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Re: step 5, A-L
That may be true for the history of science, but we have several sets of semi-empirical evidence that can separate wheat from chaff without the need to create an intricate set of characteristics. IMDB ratings are a way to create two lists, above and below a rough through line of quality. The nature of that distribution and how it shifts through time could tell us a number of interesting things in its own right...
Tracking themes and character relationships is all well and good, but the films that do it clumsily should be able to be identified via other means. You can still track the themes and characters and how their relationship changes; itís highly unlikely, however, that more than 2-3% of the films placed in the bottom half of the list are going to provide any significant innovation or movement in how these themes and characters move into new relationships.