Great Job, Internet!: Breaking the fourth wall’s history of redefining cinematic boundaries

According to a recent episode of Now You See It, breaking the fourth wall can be defined as “a dramatic technique in a work of fiction where characters display an awareness that they are in such a work.” It’s a technique that goes back to ancient Greek theatre when the actors would pierce the only unwalled space, the open area between the stage and the audience.

Fourth-wall breaking changes in film, as the dramatic experience is no longer live, but becomes hermetically sealed. The introduction of sound in movies would again change the effect, by greatly amplifying how the effect could be used.

Now You See It‘s overview of breaking the fourth wall hones in on comedy, the genre where it has been chiefly used. Mel Brooks is the undisputed king of breaking the fourth wall, as he has not only created some of the best fourth-wall gags …

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