Saturday, November 22, 2008

Parallel Storylines

Give me titles! I'm looking for screenplays where the structure is of parallel or multiple storylines. Babel and Crash work but I'd like to read screenplays with fewer stories running consecutively. Holes has a present tense story and breaks away to a past tense story to enhance the present. Recently saw Sliding Doors which was fascinating because the two stories are truly parallel in that they are both in the present playing out alternate results from a chance opportunity by the protagonist. I'm not looking for flashbacks or Kate and Leopold type time travel. I'd like to see two or more separate stories that may or may not intersect at the end.

So, help me, writers. Whatdya got?

14 comments:

millar prescott said...

The Nines?

Danny Stack said...

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada? (another one from Arriaga). Usual Suspects? The Hours? (inspired by Arriaga's 'triangular' structure, apparently) Traffic? Or was that all in the present? The Never Ending Story? And in that case, The Princess Bride??

michellelipton said...

Magnolia's a good one for that - separate stories, some overlap, some don't. Connected by theme more than anything else.

And it's not a feature, it's a TV serial, but Holding On is a shining example and might be useful.

Grubber said...

Recently saw Vantage Point and that has several points of view all converging on the same point in time. Enjoyed that one.

Smokin' Aces has several teams/stories running parrallel to the same convergence point as well.

Bit more over the top shoot 'em up, etc in SA.

Sliding Doors was the first one that sprung into my mind and I still enjoy that one when it comes on tv every now and then.

Best of luck.
cheers
Dave

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Great suggestions! Thanks so much, people!

Konrad West said...

Hey MaryAn, long time no see.

What about GOSFORD PARK and THE MEXICAN?

Eddie M said...

Pulp Fiction. And I think The Darjeeling Limited, though odd, does a bit of this too. Good luck.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Okay, Eddie, I'm really sorry to say this but I never finished watching Darjeeling.

Konrad, where ya been?

mernitman said...

Claude Lelouch's AND NOW MY LOVE:
his life, her life... separate story lines vectoring toward their finally meeting in the end (off-screen!)

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Never seen it but sounds like what I'm looking for. Grats. Will track it down.

Pedro said...

"Love Actually", though it has many stories.

"Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a great example, and only has two stories, if I remember well. The connection between both is very loose (or none at all, except for characters that know each other). It's an excellent movie. One of the stories is a comedy, the other one a tragedy.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I actually love "Love Actually". I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes....

Anonymous said...

robert altman stuff, royal tenenbaums, 13 conversations about one thing, do a special search on imdb for multi-plot, multi-protagonists, multi-character, etc and you'll find alot more.

Faisal Hashmi said...

I think 21 GRAMS is something that might interest you (starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts). It's a brilliant movie that combines multiple storylines in a fractured narrative. The same director has another movie of a similar style he released, although I haven't seen it.