Hyperlink Cinema
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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.[1] Film critic Roger Ebert popularized the term when reviewing the film Syriana in 2005.[2] 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.[1] 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.[1] 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).[2][3]

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).[4] 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.[5]

Quart also mentions the television series 24 and discusses Alan Rudolph's film Welcome to L.A. (1976) as an early prototype.[1]Crash (2004) is an example of the genre,[6] as are Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000), City of God (2002), Syriana (2005) Nine Lives (2005) and Odu Raja Odu (2018).[4][7]


The hyperlink cinema narrative and story structure can be compared to social science's spatial analysis. As described by Edward Soja and Costis Hadjimichalis spatial analysis examines the "'horizontal experience' of human life, the spatial dimension of individual behavior and social relations, as opposed to the 'vertical experience' of history, tradition, and biography."[8] English critic John Berger notes for the novel that "it is scarcely any longer possible to tell a straight story sequentially unfolding in time" for "we are too aware of what is continually traversing the story line laterally."[8]

An academic analysis of hyperlink cinema appeared in the journal Critical Studies in Media Communication, and referred to the films as Global Network Films. Narine's study examines the films Traffic (2000), Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Beyond Borders (2003), Crash (2004; released 2005), Syriana (2005), Babel (2006) and others, citing network theorist Manuel Castells and philosophers Michel Foucault and Slavoj ?i?ek. The study suggests that the films are network narratives that map the network society and the new connections citizens experience in the age of globalization.[9]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Quart, Alissa (July-August 2005). "Networked". Film Comment. 41 (4): 48-5. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ebert, Roger (December 9, 2005). "Syriana". Reviews. rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d Ebert, Roger (September 22, 2007). "Babel". Reviews. rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2008.
  4. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (2006). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2007. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 100. ISBN 0-7407-6157-9
  5. ^ a b c "Kanchenjungha". AMC.
  6. ^ "Crossing Over" and Hyperlink Cinema-IFC
  7. ^ "Review : Odu Raja Odu -A black comedy that is watchable (2018)". www.sify.com. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ a b Soja, Edward W.; Hadjimichalis, Costis (1979). "Between Geographical Materialism and Spatial Fetishism: Some Observations on the Development of Marxist Spatial Analysis". Antipode. 17 (2-3): 59-67. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8330.1985.tb00334.x.
  9. ^ Narine, Neil (2010). "Global Trauma and the Cinematic Network Society". Critical Studies in Media Communication. 27 (3): 209-234. doi:10.1080/15295030903583556.
  10. ^ a b c "20 Great Examples of Hyperlink Cinema Every Film Buff Must Watch". Taste of Cinema - Movie Reviews and Classic Movie Lists.
  11. ^ Ghatak, Ritwik (2000). Rows and Rows of Fences: Ritwik Ghatak on Cinema. Ritwik Memorial & Trust Seagull Books. pp. ix & 134-36. ISBN 81-7046-178-2.
  12. ^ a b Bütün Filmleriyle Yilmaz Güney by Agah Özguc
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 14, 2009). "After Hours". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009.
  14. ^ a b c "20 Great Examples of Hyperlink Cinema Every Film Buff Must Watch". Taste of Cinema - Movie Reviews and Classic Movie Lists.
  15. ^ Kipp, Jeremiah (August 12, 2008). "Before the Rain | Film Review | Slant Magazine". Retrieved on March 3, 2010.
  16. ^ Roger Ebert (March 11, 2009). "Exotica".
  17. ^ Booker, M. Keith. (2007). In Postmodern Hollywood. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 12-21. ISBN 0-275-99900-9. Google Book Search. Retrieved on October 18, 2008.
  18. ^ a b Postmodern Hollywood.
  19. ^ Holden, Stephen (January 22, 1999). "Movie Review - Playing By Heart - FILM REVIEW; In a Cocktail of Romance, Different Flavors of Love - NYTimes.com". Retrieved on March 3, 2010.
  20. ^ a b c "Top 10 Greatest Films of 'Hyperlink Cinema'". March 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "CODE INCONNU". Festival de Cannes.
  22. ^ a b c Ebert, Roger (January 6, 2006). "Cape of Good Hope". Reviews. rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2008.
  23. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 18, 2002). "Lantana". Reviews. rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2009.
  24. ^ Declan Cochran. "11:14, an obscure gem of a movie (review)". D&CFilm.
  25. ^ Barber, Nicholas (March 17, 2015). "Fragmentation games: the return of the portmanteau film" – via www.theguardian.com.
  26. ^ "Look Both Ways". Chicago Sun-Times.
  27. ^ Skinner, Marjorie. (September 4, 2008). "The Celestial Prophecy :: Living on The Edge of Heaven". Portland Mercury. Retrieved on September 5, 2008.
  28. ^ Gandert, Sean. (October 18, 2007). "Paste Magazine :: Review :: Rendition Archived February 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine". Paste. Retrieved on February 8, 2008.
  29. ^ 20 Great Examples of Hyperlink Cinema Every Film Buff Must Watch - Taste of Cinema
  30. ^ "The Air I Breathe - Movie - Review". The New York Times. Retrieved on May 13, 2008.
  31. ^ "20 Great Examples of Hyperlink Cinema Every Film Buff Must Watch". Taste of Cinema - Movie Reviews and Classic Movie Lists.
  32. ^ Gupta, Shubra (August 23, 2008). "Mumbai Meri Jaan (Hindi) Archived November 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine". Retrieved on August 8, 2009.
  33. ^ Snider, Eric D. (February 16, 2010). "Portland Film Fest Review: Ajami - Cinematical". Retrieved on March 3, 2010.
  34. ^ Anderson, Melissa. (May 8, 2009). "Powder Blue Review - Read Variety's Analysis Of The Movie Powder Blue". Retrieved on July 21, 2010.
  35. ^ "REVIEW: Hereafter « Marshall and the Movies". Marshall and the Movies.
  36. ^ "Revisiting Vedam: Probably the best Telugu film of recent times?". December 2, 2012.
  37. ^ Osenlund, R. Kurt (December 2, 2011). "Answers to Nothing". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2019.
  38. ^ "Bombay March 12 Review". nowrunning. July 3, 2011.
  39. ^ Wickman, Forrest (September 9, 2011). "Steven Soderbergh's Contagion". Slate.com.
  40. ^ LaSalle, Mick (October 25, 2012). "'Cloud Atlas' review: Baring your soul - SFGate". SFGate. Retrieved on June 8, 2013.
  41. ^ Hachard, Thomas (April 7, 2013). "Disconnect". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2016.
  42. ^ Kermode, Mark; critic, Observer film (January 24, 2016). "The Big Short review - life with the Wall Street sharks" – via www.theguardian.com.
  43. ^ Subramanian, Anupama (July 17, 2016). "Sree-Regina film Maanagaram with a hyperlink narration". Deccan Chronicle.
  44. ^ "Review : Odu Raja Odu -A black comedy that is watchable (2018)". www.sify.com.
  45. ^ Super Deluxe (2019)-IMDB

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