Metafilms: an Introduction

Metafilms are to movies what metafiction is to literature. It is a style of cinematography whose main subject is the act of film production itself, exposing to the audience the inner workings of the art.


Still from 1960’s Peeping Tom

Metafilm Categories

This style of movie making can be categorized in two distinct groups and a third one containing all the movies that fall in between.

1. Soft-Meta-Films:
Films about the business and/or creative process of making films.
I.e.: The Truman Show (1998), Be Kind Rewind (1991), Ed Wood (1994)

2. Hard-Meta-Films:
Films that at some level acknowledge that are films themselves.
I.e.: The Nines (2007)

3. Other:
Most of the metafilms don’t exactly fall into either one of the categories above but somewhere in between. These movies deal with the inherent nature of moviemaking and break the audience/content barrier at some level.
I.e.: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

Post by Omar Rodriguez Rodriguez.

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