Trying to stay up-to-date with everything film related, from the latest news to scouring for a film to stream, can be exhausting. Luckily, us 21st Century mortals have a small device in our pockets ready to access every inch of the cinematic landscape at the swish of our thumbs.
Our fruit-based devices (other retailers apply) have the unparalleled ability to discover anything you want. What is the name of that director who directed that film you adore? There’s an app for that. What streaming service out of the plethora that already exist have that film you so eagerly want to revisit? There’s an app for that. Or perhaps you’re wondering if there is a simple guide out there written by an overly-enthusiastic millennial with too much time on his hands about the must-have apps for every aspiring cinephile? Now there’s an article for that.
Disclaimer: these apps have been chosen from Apple’s App Store. If you’re an Android user, some of these apps might not be available just yet.
Okay, we’re starting with a no brainer. The Internet Movie Database has been the front-runner for film-related information since its inception in the 90s, boasting over 5 million titles and 83 million registered users as of October 2018.
I use the IMDb app almost every day. With its slick user interface and simple navigational style, cinephiles have the ability to scour the site for any information they might need related to film, or even television. Directors’ filmographies, fun trivia, parental guidance; IMDb has it all. I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but this app is essential for any individual wanting to take film seriously. Download it. Now.
“What if there was a social media platform dedicated entirely to film lovers?”
If you have ever had this eureka moment, you’d be delighted to know that there is a service out there to quench your film-based social media thirst: Letterboxd.
Created in 2011 by Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow, Letterboxd is every cinephile’s dream. The social media platform provides a place for users to review, log and rate their recently watched or favourite films by utilising the service as an online diary. Your followers can then see your recent activity and either like or comment to start a discussion about said films. Gone are the days of awkward face-to-face encounters.
But by far the service’s most fun and addicting feature for users is the ability to create and edit lists. If you’re like me, creating lists is like heroin. Ranking my favourite films from a particular director, or creating a list of all my recently seen new releases in a fashionable and easily-accessible format is almost orgasmic. Okay, too much information – but you catch my drift. This is another app I find myself checking every 10 minutes, and by upgrading to a ‘Pro’ or ‘Patron’ membership for an annual fee, you’ll be supporting a service attempting to rub shoulders with the social media titans like Facebook and Twitter. A must have.
The streaming world is a daunting place. Prime Video. Netflix. Rakuten TV. BBC iPlayer. BFI Player. NowTV. There are a plethora of streaming services that all offer their unique catalogue of films and TV shows. If only there was an app to show you where you can watch that one film you’ve been nagging to see.
JustWatch does exactly this. A simple search for any particular title will show you where you can buy, rent or stream it, removing the arduous task of going through each of your subscriptions to see if they have said film on offer. It’s a simple app, but a necessity for devoted cinephiles in this current cinematic climate.
If you’re a cine-traditionalist and streaming isn’t your thing, then perhaps Cinemap will be the app for you. If you live in a busy urban city, then the chances are you’ll be surrounded by multiplexes showcasing the newest releases at different times and at different costs. Luckily, Cinemap cuts out the middle man and provides users with a list of cinema showtimes ordered by the location between you and your nearest multiplex. You can also book your tickets through the app via a speedy redirect to the cinema of your choice. But where Cinemap proves most useful is for the smaller, scarcely-distributed titles that might not be showing in your area. Search the film and it will show you the closest multiplex where it is showing. Easy peasy.
While the British-based news publication is ripe with diverse journalistic stories about issues around the globe, it also features a nifty film sub-section. Reviews, interviews, feature articles, opinion pieces; The Guardian’s film section allows readers to keep up to date with all things film related from cinema’s most prominent British critics and scholars, with the likes of Mark Kermode, Peter Bradshaw and Robbie Collin all having bylines to be savoured. Of course, there are plenty of other film-related journalistic publications out there to enjoy, but for me, The Guardian just edges it with its original and thought-provoking content.
And that’s it! If there are any other cinema-related apps that you think should grace our mobile screens, then let us know.