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Old 09-13-2018, 09:37 PM
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Movies about other movies?

I just finished watching Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, about a woman who thinks that the movie Fargo is real and obsessively studies it trying to figure out where the lost money is located. Anyone got examples of other movies that center around another (real) movie?

(As I'm typing this, I remembered a Jennifer Aniston movie centering around The Graduate. Really about the book, but there is the movie too, so I'll count it.)
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:46 PM
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Are you also interested in documentaries like Hearts of Darkness, or movies about movie making like Saving Mr. Banks?
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:53 PM
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I don't mind the tangents but I'm mainly thinking of a fictional movie that concentrates on the story of another fictional movie.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:15 PM
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I don't mind the tangents but I'm mainly thinking of a fictional movie that concentrates on the story of another fictional movie.
The French Lieutenant's Woman? Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep?
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:31 PM
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I assume we're skipping various parodies like Airplane! and Young Frankenstein.

There's Play It Again, Sam, an early Woody Allen movie where he plays a character obsessed with Casablanca.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:31 PM
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"Son of Rambow" is about two kids making their own version of "First Blood".
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:40 PM
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Off the top of my head :

Sullivan's Travels is about a writer working on a film called "O Brother Where Art Thou."

Singin' in the Rain is about a studio making the transition to sound.

Truffaut's Day for Night is about the making of a fictional film, "Je vous presente Pamela."

Ed Wood is largely about the making of an actual film, Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Postcards From the Edge is about an actress struggling with addiction while working on a film.

State and Main is about a film crew that invades a small town to make a fictional movie called "The Old Mill."

Argo is a docudrama about the real-life plot to extract the hostages from Iran by posing as a film crew making a film called "Argo."
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:44 PM
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The recent The Disaster Artist is a fictionalized version of the making of one of the worst movies of all time, The Room by Tommy Wiseau.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:54 PM
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Singing in the Rain
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:56 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Shadow of the Vampire
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Originally Posted by IMDb
The filming of Nosferatu (1922) is hampered by the fact that its star Max Schreck is taking the role of a vampire far more seriously than seems humanly possible.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:59 PM
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Buster Keaton's 1928 silent, The Cameraman

The Stunt Man

The Player

The Artist

Of course, there's no shortage of lists of movies about movies, although not all of them are about making a specific movie, which I think is what the OP is looking for.

Den of Geek's 25 best movies about making movies.

Indie Wire's 22 essential films about Hollywood.

Fandango's best movies about movies.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:00 PM
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8 1/2,directed by Federico Fellini

Chaplin, with Robert Downey playing the titular role

The Stunt Man, concerning a guy on the lam who stumbles into a job as, well, a movie stunt man

Hooper, one of Hal Needham/Burt Reynold's lesser works. Burt likewise plays a stunt man.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:20 PM
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"Sleepless in Seattle" is about a woman who is inspired by the movie "An Affair to Remember" to meet a guy at the top of the Empire State Building.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
Are you also interested in documentaries like Hearts of Darkness, or movies about movie making like Saving Mr. Banks?
In the same vein as Hearts of Darkness is Burden of Dreams, about Werner Herzog's obsessional making of Fitzcarraldo in the Peruvian Amazon.

Last edited by Colibri; 09-13-2018 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:41 PM
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I’m surprised that no one has mentioned RKO 281, a fictional portrayal about Orson Welles’ difficulties in distributing Citizen Kane due to William Randolph Hearst’s machinations.

Baadasssss! has Mario Van Peebles recreating his father Martin Van Peebles’ making of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.

Adaptation is primarily about screenwiter Charlie Kaufman trying to adapt Susan Orlean’s nonfiction book The Orchid Thief into a film under contract but instead ending up writing the (mostly fictional) movie the viewer is watching; it does, however, have a brief segment with a couple of scenes set making Kaufman’s previous screenplay (Being John Malkovich) into a film.

Be Kind, Rewind is about video clerks who accidentally erase all of the VHS tapes in their store and recreate the movies by filming themselves in the role.

There are, of course, a lot of films about the making of fictional movies such as 8-1/2, Bowfinger, The Player, Tropic Thunder, State & Main, Hail, Caeser!et cetera. However, my favorite fictional film about the film industry is Barton Fink, which is exactly what it is like to try to write for the entertainment industry. Exactly.

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Old 09-13-2018, 11:45 PM
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The movie Hitchcock focuses almost entirely on the making of Psycho.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
There are, of course, a lot of films about the making of fictional movies such as 8-1/2, Bowfinger, The Player, Tropic Thunder, State & Main, Hail, Caeser!et cetera.
I would add to that list Hearts of the West, Boogie Nights, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

Last edited by Colibri; 09-13-2018 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:54 PM
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If (and it's a big if)... IF you grant the fantasy that Tom Stoppard wrote one of his famous works after seeing a Hamlet movie, then the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a movie (containing a play) of a play about a play about a movie of a play containing a play.

I feel like flipping a coin.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:50 AM
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In the movie All That Jazz The character of Joe Gideon is working on thinly veiled productions of Bob Fosse's real life productions of the movie Lenny and the Broadway play Chicago
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:09 AM
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In the movie All That Jazz The character of Joe Gideon is working on thinly veiled productions of Bob Fosse's real life productions of the movie Lenny and the Broadway play Chicago
I always thought it was interesting how Fosse decided to make an autobiographical movie and kill off the main character.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:21 AM
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Two good comedies about making Hollywood movies:

Hail, Caesar!

Bowfinger
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:17 AM
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Under the Rainbow

A comedy about the making of The Wizard of Oz
  #23  
Old 09-14-2018, 04:26 AM
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although not all of them are about making a specific movie, which I think is what the OP is looking for.

No, it isn't, at all. While I won't complain about the tangents, I was thinking of movies where one or more of the characters has such an interest in a real movie that really already exists in the outside world that it makes up a major part of the plot of the movie. The main character's obsession with Fargo in Kumiko the Treasure Hunter. Everyone's obsession with The Graduate in Rumor Has It. (In the most closely matching examples, the movie would have scenes of the character watching real footage from the real movie as happened multiple times in Kumiko.) To go on a bit of a tangent, George's obsession with Breakfast At Tiffanys on an episode of Seinfeld and the My Dinner With Andre episode of Community come close. So far none of the movies mentioned fit my intentions, but that may be because there aren't many examples to mention. I know I'm not thinking of any--Fanboys with The Phantom Menace comes close, but without TPM even being out yet in the movie.

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 09-14-2018 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:58 AM
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5-25-77 is all about a guy who obsesses over Star Wars.

There was also Fanboys, about nerds who want to get an early screening of The Phantom Menace.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:07 AM
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So far none of the movies mentioned fit my intentions, but that may be because there aren't.
Not even "Son of Rambow"? I thought that was pretty close, with the two main characters being focused on the movie "First Blood".
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:37 AM
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... Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a movie (containing a play) of a play about a play about a movie of a play containing a play ...
... containing a puppet show.


If we're going to allow plays, Kiss Me Kate is a musical film about people making a stage musical based on a Shakespeare play. Events on and off stage are parallel.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:58 AM
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5-25-77 is all about a guy who obsesses over Star Wars.

There was also Fanboys, about nerds who want to get an early screening of The Phantom Menace.
Heck, throw in Free Enterprise about a couple of Star Trek uber fans who get to meet and hang out with William Shatner.

You know it's utter fiction because one of them, despite being marginally employed, is shown (sometimes in flashback) as having dated/bedded at least five absurdly hot women. Granted, the movie is set in Los Angeles, which acts as a hottie gravity well, but geez.....
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:18 AM
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If we're going to allow plays, Kiss Me Kate is a musical film about people making a stage musical based on a Shakespeare play. Events on and off stage are parallel.
Louis Malle’s Vanya on 42nd Street is about a group of real actors who came together to produce an spartan and non-commercial production of Checkov’s Uncle Vanya which actually becomes a production of the play; that is, it starts with the players gossiping and discussing the characters and then just turns into them playing the roles without any transition. If was the result of Malle pseudo-documenting the actual development of the play by the actors over a period of months prior to the filming.

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Old 09-14-2018, 08:34 AM
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Not even "Son of Rambow"? I thought that was pretty close, with the two main characters being focused on the movie "First Blood".
Okay, maybe a couple of them--I was re-skimming all the replies before posting. Play It Again, Sam sounds like a fit, too.

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 09-14-2018 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:35 AM
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After the Fox might fit where Peter Sellers fakes making a movie to cover up a robbery.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:45 AM
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Living In Oblivion (1995).

Steve Buscemi is an no-budget independent filmmaker in New York. If you've ever worked on an indie film, you'll totally get it.

I love Peter Dinklages's rant. (NB: F-bomb dropped near the end of the one-minute clip.)
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:55 AM
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Hooper, one of Hal Needham/Burt Reynold's lesser works. Burt likewise plays a stunt man.
An unsung masterpiece just for the barfight scene
  #33  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:12 AM
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No, it isn't, at all. While I won't complain about the tangents, I was thinking of movies where one or more of the characters has such an interest in a real movie that really already exists in the outside world that it makes up a major part of the plot of the movie. The main character's obsession with Fargo in Kumiko the Treasure Hunter. Everyone's obsession with The Graduate in Rumor Has It. (In the most closely matching examples, the movie would have scenes of the character watching real footage from the real movie as happened multiple times in Kumiko.) To go on a bit of a tangent, George's obsession with Breakfast At Tiffanys on an episode of Seinfeld and the My Dinner With Andre episode of Community come close. So far none of the movies mentioned fit my intentions, but that may be because there aren't many examples to mention. I know I'm not thinking of any--Fanboys with The Phantom Menace comes close, but without TPM even being out yet in the movie.
Ah, my apologies for misunderstanding. So not movies about making movies, but about regular people watching real movies. You're right, that's a much smaller universe.

The only example fitting your criteria I can think of right now has already been mentioned: Play it Again, Sam. But even that uses only a brief (but quintessential) clip from Casablanca at the beginning, and a famous quote spoken by Woody's character at the end. The rest of PIAS deals more with the archetypal Bogart character, and only references Casablanca sparingly.

One of the reasons there are so few examples may be that the makers of the meta-film will have to get permission if they want to include actual clips from the real film, which is probably not easily obtained, unless the studio and/or principals of both are the same, and maybe not even then. Even merely using quotations or referring to characters or scenes could provoke the threat of litigation if the producers of the earlier film wanted to get persnickety about it.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:32 AM
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Not really in line with o.p.’s request of a movie centered around a real movie but entertaining nonetheless, Galaxy Quest is about a bunch of washed up actors from the eponymous cancelled television show (which itself is a clear fictionalization of Star Trek) who are abducted by aliens who received transmissions of the original show and interpreted them as “historical documents” and then recreated all of the imagined technologies and cultural artifacts (much to the horror of Alan Rickman, who despises the role and what it did to his stage career, as well as the meal of “Kep-Mok blood ticks” he is served) as well as the plot complications written into the show such as the Omega-13 device, the countdown destruct timer that always stops at 1, and the “chompers” which serve no apparent function and which Sigourney Weaver’s character scorns as “bad writing”. The actrs are abducted by the Thermians, who are essentially alien fanboys of the show, and forced to deal with a very real threat from an evil alien. The movie ends with the show being revived with the original cast including “Guy” (Sam Rockwell’s dispensible securoty officer who is killed off in an episode with only one screamed line of dialogue) and “Jane Doe” who is actually one of the Thermians in human form.

Man, that movie was so good in so many ways even aside from the metatextualism and satire.

Stranger
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:02 AM
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Another (pretty weak) example of what I'm thinking about is Raymond's obsession with The People's Court in Rainman, which does slightly shape the plot. TV series and not movie, but same general idea
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
To go on a bit of a tangent, George's obsession with Breakfast At Tiffanys on an episode of Seinfeld and the My Dinner With Andre episode of Community come close.
There's another episode of Seinfeld (actually a two-parter), The Cadillac, where George is obsessed with Marisa Tomei and is caught by Susan watching My Cousin Vinny and Only You.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:10 AM
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Blair Witch 2 is set in a universe where Blair Witch 1 is a movie that the main characters are all fans of.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:14 AM
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Blake Edwards' masterpiece S.O.B.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:19 AM
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Sunset Blvd.
(1950) - 'Nuff said.


Hollywood Story (1951) - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043646/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

"During the 1950s Hollywood, an independent producer unwisely opens an old can of worms when he decides to make a movie about the 1930s unsolved murder of a famous silent-film director." Features many clips from real movies and is inspired by the 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor.


The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070040/?ref_=nv_sr_1

"In Castilla around 1940, a traveling movie theatre brings James Whale's black and white film classic "Frankenstein" (1931) to a small village. Two young girls, Isabel and Ana, are subsequently determined to find the monster themselves."


The Legend of Billie Jean (1985) - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089470/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Teenager watches Jean Seberg in St. Joan (1957), cuts her hair like Seberg and takes inspiration to fight an injustice.

Last edited by Dropo; 09-14-2018 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:43 AM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Another (pretty weak) example of what I'm thinking about is Raymond's obsession with The People's Court in Rainman, which does slightly shape the plot. TV series and not movie, but same general idea
Well, then youve gotta mention Being There for Chance's obsession with TV in general.

mc
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:48 AM
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If TV movies count, there's Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, probably best remembered today for having appeared as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Raul Julia stars as a petty functionary in a future dystopia, who is obsessed with Casablanca. At one point, with his mind transferred into a computer, he even appears in a simulation of Casablanca, and thus we have Raul Julia dressed in Humphrey Bogart's white dinner jacket, recreating Bogart's dialogue from the earlier film.

As the robots of MST3K said, "Never reference a good movie in the middle of your bad movie."
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:58 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Sunset Blvd.
(1950) - 'Nuff said.
What do you mean "Nuff said"? The OP says "movies that center around another (real) movie". Which real movie is Sunset Boulevard centered around?
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:40 PM
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What do you mean "Nuff said"? The OP says "movies that center around another (real) movie". Which real movie is Sunset Boulevard centered around?
There are two possible answers to that question:

1) Salome - The movie Norma Desmond will never make was actually made IRL...several times.

2) Queen Kelly - This is the movie being shown at the mansion when Norma sums up the movie (and so much else) in one line:
"They had faces then."
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:02 PM
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Last Action Hero. It's not exactly central to the plot, but Arnie gets a visit from Death from The Seventh Seal, which is a real movie. Many other real movies referenced.

Last edited by Peter Morris; 09-14-2018 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:35 PM
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Queen Kelly - This is the movie being shown at the mansion when Norma sums up the movie (and so much else) in one line:
"They had faces then."
That should be "We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!"
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:50 PM
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Another tangent-ish example:

The Beaver Trilogy Part IV. It's a documentary about an independent movie (1979) that was itself remade twice (Once staring a young Sean Penn in 1981, and again staring a young Crispin Glover in 1985). The original 1979 movie was itself a documentary of sorts about a regular guy obsessed with Olivia Newton-John. So its a documentary about a documentary (that was fictionalized in two remakes) about a guy obsessed with a celebrity... if that makes sense

It's not a great documentary, but I found it a pretty interesting story.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:57 PM
Eyebrows 0f Doom Eyebrows 0f Doom is offline
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Well I think this fits the OP pretty well: In The Human Centipede 2 the main character obsessively watches the film Human Centipede and is inspired to create his own centipede creature.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropo View Post
There are two possible answers to that question:

1) Salome - The movie Norma Desmond will never make was actually made IRL...several times.

2) Queen Kelly - This is the movie being shown at the mansion when Norma sums up the movie (and so much else) in one line:
"They had faces then."
In a sense, we are warching the movie of Gloria Swanson’s return to acting though the fictionalized Norma Desmond. Swanson was a silent film star for many years amd then worked in ‘talkies’ before retiring in near seclusion for nearly a decade, and was directed by Erich von Stroheim in Queen Kelly, who plays her buttler and former director Max von Mayerling in Sunset Blvd. It doesn’t really meet the criterion of the o.p. but it is an interesting study in the intersection of fiction and reality, including featuring real entrrtainment personalities like Cecil B. DeMille, Hedda Hopper, H.B. Warner, Buster Keaton, et cetera.

Quote:
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Well I think this fits the OP pretty well: In The Human Centipede 2 the main character obsessively watches the film Human Centipede and is inspired to create his own centipede creature.
For all that is good and holy, please never mention those films again.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 09-14-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:03 PM
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Fade To Black. 1980 weirdly interesting film about film obsession and violence. Sort of a modern day Dr. Phibes.

Last edited by campp; 09-14-2018 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:06 PM
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I recorded Bombshell (1933) with Jean Harlow on TCM recently. She plays a Hollywood actress who is barely on set, but spends a surprising amount time in makeup.

Jeez, Harlow knew what she was doing.

These kinds of films were staples back then. Good Depression-era distraction. You too can become a star in Hollywood!

Last edited by ftg; 09-14-2018 at 04:06 PM.
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