#NewsBytesExplainer: Looking at anthology films- definition, features, Indian, international examples
An anthology film, as the name suggests, combines multiple short films together. While the makers usually try to bind them together through a common thread, at times, they can have distinctly dissimilar themes, and may not have much relation to each other. Anthology films stand out due to their short runtimes and the presence of different settings, tones, and stories in one place.
What do experts say about the term?
Per TV Tropes, "An anthology film is a feature film composed of vignettes or short films. Generally, the shorts have nothing to do with one another, but occasionally there is a theme, framing device, or plot running through the stories, connecting them together." Anthology films can be both animated and non-animated. In animation, the term used for anthology films is "package film."
Did you notice the themes in 'Ray' and 'The House'?
The shorts in anthology films usually have a common denominator in place. For instance, the Netflix anthology movie Ray, starring Ali Fazal, Gajraj Rao, and Manoj Bajpayee, among others, is based on the short stories written by author-filmmaker Satyajit Ray, while The House chronicles the story of the titular house and how its different inhabitants treat it over the course of several years.
Different directors approach the same subject differently in anthologies
Different directors often work on an anthology, which gives them the liberty to treat the theme/subject the way they want to. It's also an opportunity to see how the same theme (for example, love) can be experimented with in endless ways and manners. They also offer a splendid platform for short stories to come to life which may not have been possible otherwise.
Netflix has several intriguing anthology titles
Netflix is home to several popular anthology films that have received critical acclaim and attention. Some examples on the streamer include Lust Stories, Ghost Stories, Ray, Ajeeb Daastaaans, Bombay Talkies, Love, Sex, Aur Dhokha, Zindagi inShort, and Paava Kadhaigal, among others. Other prominent examples on Amazon Prime Video are Darna Mana Hai, Darna Zaroori Hai, and Unpaused. You can also watch Vedam on Voot.
How many of these international films have you watched?
Anthology movies are regularly produced all over the world, and some noteworthy examples that you can watch are Sin City, Free Fall, Coffee And Cigarettes, Night on Earth, Cloud Atlas, Babel, Dead of Night, Grand Hotel, and Heavy Metal. The House, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Cinema Fighters, and That Moment, My Heart Cried: Cinema Fighters Projects can be streamed on Netflix.