The Secret Cinema  

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"The Secret Cinema (1968) is the story of a young woman who is being secretly filmed by her boyfriend and whose daily life is shown in a hipster movie theater in the city, a fact she discovers at the end of the film." --Sholem Stein

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The Secret Cinema is a short black-and-white film produced, written, and directed by Paul Bartel, and released in 1968.


Plot summary

Jane (Amy Vane) is a secretary whose daily activities are being secretly filmed, with the knowledge and assistance of those who are closest to her. She's sexually harassed by her corpulent boss, Mr. Troppogrosso (Gordon Felio), humiliated by her boyfriend, given the gaslight treatment by the people around her, etc. The film is then shown in theaters. She is starting to suspect that something isn't quite right.


It has often been imitated, notably by the Peter Weir picture, The Truman Show as well as having been referenced in several of David Lynch's films, particularly the self-reflexive Mulholland Drive and INLAND EMPIRE.


  • In 1986, Paul Bartel remade the film as an episode of Amazing Stories (season 1, episode 20), in which Bartel also played a part.
  • This film has been released on videocassette by Rhino Entertainment, packaged with a 7-minute erotic short entitled The Naughty Nurse.
  • In 1998, the premise of someone's life being secretly filmed was used in The Truman Show.
  • In 2012 The Secret Cinema, along with The Naughty Nurse, was released as a bonus feature on The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray release of Eating Raoul.


See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Secret Cinema" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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