Two of the major highlights of this year’s European Union Film Festival, which is wrapping up its final week at the Gene Siskel Film Center, were the Chicago premiers of Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Faith and Paradise: Hope. They’re the final two chapters in his Paradise trilogy, the first of which, Paradise: Love, had its premiere at last year’s Chicago International Film Festival.
The three films, partially inspired by Ödön von Horváth’s 1932 play Faith, Hope, and Charity, tell separate stories that feature separate characters but are united by similar themes and structures, thus forming a sort of informal trilogy. I often find that I prefer these sorts of trilogies, which present variations on themes and styles, over those bound by plot and narrative. After the jump, my top five favorite informal trilogies.