RR Films: Inspired By or About Films

As the Awards season gathers momentum and presidential hangers-on, the (English-speaking) film world yet again celebrates itself by gushing over – and, in Emma Stone’s case, going googly-eyed about – La La Land. I haven’t seen it yet but I can’t help feeling it’s The Artist all over again…..

There are scores of films about the movie business, from Sunset Boulevard to the last Coen Brothers flim-flam, Hail, Caesar. I rather liked the believable insanity of 2014’s Maps To The Stars:

What films about films and the film business would you recommend?

40 thoughts on “RR Films: Inspired By or About Films

  1. Allowing myself a little break from the monotony of retyping Risk Assessments that haven’t changed in 12 months …
    First thought is Get Shorty, which I rather enjoyed for Danny DeVito sending himself up, and John Travolta allowing himself to go completely over the top.
    Stretching the brief a little, I’d add one of my favourite films, Trollhunter.

  2. Chaplin with Robert Downey Junior as Charlie Chaplin and in a different genre, Shadow Of the Vampire starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe. It is about the making of the silent vampire classic Nosferatu. I won’t say any more but, if you haven’t seen it do make the effort.

  3. First film that comes to mind is “The Bad and the Beautiful” starring Kirk Douglas (still going strong at 100 years of age !!) as Jonathan Shields – a brilliant film about a megalomaniac 50s film producer told from the perspective of 3 of his colleagues, a director, a writer and an actress. Also “The Player” by Robert Altman and starring Tim Robbins is a wonderful, satirical look at present day Hollywood with a murder thrown in for good measure !

  4. I like “Hugo”- orphaned boy lives alone in a Paris railway station; he repairs the station clocks and is also trying to repair an automaton that his father gave him – unfortunately he is missing one part, a heart-shaped key. Long story short, the key is found on a necklace belonging to a young girl who befriends him. When started, the automaton draws out a scene from an early silent film, about a trip to the moon (which Hugo’s father had told him about). Another long story short, the girl’s impecunious godfather turns out to have made the film, and the automaton, and after further adventures his reputation as a film-maker is restored and he becomes a professor at the French film academy. Or something along those lines.

  5. Maps to the Stars was a wonderful film. I preferred Julianne Moore’s performance in that to the more lauded one in Still Alice.
    I’ve already nominated Mulholland Drive for Dreams but I feel obliged to give it a mention here too.
    Here’s by actual nom. All about the coming of the talkies, in particular the musicals.

    Singing in the Rain

    Here’s Donald O’Connor break dancing.

  6. donds for Sunset Boulevard and Boogie Nights. I saw The Player once upon a time, but i forget most of it. I never did see any of “the making of”…films that i can remember, although the one about Apocalypse Now comes to mind.

    So i’ll go for either / or of two that stretch the rubric a bit too much – Blow Out, about photography, or Sex, Lies, and Videotape.

    • It was quite cool how the net was used. There were nuggets thrown all over the place. And those who caught on early became involved too, more for private amusement. Like somebody would ask on Reddit or Quora or a bulletin board something like “did it happen?” or “what happened to the second guy” And they would be directed to another board and so on. Contradictory posts were common. Movie as such was OK. I liked it. Not the second though.

  7. I think all, or almost all, my favourites, have already been mentioned: Singing in the Rain, The Player, Hail Caesar, Ed Wood, Lost in La Mancha. There’s one that I haven’t yet managed to see that always sounded good – Toby Jones in Berberian Sound Studio – anyone got any views?

    • I got through it once but I’m not sure I’d want to do it again (but then I have watched Inland Empire – another contender for the topic – twice). It’s intriguing and on the verge of nastiness quite a lot. And oddly banal. Worth a go but not really a date movie.

  8. I supose Day of the Locust would count. When i lived in LA i saw a double bill of Sunset Boulevard and Day of the Locust in a seriously seedy theater on Beverly Bvld. Tattered red velvet curtains, threadbare seats – it was just so perfect.

  9. Had a busy week and only managed to watch last week’s Chris pick American Honey. I wasn’t sure about it while I was watching it, but in the hours and days afterwards it stayed with me and kept thinking about what it represented and the social truths it was telling and now think it was a great great film.

    Not sure if it counts, but will go for Son of Rambow for a film about making a film.

  10. I watched Saving Mr Banks over the New Year too, about the making of Mary Poppins. Enjoyed it far more than I thought I was going to…..but I have seen Mary Poppins probably close to 50 times….!

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