There's a specific type of movie “trick” where we'll see something that seems as though it's really happening. I mean, it seems like it's “really happening” within the movie.
For instance, it'll be some kind of elaborate action sequence, or horror sequence, or whatever, but the
way it's shot indicates that it's part of the REAL story of the movie. For example, we're seeing long shots, zooming in to closeups, multiple camera angles, and stunts playing out in real time -
And then it's revealed that it's just a movie or TV show being filmed.
I was just rewatching part of Tropic Thunder, and the main movie begins with this kind of sequence. It's an extended version of this…this…
See, I'm not even sure what to call it. It's not a movie-within-a-movie; that's something different. It's not taking place in a specific person's pov. Unreliable narration? Maybe…sort of. Would we call it “conceptual reality”, maybe?
Does it even matter what we call it? Maybe not.
1. In Tropic Thunder, we are first treated to some hysterical previews of upcoming movies starring the actors who we're going to be following once the actual movie starts. This might be the funniest part of the movie (Les Grossman aside). Then we get a long, elaborate action set piece, complete with special effects, and slow motion! It seems to be really happening (in the movie I mean. Sheesh, this is hard to put into proper words). Within this dramatic war movie, there is enough subtle humor in the Ben Stiller style. Like the slow motion that goes on too long, and Stiller's character's character (?), with both hands blown off, saying when they get home, he's finally going to teach his friend to juggle.
2. In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, we see a scene that's a parody of Good Will Hunting, being shot with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. There are camera changes in real time (which I guess I could buy into, with multiple cameras, though I don't think it really makes sense), plus a real time shooting and elaborate stunt. Then we see another scene being shot for a SCREAM sequel, that has changing cameras, lighting effects, and music.
3. In Austin Powers: Goldmember, we start out with a bigger-budget action sequence that looks very different from how Austin Powers action looks. I actually was thrown off when I first saw this one. It just looked wrong. Turns out it was an Austin Powers movie starring Tom Cruise.
4. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, we see a long shot starting outside in an old-West town, moving into a tavern - it's a fully realized world, completely different than the TV show that's actually being filmed. Granted, the exterior sets of this old west town is really there; we see it in other scenes. And the whole thing builds up this reality for the purpose of seeing a flubbed line (and maybe a triumph of acting prowess as well).
Anyway, this is a weird little topic, but it's strange enough, and rare enough, that it seemed worth mentioning.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is actually the only one I can think of that's not done for comedic effect.
I'm still trying to figure out what to call this thing…
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Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 23, 2023
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