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B-BOOP
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When one movie is shown within another movie - for example, in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation there is a scene where one of the children is sitting and watching It's A Wonderful Life on the TV; There is a word or a term for this. Can anyone tell me what that word or phrase is? I did read it once and I just can't remember it.

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I'm not sure. I thought of "film within a film", but that is usually when the 2nd film is being made as part of the story line during the movie we are watching, such as a movie about a film director making a film, like in THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN.

 

But someone watching a film in a movie (such as the "Golddiggers of 1933" film clip being watched inside a movie theater in BONNIE AND CLYDE, I don't know what that is called.

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This is actually a very old concept that has pre-film roots in literature. Some of the earliest examples date to India's Sanskrit texts. The Thousand and One Arabian Nights is nothing but a hashish induced maze and plot frenzy of one story embedded into another, and then another and yet another! About a 100 pages into it, the reader either has to go with the flow, or lose their mind trying to sort it out. ( I think that was the intention of it's creators! The Arabian Nights is not for the linear minded!)

 

Later used by Shakespeare in plays like Hamlet, Taming Of the Shrew, Midsummer Night's Dream, this has been called a "framing device", and "Mise en abyme" in French.

 

In TV and cinema this has been also known as "nesting". It has often been resorted to, even in the classic film period. One of the most amusing examples was *International House (1933), with W.C. Fields*. A Chinese inventor invents a TV that can see remotely. Several film clips are thus inserted with amusing effect.

 

Alfred Hitchock made ingeniously ironic and satirical use of this in *Saboteur (1942)*, where the hero Robert Cummings is chased by a gunman in a movie theater in front of the screen. As he is being shot at for real, the film in the background shows gunfire! *Singin' In The Rain (1952)* was another notable example.

 

 

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Edited by: ThelmaTodd on Mar 3, 2014 9:32 PM

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"Nesting", even if it ISN'T the correct term, it SHOULD be. Kinda like the sound of it.

 

And in music, it's called "quoting", particularly in jazz. Often, you might hear a jazz soloist "quote" a bar or two of a familiar piece of music within his solo.

 

Sepiatone

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Well, there are a couple of terms that apply to some specific instances of a film within a film. self-reflexive would apply to a film about the making of a film which included parts of the other film. Then, there is metafiction, which would refer to a film within a film, when the main film points out that itself is fictional. These terms are also used in literature. In literature, there is also a novel of process, which talks about the writing of the novel, within the novel. Tristram Shandy is a classic example of that.

 

Of course, none of that applies to your example.

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I want to thank all of you who replied to my question. Although none of these terms is the one I had read about previously, they were all quite informative. I researched all of them extensively in hopes of uncovering what I was looking for but to no avail. In doing so however I did find many other interesting facts and trivia so it was not at all a waste in any way. Again, thank you to all of you who responded and if I ever do come upon this term or word, I will return and post it here for everyone. Thanks again!

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I should be ashamed of even attempting this, since my recall is practically zilch. I think it was in a movie (maybe a book?), but a character who programmed movies for television spoke of a fantasy he had of going from the movie-within-a-movie and swtching to the second movie with no explanation, just to mess with viewers heads I guess. I think the first movie was some kind of prison/jail movie where they were watching "The Egg and I". He would then switch to "The Egg and I" from that point on. Borderline off-topic I know, but it shows where your mind can go if you have time on your hands. Anyway, good luck in your search.

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I am sorry to say that I could find no term precisely for this which does not have other connotations.

 

Perhaps you could look at these and see if they are what you encountered:

 

There's No "B" in Movie

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheresNoBInMovie

 

Shout-Out

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShoutOut

 

The Public Domain Channel

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThePublicDomainChannel

 

Show Within a Show

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShowWithinAShow

I believe you must look at the second sub-category of: "The characters are fans of the show, or only see it occasionally."

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This is exactly what I was referring to: from the link to There's no "B" in Move.

 

*The B-Movie The Monster That Challenged the World from 1957 has appeared in at least two other horror films; Piranha (the original 1978 version, being watched by one of the guards from the military camp) and Motel Hell (it's the movie being played at the drive-in).*

 

The article doesn't mention what this film-making technique is though.

 

I will find out one day!

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When a small section of music that belongs to another artist is incorporated into a new work of a different artist, it's called sampling.

 

I see no reason why the same term would not be applied to a small section of a past movie being incorporated into a newer and different movie.

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I always thought "sampling", in music terms, was the use of someone's main theme as the main theme in another's. Like "Super Freak's" main theme being used also as the main theme in "Can't Touch This", or the main theme from "Under Pressure" being used in that Vanilla Ice tune. In Jazz, when a soloist injects a recognizable portion of another popular piece of music in their solo, it's called "quoting".

 

STILL don't know what it would be called moviewise.

 

Sepiatone

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> B-BOOP wrote:

> This is exactly what I was referring to: from the link to There's no "B" in Move.

 

I believe that illustrates well what I meant when I stated that I could find no term which does not have other connotations.

 

The: There's no "B" in movie applies to the technique being used for non-A movies such as the sci-fi movie you cite. It does not apply to a situation such as in: *Sleepless in Seattle* wherein they are watching: *An Affair to Remember.*

 

I feel that I will adopt the term: Shout-Out for this technique because it seems the most appropriate for most instances and it sounds to me to be the closest thing which sounds like it could be a legitimate term.

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Thanks again to all who have tried to help solve this mystery. I must tell you all that the term I read about was something very technical sounding in regards to film-making and not a very common word or term. In fact, the one time I read about it is the only time I have ever heard it. On the positive side, I am more determined than ever to find it, and someday I will. Thanks very much to all of you for your help and thoughts. :)

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I must wonder if perhaps the term for which you are searching relates to technical aspects. I have been suggesting style aspects.

 

It is my understanding that there is a technical hurdle when filming a movie which is playing.

 

Standard movie projections show twenty-four frames each second with a blank screen between frames. A camera is capturing twenty-four frames each second with a black space between each frame.

 

It is necessary to synchronize the shutters of projector and camera so that the camera is not capturing the end of one projected frame, the blank screen and the start of the next projected frame.

 

I feel confident that there is a specific technical term for this synchronization.

 

Movies converted to video so that they may be shown on a television which is to be filmed creates other challenges. I will hesitantly suggest that you research: "film-out" "tape-out" and "telecine" to see if these could lead to the term you need.

 

You may wish also to look through the list of video terms available on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_video_terms

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Sansfin wrote:

 

 

>Standard movie projections show twenty-four frames each second with a blank screen between frames.

 

True, they do show 24 different frames per second, but projectors have a shutter which flashes each frame two, or three, times within that second.

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