Local culture

With the arrival yesterday of Riding Giants1, my once-extensive Netflix queue is whittled down to just one or two films. So it’s time to wander through my recommendations and fill up the list again. I took a list at the current queue for my parents and noticed a Netflix feature I hadn’t seen before: “Local Favorites.” Enter a city and Netflix shows the top 25 movies that people in that city are renting more than people elsewhere. This means that most new releases are excluded from the list, because everybody is renting those; instead, the list suggests how local rental habits are different from those in most other places. Neat!

So what’s more popular in Flagstaff than in most other locations? Here’s the top five: Adventure, crime, western, romance, and really crappy Will Ferrell flick.

  1. Touching the Void
  2. The Sopranos: Season 3 (4-Disc Series)
  3. Deadwood: Season 1 (6-Disc Series)
  4. Love Actually
  5. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Compare to Tucson, which I would have hoped to be better than renting Ace Venture excessively. Is Dolores Claiborne a desperate cry for help, a pining for frosty New England?

  1. Monty Python’s And Now for Something Completely Different
  2. Quills
  3. Twice in a Lifetime
  4. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  5. Dolores Claiborne

And see how cosmo Sundance home Park City (In Good Company, The Sea Inside, Million Dollar Baby, Collateral, De-Lovely) differs from my, well, less cosmo hometown of Ogden (The Work and the Glory, I Am Sam, Roman Holiday, In Good Company, I Am David).

Due to structural equivalence, I’ll promptly add the films I haven’t seen from the Flagstaff list to my own queue. Any other recommendations?

1 By the way, Riding Giants is really enjoyable. It’s from Stacey Peralta, who also made Downtown and Z-Boys, which tended to feel sort of smug, too skateboarder-triumphalist or something, but which had plenty of cool footage. Riding Giants is a few steps away from Peralta’s own legacy in skateboarding, so it feels like a more balanced documentary of big wave surfing. The vintage and contemporary footage is great (sometimes awesome), and the spliced-in interviews are good (much better than in Dogtown).