Films About Films

It didn’t take cinema long to realise that the art form could be its own juiciest subject. Silent cinema’s most famous musing on itself is Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr (1924), with the star as a projectionist dreaming himself into a movie. But eight years earlier, Charlie Chaplin made this illusion-puncturing short about the humdrum realities of the movie studio. Chaplin’s antics as a stage hand reveal the industrial nature of the silent film business, while a scowling director in dark glasses and cap worn backwards – grimly supervising a pie-throwing scene - is surely the first angst-ridden auteur to be depicted on screen. Films about films usually show the filmmaking process as pitted with heartache, chaotic, destructive to the mind and soul of those wishing to fulfill their creative urges, monstrous battles of egotism and greed. Whether that falls short of the truth or not, only those who’ve trodden the lonely path and made films can say. However, watching these films will be illuminating, cathartic and inspiring for filmmakers, and with their warts and all take will no doubt make them feel less alone.

Eight And A Half

Re-released this week, Fellini’s hyper-flamboyant autobiographical fantasia is, depending on your tolerance for the mirror gazing of maestros, one of the visionary peaks of cinematic modernism or an exercise in self-aggrandising solipsism that had the disastrous effect of encouraging generations of auteurs to take themselves deadly seriously. Marcello Mastroianni – who made agonised intellectuals look cooler and suaver than they ever do in real life – played Fellini surrogate Guido, a director running short of inspiration and making a movie in his head, out of his own life and loves. Nino Rota’s kaleidoscopic score keeps the whole crazy circus metaphor spinning to rapturous effect.

Watch Now on:

Keep in touch

Click below or contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or call us on 0207 887 2211
Designed with love by Software Major