Living in oblivion (1995)

This absolute crack-up has nestled in my 'comedy top 5' since I first saw it nearly ten years ago. It's a joyously smart send up of movie-making from director Tom DiCillo with leading roles by Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener. Having myself worked on enough low-budget films to fill Joe's 'staff picks' shelf at the Film Buff East, I can say first hand that Living in Oblivion absolutely nails the tension, egos, bitching, romance and paranoia brought on by the intense long hours of 'set life'.
The cruel and torturous retake scenes fill you with the genuine dread of a 40-take shot. Every department is represented and each has their trait, from the Director nursing the actors, to the D.O.P. resetting the lights constantly to the weird introverted sound guy. Of course, everything that can, does go wrong. The script keeps up a pace honestly as laugh-heavy as This is Spinal Tap and only gets better with repeat viewings. The in-joke is that the awful leading smarm character Chad Palomino is based on Brad Pitt, star of DiCillo's previous feature Jonny Suede. Funny that.
I would certainly say to anyone that works in film that this is necessary viewing. and to anyone else who likes their comedy with an edge close to home, it's well worth a watch.


La Sporgenza said...

I might be the only person in the world that didn't find this film (and most of DiCillo's other movies for that matter) all it was cracked up to be. I probably should watch it again.

Britarded said...

Only just noticed he shot loads of Jarmusch films as DOP, so you probably like his work more than you know? I've only seen this and 'Box of Moonlight' which was also decent but this is the simplest and the best. I rewatched it after a few beers and had a riot, serious maniacal laughter for the duration.