Film #63 in MY YEAR OF MUBI
Basic Storytelling 101 (which I've taught in all my screenwriting classes) is very BARE BONES EASY:
(1) Beginning (2) Middle (3) End.
It's been that way since the Cavemen days... well... at least since the Greeks. And it's never wavered. A GOOD story is comprised of those elements. Yes, there are tangents that involve character study and experimentation. But those are different things and not storytelling. If you want to tell a damn good story, you better have yourself a friggin' beginning-middle-end. Period.
Some writers think they can get away with leaving some of this out. And USUALLY it's the ending.
The biggest defense is because it's a "character study." Well, that's a…