The Self Referential List, Part Two

Films about making theater

  • Waiting for Guffman.  This film about community theater was just as touching as its independent film-themed counterpart, Living in Oblivion.  Not touching in a fake, schmaltzy, tear-jerker, vapid, predictable, wholesome Miracle on 48th Street way, but in a cry, cry, sob because “I’ve been there” way.  I’ve had all those unvoiced (yet spoken silently on my face) hopes that a New York critic will be in the audience; I’ve had my heart jammed into my sinuses so hard that it stopped all air flow.  I’ve been willing to give up the next 60 years of my life for one chance to get to the next level of my acting career.


At the same time, I laughed my ass off watching this Christopher Guest masterpiece.  He is married to Jamie Lee Curtis, about whom a boyfriend of mine once said, “She has great underpants.”

  • Noises Off.  And speaking of laughing, Noises Off made me pee my pants.  I was sitting next to Albert Kent in a theater and I had to put my jacket over my lap so he wouldn’t notice I had peed.  But do not bother seeing the filmed version.  This one, you have to see in a tiny community theater in the sticks.  Please do.  It’s theater about theater.


  • Game 6. One depressed and blocked playwright.  Second playwright is successful but paranoid.  Nasty and paranoid, universally hated theater critic who practices Tai Chi and has a cat.  It’s New York, so everyone smokes cigarettes.  Your bartender is an actress; the dishwasher is an actor.  The old man who is supposed to open as the lead…tonight…can’t remember his lines.  This one was okay, but not great.


  • Looking for Richard.  Yeah, this is way not interesting.  Al Pacino, I just can’t feature him as a director for Shakespeare.  Who cares?


  • A Midwinter’s Tale.  Bunch of loser actors rent a falling down church to put on a play.  This movie is supposed to be good because Kenneth Brannagh, a famous British actor, directed it.  But, after all, he’s a Brit and has Brit humour.


  • The Producers.  Old one good; new one bad.


  • Mr Saturday Night. I don’t know if Billy Crystal IS Jewish, but he doesn’t play a good old Jewish comedian character. It’s cliche’.

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