The cinematic term “breaking the fourth wall” is when an actor turns and addresses the audience directly. That “fourth wall” is the one between the character and the viewer. It violates the suspension of disbelief momentarily and shows the character as one who is aware of their place in a theatrical work. It’s been used in theater before film, and throughout the history of movies and television.
In this video by Now You See It, we get the history of the technique, its various uses, and a great many examples from movies you know and love. -via Digg