Scott Hardie | April 21, 2003
When you're watching for the first time a film series that was produced out of chronological order, such as "Star Wars" or the Hannibal Lector trilogy, do you prefer to watch the films in the chronological order of the plot or the order in which the films were made and released? I got to thinking of this after watching "Red Dragon" recently, and I think I prefer release order. There are minor cosmetic factors, such as Hannibal Lector looking older in 1986 than in 2002, but the main reason is that the films written and produced later are able to build on the older films, but not vice versa. Certain scenes in Star Wars Episodes I-II-III have emotional resonance because of what we know happens later in IV-V-VI, but less so the other way. There's also the fact that I try to appreciate old films in the context in which they were released, and it's tough to know the context of the prequel when you haven't seen the original.

Confusing side issue: What about a film series that jumps around in chronology, such as the "Godfather" trilogy?

Lori Lancaster | April 21, 2003
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