Weekend Playlist: Movies About Movies
Get Ready for Some Heavy Meta.
Now showing: movies about making movies! The magic of filmmaking comes alive this weekend as we watch movies about our favorite industry… and art form. Get on set and discover the painstaking efforts of directors, writers, gaffers, actors, production assistants, and everyone in between—the people who pour their sweat and souls into creating movies. These features and documentaries bring the movie medium into focus, portraying screenwriters dreaming up scripts, crews working hard, actors perfecting their craft, and directors trying to keep it together.
Top 5 from the Playlist:
Only on Fandor for the month of April
“In the name of underground cinema,” the wonderfully bizarre John Waters conceived this anarchic comedy about a team of guerilla filmmakers who kidnap a famous actress to star in their movie. The kidnapped star, Honey Whitlock, is played by none other than Melanie Griffith. The director, Cecil B. Demented (Stephen Dorff) is the madman leader of a group of “cinema terrorists” known as the “Sprocketholes,” who include Alicia Witt, Adrian Grenier, Michael Shannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and others, each paying tribute to a director in the form of a tattoo (Otto Preminger, Kenneth Anger, Sam Peckinpah, David Lynch, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Spike Lee, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pedro Almodóvar, and Andy Warhol are all represented). The premise of the movie they are making? Nothing less than the destruction of mainstream cinema!
Only on Fandor for the month of April
The first feature film by director Roman Coppola, CQ is a period piece honoring kitschy, 60s-era genre films and the making thereof. We follow an aspiring young American filmmaker in Paris, Paul, who is working as an editor on a science fiction film about a secret agent (Codename: Dragonfly), while simultaneously working on his own French-inspired opus. When the director, who is utterly infatuated with the star of the film, is replaced, it becomes Paul’s responsibility to find an ending. Full of film references and familiar faces (Jeremy Davies, Gérard Depardieu, Jason Schwartzman), CQ will delight any movie lover.
Set in New York City over the course of one day, the hilarious errors made during the making of a low budget film are captured in three acts—with every aspect of production compromised in one way or another, from spoiled milk and one night stands to breakups and meddling mothers… Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, this indie comedy written and directed by Tom DiCillo stars Catherine Keener, Steve Buscemi, Dermot Mulroney, and Peter Dinklage (in his debut feature).
Written, directed, edited, and shot by prolific independent filmmaker Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) with Kate Lyn Sheil, Ti West and Amy Seimetz starring, Silver Bullets is about the making of two films: a werewolf horror film by a big-name director starring Claire, a rising actress, and a low-budget independent film by Claire’s boyfriend Ethan, played by Joe Swanberg. Out of jealousy over Claire's success, Ethan casts Charlie, Claire’s best friend, in his provocative romantic film, which unravels their relationship.
Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami masterfully spotlights the audience in his 2008 film, Shirin. A self-reflexive story about a film that is never seen, Shirin hones in on the reactive power of cinema. Every sound and feeling of a movie about the 12th-century legend of Shirin, an Armenian princess who falls in love with a Persian nobleman, is experienced by us through showing static close ups of the women in the audience watching it. On our screens, we watch them, watching their screen. In addition to this incredibly powerful and artistic experiment, Fandor is very lucky to have other Kiarostami films Ten, and 10 on Ten available to stream!
Get on set and watch the full playlist: Movies about Movies