What makes it interesting is the way DiCillo puts the band's brief five-year career in context with the world around it. By any measurement, 1966 to 1971 were volatile years in America as the flower-power promise of youth was crushed by a series of horrible assassinations and premature deaths, then silenced by a right-wing political and social snap. The Doors traversed this turmoil mainly due to Jim Morrison's raw sex appeal, mercurial talent and addictive obsessions. In this account, the other three seem like fairly normal guys who never really indulged at all.
Continue reading: When You're Strange Review
Buscemi's character in Tom DiCillo's Delirious is Les Galantine, a "licensed professional" photographer who is undistinguished even by paparazzi standards and ratlike even by Buscemi standards. An irritable loner, Les roams alleys and back entrances with a pack of similar-minded (but slightly less desperate) shutterbugs, grasping for shots of stars like pop sensation D'Harma (Alison Lohman). It's at one of these melees that he bumps into the genially homeless Toby (Michael Pitt); soon Toby has a reluctant, unstable ally and a place to stay. Les, in turn, has someone to listen to his rants and delusions, and to accompany him on sad visits to his elderly parents -- unimpressed, of course, with his published pictures.
Continue reading: Delirious Review
At once artless and artful, dramatically unfocused yet layered throughout with unmistakable observations about mid-'80s American melancholia, Stranger Than Paradise displays all the strengths and weaknesses of Jarmusch's brand of cinema. While experiencing his stories, the viewer may suspect that, beneath the patina of captivating movie moments, the director has nothing particularly to say about, well, anything, but is simply creating images because he feels like it, and stringing them together with vintage jazz, rock, and world music selections. Just short of expressing any sense of purpose or point of view, at least conventionally speaking, a Jarmusch movie will peter out. The characters do not advance much, though each will have embarked on journeys, and shared moments of wry hilarity. But, spiritually, they remain near or exactly where they began.
Continue reading: Stranger Than Paradise Review
The silly, one-joke story is reason enough to find Whammy (not a movie about Press Your Luck!) so inspiring. Leary plays a cop who, only through some fault of his own, is never able to bust a perp. It starts out in a fast food joint, when a gunman drives through the wall and starts shooting. Leary slips and hits his head, and a little bespectacled kid uses his gun to save the day. Later, his apartment supervisor is killed while he's oblivious in the building. Various quirky characters (like Hurley's masseuse) try to distract you into thinking this movie is actually about something, but the deception never works too well.
Continue reading: Double Whammy Review
The subjects of this film are the intertwined worlds of modeling, soap operas, and music videos in New York City, and given the nature of these industries, it is obvious from the beginning that the film's director (Tom DiCillo of Living in Oblivion fame) is setting us up for another stale commentary about the superficiality of these image industries with little actual plot to revolve around.
Continue reading: The Real Blonde Review
Tom DiCillo wrote and directed this new low-budget story of making a film-within-a-film, and it comes off superbly better than most of its predecessor "movies about movies." DiCillo has assembled the most perfectly matched cast I've come across in ages, featuring Steve Buscemi as Nick, a film director for whom nothing will work out, Catherine Keener as a much too sensitive leading lady, Dermot Mulroney as a leather-clad cinematographer, and James LeGros as an unbelievably shallow leading man--possibly his best role ever.
Continue reading: Living In Oblivion Review
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