies that were allotted to each of May's 12 slots:

PopGap #17: Movie Slot Machine v2

Trailers for May's Watchlist

PopGap #17: Movie Slot Machine v2


More info

Full list of all criteria loaded into the Movie Slot Machine for May:
View Movie Selection Rules

I post reviews for all the movies on this blog, and live-tweet most viewings here:

This list is posted to Letterboxd, here:

You can keep track of my Flickchart here:

Movie Slot Machine Rules


  • Movie: