This site looks at popular storylines, covered in our various feature pages linked to the blog posts below.
Feature Page Links
|This blog column discusses recent developments and additions to our coverage. With feature-length blog posts, just the intros are on this home page. Links to the other, main feature pages online so far are in the sidebar at right.||
About Us: We are not a business but a study site, looking at popular storylines as a basis for critical viewing [more here]. There are feature pages on different aspects of these storylines - standard scenes, case studies, production histories etc. Below are our main feature pages online so far.
-Most Recent Blog Posts-
Victory In Europe Day
Above and below: the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, as seen in the 1966 film Paris brûle-t-il / Is Paris Burning?
Wednesday, 8 May is VE Day. It would seem that the most appropriate film selection to commemorate this normally happy anniversary, since the recent tragic fire at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, would be the 1966 Is Paris Burning?/ Paris brûle-t-il? There, it is the keynote, the symbol of civilisation threatened by war. As the film opens, Hitler has ordered the burning of all Paris's famous landmarks as part of a scorched-earth retreat in the face of the approaching Allied armies, and the French Resistance groups have to work together to prevent it. The German commandant in the meantime delays carrying out Hitler's order, which he now sees as pointless destruction. Early on, we see Notre Dame with German tanks in front of it, firing on the police prefecture. The action ends with the first Allied tank pulling up front of it, and the cathedral’s great bells ringing out, for the first time in over 4 years, to celebrate the moment of Liberation. The b&w image then changes, for the end credits, to a modern aerial panorama in colour of Paris, ending with the cathedral. (More info on the film in our earlier item, here.)
... We've also put up a feature page with a selection of war films. While the US does not celebrate the VE Day anniversary (their main war effort continuing after that, in the Pacific), Britain does, perhaps more than any other country, as it was the HQ of the Allied war effort once the European mainland was overrun. Here are a dozen films, consisting of one example of each major storyline representing different aspects of the British and Allied war effort:
Road To Victory: The British War Effort On Film
Digital Detox Week
Canadian Film Day 2019
Left: Black Robe (1991)
Upcoming Attractions series
Last year's attempt at covering upcoming attractions by storyline saw the year ending when we only had 10 storylines up. (The coverage was meant to be comprehensive, listing every announced title regardless, to show that the storyline was still popular, and evolving). To avoid running out of road again, this year we're covering only selected titles for each of our 50+ storylines, and these will go on one webpage, which we can easily keep updated. Each storyline is represented by a roundup of upcoming examples of interest, to a maximum of 10, with one selected as sounding, on its face, the most original or interesting. (This of course means a guess that the execution will fulfil its promise - something that, sadly, often fails to happen.)
from the trailer of Wild Nights With Emily [see The Artist In The Making item, left].
Britain, By Train
The Adventures Of Tintin make for suitable tonic viewing at this dreary time of year.
But with 5 feature films and 2 tv series comprising dozens of episodes, where to start?
[Go to feature page]
In Memoriam 2018
As always, at the close of the year, the media publish obit roundups for those we lost over the past year. Here, we look at the writers and other creative figures we lost. [read on]
A Cynic’s Xmas FilmFest
A feature page with an example from each storyline, here.
Left: A scene from Ride The High Country (1962), written by NB Stone Jr, showing the impoverished reality the ageing but honest lawman faced.
2018 Upcoming Attractions
-A series of blog posts and features on upcoming film or tv releases, alphabetically by storyline. (General press coverage would suggest everything coming up is an extension of some popular franchise - another chapter of a superhero fantasy series, or a remake, but there are other works of interest in development or production.) Note that the various feature pages are updated as relevant new productions are announced.
#3 The ‘Artist In
The Making’ Storyline
Don't Forget To Save The
World Press Freedom Day
Unesco’s World Press Freedom Day, every 3 May, is an apt time to consider some of the films which have celebrated this key component of democracy. To cite the Washington Post slogan, “Democracy dies in Darkness”. In terms of popular storylines, they are nearly all examples of the ‘conspiracy uncovered’ story, though the more realist ones, detailing the hard slog to obtain the necessary facts, also qualify as 'investigative procedural' stories. [...]
National Alien Day,
-No, I’d never heard of it either till yesterday. It’s inherently odd – could there be more to it than meets the eye? Apparently the official explanation is that […]
Royal Air Force Centenary – The RAF On Film
The 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF this year has prompted me to put together a blog item in similar format to earlier ones this year, with a list of 10 film-tv titles to mark the occasion by. (The RAF was formed on April 1, 1918; there are various commemorative events scheduled between mid-April and July 10, when there will be a Westminster Abbey service and televised parade followed by a flypast over Buckingham Palace of up to 100 aircraft representing RAF history.) To tie in with the centenary, a number of film titles like The Dam Busters and Angels One Five have been issued on DVD or Blu-ray in digitally restored form, as part of StudioCanal’s Vintage Classics collection. I've compiled our own short-list of 10 films for the occasion. Initially I thought to trace the RAF’s development through the decades, with one film per decade, but this proved unrealistic.[...]
'Code Of The West' Storyline:
The ‘Royal Champion’ Storyline:
As a followup to our 'RAF at 100' blog post, we now have a feature page up on how RAF aviators, usually depicted in the popular press as 'knights of the air', have been portrayed onscreen over the decades.
Case Study: The RAF On Screen, From The Dawn Patrol to The Sound Barrier
The 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline:
Setting The Scene In The Bleak Midwinter’ feature page
The 'Outpost Command Crisis' Storyline
InterTitle Historical Review Part 1
The Expeditionary Storyline
Titles A-Z Page
Case Study Page: The 'Gateway Barrier' Scene
Film Day Picks
Evolving 'Brexit' Storyline
Day Film Picks
As it’s St Patrick’s Day today [March 17th], I thought I’d do a viewing list of 10 suggested films like those for the Scots and Australian national days below, for those observing the occasion at home. Note that this is just a personal choice of titles, films about Irish society that have meant something to me. [read on]
Day - Getting Intimate
Further to the previous blog post, I've been reminded that the same weekend as Burns Suppers are held worldwide is also Australia Day. So I thought I'd do a list of film candidates to match the Scots one. Hopefully, there's something here for everyone - a variety of storylines are represented. [read more]
The Burns Night Film
Every January 25th, I commemorate Burns Night (the birthday of Scotland’s national poet) by having a meal of [veggie] haggis etc and watching a suitable film set in Scotland. While the Burns Supper menu is standard worldwide, there is no standard choice of after-dinner film, so for future reference I’ve compiled a list of suitable candidate film choices. (The favourite storyline seems to be the 'country-retreat challenge'.) [read more]
‘Tis The Season To Be Binge
1967 ... That Was The Year That Was
-1967 At 50
A year-end is always an occasion for remembrance, and thus an occasion for a film retrospective. The Oxford English Dictionaries’ odd choice for Word Of The Year, Youthquake, suggests a theme for this year. The OED’s choice has caused comment on social media as it’s not a new term but goes back to the late Sixties. This has reminded me that 2017 was the 50th anniversary of the pivotal year in this context, 1967. Hence a ‘1967 At 50' FilmFest [read more]
In Review – Xmas 2017 Catchup
By ignoring all the Xmas madness, the holidays become a good time to stay home, lock the door, and catch up on some reading and viewing. Many people now binge on box sets of a single title or queue one or more entire series on Netflix etc. But for my 2017 Xmas-catchup viewing, I’ve decided to watch and review one example of each storyline I’ve been working on documenting for this website, selecting a film from the queue on my shelf (or hard drive). I'll probably run out of time before I cover the complete list of storylines, but I’m adding to the webpage as I go. I can guarantee that none of the titles have anything to do with Xmas.
Storylines In Review – Xmas 2017 Catchup
Update: I managed to get 20 examples online before running out of time New Year's Eve.
Days Of The Dead
Time Of Year Again
Don’t Look Now, But
There Are 50 Shades Of Greyscale
The Long And Winding Road
-To The Month Of Writing Dangerously
To the news items about Kerouac drafting On The Road 60 years ago [see item below] in only a few weeks of fulltime typing, we can now add some other works of topical interest which were written in a few weeks - after a lengthy gestation process [read on]
On The Road At 60
From The Mountains Of Kong To The Mountains Of Madness
-In putting together our feature case-study page for the 'expeditionary' storyline on how writers have adapted the key 'gateway barrier' scene, it's notable how the conception has expanded from [often exaggerated] natural features, such as cliffs or gorges, to psychological, cultural or spiritual obstacles. [read on].
Lost World Redux
The 1925 Lost World, the grand-daddy of expeditionary-storyline films, but long available only in a cut-down version, was issued September 19 on a multi-region Blu-ray which is the fullest restoration thus far. [read more]
When & Where Next Time?
Dunkirk x 3
A new film about the May 1940 evacuation combines three storylines - the ‘castaways survival’ storyline, the ‘fateful flight’ storyline, and the ‘key battle’ storyline. [more]
Site - explaining the term storyline as used here in a particular way, and describing
our various feature-page formats [more].
The Subject Of Subs
There are dozens of storylines in existence (I already have notes on over 50) but I decided to do the The ‘Submarine Mission’ storyline first up. Now you might think this is because I have some special interest in the subject of subs, but... [more]
Cold War On Ice
-On Ice Station Zebra as the epitome of the ‘submarine mission’ genre [more]
"Dive Dive Dive"
-Delving Into The Depths Of The ‘Submarine Mission’ Film [more]
I'm all submarined out at present.... As they used to say on Monty Python, time now for something completely different... something seasonal. [more]
'Tis The Season To Be Thanksgiving
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #2 (of 12 blog posts covering the 12 days of 'Xmas crisis' story setups) [more]
The Coming Of The Snow
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #3 [more]
Xmas, That's A Wrap
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #4 [more]
The Quiet Christmas Crisis
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #5 [more]
The Xmas Holidays Filmfest, 1946-2016
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #6 [more]
The Xmas Blues, Or The Bah-Humbug Effect
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #7 [more]
The Midwinter Walkabout
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #8 [more]
O Come All Ye Fearful - The Xmas Ghost Story Tradition
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #9 [more]
'Dead Time' - The Dead Of Winter
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #10 [more]
New Year's Eve, That's A Date
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #11 [more]
Twelfth (& Final) Night
On the 'Midwinter Crisis' Storyline, #12 [more]
Blue Sky Viewing
-While some like the idea of 'blue sky thinking', at this grey time of year I prefer 'blue sky viewing.'
(Lead-in to the 'Outpost Command Crisis' Storyline) [more]
Storyline Features - Popular Storytelling Formats In Review 2017