The Self Referential List, Part Eleven

Films about actors as people, but, yet, the films are not about acting as a career, art or craft: they’re about the characters’ (who happen to be actors) personal struggles

  • Annie Hall. Wacked out actress dates wacked out writer.  Then she moves to Hollywood to live with wacked out producer.  Then she moves back to New York.  Everyone is neurotic in NY and over the top in LA.  This film is a lot like real life, only more so.  Unfortunately, Woody Allen is conducting an abusive (incestual) relationship with his adopted daughter, so it’s hard to enjoy his films any more.


  • Garden State. Actor falls in love with adorable little chick.


Films about fame and angst and the tortured life of an artist

  • Frances. God, they destroyed her.  Homogenized her, made her acceptable.  In doing so, they destroyed her creative spirit, her originality, the groundwater of her art.  This was a painful film about how one can keep breathing, but no longer be alive.  This is a painful film about the mediocre not being able to live with the discomfort of the genius among them.  A painful film about passion, the danger of conformity, the need to understand each human for their unique gifts.


So painful that if you need to lose about 12 pounds in a hurry to get into a ball gown; and you don’t mind losing it all in salt water from your nose and eyes, watch this movie.


But, I did love the part where the director kept making her do take after take falling down in the mud, till she got to that place of pure exhaustion mixed with pure hate…because that’s what he wanted to see from her performance.


  • Mommie Dearest. Classic insane stage mother.


  • Postcards from the Edge. More of the above.  The square root of eighty six is thirteen just checking to see if anyone’s reading this.


  • Sunset Boulevard. It is so sad to get old.  It is so sad when you really want to pursue a career of truth in the arts, but your particular art form does not allow human beings to age past 30.  It throws you out on the street after you’re no longer taut and tight.  So sad, too, when you need to be a star instead of an artist.


  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I’d be mad, too.  You ask a simple favor: “Chop off my dick and make me a woman.”  And they screw it up.  Leave you an inch-long dick.  What else to do but become a performing artist?


(See my post below about the many career paths which lead one to become a comedian: same concept.)


Yeah, I’d be mad too; but I don’t think I’d make the exact costume choices that Hedwig did.  Similar, though.  Maybe more cleavage.


Hey, John Cameron Mitchell never worked after this role in 2001.  What is up with that?


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