Take One: Self-Reflection in Comedies on Filmmaking

Ever since American cameras started to roll, the movie industry has turned its lenses on its own process, focusing on film technology and human behavior, from staff to audience, most often negatively. We will view four, rather recent, darkly comic examples of this genre, in the following order: Hail, Caesar! (2016), a Coen Brothers’ take on “corralling” the 1950s Star Stables; the problematic ethics of the front office, so relevant today, seen in Swimming With Sharks (1994); the independent film industry highlighted in Living in Oblivion (1995), with Steve Buscemi; and State and Main (2000), by David Mamet, with a large cast led by Philip Seymour Hoffman and William H. Macy, about a film company in a small Vermont town.
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