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The criss-cross challenge: films with interwoven plot threads


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28 replies to this topic

#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Meg Hamel

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Posted November 03 2005 - 06:08 AM

Who's up for a challenge? I'm building a list of films that fit a particular criteria: interwoven characters and plot lines. Variety calls them "criss-crossers." They are different from ensemble films (like The Big Chill): criss-crossers have separate narratives that overlap in often incidental ways. Some examples, like Love Actually are pretty easy to identify. Others are little trickier to classify, as there may be a storyline that ends up taking priority because the acting is particularly strong , etc. Examples include: 13 Conversations About One Thing Love Actually Happenstance 11:14 Mind The Gap Km.0 Goldfish Memory Love Is Butterfly Horem Padem Corazones Rotos Bug Nine Lives The Lawless Heart Magnolia En la Ciudad I'd love to get your suggestions for other titles, everything from current releases to obscure foreign-language pictures. Availability on DVD (or VHS) is a HUGE plus, with English subtitles required. Overall critical quality is slightly less important. You're allowed to ask your friends for their suggestions, too. Ideas?

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Dillon*G

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Posted November 03 2005 - 08:52 AM

Sin City, Traffic, and Crash are three that come to mind.

#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:01 AM

I'm sure there's a number of them I've seen, but the one that comes to my mind at the moment is American Graffiti.
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#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:04 AM

Welcome to HTF, Meg! Interesting topic, although I'm sure there are a gazillion of these movies out there. Pulp Fiction would qualify, wouldn't it? Certainly Robert Altman's Nashville would, maybe some of his other movies as well. A current non-US director who's used this kind of structure several times is Wong Kar-Wai. Three of his movies are of that style, to varying degrees: Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, and Fallen Angels. His most recent film, 2046, is sort of in that category as well, although there's one main character pretty much throughout the whole thing.

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   GeorgePaul

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:04 AM

Almost every Robert Altman film, like Nashville, The Player and M*A*S*H.

As would Pulp Fiction, wouldn't everyone agree?


EDIT: Way to go, Haggai...thunder-stealer. Posted Image
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#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:08 AM

Lucas Belvaux Trilogy: On The Run An Amazing Couple After the Life (so interwoven that the films can be watched in any order. There is an R2 UK box set with English subs) All available in R1 The Phantom of Liberty The Dekalog Chungking Express Crimes & Misdemeanors Wonderland (dir. Michael Winterbottom)
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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:10 AM

Hey, great minds think alike. Posted Image

I don't think The Player is quite in this category, from what I remember of it. The main character does interact with a bunch of different people, but the story mostly follows him. MASH is an ensemble piece, but again you're pretty much with the main guys all the way through. Nashville is a clear-cut case of completely different story-lines, developed independently of each other, and then intersecting later on.

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Scott Simonian

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:26 AM

I was gonna say... Jackie Brown.
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#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Meg Hamel

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:31 AM

Yep yep yep -- all good suggestions. You guys have the hang of it! Keep the ideas flowing, especially lesser-known films. Brook, Wonderland is a great suggestion. A terrific picture that I had forgotten about.

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   EricSchulz

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Posted November 03 2005 - 09:56 AM

Can't believe that no one has mentioned one of my favorite "criss-crossers": Go!

#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted November 03 2005 - 12:08 PM

Don McKellar's Last Night.
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#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted November 03 2005 - 12:10 PM

Exotica by Atom Egoyan might or might not fulfill the criteria... the connections between the different stories are perhaps stronger than you have in mind - they're not "incidental". But check it out in case it fits.
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#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted November 03 2005 - 12:41 PM

HUGE fan of that type of film. Lotsa suggestions here:

http://www.hometheat....hreadid=128824

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#14 of 29 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted November 03 2005 - 01:28 PM

Before the Rain would qualify, but as yet there is no DVD. Posted Image

#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Bob Turnbull

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Posted November 03 2005 - 03:53 PM

Time Code is a pretty good example of this as the screen is divided up into 4 sections with stories happening in all 4 and characters moving between screens. The sound mix is what typically sets your focus on one of the screens. I quite enjoyed it as an experiment, even though the individual stories aren't as intriguing.

Amores Perros also fits the "genre", but the stories aren't really interwoven in the film. They all tie back to a common event though.

#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted November 04 2005 - 02:41 AM

EDIT: Never mind. Magnolia was already mentioned in the beginning.

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Linda Thompson

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Posted November 04 2005 - 02:45 AM

.

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Jacob McCraw

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Posted November 04 2005 - 02:46 AM

Tampopo - I love this movie, though the stories don't necessarily "intersect" per se. Would Rashomon count? Do the Right Thing

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted November 04 2005 - 06:28 AM

21 Grams
Storytelling


Also, in a rather unusual way, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I didn't think it fit at first, but it really does.

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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted November 04 2005 - 06:33 AM

Maybe I'm pushing it now, but...

Barton Fink
Amelie
A Very Long Engagement
Citizen Kane

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