Whether they are thematically connected like Park Chan Wook’s Vengeance trilogy or connected by a story like Back to the Future, there is something special about a well written trilogy. This week AiPT! looks at some of their favorite trilogies.
What is your favorite trilogy of all time?
Michael Rosch: I wish I had a more interesting answer but it’d have to be the original Star Wars trilogy with an honorable mention for Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy.
Justin Cohen: This is probably an unpopular answer, but mine is The Matrix trilogy. The first one is one of my favorite films of all time and I personally love The Matrix Revolutions. I never understood the hate that third one gets. Reloaded was a bit underwhelming for me after all the hype leading up to it, but the finale in Revolutions was epic in my opinion. The original Star Wars trilogy gets an honorable mention.
Jason Segarra: I know I’m ignoring what is a TERRIBLE 4th installment in this, but I have to give the nod to the original three Indiana Jones films. Raiders does a great job of realizing the world of a pulp novel on screen, Temple makes it fun, and Crusade gave the films heart. Indie is a great and exciting protagonist, the villains are timeless evil, and the action sequences are equal parts exciting and hilarious. I mean, we probably have to address the issue of colonialism and cultural appropriation, but…I mean, he shot that guy with the sword!
What is a trilogy that you have always wanted to watch?
Michael: I don’t actually have a good answer for this one but, when looking at lists of movie trilogies, I discovered that some regard Ingmar Bergman’s three films Through A Glass Darkly (1961) Winter Light (1962) and The Silence (1963) as a trilogy because they’re built around similar themes. And since most of Bergman’s work has been an embarrassing blind spot in my cinematic education that I’d like to one day remedy, I’ll take it.
Justin: The Mad Max trilogy. I’m ashamed that I’ve never seen them!
Jason: I feel like a bad movie fan (slightly) but I’ve never seen the Dollars trilogy that made Clint Eastwood famous. I don’t dislike westerns (I rather liked Tombstone and High Noon) but I do feel like Spaghetti westerns take their time getting started. Someday I’m sure I’ll explore the Man With No Name series, but it’ll have to be when the mood strikes me.
Do you prefer trilogies connected by a story or by a theme?
Michael: I prefer a trilogy be a connected story with the same characters, but I’m not going to tell anyone they’re wrong for regarding Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors Trilogy as a trilogy. Besides, even the final moments of the third film in that series briefly includes characters from the previous two films, so it sort of also still works as a shared universe anyway. I’m perfectly comfortable defining a trilogy as whatever the filmmaker or large segments of the audience decide to call a trilogy and not demanding it must subscribe to any specific set of rules to count.
Justin: I prefer a trilogy to be connected by a story. I want to start off with a story in the first one that ends in the third one.
Jason: Definitely story. I like to see character grow and evolve and experience different stage of their life. Something like the Before Sunrise series speaks to me so much more than any sort of tangentially connected films attached by title or theme. When a movie is good, you learn to love the characters and want to see their story progress. Having that happen across a number of films serves to give these characters a bigger stage to shine upon, and that’s definitely up more up my alley than the alternative.