The Self Referential List, Part One

Films about making films

  • Living in Oblivion.  Captures the heart and reality of independent filmmaking.  Everything that is important fits into this movie: the affairs on set; the broken equipment, the ingénue who can’t quite get it right, the mother-in-law; even the Midget Dream Sequence.  And it all fits…it’s not a series of gags; it’s a story without a false moment.  I laughed; I cried; my heart twisted around inside me.  Twist around inside my core every time I watch it.  And then there’s the scene at the end where they capture room tone…room tone for me, well…it’s the closest I ever come to a religious experience.


  • The Big Picture. College kid hits the big time, but they want to change everything about his script.  Meanwhile, his buddies pursue their visions.  This will make you want to get a little cottage on the beach and have parties with actors and directors all night long.


  • King Kong. Film producer goes mad and destroys an island, a bunch of natives, some sailors and many New Yorkers, all in search of entertainment and cash.


  • Barton Fink.  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!


  • The Kid Stays in the Picture.  This was not as much fun as the book, although stories about the brass balls who run this town are always fun.  These guys are always so impressed with themselves:  “Whoa, look at me; I’m a high roller; I snort coke and lose my house; but I boinked Ali McGraw.”

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