Self-Referential Movies

I started this blog entry a few days ago after watching Adaptation again, but while I knew I wanted to write about Adaptation, and how much I loved it, I didn’t realize that I wanted to write about self-referential works of fiction in film until I walked in on Nate watching the last Nightmare on Elm Street movie, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Both movies feature the screenwriters and the screenplay, quoting themselves and eventually becoming the screenplay that is shown in the film.

This is somehow thicker and more interesting, in my opinion, than many of the films written about on the Self-Referential Movies Website, because she (Barbara Bernstein) includes movies that just make subtle references to the fact that we’re watching a movie, not the full-on hit you over the head with the fact that we’re watching the movie being talked about in the movie movie. (Although the entry/essay on Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is quite good, and out of the context of this discussion, I do appreciate and want to read more of that website.)

So I posted on the IMDB Adaptation message board asking if anyone knew of other movies that do this–other movies that eat themselves, other oroborus movies. I think I’m going to try and write one. This fits well into my current obsession with Rudy Rucker’s work, and I think my screenplay will involve the nature of infinity. (It also occurs to me that Master of Space and Time would make a great movie.)

I should also re-read Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler, which uses a similar (but mirror-reverse when you think about it) self-referential device, written, as it is, entirely in second person, about the person reading the book.

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