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Films that exist in a single space: narratives so compelling, multiple sceneries are not necessary

Provide examples of films which employ strong narrative and plot to engage the audience, while using one environment to do so. Films such as "Devil," which take place inside of an elevator still use establishing shots and surrounding environments even though the bulk of the movie is shot inside of an elevator. Think about extreme dogmatic approaches such as "Exam," "12 Angry Men," or "Rear Window," and provide evidence of how these films illustrate an outside world, without ever leaving their singular environment.

  • Have you heard of the Hitchcock film called "Rope" (1948)? The whole film takes place within an apartment and relates to a murder. Hitchcock shot the film by shooting for periods lasting up to 10 minutes, there are only 6-8 visible cuts in the film. It is a really interesting idea that I think is in line with what your topic is examining. – SeanGadus 4 years ago
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  • Interesting topic! Even though the focus here is on films, it reminded me of how certain web series are filmed. For example, the YouTube series Carmilla used this tactic of single spaces while at the same time illustrating actions that happened outside for viewers. – aprosaicpintofpisces 4 years ago
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  • Yep, tv serials work incredibly well with this topic, especially the ones that are able to create drama with the same singular space. Take Louis C.K.'s Horace and Pete, and you might want to look at Dogville. – Matchbox 4 years ago
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  • Another film that could be interesting to include is Locke. It takes place entirely in a car, and the plot is moved mostly by the phone calls the character makes while driving. – Marcie Waters 4 years ago
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  • Another approach to this topic might be the transition from stage play to the big screen. I can think of several plays that take place in a single location but once they were made into films, the story lost that part of itself as the producers, etc. decided to take the cast outside and around the town, so to speak. – NoDakJack 4 years ago
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  • Excellent topic! I feel like this topic can also lean towards dogmatic approaches in literature. I immediately thought of Chuck Palahniuk's novel "Haunted"; the scenery is unchanged while the chosen narrator captivates you with a gruesome story from a journal. Perhaps the topic can address the transition from literature to film and how it distorts or maintains the dogmatic atmosphere? – Pyper Brown 4 years ago
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  • This makes me think of this film called 'Manderlay'. Even though its not EXACTLY restricted to one small confined space, it does keep itself to a large field. Although the field has props (in the form of a bed, or some stairs), the film has NO sets apart from these props. Everything, from the house to the trees, must be imagined. – JayBird 4 years ago
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  • Dig this topic! I recently watched 'Man in the Wall', an Israeli film by Evgeny Ruman, which I thought really nailed the single setting approach. The whole movie takes place within a couple's apartment; the plot develops by the different people who enter and exit the apartment and the various kinds of exchanges they share. The dialogue and atmosphere are super intense - which I think is a necessary strategy when working with only one place. There's something kind of unsettling about single setting narratives because they have to rely SO heavily on mood. – nicolenaudi 4 years ago
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