Well, meet Jinni – a so-called ‘taste engine’ for films, which offers a novel and more intuitive way to search for movies. It has just been profiled by Techcrunch.
From the site itself it doesn’t look startling different from a run-of-the-mill search engine.
However, its 25,000 strong database isn’t just categorised by title, director and genre… you can search for a mood, or a plot characteristic like “dark humour” or “unlikely couples”.
A search for “shiny” comes up with Ichi The Killer as number one choice – err maybe not tonight. But a search for “quirky” comes up with Arrested Development (the TV series), Peep Show and Little Miss Sunshine. All good recommendations.
You can refine search by audience – “Girl’s night”, “Date Night” or by level of Critical Acclaim. Sooo… top choice for a critically acclaimed Boy’s night in is… The Dark Knight, closely followed by Pulp Fiction.
The results display is a bit different too – and this is also a good point – films come up as pictures with the most relevant ones the biggest. Because it’s taste not straightforward search, there’s not a definite relevance hierarchy, and so the collage display means you take in a lot more information.
Clicking on a film, the site then launches you through to pages where you can buy, rent or download the film online.
It’s not perfect – some perfectly reasonable requests like “gothic romance” (a personal prelediction) but it claims to improve with time and use. And they say, Jinni will offer high quality recommendations after 10-20 ratings. The database currently contains 25,000 titles, 20% of which are non-English language.
At no commitment, this could be quite useful for getting some new ideas for the Friday night in.