A new site can find movies by describing them… for the most part

Every once in a while, we get stumped trying to remember a certain movie starring a certain actor. Usually those questions can be answered with a quick search (or by asking your librarian!), but there are trickier ones too: how do you find a movie by the subject matter? Today, we stumbled across a new site attempting to make all movies searchable with natural language results.

What is My Movie? is a tech demo for technology by a video analysis company called Valossa, which aims to make videos machine-readable by their content in conjunction with transcripts. Valossa has so far parsed 40,000 movies for their content; you can search by year of release or director, like anywhere else, but you can also look for information about the content and themes of the movie.

Sometimes it works well: “Paul Newman movies from the 70s about hockey” brings up Slap Shot. Sometimes it doesn’t work well: “sad movies starring Brad Pitt” brings up Slap Shot.

What is My Movie? is definitely a work-in-progress, but using movie searching as a proof-of-concept for their engine is a clever, practical use of the technology. Take it for a spin and see if it turns up your favorite movie by a description. When there’s finally a comedy starring Daniel Day-Lewis about competitive eating, we’ll be able to track it down.

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