[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast year’s Oscar contender, “Saving Mr. Banks” got us thinking about movies about movies. Hollywood loves to be self-referential and even poke fun at itself. Here’s a list of 15 of the best movies that let us take a peek behind the business that is show.
1. The Player
This 1992 film by Robert Altman (based on a book by Michael Tolkin), famously known for its uninterrupted opening sequence that clocks in at a little over 7 minutes, satirizes show business while placing Tim Robbin’s main character at the center of a murder mystery.
Another film that sends up the Hollywood filmmaking process (and possibly the church of Scientology), Bobby Bowfinger (played by Steve Martin, who also wrote the screenplay) enlists the “acting” services of Jiff (Eddie Murphy) to help him complete the movie he’s making that stars Kit Ramsey (also played by Eddie Murphy), only Ramsey isn’t aware that there’s a movie being made.
3. For Your Consideration
Christopher Guest and his merry band of players are at it again in this 2006 comedy. This time a group of actors are under the false impression that their work-in-progress “Home for Purim” is already generating much awards buzz.
4. The Big Picture
Another Hollywood farce directed and co-written by Christopher Guest, this late- ‘80s gem follows a film school student, played by Kevin Bacon, fall into the perilous pit of Hollywood glitz.
5. Tropic Thunder
A bunch of spoiled, entitled, and delusional actors played by Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black and Ben Stiller are dropped into the jungle and must act their way out of it. Tom Cruise in a fat suit. ‘Nuf said.
6. Be Kind Rewind
Jack Black is at it again. In this imaginative comedy from Michel Gondry, Black and co-conspirator Mos Def team up to film “sweded” versions of some of their favorite movies after Black’s character mistakenly gets magnetized (just go with it) and winds up erasing most of the VHS tapes in their video rental store. Black sings a killer rendition of the “Ghostbusters” theme song, to boot
7. Boogie Nights
Here’s one of the cleaner film-within-a-film moments that we CAN show you from Boogie Nights. Ladies and Gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure we give you Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell in “Angels Live in My Town”
And, speaking of exotic pictures…
8. Zack and Miri Make a Porno
9. Shadow of the Vampire
What if “Nosferatu” had been filmed using an actual vampire in the lead role?
10. Ed Wood
And on the lighter side of Dracula-fare, we have Martin Landau appearing as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s comedic take on the life and filmwork of Ed Wood.
11. Sweet Liberty
Written and directed by (and starring) Alan Alda, the movie centers on Alda’s character, whose book about the American Revolution is being adapted and distorted into a big budget Hollywood action film.
12. Get Shorty
Based on the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name, a mobster gets involved in the film industry and realizes that the two worlds aren’t necessarily as different as you’d think they’d be.
13. Living in Oblivion
This indie film from 1995 starring Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener (and featuring GoT’s Tyrion Lannister), recounts the events surrounding a film shoot, where anything that could go wrong on set tends to actually go wrong, Groundhog Day-style.
14. Singin’ in the Rain
I’m singing in the rain…and now you can actually hear it. Set in the 1920s, a production company and its actors must come to terms with entering the new world of “talkies” after witnessing the success of “The Jazz Singer.”
Did you really think that we’d leave out this super meta take on a story within a story within a story within the mind of Charlie Kaufman? Loosely based on the nonfiction book “The Orchid Thief”, the film warps and devolves into a tale about Kaufman’s attempt at writing said-film. Deep man, real deep.
Is this THE definitive list? Absolutely not. We just like using Common Core to make our lists. Did we leave anything out? Most assuredly we did. Do you feel an injustice has occurred? Do you need to lie down? Let us know in the comments section!
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