Total Recall: Anthology Movies

With Movie 43 hitting theaters, we look at some memorable movies with multiple directors.

Six in Paris

85%

The Directors: Claude Chabrol, Jean Douchet, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Daniel Pollet, Eric Rohmer, and Jean Rouch

The Big Idea: As you can probably guess from its title, Six in Paris united six Gallic filmmakers for an omnibus trip through the French New Wave, combining to offer one of the stronger anthologies of the early-to-mid 1960s. At the time, some critics dismissed it as little more than a mildly diverting trifle, but Paris has held up over time -- as evidenced by the words of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Kathie Smith, who later mused, "What most ensemble films lack in cohesiveness, Six in Paris finds in historical context. Forty years later, it is an essential testament of the French New Wave's energy, ingenuity and aesthetic."

Spirits of the Dead

89%

The Directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim

The Big Idea: A horror anthology with a remarkable pedigree, Spirits of the Dead presented film fans with three segments, all inspired by Edgar Allan Poe stories. Anchored by an impressive cast that included Jane and Peter Fonda, Terence Stamp, and Brigitte Bardot, Dead transcended its genre trappings to earn enthusiastic reviews -- and it still continues to resonate with currently active scribes such as Nathan Rabin of the A.V. Club, who argued that "It offers pleasures above and beyond its status as a relic of a groovier and exponentially more swinging era."

Tokyo!

73%

The Directors: Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, and Bong Joon-ho

The Big Idea: Quite a few anthology films are based around cities, but rather than offering viewers an insider's perspective into the titular city, 2008's Tokyo! took the opposite approach, enlisting three non-Japanese directors to use Tokyo as the background for a wildly diverse trio of segments. (Example: Gondry's short film adapted a comic, while Carax's concerned an onerous sewer-dwelling creature). "Grasping a unifying theme from the three distinct tales is one of the pleasures of watching the movie," mused Steve Ramos of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Loneliness gets my vote, but Tokyo! is adventurous enough to spark many different theories."

Mode: HLS Link

Triangle

50%

The Directors: Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To

The Big Idea: A sort of Chinese action flick version of the grade-school game Telephone, Triangle used three directors, all working independently with separate crews and screenwriters, to tell the overarching tale of three friends (Louis Koo, Simon Yam, and Sun Honglei) who come into possession of a treasure map -- and who subsequently discover that finding said treasure may not be everything it's cracked up to be. Although a sizable number of critics found the result every bit as disjointed as you might expect, given the process that produced it, Triangle is notable for being the now-retired Lam's final film -- and, in the words of Little White Lies' Anton Bitel, for being "a convoluted crime caper with strong ethical underpinnings to support its many moods and styles."

Twilight Zone: The Movie

65%

The Directors: John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller

The Big Idea: The Twilight Zone had been off the air for nearly 20 years when its cinematic counterpart arrived in theaters in 1983, but its basic proposition -- offering a series of unrelated, grimly disquieting short stories to viewers looking for a few things that went bump in the night -- remained just as brilliantly effective. And given that Warner Bros. lined up a stable of suitably talented directors to usher filmgoers into its theatrical Zone, it should have been a huge hit -- but while it more than recouped its $10 million budget, critics and audiences were relatively lukewarm to the movie, which also suffered from being overshadowed by a real-life on-set tragedy that killed actor Vic Morrow. For Keith Breese of Filmcritic, however, the overall effect was "a roller-coaster homage to adolescence."

Mode: HLS Link

V/H/S

55%

The Directors: Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez and Chad Villella)

The Big Idea: Giving a smart-in-theory twist to the burgeoning crowd of found-footage horror flicks, V/H/S used a framing device (a group of criminals break into a house to steal a VHS tape for a client) to unite a series of lo-fi-looking shorts into a 116-minute whole. Unsurprisingly, critical mileage varied wildly, with some scribes hailing it as brilliantly scary and others dismissing it as two hours of footage that was visually as well as narratively shaky. "The mostly played-out found footage aesthetic has its limitations, and V/H/S doesn't escape all of them," admitted Ian Buckwalter for the Atlantic. "But the collected directors do manage to make many of those limitations into the films' strengths."

Mode: HLS Link

Visions of Eight

40%

The Directors: Milos Forman, Claude Lelouch, Yuri Ozerov, Mai Zetterling, Kon Ichikawa, John Schlesinger, Arthur Penn, and Michael Pfleghar

The Big Idea: Admirable in theory if perhaps not entirely in execution, Visions of Eight united eight of the most noteworthy directors of the early 1970s to offer their unique takes on the 1972 Summer Olympics. Intentionally incomprehensive and willfully scattered, Visions resisted the familiar narrative frameworks of traditional sports films, and paid for it with largely dismissive reviews that accused the film of -- in Variety's words -- "[forgetting] the idea of sport and competition itself, to indulge in ideas." It found an appreciative audience in Roger Ebert, however; as he wrote approvingly, "What nobody could have anticipated, perhaps, is how similar many of those visions would be."

Mode: HLS Link

Take a look through the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don't forget to check out the reviews for Movie 43.

Finally, here's the trailer for Tales from the Crypt, one of the creepiest anthology movies ever:

Mode: HLS Link

Comments

Michael Braden

Michael Braden

Why did it show saw 3d?

Jan 23 - 04:38 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

Because Visions of Eight is practically the same movie as Saw 3D. Oh wait... Actually, no, okay, that was a mistake. We fixed it. Thanks.

Jan 23 - 04:45 PM

Monica K.

Monica Knight

Some people says its unbelievable .... some who earned says its a wonderful opportunity to earn about $5500 in 1 month on website/internet, did you read the page wow42.com

Jan 28 - 10:47 AM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

Because Visions of Eight is practically the same movie as Saw 3D. Oh wait... Actually, no, okay, that was a mistake. We fixed it. Thanks.

Jan 23 - 04:45 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I love the genre. I will defend "Four Rooms" with every misbehaving breath, and "New York Stories" has one of Scorsese's brightest jewels in 'Life Lessons' and one of Woody Allen's funniest in 'Oedipus Wrecks' (less said about Coppola's the better). I'm still looking forward to the new "Havana" and THANK YOU for not including the awful NY version of "Paris Je T'aime". Except for Natalie Portman's entry, it was such a collection of stupidity.

Some others for the curious:

RoGoPaG - Godard/Gregoretti/Pasolini/Rossollini
Three Extremes - Fruit Chan/Park Chan-wook/Takashi Miike
Two Evil Eyes - Romero/Argento (for the Argento alone)
Memories (anime) - Morimoto/Okamura/Otomo
Aria - Altman/Beresford/Godard/Jarman/Temple/Roeg/Russell + others

Jan 23 - 05:02 PM

billtheburger

bill theburger

Come on Janson, Four Rooms is pretty mediocre apart from the Rodriguez mini tale andthe final segment is a little amusing. But the other parts ruin it too much for me to ever wish to resit it all.

Jan 24 - 12:09 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Sympathy for the Misbehavers, Bill. Rodriguez's room alone is a comedy classic that must be seen. The rest is OK, but what makes it watchable is Tim Roth's hilariously physical performance. Not for all tastes, maybe, but I got my rocks with it.

Jan 24 - 12:19 PM

Tyra Adlam

Tyra Adlam

So glad you and another reader picked up on the fact Three Extremes was sadly missing.

Jan 26 - 04:23 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I was going to mention the 2004 film "Three...Extremes" but apparently someone has already beat me to it. There are some others though that should also be on this list:

-1962 "How The West Was Won" scoring 100% on the meter with 4 directors by the names of John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe!

-The 1984 flop "The Dungeonmaster" with 7 directors, Dave Allen, Charles Band, John Carl Buechler Steven Ford, Peter Manoogian, Ted Nicolaou, Rosemarie Turko!

-According to imdb.com (1967) Casino Royale scoring 27% had 6 directors who are Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, and Richard Talmadge!

And not to mention directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker of "Airplane" scoring 98% and "Top Secret!" movies with 78% respectively!

Jan 23 - 06:05 PM

King  S.

King Simba

It's not enough to have multiple directors to make the list, it has to be a collection of short films, which is why films like Airplane and Casino Royale don't count.

Jan 23 - 11:10 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"we look at some memorable movies with multiple directors."
Perhaps but I was only responding to what it says above but look at one of RT's picks "Four Rooms"- did that movie have a collection of short films?

Jan 24 - 12:21 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

It's the definition of "anthology", Dave, and yes, each of the four rooms were separate stories.

Jan 24 - 12:29 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I guess I missed the "anthology" part!

Jan 24 - 01:07 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

(biting tongue)

Jan 24 - 01:45 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Eh! At least I saw all my picks!

Jan 25 - 01:36 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You fucking with me? Which of my picks do you presume I haven't seen, smart guy?

Jan 25 - 01:51 PM

Dave J

Dave J

That's funnny, where did I made claims that you didn't see any of your picks- or are just being paranoid again? Because all you had to say is that you saw all of yours too- if that is the case!

Jan 25 - 03:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Is it "funnny"? All your "at least" and "if"s. What a knob.

Jan 25 - 03:47 PM

Dave J

Dave J

To have a civilized conversation is not one of your strongest points - is it? And to take my comment in offense to the most extremes(even though I personally don't know who you are nor know what you like) does define your personality because I don't recall calling you any duragatory names!

And by calling me a knob either makes you feel better about youself or makes you feel like a big man - which is it?

Jan 25 - 04:07 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"You fucking with me"

You know you sound like a grouchy old man when say sh-t like this because most civilized and normal people don't talk like this! You know there's medication you can take for this extreme anger!

Jan 25 - 04:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I should have assumed your post was pointless drool. The only way to interprete it in any context is that you were suggesting I hadn't watched my picks. "At least". Compared to what? I'm sorry for assuming you had an intended point.

Jan 25 - 04:13 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Now you want to disect my comment now- okay! "At least" could also imply about anyone as well since "you"are not the only reader on here! And besides that- all you had to say was I seen all of my picks too" but no - you take it as a personal attack! I mean even if it's real life and we're looking at each other face to face - is this how you really talk like? Because the only people I know who talk like this are autistic people!

Jan 25 - 04:33 PM

Adam Foidart

Adam Foidart

Good Call with Three... Extremes (and possibly the sequel, which I have not seen yet) but King Simba is right about the other titles.

Jan 24 - 12:13 PM

Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes

No Creepshow? Or is that just a movie with different stories? Also American Horror Story Deserves a mention

Jan 23 - 08:11 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Tales from the Darkside comes to mind as well. I love the one with Buster Poindexter and the cat. Oh! And Cats Eye! Love the one with the troll!

Jan 23 - 11:53 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

All three of these films are by one director, and this is for anthology films by multiple directors.

Jan 24 - 12:22 PM

Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes

Yeah I acknowledged that i thought creepshow might've been just an anthology movie instead of multiple directors

Jan 25 - 12:37 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Great film regardless.

Jan 25 - 12:57 PM

Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes

fucking amazing film, have you seen AMerican Horror Story? Just as good

Jan 25 - 07:33 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I saw VHS recently. That ranged from pretty creepy to Pffft lame! Anthologies are Fun.

Jan 23 - 09:03 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

The one story of V/H/S that was totally out of place and just plain incomprehensible was the 4th one recorded from Skype. Why the hell would someone put that on a video tape? I like V/H/S for the most part, but I was hoping for more of a 70s/80s look and feel to the tapes themselves, as they just felt too modern. Still, I give the filmmakers credit for combining the found-footage and anthology genres so cleverly.

Jan 25 - 12:31 AM

Graham Ginty

Graham Ginty

The director of the Skype segment said that his theory was that people who dealt in trading these types of tapes (eg the man who owned the house) would want to keep things away from the digital world as much as possible as it increased the chance of the trade being traceable online. Kinda works I guess but seems more like an after thought.

Jan 27 - 07:07 AM

Narcisse Lefebvre

Narcisse Lefebvre

The Fourth Dimension by Korine/Fedorchenko/Kwiecinski and Autoerotic by Swanberg/Wingard are two recent notable anthologies.

Jan 23 - 10:33 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

That last shot in "Autoerotic" is a scream.

Jan 24 - 12:23 PM

King  S.

King Simba

It's not enough to have multiple directors to make the list, it has to be a collection of short films, which is why films like Airplane and Casino Royale don't count.

Jan 23 - 11:10 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"we look at some memorable movies with multiple directors."
Perhaps but I was only responding to what it says above but look at one of RT's picks "Four Rooms"- did that movie have a collection of short films?

Jan 24 - 12:21 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

It's the definition of "anthology", Dave, and yes, each of the four rooms were separate stories.

Jan 24 - 12:29 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I guess I missed the "anthology" part!

Jan 24 - 01:07 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

(biting tongue)

Jan 24 - 01:45 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Eh! At least I saw all my picks!

Jan 25 - 01:36 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You fucking with me? Which of my picks do you presume I haven't seen, smart guy?

Jan 25 - 01:51 PM

Dave J

Dave J

That's funnny, where did I made claims that you didn't see any of your picks- or are just being paranoid again? Because all you had to say is that you saw all of yours too- if that is the case!

Jan 25 - 03:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Is it "funnny"? All your "at least" and "if"s. What a knob.

Jan 25 - 03:47 PM

Dave J

Dave J

To have a civilized conversation is not one of your strongest points - is it? And to take my comment in offense to the most extremes(even though I personally don't know who you are nor know what you like) does define your personality because I don't recall calling you any duragatory names!

And by calling me a knob either makes you feel better about youself or makes you feel like a big man - which is it?

Jan 25 - 04:07 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"You fucking with me"

You know you sound like a grouchy old man when say sh-t like this because most civilized and normal people don't talk like this! You know there's medication you can take for this extreme anger!

Jan 25 - 04:11 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I should have assumed your post was pointless drool. The only way to interprete it in any context is that you were suggesting I hadn't watched my picks. "At least". Compared to what? I'm sorry for assuming you had an intended point.

Jan 25 - 04:13 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Now you want to disect my comment now- okay! "At least" could also imply about anyone as well since "you"are not the only reader on here! And besides that- all you had to say was I seen all of my picks too" but no - you take it as a personal attack! I mean even if it's real life and we're looking at each other face to face - is this how you really talk like? Because the only people I know who talk like this are autistic people!

Jan 25 - 04:33 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Tales from the Darkside comes to mind as well. I love the one with Buster Poindexter and the cat. Oh! And Cats Eye! Love the one with the troll!

Jan 23 - 11:53 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Animatrix. Couldn't keep my eyes off the screen.

Jan 23 - 11:54 PM

billtheburger

bill theburger

Come on Janson, Four Rooms is pretty mediocre apart from the Rodriguez mini tale andthe final segment is a little amusing. But the other parts ruin it too much for me to ever wish to resit it all.

Jan 24 - 12:09 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Sympathy for the Misbehavers, Bill. Rodriguez's room alone is a comedy classic that must be seen. The rest is OK, but what makes it watchable is Tim Roth's hilariously physical performance. Not for all tastes, maybe, but I got my rocks with it.

Jan 24 - 12:19 PM

Mathew Westcott-Dixon

Mathew Westcott-Dixon

No Cloud Atlas? Am I seriously the only one who agrees with Roger Ebert on that film?

Jan 24 - 05:11 AM

Greg Dinskisk

Greg Dinskisk

That's not considered an anthology movie, because the segments blend together in a way that make it one story.

And no, you're not the only one. I love that movie, my second favorite film of 2012.

Jan 28 - 09:04 AM

Scott Ecker

Scott Ecker

Where are Disney's package features? Fantasia 2000, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, etc. I mean Fantasia is easily better than anything on this list.

Jan 24 - 05:26 AM

Dieter Rogiers

Dieter Rogiers

One glaring omission on the list: Dead of Night (1945)--> 96 percent fresh! The movie features one of the best and most influential horror segments ever: a creepy 20-minute short about a ventrilloquist and his dummy, directed by albert Cavalcanti.

Jan 24 - 08:10 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Ooof. Good point. Cavalcanti/Crichton/Deardon/Hamer

Jan 24 - 12:25 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Awesome choice; the only reason it doesn't have 100% is because of a 2003 review that doesn't exist anymore. Man, I wish RT would get rid of those fuckers!

Jan 25 - 12:35 AM

Dave J

Dave J

"Dead Of Night" is an awesome choice- that and "How The West Was Won"!

Jan 25 - 01:40 PM

Marc Veerkamp

Marc Veerkamp

Yeah, Dead of night is the most solid anthology movie I can remember.

Jan 27 - 01:59 AM

Jere Hunter

Jere Hunter

Sin City isnt on there, with guest Directors and such, or are we only using the Directors Guild movies here

Jan 24 - 11:52 AM

This comment has been removed.

Jason McGuire

Jason McGuire

sure it is

Jan 25 - 01:01 AM

Adam Foidart

Adam Foidart

Good Call with Three... Extremes (and possibly the sequel, which I have not seen yet) but King Simba is right about the other titles.

Jan 24 - 12:13 PM

What's Hot On RT

Total Recall
Total Recall

Nine Movies That Bring the Funk

Weekly Binge
Weekly Binge

Watch Arrested Development

Cosplay Gallery
Cosplay Gallery

See over 350 Comic-Con Costumes!

24 Frames
24 Frames

Photo gallery of great movie spaceships

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile