Six Movies That Are (Not So) Secretly About Their Directors

Jon Favreau's 'Chef' is the latest in a long line of motion picture selfies.

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Six Movies That Are (Not So) Secretly About Their Directors


If you’ve looked at the side of a bus recently, you’ll know there’s a movie called Chef out in cinemas at the moment. It’s written and directed by Jon Favreau, who also kindly gave himself the lead role in the film. Favreau first shot to fame when he wrote and starred in the beloved Swingers (1996), and eventually moved behind the camera, directing Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010) and Cowboys & Aliens (2011) to mixed critical reaction.

But this is the plot of Chef: a successful and renowned high-class chef (Favreau) is criticised by a food blogger (Oliver Platt) for doing the same thing over and over again when he used to be really exciting; the restaurant owner (Dustin Hoffman) won’t let the chef experiment creatively, insisting that he stick to what’s safe and familiar; the chef then heads out on his own to rediscover his roots and give people what they really want.

If you’re a clever clog, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that the film is a not-really-veiled metaphor for Favreau’s directing career. I know! Crazy, right? But he’s not the first person to make a film about the fact that he makes films — directors love giving themselves therapy on the studio’s dime. Here’s a list of some other notorious examples…

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