Quentin Tarantino’s Favourite Movies from 1992 to 2009

For all those of you (yours truly included), who complain that movies got boring and unoriginal these days, here is a top 20 list from Quentin Tarantino.  This was done back in 2009, but I’m sure there are still a few movies on that list that you haven’t seen.  There are quite a few that I haven’t seen.

This was originally in the Miramax article, which only includes links to buy the movies on Amazon.  I though it would be slightly more useful to have the same list with links to IMDb instead  I’ve also created a public IMDb list with these movies.

  1. Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000)
  2. Anything Else (Woody Allen, 2003)
  3. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
  4. The Blade (Hark Tsui, 1995)
  5. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)
  6. Dazed & Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993)
  7. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
  8. Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
  9. Friday (F. Gary Gray, 1995)
  10. The Host (Joon-ho Bong, 2006)
  11. The Insider (Michael Mann, 1999)
  12. Joint Security Area (Chan-wook Park, 2000)
  13. Lost In Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
  14. The Matrix (Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski, 1999)
  15. Memories of Murder (Joon-ho Bong, 2003)
  16. Supercop (Stanley Tong, 1992)
  17. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
  18. Speed (Jan de Bont, 1994)
  19. Team America (Trey Parker, 2004)
  20. Unbreakable (M. Night Shyamalan, 2000)

P.S.: Obviously, the fact that Quentin Tarantino liked the movie doesn’t necessarily mean that you will like it too.  This is just a suggested “to watch” list with a bit of variety in genres, directors, and actors.

50 must-see documentaries as per New York Times

Via Kottke.org I came across the New York Times recommendation of 50 must-see documentaries.  Looking through the list, I see only a few that I’ve seen.  The rest should provide me with a few hours of entertainment and learning.  To make things slightly more useful, I’ve created a new public list on IMDb, in which I’ve put all the recommended movies in the order that they were recommended.

Which ones have you seen and which ones do you recommend I start with?

Update: There were quite a few critical comments to the article, suggesting even more documentaries that should have made the list but didn’t.  I decided to keep the original list intact and created an additional list – Must-see documentaries. I’ve put most of the suggestions from the comments into this list and I will keep updating it with other documentaries which I get recommendations for.

Recommendation engine that finally makes sense – Google +1

I’ve heard plenty of rumors about an upcoming Google social network.  I have no idea if they are true, and really I don’t care.  I have enough social networks as it is.  But what I haven’t heard about until now is Google +1 – a new recommendation engine that Google is trying out.

At first, when I read about Google +1 and that it was yet another attempt for recommendation engine for Google search results, I didn’t think it was interesting at all.  There were a number of tries in that area – some of them long gone, some still alive.  I’m talking about results reordering via drag-and-drop, starring of result items, and others.

All of them shared the same problem – promoting items from within search results doesn’t work very well, because the user hasn’t yet visited the page itself.  He’s eager to navigate away from the results.  And on top of that, page title, description, and a thumbnail aren’t always enough to make a judgement.

On the other hand, recommendation engines are doing pretty well with social networks like Facebook, Digg, Twitter, and others.  Every other page on the web has a share button that supports one or more social networks.  And people use those.  Even though sharing pages on Facebook and Twitter might be useful, it isn’t as useful as increasing the karma of those pages in order to rank them higher in your future search results.

That’s where Google +1 comes in.  It makes perfect sense.  Now you can search Google, visit the results, and +1 those of them that you liked (and, of course, those of them that support the Google +1 sharing).  Not only it would be trivial to push those +1 to other social networks, but also now users have way more stimuli to share things, since that would improve their own search results.

Google +1 is yet available to everyone. Google will take some time to roll it out.  But if you want to try it out now, you can enable it on experimental page.

Google Reader recommends

Imagine my surprise when I looked at “Top Recommendations” area of my Google Reader today and found … my own blog over there.

Yes, I know that these recommendations are based on the feeds that I read.  But still!  Is it the time to celebrate the recommendations technology, which recommended me to me over a gadzillion of other blogs?  Or maybe this is a day of Ultimate Technological Silliness, when Google, a search company that forgets nothing, somehow arrived to the conclusion that I might not be reading my own blog?  These questions remind me of a “half-empty or half-full glass of water“.  I guess a lot depends on the personal perspective…

How to become a programmer

In the last couple of days I repeated this more than four times, so let me post it here for any future references.

Two points for those who want to become a programmer.  First, there is no lack of information these days. There are numerous tutorials online and books in print.  There are magazines, classes, mailing lists, search engines, and everything and anything you need.  But all that information won’t make you into a programmer.  In order to become one, you have to program.  There is no way around it.  You have to design your programs, write the code, debug it, test it, document it, and maintain it.  And you should also read good code that other people wrote.  There is no lack of open source projects these days – take the most popular ones and you’ll learn a lot.

Secondly, among all those available resources, I can suggest two books and two books only.  If you read and study both of them, you won’t need to read another book about programming your life time.  The first book is “The C programming language” by Kernighan and Ritchie.  This is an all time classic.  The second book is “Programming Perl” by Larry Wall.  This is a piece of modern literature.