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#1 Dominic Case

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 07:17 PM

In the Miami Vice topic, someone asked . . .

If box office is down, shouldnt we come up with original ideas?

Well hallelujah. that's seemingly an original idea in itself.

What was the last new "original idea" movie that you've seen, and did it work?

Not a screen adaptation of a book, a song, a TV show, a comic strip or a radio series.
Not just history rewritten.
Not a remake of a much better film from a generation ago.
Not a remake of a much better French film.
Not a "son of" movie or one in a franchise.
And not the film of the musical of the film of the musical about the war.

Have I left room for anything else?
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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 07:58 PM

In the Miami Vice topic, someone asked . . .
Well hallelujah. that's seemingly an original idea in itself.

What was the last new "original idea" movie that you've seen, and did it work?

Not a screen adaptation of a book, a song, a TV show, a comic strip or a radio series.
Not just history rewritten.
Not a remake of a much better film from a generation ago.
Not a remake of a much better French film.
Not a "son of" movie or one in a franchise.
And not the film of the musical of the film of the musical about the war.

Have I left room for anything else?

I'll name three that I thought were totally original.

Being John Malkovich
Days of Heaven
Eraserhead

and I would say "Orlando" but that is a book adaptation.
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#3 Jason Debus

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:54 PM

Definitely Eraserhead. I would even include Lynch's other films (dis-allowing the biopic and novel adaptation for sake of this thread).

Went down my NetFlix list of rentals the past few months and these are the ones that struck me as being highly original (with a 'y' for 'yes worked for me', or 'n' for 'no didn't work for me):

Run Lola Run - y
Fire - y
Talk to Her - y
The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys - y
Naked - y
Melinda and Melinda - n
Russian Ark - n
Me and You and Everyone We Know - n
Andrei Rublev - n
Oasis - y
Buffalo '66 - y
Northfork - y

I have less no's so I guess I'll try to address why the originality didn't work for me.

Melinda and Melinda - Original and promising concept to my knowledge, the same character going through a comedy vs a tragedy via the minds of two playwrights at dinner. I found myself enjoying the comedy and was disappointed when it would alternate back to the tragedy.

Russian Ark - Again, wonderful idea that just didn't work for me, shot in HD all in one shot. Some of the parts had me, but I felt myself drifting in other parts. The camera-man would shift from a POV shot (the camera was suppose to be in POV the whole movie I think) but some shots looked like a camera movement that a person would never take. Also you could see the 'vertigo' effect a couple of times when he was adjusting his zoom (tried hiding it by walking the opposite direction). The behind the scenes was more interesting than the movie.

Me and You and Everyone We Know - Really a quirky movie that had some good scenes, but just didn't grab me.

Andrei Rublev - This is a movie that one day I'll appreciate I think. The metaphor for ones life takes some work to understand.

Of course there could be similar movies to the ones I've listed above but not to my knowledge, these are all highly original films.
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#4 Sean Azze

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 02:12 AM

I think my avatar says it all - Memento was by far the most original film I've seen in the last 5 years. The basic premise is fairly simple and trite - a man wants revenge for the murder of his wife. But the way the film goes in reverse to capture the affliction the main character suffers from was pure genius.

I'm fully aware that stories have been told in reverse chronological order before (Jeremy Irons starred in a film some twenty years ago called Betrayal that utilized it), but the way the device is used to allow the audience to vicariously experience the protagonist's disorientation is supremely effective - it's like virtual reality. I'll never forget the first time I saw this film in a theater - I was so wrapped up in following the story. I usually drift off a bit when watching movies, but with this picture I was literally sitting up straight with a supermodel's posture, trying to follow every little detail. I truly adore this movie and think it is like nothing I've ever seen (and yes it was adapted from a short story, but it was written a short time before the making of the film by the director's brother no less, so I don't think it counts as an adaptation).
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 03:23 AM

I see what you are saying Dominic, but I don't think one should limit the 'original idea' to just the plot. The way a film is shot, edited, the mood and rythm that is created to me is sometimes more important than the story that is told and can be very original too. Some films, although they are inspired by real life or based on a book (Stalker, Elephant, Memories of Murder, Full Metal Jacket , etc...) are still highly original works of art. In the end that to me is more important than just to ask if they came up with the story themselves.
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#6 Nick Mulder

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 04:58 AM

Although they can be rather tiresome in parts Matthew Barneys Cremaster series are in many ways original compared to mainstream film:

I've heard many saying they are money-ridden derivative crap also

The term 'original' like the word 'good' is as subjective as you care to choose ...


in case:

http://www.cremaster.net/

(I found II and IV the most visually interesting)
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#7 elvworks

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 12:50 PM

Everyone has different tastes and interprets things differently. What one will call a great movie, to another person who is just as artistic or feels they are, well it could be a real bore.

Sometimes I even find, I may not like the whole movie, but I like several scenes and that would give it some value.

When you look at your spectrum of people, there are going to be people that go to the movies no matter what. Whether it's on a date, hanging out with friends, getting out of the house, they like the cast, so moviemakers, I believe, feel they'll get their money back one way or another as long as they put out something halfway decent.

I would say the general public wants to see a movie that entertains them, not so much as a movie that speaks to them, although I'm sure they would welcome that if they stumble upon one.

If a good portion of the audience is artistic, instead of working 9-5 jobs, moviemakers would start making movies differently because their market is different.

It took the Matrix to zap people out of their old way of seeing action or photography, even storylines.

So it is up to us, as filmmakers to bring the audience higher. That's my vision anyway.

'Nothing changes if nothing changes'

Rick
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#8 Sam Wells

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

What was the last new "original idea" movie that you've seen, and did it work?


Starting at work printed at your own lab, I think Hou Hsiao-hsein's work; "The Puppetmaster"; "Flowers of Shanghai"; "Good Men, Good Women" etc are original and work very well.

Claire Denis, "Beau Travail" for sure & I look forward to "L'Intrus" ot now in US cities. Although "L'Intrus" is an 'adaptation' of an autobiographical memoir...

Last three Gus Van Sant, I'm not sure about "Gerry" totally worked for me but but "Elephant" and "Last Days" for sure...

That's off the top of my head and I'm not even mentioing more experimental work - and I don't even get to the movies too often.

-Sam
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#9 elvworks

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 02:05 PM

One more thing on original ideas if I could...

Movie making is a collaboration, whether it's 2 or 200 people. So some people may do things that they might have seen on other films, knowingly or unknowingly, whatever part of the film it may be. Or they just may come up with the same ideas.

For example, over the weekend, I saw Legend of Zorro at the $2.00 theatre, why not, right? Anyway, in one scene there was an explosion, and they had all these little fires everywhere, and you can clearly see the fires are those duraflame logs you put in your chimney.......and in watching the production diaries of Superman Returns, it's the same thing. When Sup's spaceship lands, they have a bunch of those little logs all over the place. So the physical effects people in both movies, whether they are the same people or not, did the same thing, hence, not an original idea, or not one to us. Many times in history, two groups of people thought of a similar idea at the same time. (Although I'm sure this duraflame log idea probably has been around for a long time)

I do have to say, the stunt work in Legend of Zorro was pretty fun to watch, and well choregraphed and shot.

So as far as original ideas, maybe they might be found in books, because to find a complete original idea on screen with so many people's hands in it will be completely rare.

Rick
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#10 David Sweetman

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 10:13 PM

One that I love is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Simple, but compelling and original. Gondry is the man...him and his zany visual effects. It was written by the same guy who wrote "Being John Malkovitch," which was mentioned earlier, but I didn't much care for that one.
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#11 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 10:24 PM

Is it uncool to plug my own film Sleep Always? Too late now. Check our reviews on the imdb re: comments on "originality".
Rick
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#12 Sidney King

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 12:08 AM

It's been interesting to note the trend in recent years of studios putting out more and more derivative crap, while cable programming has been getting bolder and more original. A lot of top-level talent (in front of and behind the camera) who would have avoided the stigma associated with TV in the past are now dying to act in and direct episodes of "The Sopranos," "Deadwood," etc...the original feature films made by some of the cable networks puts a lot of studio films to shame as well.

I've also been hearing how the major studios are planning on cutting way back on their mid-range budget movies ($20-$70M) in favor of focusing on their big tent-pole, franchisable blockbuster films, and putting out more smaller, auteur-driven and arthouse films ($2-$8M, which lately have been more profitable, dollar-for-dollar, than those mid-budget films).

We'll have to see if that pans out, it actually could result in a lot more originality coming out of the studios with more smaller budget films from filmmakers with a lot of creative freedom. Those mid-budget films is where a lot of the derivative, formulaic stuff comes from anyway. But the thought of even more money and effort being put into the already bloated blockbusters is sort of scary...

In recent years, thinking of original and innovative work to come out of the major American studios, soderbergh, david o. russell and pt anderson come to mind...

Edited by Sidney King, 11 January 2006 - 12:09 AM.

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#13 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 03:53 AM

In recent years, thinking of original and innovative work to come out of the major American studios, soderbergh, david o. russell and pt anderson come to mind...


i heart huckabees was so good and awesomely unusual that i couldn't believe it got made.

also...
beaver trilogy
hukkle
treasure island (1999)
the woman chaser
dog days
the homecoming (kinda old though)
the american astronaut
playtime (old)
barcelona
love and death on long island
judy berlin
goodbye dragon inn
funny haha
walkabout
back to the future (never before had such freudian and abstract concepts been made so smoothly digestable for a mass audience)
8 1/2

and i think galaxy quest had a greatly original concept, though the execution was less than par.
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 04:41 AM

Hi,

I thought "The Interpreter" was OK, for mainstream work. Plenty of warts, and the basic concept is firmly within one of the Only Seven Stories, but the execution made it for me.

Phil
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#15 David Sweetman

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 04:45 AM

Also -- it's fairly dated now -- but I love the cut of The Limey. It is the way Tarantino would want to tell a story, if he could tell a story. Granted, the type of edit had been done before, but I found it most powerful and appealing in this film. The extreme example of this type of storytelling is Memento, except that with The Limey you can watch time and time again and not get bored.

Of course, the story is awesome, but it's as old as time. Perhaps the originality comes in more subtle ways than a 100% fresh story.

I wonder if any of our resident Limeys have seen it?

Edited by David Sweetman, 11 January 2006 - 04:47 AM.

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#16 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 09:13 PM

Also -- it's fairly dated now -- but I love the cut of The Limey. It is the way Tarantino would want to tell a story, if he could tell a story. Granted, the type of edit had been done before, but I found it most powerful and appealing in this film. The extreme example of this type of storytelling is Memento, except that with The Limey you can watch time and time again and not get bored.

Of course, the story is awesome, but it's as old as time. Perhaps the originality comes in more subtle ways than a 100% fresh story.

I wonder if any of our resident Limeys have seen it?


I too thought the Limey was brilliant, and it was the editing that really stuck out. I want to see it again just for the sequence with Yes' Heart of the Sunrise.

Rick
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#17 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 02:39 AM

On the nature of "New or Original' I offer this from www.chronicles-network.com/forum/5228-the-3-basic-plots-also-the-4-7-and-8-basic-plots.html:

According to Algis Budrys, in an article I read many, many years ago, all stories can be reduced to one of three basic plots:

The man who learned better.
The brave little tailor. (An individual triumphs over enormous odds.)
Boy meets girl. (The romance.)

Nancy Kress also wrote an article on plotting the novel or short story, and came up with these basic plot types:

Sacrifice
Rise and Fall
Transformation
Revenge

However, in a later article she added these to the list (making eight in all):

Chase
Quest
Romance
Competition

But long before Budrys or Kress, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch wrote of these seven basic plots:

Man vs. Man
Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Himself
Man vs. God
Man vs. Society
Man caught in the Middle
Man & Woman

and here is another link to plot and structure
www.emmadavies.net/blog/seven-twenty-thirty-six-plots.aspx
I learned most of this in various acting and writing classes I've taken. The thing I've learned with my own work is there is nothing new. I want GOOD movies. Just because it's "Original" doesn't make it good.
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#18 John Carreon

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 10:09 AM

I know this is a "cinematography" forum so I should be thinking visually but...

Napolean Dynamite...so strange and original.

Groundhogs Day (although that was about 12 years ago)

I agree on...Eternal Sunshine (I'll include the rest of Charlie Kaufman's movies too)

I'm big on all Wes Anderson movies...although he said he was inspired by "The Magnificent Ambersons" for The Royal Tenenbaums (please excuse my random use of the "...")

Also...King Kong...was pretty original...who'd of thought that a monkey could get that big?!?

Being COMPLETELY original is a tall order and doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna be good...I think the cycle of humanity (thoughts and feelings) are pretty common...so being able to tell the universal story in a new, creative way is impressive enough in itself.

I have this idea for a sort of "The Matrix" meets "The Passion of the Christ"...I think it's gonna kick ass...

Also check out www.JANITORMOVIE.com it's so original that it's not...

Thanks,

John
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#19 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 04:40 PM

I know this is a "cinematography" forum so I should be thinking visually but...

Also...King Kong...was pretty original...who'd of thought that a monkey could get that big?!?


---Which version?

Didn't RKO pay off the Conan Doyle estate over that 'Lost World' thingee?
Though did not have to admit to being influenced in anyway by 'The Lost World'.

Monkeys have tails. Apes do not have tails, or at most a stub.

---LV

On the nature of "New or Original' I offer this from www.chronicles-network.com/forum/5228-the-3-basic-plots-also-the-4-7-and-8-basic-plots.html:

According to Algis Budrys, in an article I read many, many years ago, all stories can be reduced to one of three basic plots:

The man who learned better.
The brave little tailor. (An individual triumphs over enormous odds.)
Boy meets girl. (The romance.)

and here is another link to plot and structure
www.emmadavies.net/blog/seven-twenty-thirty-six-plots.aspx
I learned most of this in various acting and writing classes I've taken. The thing I've learned with my own work is there is nothing new. I want GOOD movies. Just because it's "Original" doesn't make it good.


---What plot does Ron Frickee's 'Chronos' and 'Baraka' fall into?
Or Bruce Conner's 'a Movie'?
How 'bout that Jordan Belson?
---LV
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#20 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 01:15 AM

---Which version?

Didn't RKO pay off the Conan Doyle estate over that 'Lost World' thingee?
Though did not have to admit to being influenced in anyway by 'The Lost World'.

Monkeys have tails. Apes do not have tails, or at most a stub.

---LV
---What plot does Ron Frickee's 'Chronos' and 'Baraka' fall into?
Or Bruce Conner's 'a Movie'?
How 'bout that Jordan Belson?
---LV


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