7.5/10
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77 user 48 critic

Living in Oblivion (1995)

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2:13 | Trailer
Film about filmmaking. It takes place during one day on set of non-budget movie. Ultimate tribute to all independent filmmakers.

Director:

Tom DiCillo

Writer:

Tom DiCillo
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Buscemi ... Nick Reve
Catherine Keener ... Nicole Springer
Dermot Mulroney ... Wolf
Danielle von Zerneck ... Wanda
James Le Gros ... Chad Palomino (as James LeGros)
Rica Martens Rica Martens ... Cora
Peter Dinklage ... Tito
Kevin Corrigan ... Assistant Camera
Hilary Gilford Hilary Gilford ... Script
Robert Wightman ... Gaffer
Tom Jarmusch Tom Jarmusch ... Driver / Intern
Michael Griffiths Michael Griffiths ... Sound Mixer
Matthew Grace Matthew Grace ... Boom
Ryan Bowker Ryan Bowker ... Food Service / Clapper
Francesca DiMauro Francesca DiMauro ... Production Assistant
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Storyline

Film about filmmaking. It takes place during one day on set of non-budget movie. Ultimate tribute to all independent filmmakers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He only needs three things to get through the day ... an espresso, an aspirin, and a miracle. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1995 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Leven in vergetelheid See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,148,752
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom DiCillo originally wrote this as a half-hour showcase for Catherine Keener. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Wolf: Hey! That's my eye patch and I don't want anyone else wearing it. It's insanitary.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in Dwarfs: Not a Fairy Tale (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the most entertaining films about film-making ever made
5 October 2005 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

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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