8 movies that broke the rules of cinema

“Rules Are Made To Be Broken” rings true to many artists and filmmakers. Although there are certain rules and standards that must be considered when producing a film, many filmmakers have challenged this and instead set their own rules. As filmmaking is art and is subjective, artists feel they can use the platform as a blank canvas and fill it however they wish, even if it means breaking the structure of the hero’s journey, the rule of thirds , the 180 degree rule , and others.

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While some films that break the rules have not been fully successful in their endeavors, others, like Mirror, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brusselsand Inner Empirebroke the rules in the best possible way.


“Pulp Fiction” (1994)

The story of two contract killers, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), is closely related to their boss, Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames), his actress wife Mia (Uma Thurman), boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), cleaner Winston Wolfe (Harvey Keitel), and a pair of Pumpkin Armed Robbers (Tim Roth) and honey bunny (Amanda Plumer).

Unlike many movies, pulp Fiction is told in a non-linear structure composed of seven sequences. And while it seems like a non-linear structure is what broke the movie rule, it’s the heavy dialogue that stands out the most. In screenwriting, a rule of thumb is not to overdo the dialogue in a script, but that’s what Tarantino decided to pulp Fiction (and many of his other films), and it worked.

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“Inland Empire” (2006)

Anyone who knows David Lynch knows he is the master of surreal cinema. In his latest feature film Inner Empirethe life of an actress named Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) intertwines with the life of her movie character, Sue Blue. As we follow the surreal journeys of Nikki Grace and Sue Blue, things get stranger and stranger.

While a film generally consists of a cohesive plot, many Lynch films, such as Inner Empire, lacks a logical plot. We often wonder about what happens in his film. But what makes Lynch great is his ability to confuse and dazzle his audience at the same time.

“What makes the movie so different and thought-provoking is the lack of a cohesive plot, instead following different characters through bizarre vignettes based around one room; the film becomes a dreamlike rumination on themes of isolation and despair, rather than presenting a linear narrative. – Linus Tolliday, Taste of Cinema

“The Man with the Camera” (1929)

Man with a movie camera is a Soviet silent experimental documentary film directed by Dziga Vertovfilmed by his brother Mikhail Kaufmanand edited by Vertof’s wife, Elizaveta Svilova. The film depicts city life in Moscow and Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv and Odessa in the 1920s. With a running time of 60 minutes, Man with a movie camera does not necessarily count as a feature film, as the average length of a film is between 90 and 120 minutes.

The film has no main actors and clear plots and is rather a compilation and documentation of a day in the life of Russian and Ukrainian civilians. Although not considered a film by some, Vertov and his film have been credited with inventing and using many cinematic techniques such as multiple exposures, fast/slow motion, freeze frames, frame cuts, correspondence, jump cuts, split screens and Dutch angles.

“He made explicit and poetic the astonishing gift that cinema has made possible, of arranging what we see, of ordering it, of imposing a rhythm and a language on it, and of transcending it. -Roger Ebert


Plane!as its title suggests, is a spoof comedy that amusingly pokes fun at the line of disaster movies released in the 70s. food, a former fighter pilot with a drinking problem, Ted Striker (Robert Hays), and his ex-girlfriend, now a flight attendant Elaine (Julie Hagerty), must bring the aircraft to a safe landing.

Although Plane! isn’t the first film to break the fourth wall, it has, among many films that have also used the technique, a reputation for staring directly at the audience to amp up its comedy. Since its release, Plane! has been rated one of the funniest comedies and greatest movies of all time by various media outlets such as Empire magazines and Cheer.

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“The Shining” (1980)

Based on Stephen King novel of the same name, that of Kubrick the brilliant has remained one of the most iconic psychological horror films to date. As director, Stanley Kubrick was known for his taste for visual symmetry, which he used frequently in his films. While Kubrick maintained visual symmetry in many scenes of the brilliant, he also broke the 180 degree rule of cinema. The 180 degree rule is broken when the audience believes that an on-screen character “has magically turned around from their original position when in reality they haven’t moved at all”.

Breaking the 180 degree rule is generally not considered an ideal move to do in movies as it can disorient the viewer’s point of view and perspective on the scene and the action. Over the years, however, many filmmakers have chosen to break the rule to confuse or show an abrupt mood swing in the story. In some ways, breaking the rule can improve the story or the characters.

‘Dogville’ (2003)

Lars of Trierit is Dogville takes place in a minimalist small town on a literal soundstage, where the story is divided into nine chapters and a prologue. The film revolves around a girl, Grace Mulligan (Nicole Kidman), who is a stranger in a small American town. The experimental film garnered mixed reviews upon its release due to the director’s unconventional choices, such as placing the film on a soundstage with minimalist sets.

While some praised the film as an innovative artistic statement, others felt it was too emotionally detached, with some even calling it misanthropic (anti-human) and simply “three hours of tedious experimentation”.

“Mirror” (1975)

Andrei Tarkovskyconsidered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, directed the film Mirror. The film, told in a non-linear narrative, reveals a dying poet’s memories and his personal experiences of Soviet culture. Mirror constantly slips between black and white, color and sepia – depicted as if in a dreamlike state, bouncing between dreams and nightmares.

While some dislike the film so much as they found the story unclear and hazy, others consider it one of the greatest films ever made. A 2012 Sight and sound ranked poll Mirror as the 19th greatest film of all time, English journalist Do you yourself calls it “the finest film ever made” and the British Film Institute noted that the film “pioneered a poetic and richly allusive form”.

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‘Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels’ (1975)

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brusselsa Belgian film, depicts a day in the life of a housewife, Jeanne Dielman (Delphine Seyrig). For three days, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels, describes the scheduled and repetitive tasks that a housewife has to perform every day; cook, clean and take care of her children. As part of her daily routine and source of income, Jeanne also has sex with her male clients every afternoon.

Director Chantal Akerman could leave viewers mesmerized by footage usually left out in movies. Akerman called the film “a love movie for my mother”. | it gives recognition to this kind of woman. Akerman also felt that it was the right time to make a film centered on women because “at that time everyone was talking about women” and it was “the right time”.

“Chantal Akerman’s directing is so untouched by Hollywood and its cinematographic conventions that it creates real life on screen. There’s no non-diegetic music, no action sequences, no overt emotional reveals, and no twisted endings. The camera favors static shots, sparse dialogue, and a muted color palette. It is a film almost completely separated from the world of cinema. – Linus Tolliday, Taste of Cinema

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