Stories Within Stories

I have quite the addiction to stories.  Which is probably why I love movies, books, or plays that are centered around storytelling.

The most recent of these treasures came rather unexpectedly.  I was meandering through the lines of movies on Netflix, looking for something to entertain me while I ate lunch.  A rather surrealist movie cover caught my attention.

The FallDescription via IMDB:

In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastical story about 5 mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality starts to blur as the tale advances.

What I love about this type of plot, is the blending of fantasy and reality.  These stories especially capture my attention when in the form of film.  The visual aspects of blending realities is much easier to follow than in books.  Although I must say I haven’t read too many books like this.  Inkspell by Cornelia Funke, being the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

As far as movies go I can think of  The Fall, Big Fish, The Science of Sleep, Pan’s Labyrinth, MirrorMask, The Wizard of Oz, The Pagemaster, and Alice in Wonderland, as well as many others I’m sure I’m missing/haven’t watched.

I think what draws me in most to these stories, is that when I was little I so wished I could become a part of a story.  I wanted all the fantastical things to be true, and happen to me.  So when I see a film where the characters have become a part of a story or another fantasy world, I can’t help but enjoy it.

What kind of stories draw you in?



About Aly Hughes
Unprofessional, unedited, unpublished. Aly is out to make a name for herself by blogging, twittering, facebooking, and general internet-ing. Be warned: She may not know what she's talking about.

14 Responses to Stories Within Stories

  1. Sara Flower says:

    I feel the exact same way. Stories with fantasy elements in them are the best. Big Fish and Pan’s Labrynth are awesome examples of great films that have a story within them. Alice in Wonderland still remains to be my favourite children’s tale. 🙂

    • Aly Hughes says:

      If you loved those, then I would definitely recommend watching The Fall! 🙂 I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland, though I haven’t actually read the stories by Lewis Carroll. In high school I played the Dormouse in our production of Alice in Wonderland, which was a blast!

  2. Jeannie says:

    I love these too. I loved “Big Fish”. Another is “The Neverending Story”. Good post!!

    • Aly Hughes says:

      Big Fish is definitely in my top 10 favorite movies! You’re right, The Neverending Story is a good one, I can’t believe I didn’t think to put that up there! 🙂

  3. Big Fish is a great film, but Pans Labrynth is epically good 🙂 As for the kinds of stories that draw me in I’m a huge fan of post apocalypitcal stories, especially in film, i absoluelty love 😀

  4. rtd14 says:

    As I was reading the description of the story, I thought of Big Fish–those lines that blur fiction and reality. I love the end of it when the son sees the characters from his father’s past and how close to reality some of them were. I think the stories that draw me are like Big Fish. You want to believe something beyond your own life. That is the power of writing. I’m still reading Dr. Zhivago, and he is at the point where he wants to kill himself once Lara is gone. He disappears into his poetry. I know I’m reading Russian literature so the ending can’t be happy, but there is a spirit there.

    And what Peter said, Pans Labyrinth is a great one too! Again a little girl wants to escape her reality and yet the story deals with the conflicts of troubled, real relationships. 🙂

    • Aly Hughes says:

      I definitely agree with you on believing things beyond us. I think that’s the heart of all imaginative stories, especially ones such as Big Fish.

      I started reading Dr. Zhivago, but never finished it. 😦 I love Russian literature though, so I’ll have to give it another go!

      • rtd14 says:

        No worries. I understand. It does jump around, and it is not for everyone. I challenged myself sometime last year to mix my reading with the classis, many of which I did not read in high school or college. I had two odd English professors. One assigned the class mostly papers, and we never really read. The second assigned reading to contemporary books. I enjoyed some of them, but I think it’s important, for me, to see what writers before me did. Believe me, it took a rod to push me through one of Hemingway’s books. That said, I like some of his short stories.

  5. Angelo says:

    I read the “quoted” story description on my Smartphone and I immediately recognized the story from “The Fall” even before I could see the poster. A Twitter friend recommended the film to me and I sat down and watched it with my daughters whom I usually don’t allow to watch r-rated stuff. There was such a deep, rich adventure woven into a delicate but rambunctious storytelling session. I loved it. It’s a challenge to find good stories like The Fall, which is why I generally rely on word-of-mouth as opposed to advertising. But when I do find good stories I hold on to them.

    • Aly Hughes says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one to have found it! It is such a great story and it’s told beautifully throughout the film. I like hearing about things from friends as well. Heavy advertising and big hype generally lead to disappointment! It’s why I enjoy finding fantastic indie or lesser known movies, books, or bands.

  6. Pingback: I Know You Call Me Beejay, But You Don’t Know Me « This Page Intentionally Blank

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