Breaking the fourth wall

After celebrating the Fourth of July for Independence Day with grilling, fireworks and general American tomfoolery, why not ease back into the work week by breaking the fourth wall?

Below you’ll find a supercut of moments in the movies when characters break the fourth wall. For those who don’t know what that means, it’s when a character in a movie looks directly into the camera, addressing the audience, acknowledging that you’re watching their story play out and that they’re in a narrative. From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to The Wolf of Wall Street, there’s some great moments here.

Watch the breaking the fourth wall super cut after the jump!

While I do very much like how this video (via 35mm) is put together, with some great cuts from one movie leading into the next, I can’t help but nitpick that a large portion of these clips are not technically breaking the fourth wall.

For example, characters like Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs and Bruce Nolan from Bruce Almighty might be looking directly into the camera for certain shots, but they’re not acknowledging they’re characters in a movie by addressing the audience. That’s a key part of breaking the fourth wall.

In fact some of them are shots of a character looking into a video camera (The Joker in The Dark Knight) within the confines of the narrative, and another character is watching that video on a screen. Again, that’s not really breaking the fourth wall, even though a character is looking at the audience.

Many of these shots are just meant to give the audience the perspective of characters in the movie, which is a different technique entirely. So even though this is fun to watch and makes me want to watch a bunch of these movies again right now, I’d like to see someone make a better attempt with more genuine examples of breaking the fourth wall.

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