Composite film

A composite film is a feature film whose screenplay is composed of two or more distinct stories. More generally, composite structure refers to an aesthetic principle in which the narrative structure relies on contiguity and linking rather than linearity. In a composite text or film, individual pieces are complete within themselves, yet they form a whole work that is greater than the sum of its individual parts.[1]


The history of composite films begins with composite novels. The composite novel is a literary work composed of shorter texts that—though individually complete and autonomous—are interrelated in a coherent whole according to one or more organizing principles.

Although the composite-text aesthetic can be traced back through framework-stories (such as the One Thousand and One Nights and The Canterbury Tales), story cycles (such as the Arthurian stories), and sacred composites (such as the Bible), composite texts had specific precursors in the village sketch of nineteenth century Europe and America. Reflecting its roots in the framework-story and/or the cycle, a typical village sketch may feature an introductory story and a summary story, with individually titled internal stories that do not necessarily depend upon specific sequencing.

Twentieth century experimentation with the composite whole-text aesthetic, i.e., combining individual short stories into a whole-text narrative, began with James Joyce's Dubliners and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and accelerated thereafter, but the composite novel remained controversial among readers, reviewers, and critics. Some wanted to call these works "novels" while others wanted to call them "collections". To their authors, however, these works were clearly not just collections of stories. Joyce insisted that Dubliners was a planned, integrated whole text. William Faulkner fought both publishers and critics over the whole-text coherence of Go Down, Moses, refusing to append "And Other Stories" to the book's title. Later, Maxine Hong Kingston and Tim O'Brien would wage similar battles over The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Childhood Among Ghosts (1976) and The Things They Carried (1990), respectively. By the end of the twentieth century, authors were announcing their whole-text intentions by insisting on such sub-titles as "A Novel in Stories", or simply "A Novel".[1]

Composite novels have been referred to as a number of other genre-names including short story cycle, framed miscellany, multi-faceted novel, story-novel, short story blend, double-novel, short story compound, short story composite, composite, anthology novel, para novel, triptych, mosaic novel, loose-leaf novel, and short story sequence.


Within a composite film, the individual stories may or may not be titled. Most highly integrated composite films, such as Love Actually, Traffic etc., do not have individually titled components while more traditional composite films, such as Paris, je t'aime, Coffee & Cigarettes, Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Pulp Fiction etc., do. Titling each component reinforces its autonomy and helps viewers experience it both individually and as part of the whole film.

Unifying elements

Many different devices are used to connect the individual stories to each other and to the film in its entirety. Unifying elements include repeated images (such as coffee cups and ash trays in Coffee & Cigarettes), recurring characters (the women within Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her appear in at least one story other than their own), shared incidents (drug addiction in Requiem for a Dream), common settings (the dark streets of Sin City), similar themes (the three women of The Hours), a single protagonist (Tommy in The Fountain), collective protagonists (a group of people like generations of a family, coworkers, a club etc.), etc.

Story sequencing

The sequence in which the individual stories unfold is often significant to the overall meaning of the film. Component pieces can be arranged in a number of different ways (chronologically, thematically, geographically etc.) and each method produces different results.

Composite film scores

In regards to issues with connectivity, it is important to consider the musical score of composite films. Much like visual repetition or thematic similarities, the score offers another medium through which stories can be linked. Rather than leaving viewers with content to process, decode, intellectualize and then react to, the film score can produce emotional reactions immediately, before viewers have a chance to analyze their own responses. There are three main categories of composite film scores:

Unified score

In a unified score, there is no discernible difference between the music playing during each story segment. For example, in Sin City, the highly stylized background music offers ambiance and contributes to the setting and does not vary between characters and stories. In Love Actually, pop music blares through happy moments, ballads wail during morose moments, and triumphant strings swell when all things are as they should be.

Composite score

In a composite score, the music within each individual segment is independent and distinct from the music within other segments. For example, in Paris, je t'aime, each titled piece is accompanied by music that relates only to that single piece rather than the film as a whole. In this example, rather than linking the story lines, the music serves to further distinguish each neighborhood from the others.

Theme and variation

Theme and variation refers to a main theme that varies slightly by story segment. For example, in The Fountain, one main theme appears in each character's story, but there are also variations on that theme specific to those individual characters (tribal drums accompany the conquistador in Mayan territory, etc.). In Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, the main theme throughout the film consists of somber classical guitar and accompanying piano, but within each individually titled segment, there are minor differences. Sultry horns are added to the banker's scenes, as she is having an affair, and as the detective investigates the death of her Hispanic friend, the music takes on a subtle Latin sound, etc.

List of composite films

See also



  1. ^ a b Dunn, Morris (1995).


  • Maggie Dunn and Ann Morris, The Composite Novel: The Short Story Cycle in Transition (1995).

Further reading

  • The Complete Film Dictionary, 2nd ed., Ed. Ira Konigsburg (1997).
  • Maggie Dunn, "Composite Structure in Three Contemporary Composite Films", JAISA 5.1 (Autumn 1999): 75-85.
  • The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. C, 6th ed.
A Trip to the Moon

A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la Lune) is a 1902 French adventure film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. It features an ensemble cast of French theatrical performers, led by Méliès himself in the main role of Professor Barbenfouillis, and is filmed in the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.

The film was an internationally popular success on its release, and was extensively pirated by other studios, especially in the United States. Its unusual length, lavish production values, innovative special effects, and emphasis on storytelling were markedly influential on other film-makers and ultimately on the development of narrative film as a whole.

Scholars have commented upon the film's extensive use of pataphysical and anti-imperialist satire, as well as on its wide influence on later film-makers and its artistic significance within the French theatrical féerie tradition. Though the film disappeared into obscurity after Méliès's retirement from the film industry, it was rediscovered around 1930, when Méliès's importance to the history of cinema was beginning to be recognized by film devotees. An original hand-colored print was discovered in 1993 and restored in 2011.

A Trip to the Moon was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranked 84th. The film remains the best-known of the hundreds of films made by Méliès, and the moment in which the capsule lands in the Moon's eye remains one of the most iconic and frequently referenced images in the history of cinema. It is widely regarded as the earliest example of the science fiction film genre and, more generally, as one of the most influential films in cinema history.

Adhesion barrier

An adhesion barrier is a medical implant that can be used to reduce abnormal internal scarring (adhesions) following surgery by separating the internal tissues and organs while they heal.

Surgeons have realized that proper surgical technique is crucial to reduce adhesion formation. In addition, for more than a century, adjuvants including drugs and materials such as animal membranes, gold foil, mineral oil, sheets made of rubber and Teflon, have been used to reduce the risk of adhesion formation. Nevertheless, adhesions do occur and appear to be, to some degree, an almost unavoidable consequence of abdominal and pelvic surgery. Adhesions can lead to significant post-surgical morbidity, bowel obstruction, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain or chronic abdominal pain.

Surgeons and healthcare professionals developed several methods for minimizing tissue injury in order to minimize the formation of adhesions. However, even an experienced surgeon despite using advanced techniques may not be able to fully prevent the formation of adhesions following surgery, without the aid of an adhesion barrier. Consequently, many surgeons apply adhesion barriers while performing abdominal and pelvic surgery.

However, one study found the frequency of adhesion barrier use to be very low. The study examined hospital data and found that adhesion barriers were only used in a maximum of 5% of procedures in which the use of a barrier would be appropriate.

Anthology film

An anthology film (also known as an omnibus film, package film, or portmanteau film) is a subgenre of films consisting of several different short films, often tied together by only a single theme, premise, or brief interlocking event (often a turning point). Sometimes each one is directed by a different director. These differ from "revue films" such as Paramount on Parade (1930)—which were common in Hollywood in the early sound film era to show off their stars and related vaudeville-style acts—composite films, and compilation films.

Sometimes there is a theme, such as a place (e.g. New York Stories, Paris, je t'aime), a person (e.g. Four Rooms), or a thing (e.g. Twenty Bucks, Coffee and Cigarettes), that is present in each story and serves to bind them together. Two of the earliest films to use the form were Edmund Goulding's Grand Hotel (1932), released by MGM with an all-star cast; and Paramount's If I Had a Million (also 1932), featuring segments helmed by a number of directors.

Baron Munchausen

Baron Munchausen (; German: [ˈmʏnçˌhaʊzn̩]) is a fictional German nobleman created by the German writer Rudolf Erich Raspe in his 1785 book Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. The character is loosely based on a real baron, Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr von Münchhausen.

Born in Bodenwerder, Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the real-life Münchhausen fought for the Russian Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1735–1739. Upon retiring in 1760, he became a minor celebrity within German aristocratic circles for telling outrageous tall tales based on his military career. After hearing some of Münchhausen's stories, Raspe adapted them anonymously into literary form, first in German as ephemeral magazine pieces and then in English as the 1785 book, which was first published in Oxford by a bookseller named Smith. The book was soon translated into other European languages, including a German version expanded by the poet Gottfried August Bürger. The real-life Münchhausen was deeply upset at the development of a fictional character bearing his name, and threatened legal proceedings against the book's publisher. Perhaps fearing a libel suit, Raspe never acknowledged his authorship of the work, which was only established posthumously.

The fictional Baron's exploits, narrated in the first person, focus on his impossible achievements as a sportsman, soldier, and traveller, for instance riding on a cannonball, fighting a forty-foot crocodile, and travelling to the Moon. Intentionally comedic, the stories play on the absurdity and inconsistency of Munchausen's claims, and contain an undercurrent of social satire. The earliest illustrations of the character, perhaps created by Raspe himself, depict Munchausen as slim and youthful, although later illustrators have depicted him as an older man, and have added the sharply beaked nose and twirled moustache that have become part of the character's definitive visual representation. Raspe's book was a major international success, becoming the core text for numerous English, continental European, and American editions that were expanded and rewritten by other writers. The book in its various revised forms remained widely read throughout the 19th century, especially in editions for young readers.

Versions of the fictional Baron have appeared on stage, screen, radio, and television, as well as in other literary works. Though the Baron Munchausen stories are no longer well-known in many English-speaking countries, they are still popular in continental Europe. The character has inspired numerous memorials and museums, and several medical conditions and other concepts are named after him, including Munchausen syndrome, the Münchhausen trilemma, and Munchausen numbers.

Baron Munchausen's Dream

Baron Munchausen's Dream (French: Les Hallucinations du baron de Münchausen), also known as Les Aventures de baron de Munchhausen and Monsieur le Baron a trop bien dîné, is a 1911 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès.

Composite glass

Composite glass is the collective term for a laminate having at least two glass panes which are in each case connected by means of an adhesive intermediate layer composed of plastic, e.g. by means of a casting resin or a thermoplastic composite film, which is highly tear-resistant and is viscoelastic. Composite glass should not be confused with composite windows.

Hyperlink cinema

Hyperlink cinema is a term coined by author Alissa Quart, who used the term in her review of the film Happy Endings (2005) for the film journal Film Comment in 2005. Film critic Roger Ebert popularized the term when reviewing the film Syriana in 2005. These films are not hypermedia and do not have actual hyperlinks, but are multilinear in a more metaphorical sense.

In describing Happy Endings, Quart considers captions acting as footnotes and split screen as elements of hyperlink cinema and notes the influence of the World Wide Web and multitasking. Playing with time and characters' personal history, plot twists, interwoven storylines between multiple characters, jumping between the beginning and end (flashback and flashforward) are also elements. Ebert further described hyperlink cinema as films where the characters or action reside in separate stories, but a connection or influence between those disparate stories is slowly revealed to the audience; illustrated in Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's films Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), and Babel (2006).Quart suggests that director Robert Altman created the structure for the genre and demonstrated its usefulness for combining interlocking stories in his films Nashville (1975) and Short Cuts (1993). However, Jean Renoir's 1939 The Rules of the Game first used a narrative structure based on multiple characters and predates Altman's Nashville by 36 years.Quart also mentions the television series 24 and discusses Alan Rudolph's film Welcome to L.A. (1976) as an early prototype. Crash (2004) is an example of the genre , as are Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000), City of God (2002), Syriana (2005) Nine Lives (2005) and Odu Raja Odu (2018).

James Tour

James M. Tour is an American synthetic organic chemist, specializing in nanotechnology. Tour is the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas, United States.

List of avant-garde films of the 1930s

A list of avant-garde and experimental films made in the 1930s. Unless where noted, all films had sound and were in black and white.

Lithium hybrid organic battery

Lithium hybrid organic batteries are an energy storage device that combines lithium with an organic polymer. For example, polyaniline vanadium (V) oxide (PAni/V2O5) can be incorporated into the nitroxide-polymer lithium iron phosphate battery, PTMA/LiFePO4. Together, they improve the lithium ion intercalation capacity, cycle life, electrochemical performances, and conductivity of batteries.

Mitch Stratten

Mitch Stratten is a director, sculptor, composer and producer based in the United Kingdom.

Stratten (performing under the name Nodern) is best known for the "mash-cut” album Nodern Loves You released on Sub Rosa records and his world record breaking commercial entitled "Time Sculpture" for the Toshiba corporation. Mitch Stratten has also received recognition for the “boundary-blurring” video art project OCP which was first launched online from the Sedition distribution platform.

Polyaniline nanofibers

Polyaniline nanofibers are a high aspect form of polyaniline, a polymer consisting of aniline monomers, which appears as discrete long threads with an average diameter between 30 nm and 100 nm. Polyaniline is one of the oldest known conducting polymers, being known for over 150 years. Polyaniline nanofibers are often studied for their potential to enhance the properties of polyaniline or have additional beneficial properties due to the addition of a nanostructure to the polymer. Properties that make polyaniline useful can be seen in the nanofiber form as well, such as facile synthesis, environmental stability, and simple acid/base doping/dedoping chemistry. These and other properties have led to the formation of various applications for polyaniline nanofibers as actuators, memory devices, and sensors.

Rani Mukerji

Rani Mukerji ([rɑ:niː mʊkhərdʒiː]; born 21 March 1978) is an Indian film actress. One of the most popular and highest-paid Hindi film actresses in the 2000s, she has received several awards, including seven Filmfare Awards. Her roles have been cited in the media as a significant departure from previous screen portrayals of Indian women.

Although Mukerji was born into the Mukherjee-Samarth family, in which her parents and relatives were members of the Indian film industry, she did not aspire to pursue a career in film. However, while still a teenager she dabbled with acting by playing a supporting role in her father's Bengali language film Biyer Phool (1996) and accepted a leading role in the 1996 social drama Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat on the insistence of her mother. She then began a full-time career in films and the 1998 action drama Ghulam was her first commercial success. She gained wider recognition for a supporting role in the romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). The year 2002 marked a turning point for Mukerji when she was cast by Yash Raj Films as the star of the drama Saathiya.

By 2004, Mukerji had established herself as a leading actress of Bollywood with roles in the romantic comedy Hum Tum and the dramas Yuva and Veer-Zaara. She achieved further success for portraying a deaf, blind and mute woman in the acclaimed drama Black (2005), a con woman in Bunty Aur Babli (2005) and an unhappily married woman in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006). Mukerji then collaborated with Yash Raj Films on several unsuccessful films which led critics to bemoan her choice of roles. The semi-biographical thriller No One Killed Jessica (2011), in which she played a headstrong journalist, proved to be her first box office hit in four years. She followed it by starring in the successful thrillers Talaash: The Answer Lies Within (2012) and Mardaani (2014), and the comedy-drama Hichki (2018). The latter emerged as her highest-grossing release.

In addition to acting in films, Mukerji is involved with several humanitarian causes and is vocal about issues faced by women and children. She has participated in concert tours and stage shows, and featured as a talent judge for the 2009 reality show Dance Premier League. Reticent to discuss her personal life in public, Mukerji is married to filmmaker Aditya Chopra, with whom she has a daughter.

Research in lithium-ion batteries

Research in lithium-ion batteries has produced many proposed refinements of lithium-ion batteries. Areas on research interest have focused on improving energy density, safety, rate capability, cycle durability, flexibility, and cost.


A soundtrack, also written sound track, can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program, or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film, video, or television presentation; or the physical area of a film that contains the synchronized recorded sound.

The First Men in the Moon

The First Men in the Moon is a scientific romance by the English author H. G. Wells, originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from December 1900 to August 1901 and published in hardcover in 1901, who called it one of his "fantastic stories". The novel tells the story of a journey to the Moon undertaken by the two protagonists, a businessman narrator, Mr. Bedford, and an eccentric scientist, Mr. Cavor. Bedford and Cavor discover that the Moon is inhabited by a sophisticated extraterrestrial civilisation of insect-like creatures they call "Selenites".

The V.I.P.s (film)

The V.I.P.s (also known as Hotel International) is a 1963 British drama film in Metrocolor and Panavision. It was directed by Anthony Asquith, produced by Anatole de Grunwald and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film was written by Terence Rattigan, with a music score by Miklós Rózsa.

It has an all-star cast including Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Louis Jourdan, Elsa Martinelli, Maggie Smith, Rod Taylor, Orson Welles and Margaret Rutherford, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.

The Yellow Rolls-Royce

The Yellow Rolls-Royce is a 1965 dramatic composite film written by Terence Rattigan, produced by Anatole de Grunwald and directed by Anthony Asquith, the trio responsible for The V.I.P.s (1963).

Apparently adapting an idea from In Those Days, a 1947 German drama by Helmut Käutner that had its US premiere in March 1951, The Yellow Rolls-Royce uses a yellow 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II to frame the story of three very different owners: an English aristocrat, a Miami gangster and a wealthy American widow. It is set in the years up to and including the start of World War II.

Prompted by the production team's success with The V.I.P.s, the film boasts a similar all-star cast, including Rex Harrison, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley MacLaine, Omar Sharif, George C. Scott, Alain Delon and Jeanne Moreau.

The soundtrack song "Forget Domani" by Riz Ortolani won Best Original Song at the 23rd Golden Globe Awards. Another tune, "Mae", for the Scott-MacLaine-Delon section of the film, was also released in several versions.

Time Sculpture

Time Sculpture is a British television and cinema advertisement launched in 2008 to promote Toshiba's high-definition television upscaling technology in the United Kingdom. The piece, which comprised a collection of short interacting movement loops composited into a single circular shot sequence, was created by advertising agency Grey London, based on a video art proposal by director Mitch Stratten, as the first in the "Projects" line of commercials with the intention of breaking a world record. Time Sculpture holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of moving image cameras in a composite shot.

Time Sculpture was directed by Mitch Stratten and production handled by London-based production company Hungry Man. Post-production was handled by The Mill. It premiered on British television on 10 November 2008. Time Sculpture garnered various awards from the advertising and television industries, including a Clio Award and a London International Award. Following the success of Time Sculpture, the next advertisement in the "Projects" series, titled Space Chair, attempted to break the world altitude record for a high-definition commercial.

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