CATEGORIES Comedy, Independent, Fandom, Home Entertainment, Trailers and Clips, Features, Trailers and Clips, CinematicalTom DiCillo's second movie, Living in Oblivion, is a weird and funny look at indie filmmaking from the point of view of first-time director Nick Reve. Reve, who is played by Steve Buscemi, is a former cinematographer making his feature-length debut on a shoestring budget with a team full of colorful weirdos and/or pains in the asses. Nick's leading man Chad Palomino (James LeGros) is handsome, blond, and obsessed with his position in every frame. Chad has drama with the leading lady Nicole (Catherine Keener), who's actually in love with Nick. Then there's the crappy DP Wolf (Dermot Mulroney), literally vomitrocious craft services, forgotten lines, bad shots, an angry small person (Peter Dinklage as Tito), and dream sequences. Also, everyone is sleeping with everyone else. It's messy.
Living in Oblivion and its characters have just enough in common with DiCillo's first movie, Johnny Suede, that people assume that's what Oblivion is about. Like Reve, DiCillo is also a cinematographer-turned-director; DiCillo was a frequent collaborator with NYC indie icon Jim Jarmusch before making his foray into directing with Suede. Keener is also in Suede, as well as later DiCillo movies Box of Moonlight and The Real Blonde. Although DiCillo has denied it, many people assume that Chad Palomino is supposed to be Brad Pitt, who stars in Johnny Suede opposite Keener. (Read more about Pitt's role in Johnny Suede in my Stars in Rewind feature and more about DiCillo.) Whether or not that's the case has no bearing on how I feel about either films; Living in Oblivion is a cool little flick that is just the kind of off-the-wall '90s NYC movie that has a place near and dear to my heart.
Other than being a great deterrent for anyone considering a career in filmmaking, Living in Oblivion gives you a taste of what it's really like making a movie, but because it's so exaggerated and funny, it's still interesting to people who aren't in the film industry. Plus, with choice insults like, "The only reason I took this part was because someone said you knew Quentin Tarantino!" you really can't go wrong.
Click here to watch Living in Oblivion for free on SlashControl. After the jump, witness Tito's meltdown after one too many "dwarf in a dream sequence" gigs.