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 ?
As the financial concepts at the heart of the plot can be difficult for the average viewer to grasp, director Adam McKay often has actors break the fourth wall to directly explain to the audience in plain language terms like credit default swap and collateralized debt obligation.
But no one else in the museum's atrium followed suit, and soon enough I felt embarrassed for being the only one to break the fourth wall, as if I'd suddenly turned into the schmuck who recently became a social-media laughingstock for trying to charge his phone using the onstage outlet of a Broadway set.
The game is laced with quips that break the fourth wall, calling out tired conventions of video games, such as repetitive fetch quests and disembodied narrators.
For all those who idolize (and thus dehumanize) physicians as omnipotent, emotionless wielders of life and death, Siegel's disarming disclosures about clairvoyance, the healing power of art, and his spirit guide, George, will be as jarring as those moments when film actors "break the fourth wall" and start speaking, as themselves, into the lens.
Mock newsreel footage and knowing nods to the camera all serve to break the fourth wall and make the viewer readily aware of the stylised fiction we are witnessing.
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.
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.
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. They've also had the wit to condemn The Truman Show to an embarrassing time warp: Because Christof conceived this program in the sixties and has been running it nonstop, he's now stuck with an outdated version of television.
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.
is a cross between a cheerful sitcom - with silly "dad" jokes accompanied by daft knowing facial expressions that break the Fourth Wall - and a political soap-box.
And while she didn't break the fourth wall you felt as if you had pulled up a stool to join her for coffee as she acted her monologue.
Deadpool is deemed as an unconventional Marvel Comics character because of his weird humor and his ability to break the fourth wall.