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Parent categories: meta - film

Peeping Tom (1960) - Michael Powell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
An excellent example of a meta-film on many levels, celebrating the voyeuristic nature of the film experience. [Jan 2006]

Related: fourth wall - self-referential - metafiction - postmodern cinema - self-consciousness

Titles: Funny Games (1997)

There is an Italian movie in which the characters go to a cinema to see a western movie and one of the cowboys shoots a member of the audience, leaving a little hole in the screen. Can anyone remember the name of this movie?


A metafilm or metamovie is a self-referential film.

If presentational theatre does not let the audience forget they are viewing a play, and metafiction does not let the readers forget they are reading a book, metafilm does not let the audience forget that they are watching a film.

Metafilm is a kind of film that self-consciously addresses the devices of film.

If metafiction is primarily associated with postmodern literature, might it be justified to say that metafilm is associated with postmodern cinema. [Dec 2005]

Cinema in cinema

Cinema Paradiso (1988), Day For Night (1973) , F/X (1986), Good Morning, Babylon (1987), Living In Oblivion (1995), The Player (1992) , Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Singin' In the Rain (1952), Stardust Memories (1980), Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Film in television

Television: Being There (1979) Broadcast News (1987) Ed TV (1999), A Face In the Crowd (1957), Medium Cool (1969), Network (1976), Pleasantville (1998), Quiz Show (1994), To Die For (1995), The Truman Show (1998), Deathwatch aka Mort en direct, La (1980) - Bertrand Tavernier, Secret Cinema (1968) - Paul Bartel

Fourth wall and film [...]

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall#Film [Dec 2004]

La Nuit américaine/Day for Night (1973) - François Truffaut

Often cited example of metafilm.

Sex is Comedy (2002) - Catherine Breillat

Sex is Comedy (2002) - Catherine Breillat

Writer-director Catherine Breillat's new film Sex Is Comedy (2002) bases its premise on the shooting of a sex scene from Breillat's last film A Ma Soeur!/Fat Girl (2001), and casts Anne Parillaud in the role of Jeanne, director of the film-within-the-film and a thinly disguised version of Breillat herself. It's as though she were compiling DVD extras for A Ma Soeur! and became so hooked on the "making-of" documentary that she turned it into a feature - similar to the way in which screenwriter Charlie Kaufman spun a whole new movie, Adaptation (2002), from the problem of how to write the follow-up to Being John Malkovich (1999). It's unclear, though, to what extent Sex Is Comedy asks to be viewed as an insider's account of the making of A Ma Soeur!, or a movie in its own right. -- Edward Lamberti, http://www.kamera.co.uk/reviews_extra/sex_is_comedy.php [Nov 2004]

C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - Rémy Belvaux André Bonzel, ...

C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - Rémy Belvaux André Bonzel, ... [Amazon.com]

C'est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog) is a satirical 1992 Belgian French language black comedy mockumentary starring Benoît Poelvoorde. In the film, a pair of film-makers follow a serial killer recording his crimes (and thoughts and opinions) for a documentary they are producing, but find themselves getting caught up in the mayhem that ensues. The film is shot in black and white.

A literal English rendering of the title would be It Happened Near Your Place, but the film was released in North America as Man Bites Dog.

Tagline: A Killer Comedy --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Bites_Dog [Dec 2004]

Medium Cool (1969) - Haskell Wexler

Medium Cool (1969) - Haskell Wexler [Amazon.com]

In Medium Cool, a gas grenade goes off very close to the camera, and a shout is heard: "Look out, Haskell, it's real!". This is a reference to the film's director/camerman, Haskell Wexler. In the film's last shot, the camera pans and zooms in - on Wexler, pointing his camera at the camera. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall [May 2004]

Cinema Paradiso (1989) - Giuseppe Tornatore

Cinema Paradiso (1989) - Giuseppe Tornatore [FR] [DE] [UK]

[...] the priest has the power to censor films before they are viewed by his flock. This was not a complete exaggeration, the Cento Cattolico Cinematografo established in 1936 to censor films continued to classify films, according to the church's lights. --http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~media/CinePara.html [Dec 2004]

Six, five, four, the numbers wind down. And there, on the reel, are all the expurgated scenes from the movies of his childhood: All the censored kisses. All the censored passion. All the censored life. --http://www.pbs.org/newshour/essays/jan-june02/censor_1-30.html [Dec 2004]


La Mala educación/Bad education (2004) - Pedro Almodóvar [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Bad Education (La mala educación) is a 2004 film by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar about two reunited childhood friends (and lovers) in the vein of an Alfred Hitchcock murder mystery. Sexual abuse by Catholic priests, transsexuality, drug abuse, and a film-within-a-film are also important themes and devices in the plot. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_mala_educaci%F3n [Apr 2005]

see also: Pedro Almodóvar

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