jay_spirit's profile

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23.9K Points

Wed, Sep 28, 2022 4:15 PM

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Why is the keyword "surrealism" on 10,508 titles?

Surrealism

Someone seems to believe that any title that is not strictly realistic deals in surrealism. That includes all science fiction and fantasy films/shows as well as absolutely anything that's animated.

"Surrealism is a cultural movement that developed in Europe in the aftermath of World War I in which artists depicted unnerving, illogical scenes and developed techniques to allow the unconscious mind to express itself."

TOM AND JERRY: THE MOVIE and THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER do not deal with this cultural movement in their plots, and neither do 99% of the other titles.

Even if the idea is that all non-realistic movies are surreal (which is ludicrous), that would mean the keyword surrealism is being used as a subjective description of the film.

The keywords should not be describing movies as surreal any more than they should be calling them exciting, heart-breaking, or bizarre.

The issue with this keyword is 10 to 15 years old. I thought it had been resolved a long time ago.

2.1K Messages

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37.8K Points

2 months ago

I don't know what the solution is, but I agree the "surrealism" keyword has been overused to the point of being completely dysfunctional and meaningless (much like the "psychotronic" keyword). 

I do have the following keywords in my private lists for a future public proposed mass merger. But that won't solve the problem of these keywords' severe overuse.

surreal (562 titles)  -->  surrealistic [this one was at 64 titles on 08/28/2022 but has recently been manually eliminated, not by me] -->  surrealist (147 titles)  -->   surrealism (10572 titles)

701 Messages

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23.9K Points

2 months ago

I'm in favor of merging those three keywords, but it looks like surreal and surrealist have just as many inappropriate titles as surrealism.

What if all three keywords were removed and banned?

Then we might add surrealist movement to any titles that are explicitly about the movement, or have surreal sequences created by avowed surrealists.

The latter type would include SPELLBOUND (1945), which has a dream sequence by Salvador Dali.

Dali teamed with Luis Bunuel to make an entire surrealist short film, UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1929). And then Bunuel went on to make feature-length surrealist films, like THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE (1972).

Surrealist movement would apply to them, but not to Spider-Man movies or even fantastical sci-fi dramas like THE MATRIX.

(edited)

Champion

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11.4K Messages

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298.2K Points

I think you are being very restrictive in only allowing the words to be used about historical surrealist artists. Here are some other, broader definitions courtesy of Merriam-Webster.

surreal

marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream

surrealistic

having a strange dreamlike atmosphere or quality like that of a surrealist painting

surrealism

the principles, ideals, or practice of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in art, literature, film, or theater by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations

701 Messages

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23.9K Points

Maybe so.

I just hope we can restrict it from being added to every animated film, every superhero film, every sci-fi film, and every fantasy film.

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37.8K Points

@jay_spirit@Peter_pbn 

I fall somewhere in the middle between your two perspectives. There is nothing wrong on the face of these "surreal" keywords; the problem has been in their usage. It would not make sense to completely ban the "surreal" keywords, but at the same time they are definitely a problem. Unfortunately, that problem is probably unsolvable. I have learned to live with keywords like this (and "psychotronic") -- deleting them in specific situations where I see them being overused, but that's like scooping a cupful of water from the ocean.

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23.9K Points

Ten to fifteen years ago, there was a discussion on the Contributor board about this keyword.

The staff and all the contributors, but one, objected to this all-inclusive definition of surrealism.

That one lone contributor was adding thousands of titles to the keyword. Apparently, nobody bothered to stop him, and he's still doing it.

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37.8K Points

@jay_spirit​ 

The staff and all the contributors, but one, objected to this all-inclusive definition of surrealism.

That one lone contributor was adding thousands of titles to the keyword. Apparently, nobody bothered to stop him, and he's still doing it.

Do you remember who that contributor was, or would you be able to look it up? 

I am aware of one particular Top Contributor who is responsible for countless violations on IMDb over the years using literally hundreds of sock accounts (as pathetic as this sounds, I assure you it's true).  And for the record, it is someone who was very active on the IMDb contributor message board but has never posted on this Sprinklr board -- at least not in a way where they identify themselves by their Top Contributor account. 

I am curious to know if the contributor I have in mind is the same person who previously pushed the "surrealism" keyword. 

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23.9K Points

@keyword_expert​ 

I do remember who it was.

It is not someone who has never posted to Sprinklr.

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37.8K Points

@jay_spirit​ 

Oh, wait -- I just realized I misread your response. You said it was not someone who has never posted to Sprinklr -- a double negative. So it is someone who has posted to Sprinklr. 

That probably means we are thinking of different people.

You may receive in your email my prior response in which I suggested the person I had in mind. If that rings any bells, please let me know.

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37.8K Points

2 months ago

The same contributor who often inappropriately adds the keyword "surrealism" to titles also often inappropriately adds "grindhouse-film" and/or "psychotronic-film" to the same titles. It's obvious it's the same person doing this because these keywords are often side by side on the keyword pages.

(edited)

Employee

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14.5K Messages

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282.3K Points

2 months ago

Hi All -

As I understand the issue, there is a valid argument for keeping the three separate keyword,s but they have been used incorrectly on a high volume of titles.  If this is the case, a very large-scale clean-up will need to be done. 

Additionally, in order for IMDb staff to identify any contribution patterns, we will need some examples to investigate.  You are welcome to post a small list of titles here where the keywords are incorrectly listed and our staff can investigate further.

701 Messages

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23.9K Points

Steamboat Willie (1928)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019422/

Fiddlesticks (1930)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020880/

Hold Anything (1930)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020983/

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!  (1931)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022405/

Battling Bosko (1932)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022657/

Goopy Geer (1932)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022956/

Touchdown Mickey (1932)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023612/

I Yam What I Yam (1933)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024162/

I Haven't Got a Hat (1935)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026510/

My Green Fedora (1935)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026753/

Hollywood Capers (1935)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026481/

Elmer Elephant (1936)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027569/

Be Human (1936)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027339/

Streamlined Greta Green (1937)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029614/

Peeping Penguins (1937)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029384/

Ferdinand the Bull (1938)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030128/

Dog Gone Modern (1939)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031237/

Hamateur Night (1939)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031401/

Puss Gets the Boot (1940)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032953/

Elmer's Candid Camera (1940)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032439/

Bone Trouble (1940)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032269/

Tortoise Beats Hare (1941)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034305/

Chef Donald (1941)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033460/

The Bulleteers (1942)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034556/

Any Bonds Today? (1942)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0140812/

No Mutton fer Nuttin' (1943)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0151769/

The Million Dollar Cat (1944)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037073/

Chew-Chew Baby (1945)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0150099/

Baseball Bugs (1946)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038333/

Cheese Burglar (1946)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0150096/

Cat Fishin' (1947)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039252/

Gorilla My Dreams (1948)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040397/

Long-Haired Hare (1949)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041598/

Cue Ball Cat (1950)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042360/

Ballot Box Bunny (1951)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043315/

The Flying Cat (1952)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044625/

Jerry and Jumbo (1953)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045934/

Bugs and Thugs (1954)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046811/

Lady and the Tramp (1955)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048280/

The Egg and Jerry (1956)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049173/

Blue Cat Blues (1956)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049020/

Timid Tabby (1957)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051086/

Knighty Knight Bugs (1958)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051825/

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055254/

A Sheep in the Deep (1962)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055721/

Woolen Under Where (1963)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057689/

The Cat's Me-Ouch (1965)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059018/

A Charlie Brown Christmas
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059026/

The Solid Tin Coyote (1966)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061002/

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060550/

Cannery Rodent (1967)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061444/

The Jungle Book (1967)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061852/

Injun Trouble (1969)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064487/

The Aristocats (1970)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065421/

Snoopy Come Home (1972)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069289/

Bugs Bunny Superstar (1975)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072751/

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091149/

The Land Before Time (1988)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095489/

The Little Mermaid (1989)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097757/

Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100510/

Beauty and the Beast (1991)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101414/

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106364/

Space Jam (1996)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117705/

X-Men (2000)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120903/

The Whizzard of Ow (2003)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0356197/

VeggieTales: Tomato Sawyer & Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue (2008)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1321845/

Wonder Woman (2009)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1186373/

(edited)

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37.8K Points

@Michelle​ 

Here is a good example: somebody added all of the keywords "cult-film", "grindhouse-film", "psychotronic-film", "surrealism", and "midnight-movie" to this title: 

Mandy (I) (2018)

I realize it's somewhat a matter of opinion, but I believe none of those keywords fit for that title.

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@Michelle​ 

More examples: Someone added "grindhouse-film", "midnight-movie", and "psychotronic-film" to these films (inappropriately, in my opinion):

Don't Breathe (2016)

Spring Breakers (2012)

Serenity (I) (2019)

The Forest (I) (2016)

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20.5K Points

2 months ago

This WAS much discussed I the past, with, as I remember it, the conclusion that SOME animated films are surrealism and SOME are not.  The "isms" are valid subgenres, but they are often misunderstood, i.e., expressionism vs. impressionism.  Look to paintings for examples and definitions.

I have never added "cult-film" (much overused) or "midnight-movie" (outdated?) to any title, but do feel that "psychotronic-film" is a valid subgenre (to many, if not to you) as defined in several books, including encyclopedias and directories that list such titles.

I agree that some have mistakenly applied these keywords.  IMDb needs to agree on definitions and distinctions rather than just delete them.

(I once taught a university course on Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and the "isms" were much discussed and debated, and there were always justified disagreements.)

(edited)

701 Messages

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23.9K Points

2 months ago

The keyword surrealism does not apply to any of the titles listed above, nor does it apply to thousands of other titles to which it is attached.

I suspect that the same person added the keyword to all those titles above. If that is true I hope the staff will take appropriate action.

(edited)

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2 months ago

I don't remember working on ANY of the above titles. BUT, talking dogs, cats, mice, etc. are NOT realism.  I wish they were.

(edited)

Champion

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262.5K Points

@bradley_kent​ I think when people look for the keyword surrealism, they are much more likely to be searching for films in styles reminiscent of Luis Bunuel or David Lynch, than Disney or Warner Bros. animation (exception: Destino, a Disney film witten by Salvador Dali).

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37.8K Points

1 day ago

@jay_spirit @Bethanny 

Just a hunch, but I believe the same contributor (possibly using more than one IMDb account) who has been inappropriately adding keywords like "surrealism", "maximalism", "postmodern", "grindhouse-film", "midnight-movie", "blockbuster", and "psychotronic-film" to numerous titles is also responsible for improperly adding the keywords "cult-figure," "cult" and related keywords to titles, and also for improperly adding certain inapplicable keywords to popular films like The Shining, as discussed in this thread:

Improper keywords repeatedly added to The Shining (1980)

(edited)