break the fourth wall


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break the fourth wall

Of fiction, especially theater, film, or television, to break the illusion of separation between the audience and the fiction itself, either intentionally or unintentionally. Taken originally from theater, in which the fourth wall describes the invisible "wall" that stands between the audience and the stage. We were enjoying the play, but one of the actors kept breaking the fourth wall by glaring at the audience any time someone made any noise. I love shows that break the fourth wall—it makes me feel like I'm in on the joke.
See also: break, fourth, wall
References in periodicals archive ?
The helmer occasionally allows Elmaleh to break the fourth wall and directly address the audience, inviting one to share Tourneuil's contempt for board members and other co-conspirators who support his reverse-Robin-Hood game plan.
Take, for example, the smouldering on-screen chemistry between Willis and co-star Cybill Shepherd, the wise-cracking scripts and such groundbreaking innovations as having characters break the fourth wall by talking into the camera to the folks at home.
Midway through the film, the actors break the fourth wall and begin speaking as themselves about their roles, motherhood, aging and owls--both the feathered kind and Older Wiser Lesbians, from which the film takes its name.
Neil said: "I love the form of Land of the Dead, where characters break the fourth wall and directly address the audience.
The script works well and there's a chilling banality about things, although just like the first time around, the device whereby our junior torturers break the fourth wall and talk to the cinema audience still doesn't work.
A special point of interest is a short series of strips in which Adams dares to break the fourth wall and draw himself into a few cartoons
They know that breakdowns become funnier and funnier the more keenly a system aspires toward total control; and so they have good fun at the expense of their insect god, bedeviling Christof and his crew with mechanical glitches, intruders on the set, advertisements that break the fourth wall.
Allow me to break the Fourth Wall for a moment: Sitting here, composing at a computer keyboard, occasionally pointing here and clicking there, I create word structures much differently than I would were I still armed with a canary pad and No.
We try to break the fourth wall and engage the kids as much as possible, Guerin said.
They also have Brown break the fourth wall at key moments.
Hannan describes Crime and Punishment as "a very inner book" but strikes the obvious solution of having Best break the fourth wall to articulate Raskolnikov's thoughts directly to the audience.
For a few moments in "You're Welcome America," he'll occasionally break the fourth wall for closeups of Ferrell-as-Bush facial expressions, giving viewers at home the chance to see Ferrell's face from a straight-on angle instead of the profile seen by theater ands.
Illusion announced as illusion is an old trope, but Lynch doesn't so much break the fourth wall as make fiction global.
There are certain areas in the performance in which we can break the fourth wall and communicate.