Hyperlink Cinema

by jzappa | created - 15 Jul 2011 | updated - 15 Jul 2011 | Public

A term coined by Film Comment in 2005. Ebert popularized the term. More official, modern examples may have stylistic flourishes in common like captions working as cross-reference and split-screen---in an age influenced by the internet and thus a culture of multitasking---monkeying around with time and characters’ back stories, plot twists, interlaced and mingling plot strands between numerous characters and jumping between beginning and end also tend to be essentials. But at its core, hyperlink cinema is where characters or action in a movie occupy unconnected independent stories, but a link or stimulus between those unrelated plot lines is gradually revealed to us. Robert Altman arguably established the configuration for the genre and, while he intended the overall structural elements for a more atmospheric purpose, showed its value and wit for merging intermingling plots in his films.

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1. Three Strangers (1946)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Joan Lorring

Votes: 1,193

2. Detective Story (1951)

Approved | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, Cathy O'Donnell

Votes: 5,889

3. Le Plaisir (1952)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Three separate stories about the same thing: pleasure.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Jean Gabin, Danielle Darrieux, Simone Simon, Claude Dauphin

Votes: 3,441

4. Advise & Consent (1962)

Not Rated | 139 min | Drama, Thriller

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon

Votes: 5,425

5. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

PG-13 | 164 min | Western

80 Metascore

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 254,116 | Gross: $5.32M

6. The Milky Way (1969)

M | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

Two drifters go on a pilgrimage from France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Along the way, they hitchhike, beg for food, and face the Christian dogmas and heresies from different Ages.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Paul Frankeur, Laurent Terzieff, Alain Cuny, Edith Scob

Votes: 5,611

7. Z (1969)

PG | 127 min | Crime, Drama, History

Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles.

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant, François Périer

Votes: 20,121 | Gross: $0.08M

8. MASH (1970)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

80 Metascore

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman

Votes: 60,742 | Gross: $81.60M

9. Amarcord (1973)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia

Votes: 33,524

10. Le fantôme de la liberté (1974)

R | 104 min | Comedy

This surrealist film consists of a series of only vaguely related episodes, most famously the dinner party scene in which people sit on lavatories round a dinner table, occasionally ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, Michel Piccoli, Monica Vitti

Votes: 11,798 | Gross: $0.01M

11. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey

Votes: 58,999 | Gross: $40.08M

12. Radio Days (1987)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

A nostalgic look at radio's golden age focusing on one ordinary family and the various performers in the medium.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Mike Starr, Paul Herman

Votes: 27,385 | Gross: $14.79M

13. Dekalog (1989–1990)

TV-MA | 572 min | Drama

100 Metascore

Ten television drama films, each one based on one of the Ten Commandments.

Stars: Artur Barcis, Olgierd Lukaszewicz, Aleksander Bardini, Olaf Lubaszenko

Votes: 16,361 | Gross: $0.10M

14. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 68,737 | Gross: $27.55M

15. Mystery Train (1989)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Yûki Kudô, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Cinqué Lee

Votes: 21,231 | Gross: $0.37M

16. Slacker (1991)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A day in the life of Austin, Texas as the camera roams from place to place and provides a brief look at the overeducated, the social misfits, the outcasts and the oddballs.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine, Jan Hockey

Votes: 17,067 | Gross: $1.23M

17. Dazed and Confused (1993)

R | 102 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane

Votes: 139,311 | Gross: $7.99M

18. Tales of the City (1993– )

Unrated | 360 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

The stories of several colorful characters living in San Francisco. Based on the book by Armistead Maupin (Is A Man I Dreamt Up).

Stars: Olympia Dukakis, Donald Moffat, Chloe Webb, Laura Linney

Votes: 2,064

19. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,528,708 | Gross: $107.93M

20. SubUrbia (1996)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

A group of suburban teenagers try to support each other through the difficult task of becoming adults.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Steve Zahn, Jayce Bartok, Amie Carey

Votes: 7,959 | Gross: $0.73M

21. Celebrity (1998)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama

41 Metascore

The fortunes of a husband and wife differ drastically after they divorce.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Judy Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Greg Mottola

Votes: 22,129 | Gross: $5.03M

22. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham

Votes: 469,702 | Gross: $3.90M

23. More Tales of the City (1998– )

TV-MA | 330 min | Drama, Romance

In this sequel to the controversial PBS mini-series, Mona Ramsey is on a cross-country trip that takes her to a brothel which may hold a secret about her past. Michael "Mouse" Tolliver and ... See full summary »

Stars: Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney, Colin Ferguson, Barbara Garrick

Votes: 939

24. Go (1999)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime

72 Metascore

Go! tells the story of the events after a drug deal, told from three different points of view.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Sarah Polley, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf, Taye Diggs

Votes: 62,444 | Gross: $16.84M

25. Magnolia (1999)

R | 188 min | Drama

77 Metascore

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 260,569 | Gross: $22.46M

26. Summer of Sam (1999)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito

Votes: 33,001 | Gross: $19.28M

27. Amores Perros (2000)

R | 154 min | Drama, Thriller

83 Metascore

A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero

Votes: 197,830 | Gross: $5.38M

28. Code Unknown (2000)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama

74 Metascore

A young man harasses a homeless woman, another man protests, the police arrest both and the woman has to leave the country. What were their various story-lines leading up to this event?

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic, Josef Bierbichler, Alexandre Hamidi

Votes: 9,833 | Gross: $0.10M

29. Snatch (2000)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime

55 Metascore

Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina

Votes: 682,263 | Gross: $30.33M

30. State and Main (2000)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

75 Metascore

A movie crew invades a small town whose residents are all too ready to give up their values for showbiz glitz.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Rebecca Pidgeon, Michael Higgins

Votes: 19,129 | Gross: $6.92M

31. Timecode (2000)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

Four frames of simultaneous action that alternately follow a smitten lesbian lover as she obsesses over her partner's dalliances and the tense goings-on of a Hollywood film production company.

Director: Mike Figgis | Stars: Jeanne Tripplehorn, Stellan Skarsgård, Salma Hayek, Xander Berkeley

Votes: 6,126 | Gross: $0.95M

32. Traffic (2000)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jacob Vargas

Votes: 180,885 | Gross: $124.12M

33. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 607,069 | Gross: $7.56M

34. 21 Grams (2003)

R | 124 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts, Danny Huston

Votes: 205,314 | Gross: $16.25M

35. Melinda and Melinda (2004)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

Two alternating stories, one comedy and the other tragedy, about Melinda's attempts to straighten out her life.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Will Ferrell, Vinessa Shaw, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Wallace Shawn

Votes: 29,041 | Gross: $3.83M

36. Syriana (2005)

R | 128 min | Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A politically charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan | Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak

Votes: 117,118 | Gross: $50.82M

37. Babel (I) (2006)

R | 143 min | Drama

69 Metascore

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, Mohamed Akhzam

Votes: 264,102 | Gross: $34.30M

38. Little Children (2006)

R | 136 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Massachusetts.

Director: Todd Field | Stars: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley

Votes: 97,954 | Gross: $5.46M

39. Southland Tales (2006)

R | 145 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

44 Metascore

During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Carlos Amezcua

Votes: 34,209 | Gross: $0.28M

40. Smokin' Aces (2006)

R | 108 min | Action, Crime, Drama

45 Metascore

When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.

Director: Joe Carnahan | Stars: Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Joseph Ruskin

Votes: 128,107 | Gross: $35.66M

41. Gomorrah (2008)

Not Rated | 137 min | Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

An inside look at Italy's modern crime families.

Director: Matteo Garrone | Stars: Gianfelice Imparato, Salvatore Abbruzzese, Toni Servillo, Simone Sacchettino

Votes: 41,834 | Gross: $1.58M

42. RocknRolla (2008)

R | 114 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

53 Metascore

In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting some of the city's scrappiest tough guys and its more established underworld types, all of whom are looking to get rich quick. While the city's seasoned criminals vie for the cash, an unexpected player -- a drugged-out rock 'n' roller presumed to be dead but very much alive -- has a multi-million-dollar prize fall into... See full summary »

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba, Thandie Newton

Votes: 212,368 | Gross: $5.69M

43. Crossing Over (2009)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

38 Metascore

Crossing Over is a multi-character canvas about immigrants of different nationalities struggling to achieve legal status in Los Angeles. The film deals with the border, document fraud, the ... See full summary »

Director: Wayne Kramer | Stars: Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta, Jim Sturgess

Votes: 21,073 | Gross: $0.45M

44. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)

R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

51 Metascore

Sally's parents' marriage breaks up when her father undergoes a mid-life crisis and impulsively weds a prostitute. Meanwhile, Sally's own marriage also begins to disintegrate.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Gemma Jones

Votes: 40,296 | Gross: $3.25M