Tell me a story.
February 18, 2009 7:12 PM   Subscribe

I want to see more movies that feature a storyteller, similar to movies I've seen recently like "The Man From Earth" and "The Wild Blue Yonder"... Know of some?

I love stories that feature a story being told, as if by one person to another (or to a group). I'm not looking for a movie with a faceless narrator, there are tons of those.

But if you've seen the movies I mentioned there, you have an idea of what I mean. I'm looking for movies that actively use the viewer's imagination to tell a vivid story.

Those are the only two examples I could easily come up with. I was racking my brain to think of other movies that featured someone telling a story as such a major portion of the movie, and couldn't come up with any others that really fit the bill.
(For example, The Princess Bride fits pretty closely, but not entirely).

What can you come up with?
posted by smitt to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Shawshank Redemption?
The Hudsucker Proxy?
posted by dolface at 7:24 PM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: What I meant is more focus on someone on screen telling a story, rather than a narrative voice tying actions in a movie together, if that makes any sense.
posted by smitt at 7:34 PM on February 18, 2009

My favorite movie of last year, "The Fall", directed by Tarsem. The trailer is here:

posted by OolooKitty at 7:37 PM on February 18, 2009

Oops. That didn't work. Okay, go here.
posted by OolooKitty at 7:38 PM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I should point out, documentaries are a-okay here too, I would consider Man on Wire in the same sort of category as what I'm looking for.
posted by smitt at 7:39 PM on February 18, 2009

The Red Violin pops into my mind. I really need to rewatch that.
posted by spec80 at 7:41 PM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: Wow "The Fall" looks awesome. Thanks OolooKitty! I hadn't even heard of that.
posted by smitt at 7:43 PM on February 18, 2009

The Usual Suspects

Forest Gump

posted by Midnight Rambler at 7:52 PM on February 18, 2009

Seconding the Fall. It's awesome.
posted by firei at 8:06 PM on February 18, 2009

Big Fish? I think that sort of fits (and is one of my favorite movies!)
posted by andeles at 8:22 PM on February 18, 2009

The Big Lebowski has a narrator, Sam Elliot, who appears on-screen several times "philosophizing" on the people and events in the story; he also interacts w/ the protagonist on-screen. . (I hope this description is semi-accurate...I'm notorious for forgetting the facts, and getting the "gist" of a movie). Not sure if that's what you're looking for. It's pretty effective, though.
posted by mumstheword at 8:43 PM on February 18, 2009

Don Juan DeMarco. "This would have been a very good time for me to lie. But truth is a terrible habit." Hehehehe.

Definately, Maybe. Cute film, and much better than it may seem.
posted by elendil71 at 10:01 PM on February 18, 2009

On a more sentimental side, Fried Green Tomatoes and Stand By Me are told by an on-screen narrator.
posted by elendil71 at 10:11 PM on February 18, 2009

Seconding The Usual Suspects, one of my favorites. Much of the movie consists of Verbal, a detainee, telling a long, intricate story to a detective. Listen to it. It's incredible.
posted by exphysicist345 at 10:18 PM on February 18, 2009

Thirding "The Fall" - It's amazingly beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable.

It's not a movie, but the old Jim Henson series "The Story Teller" is all about tellin' stories. Sometimes to camera, sometimes not. Well worth a looksee.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 10:55 PM on February 18, 2009

Smoke, with Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, and Forrest Whitaker. The ending of the movie is fantastic, with just a close-up of the face of Harvey Keitel (which on it's own is pretty interesting to look at) as he tells a story to his friend the writer. The story lasts about five minutes, and is followed by a black and white visual retelling of the same story.

The whole film is filled with people telling stories, usually having something to do with smoking. I abhor smoking, have family members who are seriously ill due to it, but damn, this is a pretty good film, and the stories are fantastic.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:23 AM on February 19, 2009

Its been a while since I saw it but I recall characters recounting stories and experiences on screen in Night on Earth.
posted by Ness at 4:05 AM on February 19, 2009

posted by cinemafiend at 8:36 AM on February 19, 2009

Whoops - that answer is not in the spirit of your post...

Maybe you should check out TWO-LANE BLACKTOP - especially the character GTO as played by Warren Oates.

Definitely check out AMERICAN BOY: A PROFILE OF STEVEN PRINCE - a great documentary by Martin Scorsese that is essentially a guy telling stories about his life. Stories that have been lifted by Quentin Tarantino and Richard Linklater.

Also not a great film but it has its moments - STEPHEN TOBOLOWSKY'S BIRTHDAY PARTY.

Another documentary in this spirit is ECOUNTNERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD directed by Werner Herzog.
posted by cinemafiend at 9:14 AM on February 19, 2009

Oh, and "The Company of Wolves", a Neil Jordan movie based on an Angela Carter story that is a dark look at fairy tales and werewolves. Lots of people telling stories, and visually gorgeous.
posted by OolooKitty at 1:14 PM on February 19, 2009

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