Movies with Footnotes

In the most recent posting to the A.I. thread, **Magiver[/B writes:

My first thought was that nobody provides these things at movies. But thn I realized that I attended two movies that had.
I’m not talking about Pressbooks or souvenir books, like the things that get handed out at Hollywod premieres and nowhere else. Nor am I talking about gimmick items like 3D glasses, Smell-o-vision scratch and sniff cards, and the like.
I mean movies that you see in an ordinary non-major-city theater where they give you supplementary reading material on the film. I’ve attended two movies where I got stuff like this.
One was Executive Action, the 1973 Conspiracy Movie about the JFK assassination that covered the same ground Oliver Stone later would in JFK


When I walked in the door, the usher handed me what looked and felt like a newspaper. What it was was a exhaustive set of footnotes to the movie(!), printed on newsprint paper and as thick as the first section of a typical daily.
A bit over a decade late I attended a screening of David Lynch’s Dune and got a sheet of 8.5" X 11" paper printed on both sides. A light gray image completely covered both sides with the giant-moons-in-the-background logo for the film. Printed in black atop this was a glossary of terms from Herbert’s book. Apparently they felt things weren’t clear enough from just watching the film, and thought people could crib from these, maybe during the brightly-lit desert scenes.
Anybody else see any Movie Handouts like this?

Not really the same, but when I saw “March of the Penguins” they gave me a handout detailing the mating cycle of penguins. I’m not really sure why, seeing as how the movie did a pretty good job of doing just that.
If I could pick a movie that came with a handout that helped explain, it would probably be “Lost Highway” by Lynch. That was confusing as hell.

At several pre-screenings of the noir-ish **Brick **, ushers handed out flyers including a glossary of slang terms used in the film.

The glossary is used in some of the advertising as well, but I don’t think they are handing out the flyers at regular screenings any more.

When I went to the road show version of 2001: A Space Odyssey where it opened in New York, we were all given a little pamphlet explaining why Bowman would survive being in space without a helmet. I still have it around somewhere. Clarke was quite big on this concept, having put it in a story previously, so I suppose they felt it needed justification. I think that’s a perfect example of what the OP was looking for.

Most footnotes these days show up in the novelizations. In Asimov’s novelization of Fantastic Voyage he tries to explain where the mass left over from the shrinkage went - I believe it had something to do with hyperspace.

The movie Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, aside from the narration which helped to explain what was going on in various bizzare scenes, also had one sequence whose dialogue was so deeply buried in slang that it was subtitled. :smiley:

It is,. and I wasn’t aware of this. Clarke didn’t just use the idea once – it showed up several times in his work. It’s in the story “The Other Side of the Sky”, the novel Earthlight (both written well before 2001 was), his novelization of 2001, of course, and he makes a nod to it in The Fountains of Paradise. He also wrote a science fact piece defending it (and which may well be the thing you received at the movie) that appears in one of his anthologies of science essays – The View from Serendip or one of those.

Maybe somebody who’s seen the whole movie can back me up on this but, when D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance was released on video, I remember reading a review that said the film had footnotes in some of its title cards. If so, that would have to be one of the earliest instances of a movie having footnotes.

That was common for historical fiction at the time. For a pre-Intolerance example, there’s Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.