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Author Topic: Films with gimmicks
Wintermute
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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The Usual suspects has an interesting style.

or how about
À la folie... pas du tout (enlish title: He loves me, he loves me not). The movie is basically shown twice from two different perspectives.

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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If a gimmick is used repeatedly, if it becomes ordinary technology, such as computer animation and synchronized soundtracks, is the first one still considered a gimmick?
___________________________

The opening credits to Man on the Moon were a gimmick of sorts, an homage to Kaufman's humor.

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beaver_slayer
Deck the Malls


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I'd vote for the French version of "March of the Penguins" here. In French, the whole film consisted of monologues of three penguins (the Father, the Mother and the Child) who told about their lives. Haven't seen anything quite like that.

The whole soundtrack is completely different for US version, though.

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Chris J
Hotel California Roll


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In the recent film Palindromes, the main character is played by eight completely different actors of varying age, race, and sex.

In Time Code (2000), the screen is split into four parts, each containing one single hand-held take.

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Major D. Saster
The First USA Noel


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I think "12 angry men" would qualify.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/plotsummary

It could be described as a psychological study of mankind.

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Friends of Alfred
The First USA Noel


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Sliding Doors was almost 2 movies in one, with each "movie" showing how the lead characters life changed after a random event.

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Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Rear Window has a unique feature as it is shot from one room (and, if I recall correctly, from a limited set of camera angels) only.

Sidewalk stories is a (nearly) black and white silent movie made in 1989.

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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Kuffs had Christian Slater talking to the camera throughout the movie. Not continuously, but here and there.

They also bleeped out swear words in the movie.

ETA: Do you count things like "The Tingler" where the seats were wired? Or Earthquake and its Sensurround?

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shifty rob
Jingle Bell Hock


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"Rear Window" has been mentioned for its point-of-view, but it had another unusual aspect; from an IMDB.com trivia entry for "Rear Window":

"All of the sound in the film is diegetic, meaning that all the music, speech, and other sounds all come from within the world of the film."

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TrishDaDish
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Ooo! That reminds me of another Hitchcock movie that I can't recall this stunt being repeated - The Birds had no music soundtrack going on in it! (I didn't even realise it until someone mentioned it recently. Guess that goes to prove you can get caught up in a movie without music cues telling you to get excited.

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chillas
Coventry Mall Carol


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quote:
Originally posted by Major D. Saster:
I think "12 angry men" would qualify.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/plotsummary

It could be described as a psychological study of mankind.

That's a pretty vague description that could fit many, many films, both before and after "12 Angry Men" was adapted for the screen.

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Ok, how could this go 2 pages without mentioning High Noon? It was the first (as far as I know) movie where screen time equaled real time. Clocks were a huge theme in the film keeping track. This conceit was redone in the Johnny Depp movie Nick of Time. Phone Booth, with Colin Farrell not only took place in real time, but used the further gimmick of confining the movie to a phone booth (I can't remember if there were any shots outside the area of the phone booth).

Kurosawa's Rashomon used the gimmick of telling the same story from multiple points of view.

Most of Christopher Guest's work could be considered gimmick films. There was no dialogue written for Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, or A Mighty Wind. A script outline was made, all dialogue was ad-libbed, and no editing took place until after shooting was finished. This is Spinal Tap was mostly ad-libbed as well. This is Spinal Tap also gets gimmick status for the group touring and appearing as a real band and for doing interviews and dvd commentary entirely in character.

hmmm I'm sure I'll think of others.

pinqy

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Major D. Saster
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by chillas:
quote:
Originally posted by Major D. Saster:
I think "12 angry men" would qualify.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/plotsummary

It could be described as a psychological study of mankind.

That's a pretty vague description that could fit many, many films, both before and after "12 Angry Men" was adapted for the screen.
Sorry for being so vague - what I meant is that I never saw a film where the psychological description of every single character is so accurate - and so instrumental for the plot itself.

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Stoneage Dinosaur
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Does Drowning by Numbers count? Throughout the film the numbers 1 - 100 appear on screen in order.

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Oh, and while many movies use specific colors for specific moods and meanings (continued use of the color red in The Sixth Sense to denote ghostly presence), The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover took the concept to extremes so that each room had a particular color and emotion attached to it and even the actors' costumes changed color to match the color theme.

Oh, and The Blair Witch Project has to be listed as gimmick for several reasons.

And that reminded me of Series 7: The Contenders, which played entirely as an episode of reality television.

pinqy

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TheBobo
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Spoiler Alert!!


How about the German film Funny Games from 1997?
Starts out as a psychological thriller as an innocent family is physicaly and mentaly terrorized by two preppy college students. The suspense is unrelenting due to good acting and painfull long shots.
What makes this thriller unique is that towards the end of the film one of the thugs turns toward the camera and breaks the fourth wall. When one of the victims kills the one student the other picks up a remote control and rewinds the scene. Thus causing a different outcome where the college student lives. This tecqnique is original and also takes the thriller into the realm of abusurdist science fiction.

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AliBaba
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I'm also surprised that no one has yet mentioned the gimmick of "Tomorrow Never Dies" turning out to be a two-hour commercial for BMW - but then, I guess product placement runs high in most Bond films.

(Please don't slug me, snopes, I know that's not what you're looking for.)

What about this one? A favorite movie of mine is John Sayles' brilliant "Lone Star" - in which we fade back and forth between current events and flashbacks. But whenever that happens, the person recounting the flashback is standing or sitting exactly where the person in the flashback is. There's probably some catchy film-school phrase for this effect, but I remember being impressed by it when it first came out. And also, I haven't seen this effect used much in other films.

Ali "Fade to black" Baba

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Major D. Saster
The First USA Noel


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Talking about french movies, there is Alain Resnais' "On connaît la chanson" (we know that tune), where all characters, in the middle of the action, suddenly start singing a few lines from some popular french song, carefully chosen to underline the situation and create a comical effect... much like the old movies that kept flashing in in the TV show "Dream On".

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entropy9
I Saw Three Shipments


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what about kill bill? they bleeped the main character's name...and i'm sure there are others in that same film
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Donna T
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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These may or may not fit the thread, but it's all I could come up with. The recurring theme in Hitchcock movie's where Alfred himself would make some cameo appearance and in John Landis movies, including Michael Jackson's Thriller video, you will see a movie poster for "See You Next Wednesday".

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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The Hungarian film Hukkle (2002) has no dialogue except for a song at the end - it's not a silent film, just that nobody says anything in it. There are probably other examples of that, but I can't think of any.
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TheBobo
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I think The Bad Seed had an interesting gimick. At the films end the cast would pop out as their names are flashed in the credits and ham it up for the camera. While this technique would be done with mostly comedies in the 80's and 90's there was another reason why this was done with The Bad Seed. To defer censorship and make it less disturbing for the audience.

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AliBaba
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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The previous mention of Magnolia brings to mind another thing they did in that movie.

It doesn't fit snopes' criteria, as it doesn't run through the whole movie, it gives me the chills every time.

At one point in the movie, all of the different characters start singing the same song (Amy Mann's "Wise Up"). One of the characters is passed out, one is dead (or dying, anyway), and yet, there they all are, singing. And as odd as it sounds, it works really well - partly because it's such a hauntingly beautiful song.

It's not like the movie is a musical - people aren't just breaking out into song through out the movie. It's just in that one place.

Hmmmm...I guess, "Chicago" might qualify, as all of the songs that happen (arguably with the exception of "Mr. Cellophane") are happening in the lead character's head. But that's really what makes the movie work, isn't it?

Ali "I hear voices in my head, but they ain't singing" Baba

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Mythophobia
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Songs from the Second Floor (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120263/) really captured me with it's unique style - probably not very gimmicky, but almost both hilarious and sad. Barely any movement, just one or two persons moving very little and very slowly at a time. It's very hard to explain what's so special about it, but it just captures a certain mood without really doing much. Brilliant, quirky film, I must say.
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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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The all-cat version of Romeo and Juliet

Deafula (though there is purportedly an earlier, British sign-language vampire movie. Alas, the board I read about it on is down for the foreseeable future.)

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KennRice
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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In Drowning Mona, everyone drives a Yugo.

Ken

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Neco z Alenky had wonderful stop action animation, in combination with ordinary filiming. As a kind of gimmick it had extremely annoying and creepy narration shots, of just Alice's mouth speaking. Nearly ruined the movie. (Not the creepiness. The whole movie is creepy in a cool way. But the narration shots were very annoying.)
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Ulkomaalainen
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
The Hungarian film Hukkle (2002) has no dialogue except for a song at the end - it's not a silent film, just that nobody says anything in it. There are probably other examples of that, but I can't think of any.

There's been a German comedy series which worked like that - or better, did not work that well [Smile]

Come to think of it, the five parallel unrelated stories of "Night On Earth" probably do not count?! Wanted to mention it anyway, I love helmet [Smile]

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Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


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Would the strange use of color filters in "South Pacific" count?

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KaiTheInvader
Deck the Malls


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the kid's movie you're thinking of that had the scratch and sniff cards was the second rugrats movie (rugrats in paris or something like that.) they gave you these cards with little pictures on them, and when it came ot certain parts of the film, you could smeil what the characters were smelling.

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Resurrection of mankind to careen in silent pace. Feeling lonely. I am the dream that nobody dreams of, but will you dream of me, and dream of eternal desire? If you dream of me, will you live for me? Will you? Will you?

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Tom Accuosti
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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How about "My Dinner With Andre"? Except for a couple of minutes of scene setting, it was simply a movie of two guys having dinner, with one of them simply doing a lot of talking.

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Too bad, I was hoping for a screamer or a moaner..."

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Kamino Neko
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I don't see it here, but Timecode was not only in real time, it had 4 stories on screen simultainiously for the entire length of the film (I believe...I got bored and atopped watching about 45 minutes in.) - fading the sound on each from foreground to background as each storyline reached important moments, but never completely muting them.

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JJM65
A Thousand Potatoes Yet to Go by K. P. Dutie


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For the Blair Witch Project gimmick, it had sort of been done before in the widely banned movie Cannibal Holocaust . It was about an anthropologist who traveled to a South American jungle to find out what happened to a group of filmmakers who went missing nearly a year earlier. He finds their film reels which consisted of the group trying to film a tribe that practices cannibalism but instead were tortured by them.

Also, if it counts, the movie Saw II has a little bit of a gimmick in which...

SPOILERS!!!

The movie cuts between two stories, one in which a group of people are trying to get out of an abandoned apartment complex before they die and the other where a group of cops are watching surveillance videos of everything that is happening in the apartment complex and are trying to find out where the people are. In the end, they find out that the surveillance videos are actually recordings and that everything that happened in the building happened a couple of hours before.

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- G.O.B.

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glisp42
I'm Dreaming Of A White iPod


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How about Four Rooms? Four "mini" movies strung together by a very basic plot directed by four different people. Oh and different actors playing the same role.

Oh and not so much of a movie but the Honda commercial with the Rube Goldberg device.

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And we'll collect the moments one by one I guess that's how the future's done. -Feist

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Faith
Happy Holly Days


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I've not seen it but I understand that Todd Haynes' film "Superstar" portrays the life of Karen Carpenter using Barbie Dolls.

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"You watched it. You can't UNWATCH it."

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