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April 2008, Week 2


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Barry Langford <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 11 Apr 2008 11:13:26 -0500
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I'm searching for examples of a rather specific kind of "metafictional" movie: 
where a fictional narrative which either has been, or is in the process of being 
created (written) by one of the characters features directly in the film, i.e. as 
an interpolated dramatised sequence, or sequences. I'm not after backstage 
musicals or plays-within-films (e.g., Bullets Over Broadway, Shakespeare In 
Love) but fictions whose dramatisation occurs so to speak extra-diegetically.

I'd expect that the fiction-within-the-film would have some critical or 
commentary relationship to the frame narrative. However, I'm not looking for 
literary pastiches where a given fictive mode is adopted wholesale in a  
narrative ostensibly centring on a writer identified with that mode (e.g. 
Hammett), but texts where the boundary between reality and fiction remains 
clear if porous.

The writer who obviously and consistently explores the kind of thing I'm 
interested is Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective, Karaoke, etc.). The "Happy 
Endings" sequence in New York, New York offers another take on the principle. 
But I'm keen to accumulate further instances - suggestions gratefully received.

Thanks in advance, Barry

Dr Barry Langford
Senior Lecturer in Film & Television Studies
Royal Holloway, University of London
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