Author Topic: Good films where nothing really happens  (Read 2621 times)

billyandthecloneasaurus

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Good films where nothing really happens
« on: December 24, 2018, 06:24:02 PM »
Having enjoyed Spotlight I looked into what else Tom McCarthy had done, and watched his early indie effort "The Station Agent" last night, and thought it was bloody lovely.

It's exactly my favourite kind of film - lovingly and skillfully fleshed out characters, what little plot there is moves at a glacial pace, and it clocks in at a perfect 89 minutes.

Anyone else seen the station agent, and does anyone have any recommendations of similar films? 

Shameless Custard

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2018, 06:30:22 PM »
The Station Agent, deffo. And yet it's a total bleedin' joy from start to finish

Sin Agog

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2018, 06:33:00 PM »
Uploaded Nostos: Il Ritorno to youtube a few years ago, a spare take on the Odysseus myth which mostly fits this bill.  It's in my personal Top 10.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn41hp4P_mo

Shameless Custard

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 06:37:44 PM »
Alexander Payne is good at this kind of film. Where it's just decent characters going about, living life. I'd recommend About Schmidt, Sideways, and Nebraska. The Decendants is alright too

chveik

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2018, 06:38:58 PM »
L'Avventura

Sin Agog

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 07:11:16 PM »
If you're looking more for hanging out with vivid people going about their lives, Rohmer's always a good bet- his female characters haunt me for days.  The Green Ray (maybe another top 10), with its tiny hint of magical realism at the very end, is my favourite of his.

St_Eddie

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 07:19:04 PM »
A great deal of Mike Leigh's films and to an extent, the Coen Brothers' The Big Lewbowski (although the latter does have the whole supposed kidnapping plot, but it's all fairly lowkey and used more as a means to put Lewbowski in a series of situations where his character can be himself).

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 07:19:19 PM »
Two-Lane Blacktop
Five Easy Pieces
Most early Richard Linklater films
Buffalo ‘66
The Brown Bunny (controversial, but I quite liked it)

Rick Alverson and that bloke who made Buzzard are really carrying the torch for this kind of thing now.  As far as Alverson goes, Entertainment and The Comedy would probably fit the bill best.  His first two feature arguably less than nothing happening, and are a bit of a slog.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 09:03:56 PM »
Days of Being Wild
In The Mood For Love
2046

Incredible trilogy, almost nothing happens, every moment is significant

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 09:31:20 PM »
Made my parents watch Lucky last night, which surprisingly they enjoyed.

Loads of Rob Altman films are a bit like this.

Moribunderast

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2018, 10:16:26 PM »
Linda Linda Linda. Great film that is essentially absent of plot or conflict. School band wants to play concert at school - they rehearse and play concert - end. 5 stars.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 12:51:17 AM by Moribunderast »

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2018, 10:19:53 PM »
Three Women
A Wedding
Brewster McCloud
California Split

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2018, 10:51:27 PM »
Lord of the rings

famethrowa

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2018, 11:03:41 PM »
Local Hero? Blokes come to town to muck about, big boss comes from the USA and decides to muck about as well. End.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2018, 11:09:29 PM »
Le Quattro Volte

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2018, 11:45:36 PM »
Van Sant's Gerry, surely. Made a bootleg DVD of this when it played on cable ten years ago or so, and before watching it in full did that jumping-forward-ten-minutes thing that DVD-R machines used to have for bookmarks, and was perversely pleased to see the same scene playing ten, twenty, and I think once thirty minutes on.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2018, 12:25:31 AM »
Local Hero? Blokes come to town to muck about, big boss comes from the USA and decides to muck about as well. End.

Not all that much in any Forsyth film really.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2018, 12:29:10 AM »
Linda Linda Linda. Great film that is essentially absent of plot or comflict. School band wants to play concert at school - they rehearse and play concert - end. 5 stars.

Was bigging this one up in the "band movies" thread. An absolutely delightful film.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2018, 12:43:15 AM »
My Dinner With Andre


I've never seen this and only know of its existence from a Simpsons gag

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2018, 12:49:23 AM »
Many of Aki Kaurismaki's films fit this description. Some of them don't even run to a full length and just end after an hour or so. I still love his work.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2018, 08:32:04 AM »
Dazed and Confused. My favourite single day in fiction.

Phil_A

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2018, 08:36:28 AM »
Stalker: Three bald men walk around a desolate wasteland for two hours then go home. Best Cab Meet film ever.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2018, 09:58:55 AM »
Stalker: Three bald men walk around a desolate wasteland for two hours then go home. Best Cab Meet film ever.

Tarkovsky films on the hole.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2018, 12:07:31 PM »
Stalker: Three bald men walk around a desolate wasteland for two hours then go home. Best Cab Meet film ever.

Along the same lines Uzak, photographer has his cousin visit, sits around watching Tarkovsky and porn whilst cousin wanders around town doing little before going home.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 12:36:45 PM by greenman »

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2018, 04:39:40 PM »
Napoleon Dynamite

Series of sketches basically, really good ones

famethrowa

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2018, 11:20:53 PM »
Napoleon Dynamite

Series of sketches basically, really good ones

Yessss! (ND voice) A sweet and funny small stakes movie. Shame some folk hate it because of the hype

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2018, 11:46:16 PM »
My Dinner With Andre


I've never seen this and only know of its existence from a Simpsons gag

I was going to post this, it's one of my top 3 movies of all time & certainly one of the most rewatchable of any I've seen.  Two artsy guys with very different outlooks on life, loosely based on the actors playing them, meet up after a long time away from each other and discuss philosophy for a couple of hours in a very engaging way (also loosely based on real discussions they had). One of the few movies in which genuinely 'nothing happens' (except interesting chat).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIpyqHi1TPg

And if it hasn't been mentioned already (can't remember because I'm drunk) I'd recommend Meek's Cutoff from 2010 which is a very very slow, realistic look at a small group of travellers crossing the desert in the old Wild West. They camp out, wash clothes in streams, cook beans and so on. Minutes go by with hardly anyone saying anything. There are a few dramatic twists but mostly it's as minimal as a plot can get & the vistas are lovely.

Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2018, 12:01:37 AM »
Stranger Than Paradise. In The Soup. Smoke. Blue in the Face. Coffee and Cigarettes.

Phoenix Lazarus

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2018, 05:32:42 AM »
Withnail and I.  I didn't personally like it that much, but I gather it's widely rated as good.

St_Eddie

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Re: Good films where nothing really happens
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2018, 01:11:58 PM »
Withnail and I.  I didn't personally like it that much, but I gather it's widely rated as good.

Great example and indeed a great film to most, myself included.