The Movie Waffler Five movies to watch alongside <i>Birdman</i> | The Movie Waffler

Five movies to watch alongside Birdman

Whether you enjoyed Birdman or felt it failed to live up to its premise, here are five more thematically similar movies to check out.

Words by Eric Hillis

Rope (1948)
The Godfather of single take movies, Hitchcock's gem uses this device to heighten tension by keeping an unbroken shot inside an apartment where a callous murder has occurred. Of course, this being a Hitchcock movie, we find ourselves identifying with the killers until Jimmy Stewart tells us all what horrible people we are.

The Band Wagon (1953)
As with Michael Keaton's Riggan Thomson, Fred Astaire's Tony Hunter is a washed up screen star whose best days are behind him in this Vincente Minnelli masterpiece. And just like Thomson, he's taking to the New York stage in an attempt to revitalise his ailing career. Birdman's pretentious production of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is surely a homage to the transformation of a comedy into a dark Faustian drama by Jack Buchanan's pompous director here.

I Am Cuba (1964)
If the constantly roaming camera of Birdman impressed you, check out how it was done with equal aplomb 50 years ago without the aid of digital effects. A propaganda film funded by the Soviet regime, Mikhail Kalatozov's film is packed with "How the hell did they do that?" camera moves and has been homaged by everyone from Martin Scorsese to Paul Thomas Anderson.

Short Cuts (1993)
In Birdman, Keaton is staging an adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. Robert Altman's final masterpiece takes nine of Carver's stories and one of his poems and blends them into a stunning tapestry of '90s LA life in one of that decades finest films.

Timecode (2000)
Take Birdman's unbroken shot and multiply it by four. That's what director Mike Figgis did for this experimental drama set in an LA movie production office. Splitting the screen into four parts, Figgis had four cameramen film simultaneously, at times overlapping flawlessly. It's very much a case of style over substance, but it's an experiment that should be appreciated by cinephiles.