Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A salute to "breaking the fourth wall"

"Breaking the fourth wall" is one of the riskiest tools in a filmmaker's bag. As recently exemplified in Netflix's version of House of Cards, taking a moment to recognize the audience or the limitations of the visual medium can work like gangbusters for comic or dramatic effect. It can also backfire and distract the audience from an otherwise internally consistent work.

But as history has proven, a solid landing from a fourth wall break can create some of the most memorable moments on film. This supercut of famous winks, nods, and metahumor brings together some of the most disparate works of film into a well-edited 8-minute montage. Everything from Horse Feathers to Michael Haneke's Funny Games gets a shoutout. (Don't worry: the video breaks the fourth wall on its own too.)

There are far, far too many films featured in this video to mention individually. Stick through the credits for a full list.

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