Hyperlink cinema  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
frame tale

Hyperlink cinema is a term coined by Alissa Quart, who used the term in her review of the film Happy Endings for Film Comment. Noted film critic Roger Ebert subsequently popularized the term when reviewing the film Syriana.

Hyperlink movies are films following multiple story lines and multiple characters. These story arcs and characters intersect obliquely and subtly. Events in one story arc affect other story lines or characters, often in ways that the characters are unaware of or do not fully understand. Hyperlink cinema is often characterized by globe-spanning locations, multiple languages, and frequent though unanounced use of flashback and flashforward. Also, strict parameters in terms of art direction, cinematography and mise en scène are used in each story line, so as to create an abrupt visual break when cutting between characters and arcs.

The genre was generally identified as such in 2005 with Syriana, though its development can be traced back to the beginning of cinema. It is generally agreed that director Robert Altman is a major influence on the development of the Hyperlink movie. The first true hyperlink movie was Traffic, which systematically defined and applied the basic rules of hyperlink cinema: Multiple story arcs, multiple (and international) locations, use of radically different cinematography and mise en scène to define each story arc, and character ignorance of defining events ocurring in other story arcs.

Canonical examples of the hyperlink film include:

Further examples of hyperlink cinema include:

Robert Altman films cited as defining influences:

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hyperlink cinema" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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