Al Fountain, a middle-aged electrical engineer, is on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when he decides to take his time coming home from a business trip, rents a car, and heads out looking ... See full summary »
Joe and Mary have been living together in Manhattan for six years. Joe is an actor, who has no agent and no thesping credits, but whose ambitions are very high. He works as a waiter at a ... See full summary »
A neurotic nebbish lives in 2 worlds: the fantasy of winning his dream-girl via a hit movie, and the meager existence he scrapes out from very odd jobs, such as thesping in an arty ... See full summary »
A five year project involving filming on NYC subway. Camera observes people and events unaware they are being filmed. Emotional, intimate and deeply human. All done by director Tom DiCillo.... See full summary »
When a light explodes Wanda asks "Is everybody hurt? Is anybody OK?", whereas she should be asking "Is anybody hurt? Is everybody OK?" See more »
Hey! That's my eye patch and I don't want anyone else wearing it. It's insanitary.
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statement after the end credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names herein are sort of fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is sort of coincidental and unintentional. See more »
One of the most entertaining films about film-making ever made
Steve Buscemi may or may not have been the first choice by writer/director Tom DiCillo for the lead role of Nick, the director behind the three (err, one) film(s) being made within the film Living in Oblivion, but it works so well it's impossible to see anyone else in the role. Buscemi, who is one of the prime character actors of the past fifteen years, has that range of being grounded, of being out of control, of being funny, and of being sincere even in the strangest circumstances. His character, as the quintessential indie film director of the film, tries to keep some control on what goes on, but as is seen, things don't go quite as planned.
Living in Oblivion is one of those little delights for a film buff to see, or perhaps of a particular film buff. On a personal level I connect with some of this as I was a production assistant on indie films that were not far off from this. DiCillo, whether or not you've been in situations like this (which most of us haven't) brilliantly captures the coldness on a set, the uncomfortableness, the technical difficulties, and just the plain old emotional toll that goes on with the film-making process (notably, when it's under a million dollars being made). That it's a comedy of errors helps a lot, and that you never really know which way the story will turn at times. The film is split up in three acts, the first (for me) being the strongest and most affecting, as Nick tries to direct Catherine Keener's Nicole Springer in a heartfelt talk with her mother. Multiple takes bring on more woes, until Nick finally snaps (one of the funniest scenes perhaps in any film from the 90's). The other two segments come closer to being as great, one being a slick scene involving a buff man and Nicole, and the other being a very strange dream that has some kinks to work out.
I've seen this film now several times, and the first time my enjoyment was more in the surface comedy of it all, and of course the performances. But with each passing view I get more and more what film-making, and what makes 'indie films' or just films in general, so appealing- there's drama, but there has to be some humor to get in the seams; there's romance, but not always in the ways you'd expect; when it's realer, more power to it. The ending also, while maybe the weaker part of the film, is still charming, and gives an idea as to what pleasures can come from such chaos on the set. I love it.
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