Celebrities have always been a recurring theme in the history of art. Many books, songs and movies – fictional or not – are based on celebrities.
We can sum it up just by saying that fame is something interesting to be explored in art – and it is definitely explored a lot. So, in this article we have 10 films that approach celebrity culture at one or more points.
It is never too late to remember that many things interfere while choosing the titles for a list like this one, but as always, memory and personal preferences are the main factors. If you think any other film about celebrity culture should be on this list, please leave it as a recommendation in the comments section below.
So, here are 10 great films about celebrity culture that you should definitely watch.
10. The Truman Show (1998; directed by Peter Weir)
Written by Andrew Niccol and directed by Peter Weir, “The Truman Show” should definitely be considered among the most intriguing films of the 1990s.
Even though it might have some problems in its rhythm, its concept and story make up for these small problems. With a powerful performance by Jim Carrey in the leading role, this story about an ordinary man who discovers his whole life is a TV series is simply great.
This mix of sci-fi and dramatic comedy approaches the relationship between viewers and celebrities in such an unique way, while building an amazing character arc for Truman Burbank.
“The Truman Show” is one of the most interesting movies from the 1990s and one of the best about celebrity culture. Definitely worth watching.
9. Misery (1990; directed by Rob Reiner)
Adapted from Stephen King’s novel of the same name by acclaimed writer William Goldman, “Misery” follows the story of a famous author who is rescued by a fan after a car accident.
Starring James Caan (“The Godfather”) and Kathy Bates (“Fried Green Tomatoes”), shortly after the accident this man starts to notice that the rescue was only the beginning of a terrible nightmare.
The relationship between this film and celebrity culture is that Annie Wilkes (Bates) is the number one fan of Paul’s (Caan) works, and when she finds out he killed the heroine in the novels she loves, she tortures him in unimaginable ways.
With great directing by Rob Reiner and the best performance in Kathy Bates’ career, for which she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe, “Misery” is one of the best adaptations of King’s work and should definitely be watched.
8. Monsieur & Madame Adelman (2017; directed by Nicolas Bedos)
The best romantic comedy of this decade (so far) has an amazing approach on celebrity culture.
Sarah (Doria Tillier) and Victor (Nicolas Bedos) were together for more than 45 years. Although Victor has always been a very famous writer, Sarah has always seemed to be in his shadow. But an interview with this enigmatic woman will prove that not everything was the way it seemed at first.
Written by Tillier and Bedos, this film with one of the best scripts of the year is a great story full of comedy that definitely questions the difference between, let’s say, reality and fiction.
“Monsieur & Madame Adelman” is the best romantic comedy of the 2010s (at least so far) and a mandatory movie for fans of romantic comedies with a good approach on celebrity culture.
7. The King of Comedy (1982; directed by Martin Scorsese)
One of the most underrated films in Martin Scorsese’s career, “The King of Comedy” has great writing by Paul D. Zimmerman and an amazing performance by Robert De Niro.
Following the story of an aspiring comedian, Rupert Pupkin (De Niro), who starts to stalk his idol in order to achieve success in show business, “The King of Comedy” has a great approach on celebrity culture, especially at the end of Pupkin’s character arc, when he finally gets what he wanted at first in a very twisted way.
The way he breaks laws to pursue his dream shows the somber side of this ambition of becoming successful at any cost, and although it surely makes “The King of Comedy” a more interesting story, it is definitely very frightening to see that someone would go so far while trying to achieve fame.
With the amazing performance by De Niro and Jerry Lewis in a great role, this underrated Scorsese film should definitely be watched by any cinephile.
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010; directed by Banksy)
Not only is this a great documentary about celebrity culture, but it’s one of the most interesting considerations about contemporary art made in this century.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a documentary directed by acclaimed artist Banksy that focuses on Thierry Guetta, a French artist living in Los Angeles, and how he became famous as a street artist.
This documentary not only has a great study of how street art is made today with artists such as Banksy, Invader, Shepard Fairey and, of course, Thierry Guetta, but also delivers an amazing meditation about art nowadays.
From the rise to stardom to the concepts behind the works shown onscreen, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a mandatory documentary for anyone interested in contemporary art.