10 Best Movies About Movies
The 10 best movies about movies all give some sort of insight into the world of cinema. They give us a glimpse as to the process of getting movies on the big screen is like. Here are the 10 best movies about movies:
- "Sherlock Jr." The best movies about movies show us the cinema in a way we've never seen before. Even more than 80 years after the fact, Buster Keaton's "Sherlock Jr" is able to do this for modern audiences. The central set piece of the movie is Buster's projectionist falling asleep on the job and dreaming that he jumps up into the movie screen and interacts with the characters on screen. It's a stunning visual sequence, with some of the best special effects to come out of any era.
- "Sunset Boulevard." Hollywood is a nasty, nasty place. Many of the best movies about movies acknowledge this fact with a blistering honesty that comes from, uh, working in Hollywood. "Sunset Boulevard" cranks the anti-showbiz cynicism as it shows a gothic, crumbling Old Hollywood star turn to murder, insanity, and implied sex with a monkey. Ah, it was a glamorous era.
- "Rear Window" Not all of the best movies about movies are explicit about their cinematic subject matter. But there are few with more to say about the act of movie-watching than Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window." The subtext is clear when James Stewart witnesses a murder and gets a sick thrill from uncovering what happened, we in the audience do the same. Basically, if you go to the movies, you're a murderer. Don't tell our parents.
- "Vertigo" If you think Hitch is rough on people in the audience, wait until you see what he has to say about the sick freaks MAKING the movie. In "Vertigo," the subtext is that James Stewart (again) is a guy who falls in love with a woman who turned out to be a false image, and then obsessively tries to shape another woman (or is she?) into that image, is taking part in the same process that Hitch does. It's an ugly business, show business. Hooray for Hollywood!!
- "Peeping Tom" The movie that was too sick for audiences in 1960. It seems tailor-made for the "torture porn" era, with all its implications about watching things die on camera for our amusement. The fact that it's not real is beside the point. Is anything real when it happens on the screen?
- "8 1/2" One of the reasons there are so many movies about movies is that filmmakers love talking about themselves. This love is VERY evident in one of the best movies about movies, Frederico Fellini's "8 1/2."
- "Contempt" With a title like this, you might be quick to assume that "Contempt" is a sunny, frothy look at filmmaking. If you were an idiot, we mean. "Contempt" is actually an evisceration of not just the movie business but the creative process in general. Check out the nifty self-reflexive title sequence and you'll know it belongs on the list of the best movies about movies.
- "Day for Night" Unlike most of the best movies about movies, Francois Truffaut's "Day for Night" actually takes place on a movie set. And there are few movies that capture what it means to be a movie lover quite like this film.
- "Femme Fatale" Brian De Palma's "Femme Fatale" is a highly self-reflexive and idiosyncratic thriller, and it would be a shame if we spoiled any of the twists and turns of the plot. Suffice it to say, the story about criminals crossing each other ends up being more about movies than anything else.
- "Scream" A slasher movie about characters who seem to know they're in a slasher movie might be an annoyingif it weren't also a highly suspenseful and scary thriller. Need proof? Watch the sequels.
Posted on: Mar. 26, 2010