Movies that Break the Rules of Cinema

In contemporary Hollywood cinema, there have been a plethora of amazing films and ideas shared, that have been shot in unique ways. Although you cannot help but think that this is so similar to everything else I have seen. It’s the same structure and everything seems to be recycled. As a filmmaker it is an enormous risk to break the rules within a film, so most films stay within the safety of its codes and conventions. Although when the rules in a film are broken and it makes it unique and experimental. The high risk factor will translate to a high reward if the film will captivate audiences. I have found a few films that break standard conventions and were incredibly successful.

The first film is Russian Arc (2002), changes a fundamental part of movie watching, conveying a unique experience. This film was shot in a single continuous take throughout one 90-minute scene. This is how it breaks conventions within films. Imagine having hundreds of cast and crew having to perfectly execute everything at the right time, rather than editing cuts and having a film last 30 scenes.

Reservoir Dogs (1992) also breaks conventions by revolving the film around a heist but shows everything it has to offer apart from the heist itself. Tarantino does an amazing job by captivating audiences with such a well-written film that viewers simply don’t care in the direction it goes, they are just happy to watch.

Memento (2000) makes the audience have to concentrate more on what is actually going on. It tests viewers by making them have to think back to how to the first scene they were shown, fits into the last scene they were showed. The psychological film is about a man who lost his memory and what happened to him. Memento breaks conventions by showing the entire film in reverse scene order, creating a unique experience.



Nolan, C., Pfister, W., Julyan, D., Pearce, G., Moss, C.-A., Pantoliano, J., & Nolan, J. (2001). Memento. Culver City, CA, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.

Deryabin, A., et al. (2003). Russian ark. New York, Wellspring Media.

Tarantino, Q., et al. (2006). Reservoir dogs. Santa Monica, Calif, Lionsgate.










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