Today, the word “meta” is associated with the dumb dreams of billionaire weirdos who have already ruined social life, and now want to ruin it even more. But the prefix meta actually comes from the Greek word for “above” or “beyond”, as in the phrase “dude, we don’t care about ancient Greek, just give us the facts.” Sheesh, alright, we will – before that, let us go over the basics: meta-movies are movies about movies. In our current, originality-stifling, nostalgia-ridden times, we’re used to this, as we cannot watch a single rom-com or horror movie without some character calling attention to the rules of their universe, as in that Age of Ultron scene where Hawkeye said “boy, Phase Four sure is getting boring and overstuffed, uh?”. Well, something like that.

At the risk of repeating the point, though, things weren’t always like this. Youngsters with their Soundcloud rappers and climate anxiety will not get this, but we remember back when Pulp Fiction was praised (and criticized) with phrases such as “postmodern pastiche,” which was just fancy academia to say it was a movie built on references to other movies. At least in the realm of cinema, this was considered a novel idea. Yet Pulp Fiction wasn’t alone, as we will see in this Pictofact, nor was it a novel idea, as we will also check out. In fact, one could say fiction is always already meta-fiction, and that even the modern dream of stories about “external” themes or realities is already sustained by its own references to other similar works. So as we prepare “20 Insane Facts About Derridean Deconstruction (Because No, It Isn’t ‘Postmodern Marxism’),” enjoy this Pictofact on 20 awesome meta-facts about classic meta-movies.

Being John Malkovich

Meta Movies Being John Malkovich It just had to be John Malkovich. Charlie Kaufman didn't personally know Malkovich or anything, he just liked how the name sounded. And yet he wouldn't budge on his choice, even shooting down the studio's idea of turning the movie into Being Tom Cruise. CRACKED.COM

Source: Screen Rant

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Meta Movies Wes Craven's New Nightmare The movie was originally even more meta. Wes Craven's original plan featured himself playing himself, going crazy as Freddy was after him, and only able to stop him with a new Nightmare script. CRACKED.COM

Source: Screen Rant

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Meta Movies Wes Craven's New Nightmare Reality itself got meta during shooting. The script featured earthquakes, and those scenes were actually shot. But then an actual earthquake hit California, and they included footage from the real-life disaster in the movie. CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

F for Fake

Meta Movies F for Fake The movie was born out of a pile-up of fakery. While working on a movie about a forger, Orson Welles found out that the forger's biographer was a forger himself, having written a fake biography of Howard Hughes (who had inspired Welles' own Citizen Kane). CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

A Cock and Bull Story

Meta Movies A Cock and Bull Story This is a meta movie about adapting a meta novel. The movie is so meta, it uses musical cues from the mother of meta movies, Fellini's 8 1/2. It also features a cameo by British media mogul Tony Wilson, whom lead actor Steve Coogan had played in 2002. CRACKED.COM

Source: IMDb

The Cabin in the Woods

Meta Movies The Cabin in the Woods The merman was the most difficult creature to make. They tried several methods, the final one entailing its actor laying still on the floor for 12 hours. They'd wake him up and tell him, it's time to kill. CRACKED.COM

Source: Ranker

The Cabin in the Woods

Meta Movies R The Cabin in the Woods The marketing was deliberately misleading. Marketing campaigns for quirky, unusual movies often drop the ball, but that wasn't the case here. Trailers sold the movie as straightforward horror, so moviegoers went in totally unspoiled. CRACKED.COM

Source: Screen Rant

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