A Vicious Circle, by David Bax

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3 Responses

  1. antho42 says:

    “So far, the connected stories format has proved to be a net loss for cinema.

    What about Michael Haneke’s Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys? It is considered a masterpiece by many cinephiles:

    “Though Michael Haneke’s brilliant 2000 puzzle-picture Code Unknown predates the current wave of self-important, everything-is-connected social dramas like Crash or Babel by several years, it could retroactively serve as a stinging critique of them. Crash and Babel specifically make big statements on racism and violence, respectively, through the “butterfly effect,” with single events that ripple through a city—or in Babel’s case, the globe—and destroy people’s lives. But getting the message across involves a mass of writerly contrivances: Suddenly, what’s meant to appear as a random series of events could not be less spontaneous, and the elaborate latticework of the script winds up servicing a single, banal, easily digestible statement, like “Violence is bad” or “Gee, Los Angeles isn’t the post-racial utopia you thought it was.” The screenwriters may be fine architects, but there’s nothing in the house.”

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      In using the term “net loss,” I made clear that there have been more bad ones than good ones. I never said there were no good ones. I love Code Unknown.

      – David

  2. Dumbo says:

    Well, I didn’t like Code Unknown either. I think the only film with interconnected stories I liked when I first saw them were Magnolia and Short Cuts, but both suffered a lot in an attempted second view (too long and boring).

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