Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Inside Films

Maybe it's a little unfair, but I had the same problem with For Your Consideration that Theo Panayides did: "none of the film clips feel like they belong to a film one might see today" - the film-within-a-film looks completely bogus. Not surprisingly, this was also my problem with Christopher Guest's The Big Picture. Anyway, I was reminded of this while watching The Sopranos from a few weeks back: the scenes from Cleaver - Christopher's "Saw meets The Godfather" exploitation flick - did manage to approximate the look and feel of a cheapie horror movie.

So, here's the topic for discussion: what are the best and worst films-within-films? Or (more appropriately for this blog) the ones you like the most and the ones you like the least?

Off the top of my head, my favorite might be Habeus Corpus from The Player, because I think it's a pitch perfect parody of the glossy, Presumed Innocent-style message thriller. It isn't realistic - that is, it's a little too knowing - but the exaggeration fits right into the overall mood of the movie.


Braccia said...
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Braccia said...

1. The surreal TV show within a film in NATURAL BORN KILLERS. It was like a satanic SIMPSONS episode.

2. The video tape in The Ring, which I thought possessed an eerie beauty similar to the photographs of the dead in THE OTHERS.

3. STAB in SCREAM 2 and the AUSTIN POWERS movie at the beginning of GOLDMEMBER are sort of amusing, though mostly for their casting choices.

4. Michael Almereyda movies like HAMLET and HAPPY HERE AND NOW feature compelling "videographer" work inside of films...although I am not sure if that's the same thing. Plus he uses Pixelvision.

5. BLOW OUT (duh)

These are just off the top of my head...none of them are quite the same as those Guest examples or Altman...

You can also think about great show within a movie or "filming" with a movie examples with Peter O'Toole showing up in examples of the each (MY FAVORITE YEAR and THE STUNT MAN).

Jon Hastings said...

Blow Out gives an even better example than The Player: it's more sophisticated because (1) you don't know it's a parody until after it's revealed as a film-within-the-film and (2) it's the kind of movie that critics accused De Palma of making, while Habeus Corpus is the kind of thing Altman would never do. (His Grisham-thriller, The Gingerbread Man looks and feels like an Altman movie).