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Great epilogues in film

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outdoorcats
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Great epilogues in film

#1

Post by outdoorcats » February 3rd, 2020, 12:54 am

I finally watched Parasite today, and I'm one of its fans.

The ending reminded me of The Lives of Others, and I couldn't pinpoint why until I realized both are rare examples of films that end on an old-fashioned epilogue--and both end on a perfect note. It's treacherous waters, and can come off as an unoriginal and hackneyed way to wrap up your story in a neat little bow. But when done right it's hard to beat.

What are some other examples of films with great epilogues?

Arguably, in order to qualify as a proper epilogue, the ending should:

-Take place after a time jump after the main action
-Be relatively short to the film's running time, or at least offer no new major conflicts
-Have a focus on resolving the film's story, themes, motifs, or all three.

(am I forgetting any? I don't want to be too restrictive)

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RedHawk10
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#2

Post by RedHawk10 » February 3rd, 2020, 1:15 am

This is a little hard for me to define but a few favorites that come to mind that I'm pretty sure fit in with what you're describing - A.I., Magnolia, and Silence. And for me, without giving anything away for those who haven't seen it yet, the final part of Twin Peaks: The Return feels very much like an epilogue (and is also one of the best fictional endings I've ever seen).

blocho
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#3

Post by blocho » February 3rd, 2020, 4:47 am

I liked Atonement's epilogue, though I know opinions on that movie are divisive. Other epilogues I enjoyed: Cold Summer of 1953, The Sandlot. In contrast, the epilogue for Heaven's Gate was even worse than the prologue. And the framing scenes for Saving Private Ryan were terrible.

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cinewest
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#4

Post by cinewest » February 3rd, 2020, 4:53 am

An imaginative, interesting finish to a film is one of the keys to its success in my book, and epilogues can either uplift or diminish a good film. For example,
Claire Denis has created some great "epilogues" for several of her films (thinking Beaux Travail and Intrus, among others) that really helped to crystalize them, whereas the power of a film like Taxi Driver is undermined by its very typical postscript (though I still like the film a lot). In contrast, coming back to Denis, I find myself ruminating now on the last 5 minutes of Chocolate, where the two protagonists of the story (told in flashback) are at the airport together, unbeknownst to one another, as their lives continue down very different paths.

One of my favorites, recently was the epilogue to Valeria Grisebach's Longing, where a group of kids at a playground talk about something they heard that happened in their neighborhood some time ago.

In general, though I believe most films falter toward and at the end for failure to finish outside the box.

Not sure how lively this discussion will get, but would love to go deeper if others will participate.

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#5

Post by blocho » February 4th, 2020, 4:28 am

Just watched Sembene's Black Girl, and it's got a very strong epilogue.

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