Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores why directors make cameos in other people’s films.
Like most highly serious ontological inquiries, before you start asking who our greatest actor-directors are, you need to set a couple of ground rules.
What are we talking about, exactly? Should we count sneaky walk-on cameos that require a third eye and a magnifying glass to spot? Should we make exceptions for exceptional folks like John Huston, who is a director first and an actor second despite having far more credits in the latter category? And what of the likes of Werner Herzog, whose acting career largely consists of various parody-adjacent shades of his infamously exacting directorial persona?
None of this needs to be so complicated. But I’d argue that part of the fun of appreciating a trend is cracking it open like a nut and unspooling its stickier contradictions. Luckily, the origins of the phenomenon are far less obscure than attempting to nail down its parameters. Many good directors understand acting, which can sometimes make them great actors. And if David Cronenberg demands a role in Jason X in exchange for the production borrowing his FX team, who are you to deny him?
(For what it’s worth, Cronenberg is far and away our greatest living actor-director. But maybe you have a different opinion … or perhaps you agree with the mysterious conclusion of the video essay below).
Watch “Why Directors Act In Other People’s Films”
Who made this?
This look at the use of character perspective in Quentin Tarantino’s film Jackie Brown comes courtesy of the fine folks at Little White Lies, a film-obsessed magazine based in the United Kingdom. Luís Azevedo directed this video. You can follow Little White Lies on Twitter here. And you can check out their official website here. You can subscribe to their YouTube account here.
More videos like this
- Here’s a fake trailer from Luís Azevedo that unites the Vega brothers from Quentin Tarantino’s films Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs
- While we’re watching Little White Lies videos by Azevedo, here’s an essay that explores Quentin Tarantino’s convention-breaking use of character perspective in his movie Jackie Brown.
- And another love letter: to the less popular B-movie monsters of the 1950s.
- A montage of every single Matt Damon cameo.
- Here’s their look at how Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar uses sound design to construct vibrant, tactile worlds.