Bethany Wilson, a 21-year-old from Toronto, Canada, runs a Twitter page collecting together great Letterboxd reviews.
“I started this [Twitter account] at the beginning of November in 2018 because I see so many funny and heartfelt reviews every single day that go un-noticed,” Wilson told BuzzFeed News. “I understand that a lot of people outside of Twitter don’t know what Letterboxd is, so if I inspired even one person to check it out or create an account to join this extraordinary community, I must be doing something right.”
Wilson said she got on Letterboxd in early 2018, and that it was one of the best decisions of her life. She said it has helped her get more confident with her writing and explore opportunities she felt that weren’t available to her without the app.
Lauren Garczynski, a 21-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio, who joined Letterboxd in 2016, certainly feels this.
“I’ve been writing for years,” she told BuzzFeed News. “Though none of these amazing opportunities has given me room to write about film and movies, and Letterboxd gives me that – whether it be writing a serious review or one-liner jokes.”
Garczynski also acknowledged that some users can cause problems on the platform, but overall it is a positive place. She said she also appreciates getting to write about Jake Gyllenhaal.
“A lot of memes — Amy Adams not winning awards, jokes about Gotti [the 2018 Jon Travolta movie] — come from both Twitter and Letterboxd, from creative, funny, and unique people,” she said. “I’ve been able to open up about my anorexia — something I’ve struggled with for years, through reviewing and discussing To The Bone. But Letterboxd has also given me a platform to thirst over Jake Gyllenhaal, and that’s what I think is the main reason Letterboxd curates such unique content, it allows people to both be heard and to be themselves.”
…While also championing films with a smaller budget or films that are exploring diversity in a way that do not reach a bigger audience.
Two of the top three highest-rated films on Letterboxd in 2018 were Roma and Shoplifters, non-English language films with non-traditional releases.
Also many women are using it to react against men gatekeeping film reviewing.
“The downsides I’d say are the people who take it too seriously, like those pre-pubescent boys in gym class who acted like it was the god damn Olympics. I think people forget that Letterboxd isn’t The Academy Awards and that it’s for fun and keeping track of the movies you watch,” Wilson said.
There have been several instances in which people using Letterboxd have complained of the popularity of funny reviews by young women, compared to lengthy serious reviews. Which, of course, made more memes.
Matthew Buchanan, one of the founders of Letterboxd told BuzzFeed News that the website became a goldmine of film memes thanks to the community.
“When we launched the service I don’t think we really imagined quite in what directions the community might take it, but it’s been amazing to behold,” she said. “We love the creativity and good humor that so many members have shown in their reviews and particularly with lists, and feel these kinds of uses sit perfectly alongside more formal film writing, of which we also have a tremendous amount.”
Some of our favorite memes include the white heterosexual Christmas couples, Rachel McAdams’ time travelling adventures, large energy beams, exploding helicopters, an incredible fascination with Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jessica Chastain saving the world.”