Self-Referential Films Part 2


For the rest of 2012 and–if you’re very lucky–into 2013 I would like to entertain you with a list of the best, worst, favorite and horrid self-referential films of all time.  Movies about movies.  Or about acting or about actors.  Or films about films, if you prefer. 


For some reason not to be known except if I were to enter a deeply probing psychiatric healing process–which I’m unlikely to do given the state of my finances–I have decided to compile the ultimate list of self-referential films. 


How do I sort this list?  Is it by best plot?  Best acting?  Originality?  Or perhaps most cliche’s per page?  Best loved?  Most hated?  Worst plot or worst acting first?  Length?  Parody first, followed by serious?  The highest number of star cameos?  Cheapest production values?  No, dear readers, none of these.  I thought, perhaps, the best way to sort would be to simply  present them in the order I want to.  I will not explain. 


Here is an explanation of my rating scheme:

  • Laughed till I peed my pants

    Laughed till I peed my pants

    Laughed till I peed my pants (the film was funny)


  • orgasm


    Had an orgasm (the film was sexy)


  • nose picking

    nose picking

    Picking my nose was more interesting than watching the movie (the film was dull)


  • apnea


    Sleep apnea (the film was deadly boring)


  • vomiting dog

    vomiting dog

      Vomit (the film was disgusting)


  • thumbs up

    thumbs up

    Good, not great (the film was good but not great)  Doh.


  • transfixed cat

    transfixed cat

    Transfixed (the film was superb, compelling, uplifting, memorable and goes in the Top Ten list of all time, curated by yours truly)





2LDK.  Japan 2003.  Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi.

Rating: I did not see this film.


Two actresses who share an apartment in Tokyo are in fierce competition with each other. As they vie for the same film role and the same boyfriend, their petty squabbles escalate to all-out war as they resort to violence to settle their dispute.


 All About Eve

Rating: Good, not great.


Anne Baxter stars with Bette Davis as an ambitious actress scheming her way to the top


American Movie

Rating: Picking my nose was more interesting than watching the movie.

Arrrgh.  A wretched indie of the sort which some people like to praise for its “unaffectedness.”  To me, this was a boring movie about boring, slacker (and unattractive, to boot) people.  I couldn’t give a hoot about any of the loser characters or their fumbling efforts.  At least TRY harder, geez!  If you have no respect for the hard work and history of filmmaking, then you shouldn’t make an indie film showing your disrespect.  And if you do make it, it shouldn’t get distribution.  If it does happen to get distributed, it should not get any favorable reviews.  But, basically, you losers should go start a bad rock band or something.


The Aviator

Rating: Good, not great

I included this film because, though it’s not strictly a film about movie-making, there is a significant amount of screen time with Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) on the set of a film about aviation which he’s funding.  Cate Blanchett was technical and stiff; John C. Reilly was ugly (as per usual); Gwen Stefani was blond; Willem Dafoe was fabulous as always.  I do love Brent Spiner.  His role was so small.  Marty Scorcese should have promoted him to a bigger role.


Barton Fink

Rating: Transfixed

Excellent screenplay by the Coen brothers, with a slam bang crash fast third act.  Dark and moody.  I dunno: why does he do that?  And all those dead bodies!   Flames.  Up in flames.  Down in flames.  Flames as metaphor.  You know, the burning inside that forces you to make films.  Or chase young women.  Or eat peanut butter at 3:00 AM.


Thank you for listening; I will return next week with more films about film.

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