How Big a Film Geek Are You?
Created by Lang Thompson
Grab some paper and keep score. The criteria are intended to be as definite and clear as possible but there’s some unavoidable wiggle room at times so follow the spirit in such cases. Unless otherwise stated, “film” means a feature (at least 60 minutes) not made for TV broadcast. To emphasize the point I’ve sometimes specified “feature” but the only time shorts are acceptable is when they’re specifically allowed. To count as having seen it you must have viewed the entire film. Though not intended as a trivia quiz there are a few such items to separate the geeks from the wannabes. Researching is not allowed; memory only.
Let the games begin!
1 point if you’ve seen a film in a drive-in.
1 point if you’ve seen a double-feature in a theatre.
1 point if you’ve seen a silent film with live musical accompaniment.
1 point if you’ve seen at least 15 films (any length) made before 1900.
1 point if you’ve seen films (any length) in all of the following formats: 8mm (incl Super 8), 16mm, 35mm, 70mm and IMAX.
1 point if you’ve actually run a film projector for a film of any length or any format. (Video projection most certainly does not count.)
1 point if you’ve seen a sound film of any length made before 1927. (For this question it’s OK if the actual soundtrack no longer exists.)
1 point if you’ve seen a hand-tinted film at least 10 minutes long
1 point if you’ve seen a black-and-white film that has a color scene. (No, The Wizard of Oz does not count; this must be at least one color scene/shot in a primarily B&W film.)
1 point if you’ve seen a 3D film in a theatre.
1 point if you’ve seen a film in a theatre where at least a quarter of the audience walked out.
1 point if you’ve seen a film of at least 10 minutes made entirely (excepting credits) of shots from other films (ie a collage film).
1 point if you’ve seen a film (any length) made without a camera. You can subtract a point if you have no idea how such a film might be made. (Computer-generated films don’t count.)
1 point if you’ve seen a film of at least 10 minutes that only has a single shot (excepting credits). Hitchcock’s Rope doesn’t count due to at least one visible edit.
1 point if you’ve argued with anybody about the proper aspect ratio of a film. (The argument can be in a mailing list or website as long as it was an actual discussion and not just one objection.)
1 point if you’ve argued with anybody about the proper projection speed of a silent film.
1 point if you can name three separate widescreen processes and how they work. Add another point if you’ve seen films in theatres in each of the processes.
1 point if you’ve gone to a theatre to see a film you’ve already seen on video just so you can see it in 35mm.
1 point if you’ve ever made written notes while viewing a film. Add a point if you have done this in a theatre.
1 point if you’ve ever travelled over 100 miles for the sole purpose of seeing a specific film. (Film festivals don’t count.)
1 point if you’ve seen an entire feature film in a language you don’t understand without subtitles. Add another point if you’ve seen five or more films like this.
1 point if you’ve seen any one film all the way through at least 10 times. (Having it on in the background doesn’t count.)
1 point if you’ve ever kept a journal or list of films you’ve seen. Add one point if it lasted five or more consecutive years.
1 point if you’ve ever seen a film primarily because of the cinematographer or composer.
1 point if you can name an editor who has never directed and five or more films that he or she worked on.
1 point if for one specific filmmaker/actor you’ve read three or more books about that person. (Critical studies count as long as they’re solely about that individual.)
1 point if you’ve read ten or more books that were each solely about an individual film. (“Making of” are most common but critical studies again count if they are only about that one film. Unlike the above item, the books don’t have to be about the same film: Ten books about ten films is acceptable.)
1 point if you’ve read a book all the way through that’s nothing but film reviews (whether by one critic or several).
1 point if you’ve read a book-length history of a film studio. Books that are primarily catalogs or photographic (such as The MGM Story) don’t count.
1 point if you’ve read at least 10 actor autobiographies. (Ghostwritten or not as long as it’s presented as autobiographical.)
Choose either Edgar G. Ulmer, Allan Dwan, Mario Bava or Roger Corman. 1 point if you can name ten or more films directed by that individual.
Choose either Raul Ruiz, Frederick Wiseman, Straub-Huillet or Mike Leigh. 1 point if you can name ten or more films directed by that individual.
1 point if you stay to the end of the credits in at least 3/4ths of the films you see in theatres.
1 point if you’ve walked out of less than six films. (Lifetime total, obviously theatres only but you didn’t have to stay for all the credits.)
1 point if anybody has made a joke about gaffers or best boys in your presence and instead of laughing (it probably wasn’t funny anyway) you explained what these were.
1 point if you’ve seen four or more features in a single day. Add another point if they were all in theatres.
1 point if you’ve ever viewed a film in a library or archive that wasn’t a regular screening (ie the film was shown specifically for you). Watching on video is acceptable.
1 point if you’ve ever looked up the earliest review in its original publication (ie not a book reprint) of a film made at least 10 years before you were born.
1 point if you can give the first names of the five Marx Brothers, the three Ritz Brothers, Wheeler & Woolsey AND Olsen & Johnson. Add another point if you’ve seen at least three films by each team (though obviously not requiring all five Marxes, anything billed as them counts).
1 point if you can name three directors who have never made a film over 15 minutes long.
1 point if you can name 15 directors who have made both documentary and fiction features. Add another point if you’ve seen the 30 relevant films.
1 point if you can name 20 fiction films done as fake documentaries or fake broadcasts. (Only for this question made-for-TV movies can count as long as they otherwise entirely fit the criterion, for example a TV movie won’t count if it’s half fake documentary.) Add another point if you’ve seen all 20.
1 point if you’ve seen in a theatre at least three films over four hours long each. (For this question, the film only counts if it has a cohesive story and is intended to be a single film. Shoah is acceptable but not any serial, The Decalogue or a marathon screening of The Lord of the Rings.)
1 point if you can name ten films that you’ve deliberately seen in two different edits. Add another point if you can name three films you’ve seen in three edits. (This is about rethinking and major variations so for this question, films edited for content, to make a specific rating or for BBFC demands don’t count as separate edits even if they’re labelled as director’s cuts. Thus no points for variations of Ichi the Killer, Casino or anything designated “unrated.” Also, multiple films edited together only count once, so the first two Godfathers and The Godfather Saga are one point (not three) as are the first two Lone Wolf & Cub films and Samurai Assassin.)
1 point if you’ve ever seen an entire feature film that started showing between 1 and .
point if you can name six or more films cut by Miramax for their
1 point if the first thing that comes into your mind when hearing “Irving Thalberg” is either Greed or Buster Keaton. (And subtract 1 point if you have no idea what the connection is.)
point if you can name five or more non-American films you’ve seen before the
point if you can name 30 or more countries that you’ve seen films from. (This question will be most open to your own
interpretation so try to be reasonable and follow cultural more than strict
political divisions. So for instance,
1 point if you’ve seen animated features from at least five different countries.
1 point if you can name five directors who have each made films in at least four different countries. (For international co-productions you choose only one country per film.) Add another point if you’ve seen all 20 films.
point if you can name five films that have completely different titles in the
1 point if you can name ten European, Asian or African films where the English-language title is not a translation of the film’s original non-English title. You have to know both titles and the originals’ actual translations.
1 point if you can name five novelists who have directed films. Add another point if you’ve seen for each person one of their films and read one of their books.
1 point if you personally made a film/video (any length) that was seen by at least 20 complete strangers.
1 point if you can name three film pairs that you’ve seen as an original and the remake where one was a musical and the other was not. (This is worded a bit oddly but the point is that it can be an original straight and a musical remake or an original musical and a straight remake. Bollywood counts only where it’s very specifically a remake and not simply “inspired by”.)
1 point if you can name five film pairs that you’ve seen as a silent and a talkie remake.
1 point if you can name the directors of ALL of the following unreleased (more or less) films: The Day the Clown Cried, The Brave, The Other Side of the Wind, A Woman of the Sea (aka The Sea Gull), Eat Your Makeup.
1 point if you can name the studios where each of the following spent most of their career: Bette Davis, Abbott & Costello, Bing Crosby, Humphrey Bogart, Betty Grable.
1 point if you’ve ever written to an magazine/newspaper editor or film critic to correct a factual error.
1 point if you’ve given a pet a movie-related name (actor, filmmaker, character or even title). 3 points if you’ve so named a child.
1 point if you have a movie-related tattoo.
1 point if you’ve ever called into work sick so that you can attend a movie. Skipping classes does not count.
1 point if you took a completely elective film class in school. (The class won’t count if it was part of major, minor or core curriculum requirements.)
1 point if you can name five non-chain movie theatres in cities that you’ve never visited. Add another point if you can name two or more films that have shown in any of those theatres in the previous or the upcoming month.
1 point if you own more than five non-song soundtrack albums.
1 point if you have owned (lifetime) at least five movie-related, non-cartoon articles of clothing. (Studio logos count, anything TV does not.)
1 point if you’re on at least two movie-related Internet mailing lists.
1 point if you regularly visit at least three movie-related websites, excluding ones based on a print publication and film sections of larger sites. In other words, the website can only be about movies and can only exist on the Web. (“Regularly” means at least once a week for a year or more.)
1 point if your web browser has at least 30 movie-related bookmarks. (This time film sections of larger sites count as long as it’s bookmarked separately).
1 point if you subscribe to at least two movie magazines. (Regular newsstand purchases do not count.)
1 point if you’ve ever spent a premium price on an out-of-print videotape or DVD. Premium in this case means at least double the current average price for a new item.
1 point if you’ve seen all the feature films of a director who has made at least 20. Add a point if he or she died before 1980.
1 point if you’ve ever intentionally bought a bootleg videotape or DVD of a film at least five years old.
1 point if you have watched a videotape or DVD consisting of nothing but trailers.
1 point if you have ever owned a multi-region DVD player.
1 point if you own more than five one-sheets (simple movie posters don’t count and if you don’t know the difference then you won’t qualify).
1 point if you’ve listened to at least ten DVD commentaries all the way through. Add another point if there are three films where you’ve heard two separate commentaries for each film.
1 point if you’ve read at least three of the following movie-based novels: Suspects (David Thomson), Throat Sprockets (Tim Lucas), Day of the Locust (Nathanael West), The Disenchanted (Budd Schulberg), White Hunter Black Heart (Peter Viertel), Fortune & Glory (Brian Michael Bendis), any of the Toby Peters books (Stuart Kaminsky, even if you’ve read the entire series it only counts as one).
1 point if you realize why Jerry Lewis is a genius.
70 plus = Level One:
Runs with Godard and Scorsese; memorizes Video Watchdog and Sight & Sound
55-69 = Level Two:
Hangs with DePalma and Tarrantino; reads Film Comment and Filmfax
40-54 = Level Three:
Carouses with Bay and Schumacher; looks at the pictures in Premiere
39 and lower = Level Four:
Did Alan Smithee help you with this?