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CaveGirl

Sine Qua Non Films

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After watching way too many films, one reaches a point where they almost know every plotline and every rejoinder which can be offered by the protagonist in a movie. One reaches a state of ennui, and then, miraculously some wacky film comes on unexpectedly and can renew all your enjoyment in films.

For me that day came when the film, "Incubus" came on from 1960. Having had a friend who was not only a Mensa member, but raised bonzai plants, and wanted to learn Esperanto, I could relate totally to this film and its weird storyline and lack of language that was accessible in a normal way. Plus...it starred William Shatner and he just can work the rust off any script with his amazing visual pyrotechnics of emoting, and eye movements! I'd heard of the film but to catch it on the cuff accidentally was pure joy and better than a shot of adrenaline.

Other movies which are similarly one of a kind might be something like "Angry Red Planet". What makes it so fun is seeing it with people who are not film fans, on their television, and they keep thinking that the color settings are screwed up and try to fix them continually. Is there anything more enjoyable than watching someone keep altering the green hues on the screen interminably while you can just sit back and laugh? No!

A Sine Qua Non Film, which in my meaning denotes something "without which none" as my Latin nun used to call it, and it can be the most high class and sophisticated film around or a Grade Z monstrosity with Arch Hall, Junior but it still is one of a kind.

Please submit any films which if they didn't exist, their genre would also not exist. For example, "Angry Red Planet" is in the "Carmen-Tinted Sci-Fi Programmer" category. Get it?

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28 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

After watching way too many films, one reaches a point where they almost know every plotline and every rejoinder which can be offered by the protagonist in a movie. One reaches a state of ennui, and then, miraculously some wacky film comes on unexpectedly and can renew all your enjoyment in films.

For me that day came when the film, "Incubus" came on from 1960. Having had a friend who was not only a Mensa member, but raised bonzai plants, and wanted to learn Esperanto, I could relate totally to this film and its weird storyline and lack of language that was accessible in a normal way. Plus...it starred William Shatner and he just can work the rust off any script with his amazing visual pyrotechnics of emoting, and eye movements! I'd heard of the film but to catch it on the cuff accidentally was pure joy and better than a shot of adrenaline.

I have never experienced the kind of ennui you described. Even films with common formulas, etc., seem to differentiate themselves in one or another.

So the sine qua non of Incubas is the "weird storyline and lack of language that was accessible in the normal way and therefore without which the movie would mean nothing." ?? And William Shatner's good acting. Could it be said that every movie could be defined by the term if you could simply find essential qualities about the movie without which it would not be the same? Or are we simply looking for unique films? Can Incubas be a sine qua non film and, say, another could not?

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No.

I've probably entered the realm of the obscurantist in trying to explain my terms. "Incubus" to my knowledge [and I could be wrong] is the only film done in Esperanto. That would make it one of a kind in my book.

"Angry Red Planet" is the only film with large sections of film tinted or colored or whatever a bright red color. That would make it one of a kind.

I'm looking for films which have one element that sets them apart from all others, which might have some similarities in other aspects. Let's say you have the typical antebellum film set in the South, with all the Southern belles and lots of carpetbaggers and other common elements of the genre, but this one film also has a giant ape in it, which can play Beethoven on the pianoforte. See, up till the ape it is not a Sine Qua Non film by my definition but with the addition of that enchanting character, it then becomes a Sine Qua Non film.

I am glad you have never encountered ennui while watching films. This first began occurring after I watched the film "Dead of Night" in an endless loop one evening, and had a dream I had entered the haunted mirror scene with the murder occurring in the reflection. There are so many movies I don't even have to watch but can close my eyes and recount the whole scenario slipping in front of my eyes scene by scene. Some movies I want to end in different ways, if I just watch enough, for example in "Vertigo" it is obvious that Scotty could not really have saved himself from the roof ledge, if the policeman offering a hand fell over him, so in that film, I realize that the whole following storyline is just Scotty dreaming it all on the way to his death from the roof. There is no Madeleine Elster, or Midge or spiral French twist, as none of that occurred. Knowing that Scotty is dead and we are only into the first few minutes of the film, gives me ennui. Be glad you don't have it...
 

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Here are a couple in the Arch Hall Jr. vein.

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?  and Rat Pfink a Boo Boo 

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Love that movie! Both of them actually. The dance sequence is so bizarre and well, everything else too. Haven't seen it for awhile but would welcome a drive-in theatre showing to see it in its proper milieu. Ray Dennis Steckler is definitely a one of a kind director. Those wacky Lemon Grove kids films are probably one of a kind too.

What was the bit about RFABB starting out with a different title as I recall? My brain is not functioning well today to recall the situation.

Even the bit with the good looking woman with the warts on her face is totally a one of a kind experience! Is Steckler still alive? Haven't thought about him for awhile. If so, he really should make a new movie and if dead, well he really should make a new movie!!!

Thanks, Cigar Joe!

Addendum: Just checked IMDB and it started out as and "and Boo Boo" and typographically ended up as "a Boo Boo" for the title. 

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Posted (edited)

I can get bored with a movie of course but ennui can mean something more elaborate, like an affliction of some duration that may result with wanting to stop watching, or perhaps send one spiraling into depression, but all that will doubtless subside in time (one hopes). I thought you may have been referring to something like that.

So we may be severely threatened by the ole ennui while watching a ho-hummer but then something delightful happens (or perhaps something merely different) that sets it apart from the rest of its kind. A variation on the common theme that pleases. Well, at least I'm getting warmer (I hope). That is a good subject.

Edited by laffite

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