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Movies based on one idea. Clever. Inventive.


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16 minutes ago, Art Vandelay said:

It sounds like it was a rip off of a Kurosawa movie which I haven't seen but can only imagine is infinitely better.

 

Rashomon is one of the greatest films ever made, and its concept makes it perfect for this thread. It's quite light and easy to watch too, and less than 90 minutes long - which was a nice surprise as I'd originally assumed that Kurosawa's reputation rested entirely on films as long and weighty as Seven Samurai.

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1 hour ago, PK said:

It Follows has a really great, simple and creepy central idea, which they very nearly turn into a brilliant horror film but unfortunately just miss their target. I'd love to see the premise in the hands of filmmakers with slightly more idea of what to do with it.

 

56 minutes ago, Timmo said:

 

100%. How amazing were those scenes in the first half of the film where you'd be constantly watching the background for "it" to appear, just slowly lumbering towards the target? The film turned to shit in the second half, unfortunately, but I'd still recommend it due to its brilliant soundtrack and killer first half.

It Follows doesn’t have “one idea” it has two intertwined. One of which is introduced explicitly at the start, the second weaved in over the course of the film. The second idea is more subtle but is much creepier. 

 

It’s a brilliant film from start to finish.

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52 minutes ago, Pob said:

The commonly-used term for these things is 'high concept', right?

Yep :) Although I think the OP was primarily wanting to talk about some indie/obscure stuff as technically you can apply 'high-concept' equally to blockbusters like Jurassic Park and The Matrix.

 

@Nick R I've got an unopened BFI copy of Rashomon here I really should get round to watching. I bought Seven Samurai, Kagemusha, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, Ran and that all in a DVD sale a couple of years ago but just haven't got onto it yet.

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1 hour ago, Timmo said:

 

100%. How amazing were those scenes in the first half of the film where you'd be constantly watching the background for "it" to appear, just slowly lumbering towards the target? The film turned to shit in the second half, unfortunately, but I'd still recommend it due to its brilliant soundtrack and killer first half.

 

Yeah, absolutely. It's like they had a brilliant idea for a 20 minute short, filmed it four times and then stuck on a generic monster movie ending.

 

@DukeOfEarlsfield what's the second idea?

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2 hours ago, FiveFootNinja said:

Yep :) Although I think the OP was primarily wanting to talk about some indie/obscure stuff as technically you can apply 'high-concept' equally to blockbusters like Jurassic Park and The Matrix.

 

@Nick R I've got an unopened BFI copy of Rashomon here I really should get round to watching. I bought Seven Samurai, Kagemusha, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, Ran and that all in a DVD sale a couple of years ago but just haven't got onto it yet.

I always associated it with Hollywood blockbusters but I think that’s down to the fact that it was the title of the famous book about Don Simpson and which seemed to credit him with the idea. Great read incidentally!

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2 hours ago, FiveFootNinja said:

Yep :) Although I think the OP was primarily wanting to talk about some indie/obscure stuff as technically you can apply 'high-concept' equally to blockbusters like Jurassic Park and The Matrix.

 

@Nick R

Yes, I found it difficult to put into words in the original post, but there have been many times when something has drawn me into watching a film I knew nothing about, like when Charlie Brooker tweeted "go and watch Triangle now it's amazing" and I did and it was. 

 

The thread is also inspired by me ploughing through a Tales of the Unexpected box set. A lot of the episodes are crap, but some of them are carried by one excellent idea.  Each episode is about 25 minutes long and that's the perfect length for such a simple premise with a bit of a twist at the end. I like the inventiveness of a good story, and sometimes these little-known movies are the perfect place to find one. They may not have any money, or actors that you've heard of, but they've got the passion to make a movie because they have the confidence in their idea. 

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4 hours ago, Waggo said:

Happy Death Day To U is a decent teen horror where the lead dies over and over on her birthday, each time unraveling a few more clues as to who kills her.

 

Happy Death Day 2 U is the sequel to Happy Death Day that you described, first one is good fun but I've not seen the second. Sequel is a bit more sci-fi than the first in that I think it tries to explain the phenomenon behind it. Whether that's actually necessary or not I dunno, first film didn't care and nor did I :)

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I watched the sequel on Sky.  While the first one is a clear homage to Groundhog Day the sequel like you say is more sci-fi, and I would suggest heavily influenced by Back To The Future.  It was decent enough but I preferred the first one.

 

Cheers for the correct btw.  I have edited original post to correct title.

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Yeah I think it’s easy to get mixed up with high concept films and films that focus on one premise. Jaws is considered high concept (“man eating shark terrorises town”), so is Open Water (scuba diving couple get stranded in shark invested waters) but I would say Open Water counts for this topic but Jaws doesn’t, because there’s significantly more added to the high concept of Jaws like characters, locations etc compared with Open Water.

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12 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

 

@dumpster any idea which films in your OP are available on streaming?

 

Check justwatch.com/uk 

 

Shows you what streaming platforms films and TV shows are available on, and whether they're included in subs

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8 hours ago, PK said:

 

Yeah, absolutely. It's like they had a brilliant idea for a 20 minute short, filmed it four times and then stuck on a generic monster movie ending.

 

@DukeOfEarlsfield what's the second idea?

To be honest, saying it has “two ideas” was a bit daft on my part, it’s a fair bit more complicated than simple numbers:

 

Spoiler

Well, you have the monster movie part but you’re obviously supposed to think about it in terms of a metaphor for sexual shame. But as the film progresses the skinny guy (it’s been a long time since I saw it, apologies for being vague) starts to see this as an opportunity to get her to sleep with him, and more.

 

So whilst she’s sinking deeper into what our society deems ‘shameful’ behaviour he’s trying to manipulate her into becoming respectable by sleeping with a ‘nice guy’ who’s only having sex with her because he cares about her.

 

That duplicitousness is intensely creepy, and the ending of the film implies that they are in a ‘stable relationship’ which is kept that way by him sleeping with prostitutes, underlining the double standards American society holds towards sexual morals and how they are used to control women.

 

It’s a deeply unsettling ending that got right under my skin.

 

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Buried - Absolutely horrible to watch but great none the same. One location. 

 

Locke - One of my favourite films from the last 10 years. Absolute acting masterclass from Tom Hardy. 

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11 hours ago, Ry said:

Buried - Absolutely horrible to watch but great none the same. One location. 

 


It reminded me of an episode of something like the 80s revival of Alfred Hitchcock presents where someone was lying on a hospital bed, was conscious but was completely paralysed. They were trying to get the staff’s attention but to no avail. The twist was that they were actually dead.

 

I think it was that, it was a loooong time ago but the whole concept really stuck with me, pretty freaky really. 

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I can’t agree with some of the choices here.

 

Phonebooth, Buried, and Duel? Absolutely yes. A single idea and/or location stretched to the running time with as many twists and turns eked out as possible.

 

The fact that a film’s plot can be summed up in a sentence doesn’t make it ‘high concept’ or based on one idea, because that could be true for a lot of films.

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On 27/04/2020 at 11:56, Ry said:

Any of you guys seen The Endless?

 

Don't want to say much. Better to go in blind. But I think it falls into that category. I would give the makers of the film (the two leads) free reign to do what they like what they like and give them a ton of cash if I was a producer. 

 

 

Is this the 2018 one?

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One that for understandable reasons may have been forgotten about, I'd like to nominate;

 

In Time - starring none other than (/falsetto) Justin Timberlake (/end falsetto) and the lovely Amanda Seyfried.

 

 

The high concept: Time is a currency.

 

How that high concept is embodied via the movie: the wealthy that live in New Greenwich are immortals, while the poor live in time zones aka ghettos and are exploited - forced to live with a few hours or days, and need to work, borrow, beg or steal to stay alive. Thieves steal time and the timekeepers control the society.

 

Of course, it's an allegory regards to capitalism.

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This thread is a great thread. High Concept, or however you want to call them - they are the best films. My favourite genre.

 

The Platform on Netflix, doesn't quite count as it is really an allegory, but it's pretty  good.

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  • 1 month later...

 

3 hours ago, Darhkwing said:

I watched Coherence last night. I enjoyed it, wasn't perfect by any means as some of it seems a little pointless. But i recommend.

Is it on streaming services?

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On 03/06/2020 at 02:35, Doctor Shark said:

Scientists have brought back dinosaurs and put them in a theme park but....

 

Spoiler

Wait—who escapes? The scientists or the dinosaurs? Maybe that’s the key to really understanding the movie: as soon as trouble erupted, the scientists fled the island, leaving the dinosaurs to pick up the pieces. Jurassic Park is about the dinosaurs trying to deal with their feelings after what was done to them.

 

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