Silva’s Five Greatest Film Trilogies

Three is the magic number and nowhere does that ring more true than in the
world of cinema. Creating the perfect trilogy is a great rarity to achieve;
but below are the five trilogies that either had the most significant personal
impact on me, were the most entertaining or simply revolutionised cinema
altogether. Some of these trilogies immersed me whole heatedly into their
worlds, to the extent that they become like a second home to me and their
characters were my closest companions and seemed to know me and bring me more
joy than I could ever have imagined. But even when the final credits rolled on
the last in the trilogy, I still felt as if I could carry those characters
with me for the rest of my life. While other trilogies provided precarious
descents into the murky underbellies of complex characters and pits of smoking
mirrors, which waited until your back was turned to sink their fangs of
deceit and lies into you. And the rest changed their genre and redefined the
scope of cinema and reworked the blue print for every other film to come

Toy Story (1995-2010) 1,2 and 3
Directed by John Lesster and Lee Unkrich

Have you ever wounded what your toys get up to when you’re not in the room? In
cinema are there any other characters more lovable than Buzz and Woody? When
Pixar and Toy Story first came onto the scene in the early 1990’s, computer
animation was a word you were more likely to find in a Auther C. Clarke novel
than you were ever to find in reality. However regardless of this, from the
very instant Pixar dared to dream the impossible they caste their
spellbinding magic on the entire world ad gifted us with stories and
characters that will last a life time. And using Toy Story 1,2 and 3 as proof
the answers to my original questions are; have the greatest adventures ever!
And no way! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are legendary actors, who have graced our
screens for years with their talent and energy. But in Toy Story, they leave
their mortal bodies behind and use their voices to breathe life into pixels on
a screen. They turn simple cartoons into living, breathing characters that you
can actually have a bond with and believe they are completely real some place
in our heart.

The Dark Knight (2005-12) Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight
Directed by Christopher Nolan

Like the batmobile bursting out of the batcave, Christopher Nolan’s films
burst out from the laughing stocks and after thoughts of cinema and into a new
frontier where comic book adaptations dominated box offices and wowed
audiences. Dark, broody and emotionally resonate, the Batman trilogy gave a
much needed cold slap of realism and deeper meaning to CB films. In the eyes
of critics and audiences CB films quickly distanced themselves self from
flashbacks of 60s Batman TV show and its camp melodrama themes and
unflattering spandex’s. The modern day Batman was more than flashes action
sequences, it had a real social consciousness and regularly grappled with the
need for hope and heroes in a world that seemed to be crumbling every where
you turned. But the real crowning achievement of the Batman films was Heath
Ledgers portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight, a role that won him an Oscar,
which was once considered inconceivable for a comic book role. Sinister,
operatic speeches and a stare so haunting it sends shivers down your spine, his
portrayal of Batmans greatest villain was truly transcending.
Before (1995-2013) Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight
Directed by Richard Linklater

It was 1995 when we by chance stumbled into these two silly idyllists. Over the
next 12 years we fell in love with them almost as quickly and deeply as they
feel in love with each other. Sure Jesse and Celine had their foibles,
vulnerabilities and occasionally misguided views, but time still couldn’t keep
us apart. Most love stories lose our attention almost as soon as boy meets
girl, Hollywood has a habit of sprinkling a little too much sugar on love until
you can no longer taste the reality. Because love in the real world; isn’t
always grand gestures and running to the airport to stop her from catching her
flight, only to realise she decided never to take it and is in fact standing
right behind you. Love in the real world, can sometime be very messy,
complicated and slow burning. And that’s what Richard Linklater understands so
well and endeavours to reflect so honestly in Before. The magic in Jesse’s and
Celine’s love story lies in just simple conversation.

At the end of it all, what are we left with? Just two words, love and
happiness. But what do they mean? How do you achieve them? I don’t know. No
one can really know for certain. But what Jesse and Celine can tell you is; if
by some divine power, coincidence or just by chance somehow after the years of
searching and hoping, they just might casually stroll in your life, take them,
enjoy them and count your blessings every day that they are in your life. Sure
once they do blossom into your life it doesn’t mean you are free of pain,
worry or regret, but what they can do when you look that special person in the
eyes and look through the time you spent with each other, they promise you
will forever live without regret and ‘what ifs’. Thank you Richard.

Paranoia (1971-76) Klute, All the President’s Men and Paralax View
Directed by Alan J. Pukula

A dark alley of a film, with only the promise of more shadowy turns at the end
of it. Each of Pukula’s corruption riddled, murder soaked and paranoia
inducing films; led you into a dark world where every rung of the ladder of
power can not be trusted. From the streets to big corporations and even the
white house, you must keep your eyes wide open and your back never turned. It
might all seem pessimistic and rather morbid, but for me the Pukula trilogy is
like being dumped into a bath of cold water or shocked with electricity
because it quickly alerts you to the world around you. Why do we watch the
news when most of it is famine, wars and criminals? Because as human beings we
desire whatever the cost, to discover the truth and as much as we want we
can’t be contempt living in a bubble of lies. And that’s what makes the
paranoia trilogy so stark and memorable, they are films about truth but also
with a plea to never lose hope… Depicted best in All the Presidents Men,
there are still good men fighting the good fight no matter what the cost.

The Three Colours (1993-4) Blue, White and Red
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski

The colours trilogy using the free flags colours of red, white and blue, the
films explore the thematic idea of the French Revolution – Liberty, equality
and fraternity and their function in the modern world. Quickly banish all
preconception from your head, because none of the films opts for any big
sprawling over aggrandising political, social or philosophical statements,
instead they are small, interment and deal with the themes on a far more
personal levels. Through liberty, equality and fraternity over the course of
the trilogies we become acquainted with three different characters; Julie
(Juliette Binoche), the window of a renowned French composer, Karol (Zbigniew
Zamachowski) a hair dresser with problems with sexual passion and finally
Valentine (Irene Jacob) a student and part-time model. Despite coming from all
walks of life and living in three different countries – Poland, France and
Switzerland, what united them is a sense of being loss and desperately
searching for a life raft and guidance away from the despair and
disillusionment of their lives. While the emotional undertones of the
characters are dark, the colours used to portray their existence are rich and
vivid. The colours of red, white and blue are moulded and seemingly coated into
each of the films until each feels like 3d works of art you can walk into.
What I also find so admirable and endearing is Kieslowski ability to delicately handle the lives of his three characters, that have a habit of almost
blossoming through the screen. But at the same time there is a real sense of
defiance ablaze at each of their centers and a reluctance to succumb to their
pains. The film was simply inspiring.

Honourable mention to:

The Godfather Trilogy (1972-90) I,II,III
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

While the first is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time and the
second the greatest sequel of all time. It was a struggle of biblical
proportions, deciding whether or not to include the Godfather films into the
running of my greatest trilogies. Just based on the strength of the first to
films, The Godfather was an unforgettable cinematic experience; drenched with
unforgettable performances – come on! who has attempted a Marlon Brando
‘Coleone’ impression. Iconic scenes – Not poor old Frado! And very quotable
lines – “I am going to give him a offer he can’t refuse”. But as we all know a
trilogy means three films and I’m sure you are no stranger to the fact that
the third film, was well just say unworthy to be uttered in the same sentence
as the first two. So it’s for this reason alone, very regrettably I had to leave
the Coppola’s master pieces out of the running.


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