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"Sherlock Holmes meets Godzilla": Film Description through Comparison

Full APA Reference

Organisciak, P., & Twidale, M. (2014, March). "Sherlock Holmes meets Godzilla": Film Description through Comparison. Poster presented at the 2014 GSLIS Research Showcase, Champaign, IL.

Publication Abstract

Describing things briefly, clearly and well is hard work.  We know that -- we study it and try to do it in many parts of LIS.  Describing a movie is quite a challenge -- especially if you are trying to do a good job in just a few words.  Using a set of nearly 8 million Amazon user reviews of films we find that some people are able to use a very terse and yet surprisingly effective way of describing some aspects of what makes the movie stand out -- a qualified mixture of other films.

These descriptions seem to get to the heart of the movie, in a way that many people who h ave seen the movie can agree with.  They are clearly inspired by the popular culture view of the movie pitch -- where an idea for a movie has to be described ot busy executives as clearly and quickly as possible.

We explore examples of this activity through 7,911,684 Amazon user reviews of films (McAuley and Leskovic 2013) to understand how, why and when they are effective and speculate on the potential of this approach to inform novel information organization and access.