In his book “Retromania,” music critic Simon Reynolds makes the case that pop music/rock has gone distressingly meta, feeding on its accumulated history at the expense of any further forward evolution musically. It’s a bold argument — and well worth a read — but one could probably make the same case against cinema as well.

Just look at this year’s Oscars: You had “Hugo,” about 1900s special-effects pioneer Georges Melies; “The Artist,” an overt homage to silent-era cinema and packed with knowing movie references; and “My Week With Marilyn,” in which Michelle Williams plays one of Hollywood’s most iconic leading ladies, Marilyn Monroe.

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