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Author Topic: Films with gimmicks
faceless007
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Gerry, a Gus van Sant film in which very little happens. Two guys go driving and get lost in the desert. That's it.

quote:
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.
I saw "Nick of Time" recently, and I'm not sure the entire film is done in real time. I remember some camera shots, the edits of which made me think a short amount of time had passed. Also, there's a dream sequence, and it's rather convenient for it to last exactly the duration the character is unconscious (though that's not really a disproof).

quote:
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).
I seem to remember some towards the end of the film, when the police trace the call and break into the apartment it's coming from. Also, the film makes use of split-screen (or more accurately, picture-in-picture), and I think we see characters in other locations in those shots. But for the most part, the film is just at the phone booth.
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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I suspect many movies that could be billed as "surreal" would qualify as being gimmicks.

Werner Herzog's "Even Dwarfs Started Small" ("Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen") has a cast consisting completely of little people.

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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Ahriman
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Ah DUEL great film, bad guy never revealed seen entirely from the perspective of one person. Maybe it doesn't count but almost all Castle flicks (Tingler,13 ghosts)had a gimmick to them at the climax of House on haunted hill a Skeleton would fly over the audience.

Oh and I'm new Hi all.

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-Sir, the rebels are here.
My god do they want tea?-

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Alkatr0z
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Mmmm would the hallucination scenes in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas count? I know that hallucination scenes have been done in movies but it would be the first(that I know of) that made extensive use of them.

And drat it I was gonna mention Rear Window myself [Razz]

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Linus Cornell
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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"Barry Lyndon" by Stanley Kubrick was completely filmed without using electrical light - only natural sunlight or candles.
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TheLazenby
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Did someone mention the constant changing of Jesus' eye color in "The Passion"??

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"On behalf of Gail Matthius and the entire Weekend Update news team, I'm Charles Rocket. Good night, and... watch out."

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Linus Cornell:
"Barry Lyndon" by Stanley Kubrick was completely filmed without using electrical light - only natural sunlight or candles.

So did "Amadeus"

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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KennRice
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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In Tin Men, VW Beetles make cameo appearances throughout the movie.

Ken

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Faith
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Linus Cornell:
"Barry Lyndon" by Stanley Kubrick was completely filmed without using electrical light - only natural sunlight or candles.

This reminds me that "Days Of Heaven" was apparently filmed entirely during the gloaming of each day, that is the daylight still visible after the sun has set.

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

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asnakeny
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur:
Does Drowning by Numbers count? Throughout the film the numbers 1 - 100 appear on screen in order.

Or Robert Altman's "The Player", where 29 different brands of bottled water are mentioned by name.

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Is here no telephone?

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swollen_ostrich
I Saw Three Shipments


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One of my favorite movies is "Perfect Blue", which is a Japanese anime thriller directed by Satoshi Kon.

I've seen whole threads about this movie erupt into violence, people have so many theories to explain what happens and why the main character shows up so many times in places she couldn't be that it's crazy.

Crazy thing is, most of these people never got the gimmick. You have to see it a couple of times and pay very close attention to "get" it.

Thing is, my explaining the gimmick doesn't make much sense if you haven't seen the movie.

But, I'll try - in the movie, there seem to be 4 different versions of Mima (the main character) - the retired pop idol version (the real one), a "ghost" version, a serial killer version, and another version that shows up in places that the real Mima can't possibly be (like performing with the pop group she left).

The gimmick is that you have to figure out which character's perspective of Mima is being shown in each particular scene. To make it even more confusing, there is at least one scene where the perspective changes during the same scene!

The main character also breaks the 4th wall at the end of the movie.

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
Dead men don't wear plaid (1982) starring Steve Martin.

It's a film noir take-off, with scenes from various old movies edited in as part of the storyline. I haven't seen it in ten years or so, but I remember it as being very well done.

The whole movie is in black and white so that the film noir scenes fit in properly.

I was going to mention this one. I thought it was an excellent concept for a film, and although the humor wasn't very funny to me, it was interesting to see how different scenes from 1940's movies were intercut with the dialogue and storyline of the film.

I haven't seen "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" but I've heard it's basically the same concept.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Wicked, Wicked

The entire film is shot in split-screen ("Duo-Vision") simultaneously showing a young lounge singer going through her day and the psycho killer who is stalking er.

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by KaiTheInvader:
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.)

Actually, it was the third movie (Rugrats Go Wild, 2003).

There was a go at scented movies 20 years before Polyester, too.

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
I haven't seen "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" but I've heard it's basically the same concept.

No-- it's Woody Allen and friends comically redubbing a Japanese spy flick, though they do edit in a few pointless song numbers by Lovin' Spoonful, a mid-film interview break with Allen, and a fake "projector breaks down" moment.

One of the few Woody Allen films I like, actually.

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Ratboy
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Linus Cornell:
"Barry Lyndon" by Stanley Kubrick was completely filmed without using electrical light - only natural sunlight or candles.

Not true. However, no artificial light was used during scenes lit only by candlelight. See IMDb's Barry Lyndon movie trivia.

Edited to add: Since My Dinner with Andre has already been mentioned, I'll add another movie with a small cast - Hell in the Pacific, starring only Toshirô Mifune and Lee Marvin.

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Bad Actor
I Saw Three Shipments


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Prison Girls in 3D, the first and only 3D porno film.

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TheJungOnes
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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How about "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie"?

(I don't think anyone mentioned it yet)

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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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How about Derek Jarman's Blue? It's just a blue screen for an hour and a half, with lots of voiceovers and sound effects.

I've only seen 5 minutes of this - it was the bit where the screen is blue, just after the screen is blue. I've heard that this portion of the film isn't the best though, and I really needed to see the bit where the screen is blue first to appreciate it more. The video recorder missed the last section of the film, so I've never seen the famous denouement where the screen is blue.

Ho ho ho.

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Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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Greg of Winter
Xboxing Day


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I've heard that in the new Edward R. Burrow film "Good night, and Good Luck," the film uses clever editing to have Senator Joe McCarthy play himself.

Although I suppose you could use "Forrest Gump" as an example for this as well.

The Clint Eastwood film "In the Line of Fire" uses digital technology to insert clips of a young Clint Eastwood from his early films into flashback sequences.

"The Aviator"'s film stock changes to reflect the evolving color process of films. In the early scenes of the film, the color reflects the appearance of color films of the time. That's why Howard Hughes's green peas appear blue.

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Meanwhile, at stately Wayne Manor...

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asnakeny
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Bad Actor:
Prison Girls in 3D, the first and only 3D porno film.

Nope. The Screening Room in NYC had a 3D porn film fest a few years ago; I don't remember all the titles though.

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Is here no telephone?

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Fifteen Iguana
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Double Dragon mentioned Sixth Sense but I don't think he made it clear what made it unique.

SPOILER ALERT

Because the character was dead several scenes that seemed odd in the movie actually made perfect sense - like a store window breaking - and other scenes made tricky use of the grammar of film. For example we have all been taught that when a man reaches for the basement door and we then see him in the basement that means he opened the door and walked down the stairs between the scenes we saw - except in this movie that's NOT what it meant. The director plays with what we have been taught about the way the world looks on film.

END SPOILER ALERT

Another (short) movie that is odd all the way through is the French film La Jette. It is about time travel and the entire film is filmed in a sort fo freeze frame. Twelve Monkeys borrows its plot but not its style.

Does the movie A GUNFIGHT count? Pretty straight forward till we get to its two contradictory endings.

Fifteen Iguana

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Damian
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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There was a movie a few years ago called "Run, Lola, Run" which was filmed in real time.

Another film (which I can't remember the name) involved actors interacting with people on the street. The people did not realize they were being filmed. The actors had a basic overview of a script, but had to ad-lib most of it, based on the reaction of the people they were talking to. Any clues?

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"I always tell the truth. Even when I lie." - Tony Montana

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Clarkone68
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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How about Kung Pow: Enter the Fist? It uses the same unfunny joke throughout the entire film! Sorry, I was just making fun of the movie, but it is actually a gimmick film...

How about the 'thumb' gimmick movies? The Thumbfather, Thumbtanic, Thumbwars, etc...?

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I saw Run, Lola, Run. I'm guess ing you don't mean "filmed" in real time but shown as if it were in real time, with a clock in the frame, as I recall? Unless I'm mistaken, that time line also changes in the movie.
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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* Dracula, the Coppola version. Only special effects that existed at the time it depicts were used.

* The three Danish movies made according to the Dogma manifest, which set a number of rules such as only handheld kameras, no extra lighting, no sound editing, no special effects, actors must do their own makeup and so on. Great movies that show that if you allow the director to direct instead of doing logistisc, it will be a better movie.

* Kingdom Hospital, by Lars von Trier. Filmed entirely in sepia tones with handheld cameras.

* Europa, also Lars von Trier. Black and white, with only occasional bright colors, a technique later used in Schindler's list and Sin City. Recommended movie.

* The Falls, Peter Greenaway. The entire move is an alphabetic "scientific documentary" of people infectid by a bird virus who have names beginning with "Fall".

* The Child of Macon, Peter Greenaway. Filmed as a theatre performance, but there is a very unclear line between the performance and reality.

* The Core. Being total crap from the first minute to the last without a single redeeming feature.

* Farscape, the TV series. Almost without exception, the camera is slightly tilted sideways, sometimes even wobbling a little, giving a slightly odd feeling (and sometimes something more substatial if you have a hangover).

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/Troberg

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Bad Actor:
Prison Girls in 3D, the first and only 3D porno film.

Nope. (You may prefer [url=http://www.mdfilmfest.com/2003/guide/hotskin.asp]this link.)
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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I nearly forgot! The late Moustapha Akkad's The Messenger (1976), to avoid depicting Mohammed, has actors speaking directly to the camera as if they were addressing the prophet. (You never hear Mohammed's voice, either.)
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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by TrishDaDish:
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!

IIRC, Buñuel's Belle de jour not only had no music soundtrack, but played some nasty aural tricks that were a bit unsettiling, like having a scene with a horse carriage in the distance and hearing the horses' hoofs and sleighbells really loud, and then hearing it much more softly in the close-up scene.

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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AliBaba
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Dracula, the Coppola version. Only special effects that existed at the time it depicts were used.
Is that right? File that one under the "I did not know that" heading. My first thought was that you had to be mistaken, but then I started thinking about the special effects in the movie and realized that you might well be correct.

I own the movie on DVD so you'd think I could remember this, but what year is set in again? I know there are a couple of times that the year is mentioned.

Ali "oceans of time" Baba

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munkin65
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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What about Mulholland Dr by David Lynch? This movie was so amazingly odd. The characters would change their clothing or the item in their hand from one pose to the next (in one scene a woman went from wearing a full bathrobe & making coffee to wearing nothing but daisy dukes and holding an on the rocks glass in about 4 blinks of the eye). The whole movie is a puzzle, you need to determine what is real and what isn't. The background during the opening credits is a clue: you see what appears to be several couples dancing the jitterbug but if you look closely you see its the same 4 people, with different outfits and different dance partners...
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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Damian:
There was a movie a few years ago called "Run, Lola, Run" which was filmed in real time.

I was going to mention Run Lola Run not for that reason but because of how it repeated the same 20 minutes of "real time" over three times, with slight differences happening each time that change not only her own outcome but that of the people she comes in contact with.

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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Bad Actor
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Brandi:
quote:
Originally posted by Bad Actor:
Prison Girls in 3D, the first and only 3D porno film.

Nope. (You may prefer [url=http://www.mdfilmfest.com/2003/guide/hotskin.asp]this link.)
Hopefully the ad for the movie didn't start, "Coming at you in 3D...."

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Bad Actor
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Shhh! Vast Right-wing conspiracy at work...

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Bad Actor
I Saw Three Shipments


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The Cure for Insomnia.

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Bad Actor
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Shhh! Vast Right-wing conspiracy at work...

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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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How about a movie with no (or one, I suppose) visuals?

I've not seen it myself, but I've heard many good things about Blue.

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"But about the reindeer...what kind of a nose shines? How did he get it? Maybe it's not a reindeer after all. It could be something else."

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