Thursday Movie Picks: Non-Linear Timelines

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is non-linear timelines. There's probably a joke somewhere in here to make. I could've started with the end of my sentence first, but instead let's talk about some of my favorite films that use this gimmick.

1) Sin City

This film is easily one of my favorite comic adaptations and his pretty high on my all time favorites list as well. The three 1/2 stories they tell are intertwined, but they're not told in the correct order. When we catch a glimpse of another character in a story we've already seen, but hasn't played out yet in current time, it feels like a nice easter egg. 

2) Paranoid Park

Gus Van Sant's quiet skater drama lets us know from the very beginning that Alex has seen or done something pretty horrible and it doesn't show us until later on. It's mostly linear except for the beginning, but no one ever mentions this movie anymore, so I felt like I should use it here. 

3) The Driftless Area

I will freely admit, this film's use of a non-linear timeline does get a little confusing. Like, to the point where you're questioning whether or not you're watching past or present, but it really is a lovely film with nice performances from Anton Yelchin and Zooey Deschanel

I hope everyone who celebrates has a lovely Thanksgiving today. Shout out to Sirius Radio for the free preview this weekend. Nothing makes a five hour night drive across the frozen tundra go by faster than arguing with your spouse over what station to listen to.

Comments

  1. Whenever I see Anton Yelchin’s name I just feel so sad. I know the first film but only have seen parts of it but I do want to see it one day. I don’t know the others but the second film sounds interesting

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    1. I do too. I feel about him the same way I do about Heath Ledger. They both would've done amazing things.

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  2. Uh-oh I'm 0 for 3 with your picks this week though I usually don't seek out films with broken timelines so that might factor into it.

    I've only heard of Sin City which the few people I know who have seen it panned. I don't know if I'll ever get around to the last. I like Yelchin well enough but I can't abide Zooey Deschanel.

    Not being one for this type of film it was a little tougher this week but I did manage three that I think work.

    Out of the Past (1947)-Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is trying to restart his life in a small Sierra Nevada town running a filling station when a henchman of his old fremeny Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) shows up and pulls him back in to hunt down Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer) who has stolen $40,000 from Whit and shot him four times. Sterling doesn’t care about the money he just wants the girl back. And we’re off on a time jumping tale of greed, vengeance, hate and treachery. So begins one of the quintessential noirs based on the novel Build My Gallows High with two fantastic male leads and one of the queens of the genre, Jane Greer, in her best performance as black hearted pit viper Kathie.

    Two for the Road (1967)-As wealthy Joanna (Audrey Hepburn) and Mark Wallace (Albert Finney) take a three day journey from their London home to St. Tropez for the unveiling of an opulent home Mark has designed they reflect back on their now 10 year old crumbling marriage. The film follows a non-linear time table as it jumps through the various phases of the Wallace’s courtship, marriage and estrangement.

    Go (1999)- Grocery store clerk Simon (Desmond Askew) occasionally sells drugs from his cash register at work, so when soap opera actors Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr) come looking for Ecstasy on a quiet Christmas Eve, they are surprised to find Ronna (Sarah Polley) covering his shift. Desperate for money, Ronna decides to become an impromptu drug dealer, unaware that Adam and Zack are secretly working for obsessed narcotics officer Burke (William Fichtner). That’s just the set up for the crazy quilt of a film that follows. Challenging, confusing and funny.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

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    1. I'm 0 for 3 for yours too! I think Sin City is wonderful I'm surprised people pan it. It's very well done.

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  3. I watched Sin City years ago, when the second one came out, and I was not a fan of it. I've been meaning to revisit it though.

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    1. The second one was a disaster but I so love the first.

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  4. Ah, Sin City. Great film as I'm glad to own it (in its extended version) on DVD. Paranoid Park, another favorite of mine. I haven't seen The Driftless Area but thanks for mentioning it as I will add it to my never-ending watchlist.

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    1. Same! The DVD extras are excellent too. I'm glad someone else has seen Paranoid Park!

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  5. Haven't heard about two of these.. but I'm curious about Paranoid Park.

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  6. I love Sin City. Fantastic movie. Haven't heard of the other two, but Paranoid Park sounds interesting.

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  7. Nice picks! I haven't seen the other two picks, but Sin City is a great choice. I'm not sure there will be another comic book/graphic novel movie like it again.

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