I’m not usually one to make Top 10 lists about my favorite movies, because I love so many it’s nearly impossible for me to rank them. For me, it’s like trying to pick a favorite book. Aren’t all the good ones awesome in their own way?
However, today I’m presenting for your consideration five movies about movies that I particularly like!
So, in no particular order, here we go!
Boogie Nights (1997)
A gritty flashback to the 1970s porn industry and all the changes that took place over the ensuing decades. The film examines the lives of the porn industry’s participants and the ways in which their lifestyles have put them at risk. It’s a somber film with funny moments.
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
One of my favorite films noir for all the reasons I discuss here, and a scathing look at the Hollywood dream from the perspective of a studio writer who falls into the clutches of an aging starlet of the silent screen. A commentary not only on the Hollywood writer’s plight, but the plight of women in film. Not to mention the unrealistic expectations stardom places on women to stay young forever. These problems may be changing for the better, but still need work.
Barton Fink (1991)
Another of the great neo-noir films from the Coen Brothers. It’s about how Hollywood began looking to the East for talented storytellers, the problem being that neither the novelists/playwrights of the East nor the moviemakers of the West understood one another. With many allusions to real-life writers of the era, Barton Fink delves into the mind of a successful playwright enlisted by a studio to create a B-grade wrestling picture. Any wonder that some viewers have judged it a horror film? Especially given some the surreal moments in it, a la David Lynch?
Get Shorty (1995)
Chili Palmer is a mob thug who ends up in L.A. and decides he wants in on making pictures. This film based on the novel of the same name by the awesome Elmore Leonard is a witty, trenchant look at the film industry. It’s not only got the twists and turns of a great crime film, but pokes fun at the movies, as well.
The Player (1992)
With an opening shot
stolen from clearly inspired by the opener of Touch of Evil, which I blogged about here, this movie is every screenwriter’s guilty pleasure. It’s a hilarious and biting satire (?) of Tinseltown that borders on the likes of The Day of the Locust, a movie that (sadly) I have yet to see. To say that it’s scathing is really not saying enough.
And as a bonus, here are two more films about movies that I love — both by Woody Allen!
Startdust Memories (1980)
and The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Which of these is your favorite movie about movies? Can you suggest another one?