We’re all aware of the movie Easter egg: the semi-hidden in-jokes and references cleverly inserted into films that are likely only spotted by diehard, eagle-eyed movie mavens blessed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of films after many repeated viewings.
But there’s also another level of reference entirely - a special kind of Easter egg that’s rather, shall we say, narcissistic. They aren’t pop cultural references and nods to filmmakers and unrelated movies that have come before, but when directors slip in a little homage to one of their earlier movies in a later film. The old self-congratulatory back-slap, that gives fans of the creator an added little gift only they'll really be aware of.
Call it a case of professional narcissism, or perhaps an easy way for a director to advertise their back catalogue. Or maybe it’s nothing more than a not-so-humble homage to themselves and the films that put them firmly in the spotlight. And really, there's nothing wrong with artists celebrating their own art, when you think about it (provided it was any good in the first place, obviously).