14. Syriana (Stephen Gaghan, 2005)
Grave political dilemma and conflict can be resolved with exposure to the perspectives of the several agents and forces. So, a political drama with authenticity in insight can be very well accommodated in hyperlink cinema. Syriana was about the big bad world of oil politics through the eyes, lives and stories of a CIA agent, an energy analyst, a Pakistani immigrant, and a Washington attorney.
The film boasts of great performances. Stylistically speaking, inclusion of many films on this list may be debatable, but Syriana is the emblematic hyperlink film, especially justified by Robert Ebert’s pioneering use of the term in its review. Writer-director Stephen Gaghan was one of the firsts to realize the thriller undertones of this narrative structure, formerly with the script of Traffic, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh.
The film is geographically vast… the story explores Lebanon, Washington DC, Iran, Texas, Spain, and Switzerland. The parallel narratives that the multiple characters bear are fused with a thrilling cut in this masterpiece.
15. City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2002)
130 minutes of brilliant editing, glowing cinematography, and an expert directorial integrity. Meirelles gave us a gem of a film, that almost with a spiritual intensity, tells an epic tale of poverty and crime, through the lives in a favela called City Of God. While the film has a narrator (being based on the real-life events in Paulo Lin’s book) he does not dominate the film like a usual protagonist.
A very novelistic approach is maintained in the treatment, and it becomes a hyperlink film in a successful attempt to encompass all significant episodes that led to a bitter gang war in the City Of God.
The film has an anthropological appetite for observation, and concentrates the narrative on two main characters- Rocket, who survives as a spectator amidst the violence and poverty to make a living as a newspaper photographer, and Li’l Ze who becomes the boss of the underworld that ran the City Of God.
16. Babel (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2006)
Inarritu’s Death Trilogy was an ambitious project. Babel won him the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, along with the Technical Grand Prix. This film is truly a Global Networks Film, as it connects stories occurring in Morocco, Japan and the American supercontinent (Unites States and Mexico).
Accidents, suicides… if death could be dissected from its impacts, Babel does it with painstakingly great execution. With great performances, stunning cinematography and a script that could be treasured as a landmark, it glides around the globe effortlessly.
Most of the films on this list have connected lives with the intersecting narratives. Babel connects deaths. Inarritu is another specialist in this area of storytelling, and would be remembered as one who popularized it with a pioneer’s possessiveness.
17. Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone, 2008)
A crime drama has conventions that Gomorrah doesn’t quite follow. Organized crime is undoubtedly an example of efficient physical networks that affect and entangle lives in thrilling perplexities. Gommorah is a film about organized crime, which focuses on six characters, independent yet connected.
The infamous Casalesi Clan of criminals is the network which this film travels through, with a style of evident inventiveness exploiting moments of uncertainty with a baffling gravity. This Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winning piece is based on a book by Roberto Saviano.
18. Nine Lives (Rodrigo Garcia, 2005)
Independent films have often used the structure for relationship dramas, but few did it with the excellence of Nine Lives. Storytelling is probably not a talent that one can genetically inherit, but the son of one of the century’s greatest writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, has an expertise that has been, in a New York Times review of Nine Lives, cited as the closest cinematic equivalent to Chekov’s short stories. Writer-director Garcia strings together compassionate vignettes featuring nine lives that are delicately connected.
The networking in this film is warm, with great actors, and an advanced treatment that has the sensibility of an individualistic literary work, from the vision of a modern auteur. The stories highlight subtle human behaviour amidst grave conflicts, and the characters interact very admirably with the environments, in a maturely mitigated and contained melodrama.
19. Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)
Paul Thomas Anderson is not only one of the greatest directors of the generation, but also a meritorious writer of traditional force. The cumulative magic of this film that went on to receive the Golden Bear at Berlinale and was cited by the maker himself as a personal favorite, resided in its characters.
San Fernando Valley forms the environment for this web of stories of the struggles of a dying father, a young married woman, a caretaker, an enamoured police officer, a prodigy, a former prodigy, a game show anchor, a lost son, and an estranged daughter. Their efforts, searches, conflicts and resolutions build the area of investigation for this shockingly emotive film, which employs the structure to provoke responses of existential thought.
The musical quality of this film can again be identified from Anderson’s claim that The Beatle’s ‘A Day in The Life’ inspired the narrative tempo and theme of the film. “It kind of builds up, note by note, then drops or recedes, then builds again” says the creator. He does, with his film, synthesize a similar impression, with the sharp control of an author, so much so, that Ingmar Bergman had described the strength of American cinema with a mention of Magnolia in an interview.
This melancholic piece of craftsmanship is so careful in its dynamics that the multiplicity of the plot never departs from the sentimental foundation.
20. Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2000)
Inarritu had to make it more than once in this list, having embroidered one of the greatest psychological thrillers in cinema with the hyperlink form, in his dazzlingly intelligent debut. One cannot be sure whether the really inventive Academy Awards success Birdman would be his most significant output till now, or the milestone that he erected in world cinema with the Death Trilogy. Amores Perros is a penetrating symbolic meditation on faithfulness, with clean tones of a thriller.
It is widely regarded as one of the greatest modern day products of Mexican cinema, and also one of the greatest debuts in recent past. The film contains three segments, distinct stories connected by a car accident in Mexico City.
This film accumulates the network within the same city, poignantly prying into the ugly realities, and the complexity leads to a brief overlap, that makes it a distinct modern example of hyperlink cinema. The diverse people of the film, each bearing an uncanny consciousness of mortality, communicate great social conflicts. Amores Perros is very much an intrusive film that comments on a condition of civilization with a tale of great imaginative scale.
Author Bio: Deepro became a film enthusiast over a gradual but extensive exposure to classic art house films, entirely assisted by the internet. When he is not busy with his academic life, he is either reading, writing, or watching films.