The “high concept” movie (a much-abused term) is one whose premise can be summed up in a sentence, if not within the title itself — for instance, what happens when a bored married couple’s “Date Night” goes wrong? Wacky fun!
The ideas is that the easy hook goes over well with your stereotypical movie executive — it becomes the selling point rather than the actors or characters. If it sounds irresistible (and/or ridiculous), people will show up hoping to see exactly what they were promised (a premise “Snakes On A Plane” took to its logical conclusion)…
High concept premise: A serial killer takes down his victims based on their violations of the seven deadly sins.
High concept premise: Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin get trapped in, yes, a biodome.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon or “Bacon’s Law” is a parlour game based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. Movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and prolific actor Kevin Bacon. It rests on the assumption that anyone involved in the Hollywood film industry can be linked through their film roles to Bacon within six steps. In 2007, Bacon started a charitable organization called SixDegrees.org.
In a decade where reality and fiction blurred, these movies showed us who we really are.
20. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017)
To make Dawson City: Frozen Time, director Bill Morrison — who often works with old footage — reused hundreds of reels of nitrate film shot in the 1910s and 1920s and unearthed in 1978 in Dawson, a town on the Yukon River in northwestern Canada. The reels had been presumed lost, and Morrison stitches them together to reconstruct the history of the town, which is loaded with wild stories of fortunes made and lost, with twists and turns as exciting as any fictional film. It plays like a silent film, at times, but one with an eye toward the present, and toward the way old stories shape the future.
Sequels weren’t new and neither were long, crowded, noisy superhero spectacles when this juggernaut landed. But “The Avengers,” released after Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Studios, was nonetheless a big industry bang: It heralded the dominance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where we all now live whether we like it or not.
The movie is a delicate creation, with no big punch line or payoff. Watching it, I was in the moment: It was about these people wandering lost through their lives. Afterward, I felt good about them – good because they were likable people, but good, too, because the writer and director took care to give them dialogue that suited their needs. Of all the handicaps in life, the worst must be the inability to express how you feel.
The very last shot in “Boys on the Side” is of an empty room. As the camera pans around it, we remember who was in it, and how much we grew to care about them. We may be a little surprised by how that happened, because the movie starts out seeming contrived and routine, and only gradually gathers power until, by the end, it is completely involving.
Larry Clark’s “Kids” is a movie about their world. It follows a group of teenage boys and girls through one day and night during which they travel Manhattan on skateboards and subway trains, have sex, drink, use drugs, talk, party, and crash in a familiar stupor, before starting all over again the next day. The movie sees this culture in such flat, unblinking detail that it feels like a documentary; it knows what it’s talking about.
Tarantino, del Toro, and More Directors Pick Favorite Horror Movies | IndieWire
Looking to watch a scary movie? Why not take a suggestion from one of the best directors working today or a master of the horror genre. IndieWire has rounded up 32 of our favorite directors naming some of their favorite horror movies ever made, from Guillermo del Toro on “Eyes Without a Face” to Martin Scorsese on “The Innocents,” Jennifer Kent on “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Jordan Peele on “Misery,” and more. Check out all 32 recommendations in the list below.
John Carpenter, on “The Exorcist”
John Carpenter’s “Halloween” was a pioneer in the slasher-film subgenre, and when it comes to the horror director’s own favorite scary movies he often singles out William Friedkin’s classic “The Exorcist.” As Carpenter told The Fader, “You know what’s scary about ‘The Exorcist’? Everyone knows what’s scary about that movie. It’s the devil. The first time I saw it, I thought, in order to be really effective, this movie requires a belief in a higher power. But since then I’ve come to appreciate it just for what it is. I watched it again recently and was surprised by how intense it is. The things that they did back then, with this little girl, they broke a bunch of taboos, my god. It’s pretty damn good.”
Slater: Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.
Slater: Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There’s some spooky shit goin’ on there. And it’s green too.
Cynthia: I call it the “every other decade” theory. The 50’s were boring. The 60’s rocked. The 70’s, my god, they obviously suck. So maybe the 80s will be like, radical. I figure we’ll be in our 20’s and hey, it can’t get any worse.
Pink: All I’m saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life – remind me to kill myself.
Pink: I may play ball next fall, but I will never sign that. Now me and my loser friends are gonna head out to buy Aerosmith tickets. Top priority of the summer.
Getting to work on the film in the mid-60s, after 2001 was released, he sent an assistant around the world to literally follow in Napoleon’s footsteps (“Wherever Napoleon went, I want you to go,” he told him), even getting him to bring back samples of earth from Waterloo so he could match them for the screen.
He read hundreds of books on the man and broke the information down into categories “on everything from his food tastes to the weather on the day of a specific battle.” He gathered together 15,000 location scouting photos and 17,000 slides of Napoleonic imagery.
An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor’s guilt.