10 Remarkable Films Set in a Single Location


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Need some help continuing to feel inspired during these uncertain times? Creativity can be hard when life doesn't feel normal but here, Seyma Dag gives her rundown of films made in a single location which show great storytelling and film-making can happen in the smallest places. She also shares her suggestions for using this time in a productive way, while not adding to the pressure and unrealistic expectations some of us may be experiencing. 

Seyma is a member of Glasgow Film Theatre Youth Board and took part in Glasgow Youth Film Festival 2019 as a young programmer.

“Confinement is no barrier to creativity.” - Alex Barret

In these crazy days of quarantine, we’re all stuck in one place. Us cinephiles and film-makers are trying to spend our endless time wisely and in a fulfilling way, and then when we don’t reach expectations we feel terribly pressured and defeated by anxiety. So, I asked myself: why don’t I share something that will hopefully inspire others to keep creativity going

Here are 10 times filmmakers showed how fantastic films can be made in a single location.

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1.    DELICATESSEN (15)
(1991) dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro 
Available on Amazon Prime, Netflix and BFI Player

Location: a building with a butcher’s shop in the ground floor

Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the butcher landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.

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2.    PERFETTI SCONOSCIUTI (N/C 15+)
(2016) dir. Paolo Genovese
Available on Netflix

Location: a single apartment

Seven long-time friends get together for a dinner and decide to play a game where they share the content of every text message, email and phone call they receive with each other. Many secrets start to unveil and the equilibrium trembles. Do not try this at home!

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3.    12 ANGRY MEN (U)
(1957) dir. Sidney Lumet
Available on Amazon Prime

Location: a sweaty jury room

Based on a true story, 12 jurors must decide the fate of an 18-year-old on trial for the supposed murder of his father.

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4.    DOG DAY AFTERNOON (15)
(1975) dir. Sidney Lumet
Available on Amazon Prime

Location: a bank

Sonny is an optimistic loser who decides to rob a bank with his friend Sal to pay for his lover’s sex-change operation, however the robbery turns into a hostage situation and a media circus. Will change your perception of the bank-heist genre.

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5.    ROPE (PG)
(1948) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
Available on Amazon Prime

Location: Manhattan penthouse apartment

Based on a true story, two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death. Don't let this one get away!

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6.    THE BREAKFAST CLUB (15)
(1985) dir. John Hughes
Available on Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu

Location: a high school library

A brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse meet in Saturday detention. They only met once, but it changed their lives forever. Don’t you forget about me… ever.

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7.    DIE HARD (15)
(1988) dir. John McTiernan
Available on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Location: The Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza.

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8. PANIC ROOM (15)
(2002) dir. David Fincher
Available on Amazon Prime and Netflix

Location: well … a panic room!

A mother and her diabetic daughter take refuge in their newly-purchased house's safe room when three men break-in, searching for a missing fortune.

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9.    THE SHINING (15)
(1980) dir. Stanley Kubrick
Available on Amazon Prime and Netflix

Location: a mountainside hotel, the 'Overlook'

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

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10. EL ÁNGEL EXTERMINADOR (12)
(1962) dir. Luis Buñuel
Available on Amazon Prime

Location: a mansion

At an upper-class dinner party, the guests find themselves mysteriously unable to leave the room... Like Jean-Paul Sartre said: 'Hell is other people.'

Those are my picks - let us know yours, on GFT's social channels Twitter and Facebook. The one thing, I think, we need to understand: it is okay to take time. It is okay to wait for inspiration, okay to binge watch unapologetically trashy so-bad-it’s-good reality TV shows, just to distract yourself. Don’t force yourself to come up with something, it will never work that way. Go with your own flow: write a one sentence idea, a little something you heard that day, a page of a script or a whole scene. Whatever suits you. You know you the best. You do you. And stay safe.

Seyma Dag


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