Living in Oblivion

Dir: Tom DiCillo, 1995. Starring: Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener, Dermot Mulroney, James LeGros. English. Comedy/Drama.
Living in Oblivion

An artist painting about art. A writer writing about writing. Here is a film from a filmmaker about filmmaking. Yes, this film may appeal most to all filmmakers of any trade, but aside from its low-budget-independent-film-reference-allure, the film is just as funny as it is smart and can be enjoyed by a wide audience.

Filmmaking in the independent scene is not an easy trade. Boom microphones find their shadows in shots. Good craft service can be hard to come by. The camera assistant might not understand how to keep a shot in focus. Your actress will do her best performance when the camera is not on. And, you can wake up sweating, from this terrible nightmare.

Sound like fun yet? You’re sleeping with the actor, who is just about the most egotistical person to work with on set. And your assistant director has a crush on you. All of these things may or may not be in this film, but it’s the things like this that are the fun of watching it. Then there are those golden moments, such as when that 5-second shot, in which every element worked, made every bit of trouble worth it.

Without giving away too much about the plot, because the way it unfolds is an absolute delight to watch, the film borders between reality and dreams, divided into three parts. The first part was shot in five days, then director Tom DiCillo realized this was too short for a feature and too long for a short, and continued to shoot. This is a gem you don’t want to miss.

Posted by:
Tiffany Huang
Jul 30, 2009 2:19pm
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