Delirious was released on DVD this week. The release was of such importance to Gestation that they hired a publicity firm and secured the interest of two (2) journalists. The interview below is from DVD Snapshot.com. The 2nd, at MrSkin.com, might be arousing to some.

From DVD Snapshot.com

Q:  For Delirious, you made a really fun viral marketing video involving Gina Gershon on the set of a porno film. Can you tell us how and why you decided to make this clip?

TD: The advertising budget for the film was just a little less than non-existent. I had to come up with ideas to promote the film that wouldn’t cost money. The web was the only real possibility. I wanted to draw attention to how desperate directors can get just before their films are released. If you look at all four clips you will see my “character” stooping to the lowest depths to promote the film. Even to the point of attempting to convince Gina Gershon to do a sex tape for publicity. The intent was to show the absurdity of it all. And yet, as in my film, the absurdity is not too far from reality. The Buscemi clip with me crashing the real press day for his film Interview was entirely his idea.

Q: You’ve often been vocal about how frustrating filmmaking can be. Can you explain some of the tasks that irk you the most when making a film?

TD: Ironically, it can be the medium itself that is the most maddening. Having to re-set a light while an actor is primed with emotion, running out of film during the best take, losing a take because a plane flies by etc.

 

In addition, this business attracts mainly the mega-neurotic and psychotic—in all levels of production; from cinematographers to actors to composers. No matter how much background checking you do with previous employers, parole officers and therapists you never know when someone you’ve hired in a key position will suddenly turn into a sadistic jackass. This is the most destructive thing that can happen on a low-budget film. Without the security blanket of cash to pay for the damage you are momentarily at these people’s mercy. Your only solutions are painful; fire them and lose time and money as you scramble to replace them, or find some way to put up with their illness.

 

But the frustration quadruples once the film is finished. After all the years of work you try to find a company that will usher the film into the world. You seek a group of people that will at least put 1/10th of the emotional conviction into the release that you and your team put into the miraculous achievement of making the film. I have yet to experience that particular pleasure.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a filmmaker or did you start out writing or performing and it just kind of manifested into filmmaking?

TD: My father was in the military and a purist (control freak) in some ways. He refused to have a TV in the house. As a result I read at an early age and simultaneously developed a fixation on the “forbidden” moving image. At college my original intent was to be a writer. Then I saw La Strada. It opened a door that combined my joy of writing, my visual sense and my love of acting. I got a MFA in Directing from NYU but quickly realized that a deeper understanding of acting was crucial to the kinds of stories I wanted to tell. So, I studied acting and performed in a bunch of no-budget films and plays for 8 years—all of which ended up leading me to my first film, Johnny Suede.

Q: Do you enjoy the process of writing more than directing or vice versa?

TD: I love them both. Both have their moments of indescribable joy and terror. I love the thrill of freedom that writing brings. I am totally alone. I can go to any location I want no matter how expensive, the actors do and say whatever I ask without complaint and with incredible conviction.

 

On the set directing is primarily the business of dealing with people. After the isolation of writing I am highly energized by this abrupt change. Directing consists of making thousands of decisions a day. You hope a fraction of them are right. You get into a mad, intense rhythm. It is like driving a motorcycle at high-speed along the edge of a cliff. Some of the greatest joys come straight out of the intensity; like impulsively whispering a suggestion to an actor like Steve Buscemi right before a take and then watching in astonishment as he suddenly takes flight with the idea, creating something breathtaking and new right before your eyes.

Q: You created the character of Johnny Suede initially as a one man show which you performed, do you think Brad Pitt managed to channel the character in the ways you wanted?

TD: Yes. I cast Brad when he was completely unknown. My producers at the time refused to cast him. I insisted. They resisted. They pulled out. I found another producer and cast Brad. I think he gives an extremely open and uncensored performance. His portrayal of the character was of course different than mine but I marvel at it to this day. He brings a genuine vulnerability to his portrayal of the idiocy of the male psyche that most actors would be unwilling to explore.

Q: Do you find it beneficial to continue working relationships with actors?

TD: Good ones, yes. Bad ones, definitely not. What I look for in an actor is willingness. This does not mean they do exactly what I say. In fact it has nothing to do with control. It has everything to do with the collaborative effort; being open to discovering with me the joy and excitement of the film. That sense of collaboration is so exhilarating that as a director you want to have it on every film. And so if you have that rare experience you try to perpetuate it. Buscemi is one of the most willing actors I’ve ever worked with. And most of the time I have to say very little to him.

Q: Living In Oblivion is a textbook film for all film students to watch, did you have any idea that this film would strike such a nerve with burgeoning filmmakers?

TD: Well, I knew when the idea hit me that I was stumbling into something that had not been shown before. That sense of discovery was very exciting. I’ve learned that when something excites me like that it usually excites others.

 

What interested me was showing the real filmmaking process in all its excruciating (and ultimately thrilling) detail. The set of Oblivion exists in its own secluded reality (hence the title). There are no agents, no producers, no publicists, no managers and no distributors. There is only the director, the actors and the crew. It gets no purer than that. And if the process with only this hightly-simplified group is still so maddening it only proves you’d have to be a lunatic to want to join them.

Q: Do you have any advice you could give to any of our readers and potential filmmakers?

TD: To your readers I would only say keep your minds open. Use your own judgment and genuine curiosity to discover new films. That is crucial to the survival of films that have the nerve or idiocy to be different than Batman 67.

 

To potential filmmakers I would say, ask yourself why you want to be a filmmaker. This is not a sarcastic question. It is quite serious. The clearer your answer the clearer your path will be. Because, as everyone knows; there is no path.

 

To those who want to make personal films I can only suggest that you develop a fortitude somewhat between Godzilla and Mohammad Ali. Because that is what it takes. Trust me; this is not a gentle business. But, when you do achieve a victory, especially a personal one, the reward is exhilarating—better than any sex or drug I’ve ever taken.

Posted by:Tom

40 thoughts on “ 48. dePRESS ”

  1. Hi Tom,
    I ve been a long time fan of your movies and i just finished seeing Delirious tonight at 3 46. I Loved it. It s funny but it s much more than a comedy. It s like in The Real Blonde, it gives you the feeling the whole world is there, and you can finally stare at it. I loved the character of Buscemi, the relationship to the parents sounded really true. Les is a very funny character, but he s more than that.
    The ending is fabulous. It s very rare to see climax coming up from the inside of the characters. And some scenes are so rich it just blew my mind. I know you were disappointed, with good reasons, by the way the movie was released, but your movie managed to move a film geek in Paris at 346 AM, and i guess in a very basic way, this is why films are made, and this is why it s still important to make them.
    You have a unique sense of drama, comedy and direction of actors that i truly truly like. Your movies are enoyable but full of work behind, and in my country like in yours, it is very rare to find independant movies like that.
    So congratulations, and i hope you ll keep up the good work. For film geeks like me.
    Regards,
    Erich

  2. Tom-
    Great info, thanks for posting.

    Heard a quote this morning which sums it up: One key to happiness is to create something which gives your life meaning. If fortunate, it will bring meaning to others’ lives as well. I can’t think of a better way to describe your work.

    Elaine

  3. Hello Tom,

    I received my DVD of Delirious and viewed it this morning. It is fabulous. I love your stuff.

    You wrote in your blog:

    The following morning I found myself on a panel along with film critics Richard Roeper and Lisa Rosman, the actor Rupert Everett (Cold Comfort Farm)

    That actor wasn’t Rupert Everett, it was Rufus Sewell, a good friend and fellow fan of the Works of DiCillo. Just thought I’d point that out.

    All the best,

    Rai Mechem

  4. Hey Rai,
    God what a boneheaded error. Rufus and I spent a great afternoon together. If Rufus has seen my idiocity please ask him for to forgive me. I was standing right next to him talking to a woman who said her name was Larufus. He was delighted and told her his name was Rufus.
    I feel like an idiot. I will correct the error right now.
    Thanks for your kind words about Delirious. More though, thanks so much for informing me.
    best,
    Tom

  5. Hello Erich Vogel,
    Thanks very much for your great note. What were doing up at 3:46? I hope it was on a weekend.
    I’m glad you liked Delirious. I’m also pleased you responded to Buscemi’s character. He is my favorite character in the film. His presence in the story is much more difficult than the other characters but also much more important. If he did not work as a character I think the film would not have worked.
    I give much credit to Buscemi for this, of course.
    I know the French DVD is not due to be released for quite some time. How did you get yours? Did you order it from the States?
    It doesn’t sound like you are a film geek. It sounds like you are a real human being.
    My best to you. Your note was inspiring.
    Tom

  6. Tom,

    This note may come as a bit of a shock. First I must reveal that I own stock in the company that let you down. I purchased my shares years ago when you first teamed up. Unfortunately the so called team became a one man show. I feel terrible about the distribution struggles that happened to you and your film. I know at least one other shareholder has posted on your blog and conveyed similar feelings. I still own my shares today.
    Now that I have gotten that out of the way- I thought the film Delirious was brilliant. The film has so much for everyone. Comedy, love, drama and an excellent ending that is suspenseful. I just finished watching the film with my fiancé and I was speechless for more than a few minutes. I felt like one of the main reasons I purchased shares was to share in the potential success of this film. Don’t get me wrong I promise I would have seen this film regardless of my situation. I really liked your other films, my first ever being Box of Moonlight. I have followed your blog from day 1 and I even tried a weak effort at promoting the film on various sites. I tried to direct traffic to the homepage for the movie. I share in your frustration. Granted we are on very different levels but the theme here is the same. Your work speaks for itself and it deserved a better microphone. What do you think is the effective and efficient way to actually promote independent films? My first words after watching Delirious were does it cost too much f-ing money to show the trailer for this film before major studio films or even independents? I realize you may not want to spend time and words on woulda’s and coulda’s but I would be really interested in hearing your thoughts. I hope you get royalties from the DVD sales! You are very talented and thank you for all of your time spent with the blog!

    Brad

  7. Hey Tom,
    I’m a Student Filmmaker from Staten Island New York, And I am currently listening to the commentary track you recorded for Delirious and you mentioned how you were upset so little people saw the film, I just wanted you to know that Me and my friend treked it out to East Village Cinema to see it back last summer when it was in theaters and enjoyed it very much, We both bought copies when we saw the dvd in best buy and i have already shown the movie to three other people. I also wanted o say hat the look of the film is amazing the slightly bleached colors work so well. Also something you may enjoy hearing (and i am not just saying it) the scene where Toby is walking back to Les’ is by far the most beautiful sequence i have ever seen, ive actually copied the video and turned it into my screensaver. This post came out alot longer than I intended but i just wanted you to know that not only is your work being seen and enjoyed but its inspiring the next generation (at least one person in) of filmmakers.
    Thanks for the film,
    Jonathan

  8. Hey Brad,
    Thanks for your words of support. I never started out my relationship with Gestation with the intent of creating animosity. All I ever expected from them was to do their best in helping the movie they financed find some kind of life in the marketplace.

    There is no doubt in my mind that they did the opposite; despite huge opportunities available to assist them. If there is anything that disappoints me it is their relentless combination of arrogance and stupidity. They refused to even acknowledge they may not have the most experience in releasing an independent film–or any film for that matter.

    Whenever I would give them a suggestion, or inform them that they were venturing into quicksand, their response was always ridicule and silence.

    The film stands on its own, despite them. Nonetheless, when one considers how many terrible films get made, to have one that achieved the miraculous emotional truth of Delirious in your hands and to let it die of malnutrition is criminal.

    I’m glad you liked the film. Perhaps people will discover it on DVD. I don’t have much hope that Gestation will encourage this.

    To answer your question about promoting independent films I suggest you look at how Juno was promoted. Money was spent. There is no way to promote a film without spending money. If you read through the blog you will see that Gestation was tight-fisted with their spending every step of the way.

    It is absolutely true that they did not even incorporate Roger Ebert’s 3 1/2 star review until after I called them and explained why this was a very important endorsement. It took them a week to respond. By that time the newspaper ads had already shrunk to postage stamp proportions–and were only appearing once a week.

    It takes guts to promote a film. You can’t do it halfway.

    The only way I will see any royalties from the DVD is if Jesus returns to earth in the form of a Gestation bookkeeper.

    My best to you.
    Tom

  9. Hey Jonathan,
    First, let me express my immense gratitude to you for actually trekking to the theater to see Delirious. Considering that very few people even knew it was playing, your effort is very meaningful to me. I believe you are one of about 200.

    I hope you don’t misunderstand my frustration about how many people came to see the film. I don’t undervalue the faith and support of those of you who actually saw the film in theaters. My point is really that it was a squandered opportunity. I’m not talking about recognition for me or for lost revenue. If I were in this business for fame and money I would have made D’juneau several years ago.

    All I’m really trying to say is that there was a missed opportunity. Buscemi’s performance is so incredible to me that I almost cannot stand knowing so few people got to experience it on screen. I truly believe it is a performance of a life time.

    I’m thrilled you responded so strongly to the film. I too love that moment you describe of Toby walking home. I’m so proud of everyone who contributed to the strangely beautiful humor of that scene; from Michael Pitt, to Anton Sanko the composer, to the guy on the ladder just off screen who only had one bag of flower petals. He had to get down after every take and sweep them up, put them back in the bag, climb up the ladder and throw them down again.

    It is you and your friends Jonathan who are inspiring to me.

    Thanks.
    Tom

  10. Hi Tom – rented Delirious at the local videostore last night and was roundly entertained. I say roundly because your films alwasy give the audience something of everything; some laffs (in this case, lots) some sadness, some tension, with enough left over afterwards to chew on for a while. Kinda like a nice dinner out. I really enjoyed myself and have to point out that you always bring out good stuff from some actors whose work has previously left me cold (michael pitt here, also matthew modine and brad pitt).

    Great stuff. FYI, the video guys had it face-out and I had to wait a day to get it because someone else beat me to it.

    Good luck on the Doors project.

    regards
    Erik H.
    Seattle

  11. Hey Tom,

    I just watched Delirious and thought it was great. Great writing, directing, acting, cinematography, editing, etc. It’s a shame it didn’t get a wider release and better marketing. I hope more people will check it out on DVD. Anyway, I don’t have anything else to say at the moment. I just wanted to say I loved the movie and can’t wait to see your next film.

    Cheers,

    Josh

  12. Hey Eric,
    Your comment was much appreciated. I’m glad you felt that way about the acting in Delirious. I don’t disagree with you. Which I guess is just a stoopit way of saying, I agree with you.
    I enjoy bringing things out of actors. The best relationship is when they see what you’re offering them and they rise to meet you. The worst is when the see what you’re offering and they say, “I see what you’re offering but I’m not going there for you.”
    But, the cruel bottom line is: the only thing that matters is what ends up on screen. No one cares (or should) how it got there.
    Good eye.
    Tom

  13. Well Josh,
    I think you said enough. In fact I think you said it all and I really appreciate your taking the time to write. Thanks very much for your response.
    Spread the word if you feel like it.
    best,
    Tom

  14. Hi Tom – hope all is well. Inquiring minds want to know how things are coming along on the Doors project? Any news at all?

    How’s Tregor doing?

  15. Tom,my wife and I were two of the three people who saw “Delirious” in an actual movie theater.We loved it then and loved it even more after watching it on DVD this week.I went from being the business architect of a $100 million 30-time EMMY-winning production company to working in Nashville for 5 years as a no-name songwriter.The prince-to-pauper lifestyle change really gave me an amazing perspective on “the biz” in terms of how it values you and treats you as a human being based soley on whether you are perceived as someone who can provide a boost to that exec’s near-term job security.The frustration and,yes,bitterness,that you allow to filter through in your commentary is not only refreshing,but is also TOTALLY understandable.You are not being self-delusional about the quality of the film.It IS that great! In fact,other than the fact that,at least on my TV,the audio was not always spot-on,the film is pretty much a mini-masterpiece of low budget movie-making.Acting,casting,cinematography,script,editing,music—just wonderful.Most importantly,it made me think,feel and laugh.And I believed every word.What more can you do than that?Congrats on a brilliant work that will have it’s day in the sun somehow–somewhere down the line.Regards,Gary

  16. Hey Sally,
    Oh yes, there is news. The work is going well and is incredibly intense. This past week we had screenings of the rough cut for the individual members of the Doors, then screenings for Morrison’s family and the family of Pam Courson, his girlfiend.
    Each screening was both rewarding and draining. So much history. So much personal connection from all. The great news is that although everyone had notes, the reaction to the film was unanimously strong.
    And so now I enter a period of sharpening and fine tuning.

    And I almost got into a fist fight in the parking lot of a store off Ventura Blvd.

    Hope you are well,
    best,
    Tom

  17. Hey Gary Stein,
    Thanks so much for your note. I’m touched you had a personal reaction to the film. To me that is what movies (and all art really) are about. I once had an acting teacher say to me regarding how to make scene come to life, “If it ain’t personal, it ain’t no fucking good.”
    After all the hard work it is immensely rewarding to see that the film affected you. I give huge credit to Buscemi, Pitt, Gershon and Alison Lohman. And don’t get me wrong, I regret nothing. I made the film I wanted to make; in fact it came to life in ways that exceeded my expectations. That is something more valuable than any critical or public acknowledgment.
    But. Ah, yes. But. This is a business. What happens to one film directly impacts the ability to make another. That is a hard, cold fact. Having struggled on each film by starting from scratch, the dismal theatrical release was a jolting reminder that I will have to do the same yet again.
    And so I will.
    My best to you and your wife. Thanks so much for going to the theater to see the film. I know some folks in Nashville. It is a cool town. Some great music happening down there.
    Tom

  18. Hi Tom – Thanks for posting the Doors project updates. Wow. Meeting band members and those close to Jim Morrison must be amazing (and yet draining) as you tweak this film into place. In my opinion, they’re one of the most influential bands in history, and I can’t wait to see the film when it comes out!!! Good luck w/the fine tuning.

    Almost got into a fist fight? And yet you stop the reply there? Curious minds want to know…

    Elaine

  19. Hi Tom – thanks for the news on the Doors movie. I’ll bet there’s a movie within a movie with all the people you are hooking up with as a result. All the Doors fans out there are really looking forward to seeing the finished film.

    I also wanted to say how MUCH I enjoyed Delirious. I rented the DVD from Netflix, and watched it yesterday morning. As a former music business flack, I could really identify with much of it, especially Les, poor sod! It was a lovely study in relationships, everyone in the cast just shone, and you should be proud of it. I think my personal favorite moment was when Les threw his shoe at the television screen (been there, done that!), but there were so many great little moments – I liked it, I REALLY liked it!

    Now, what’s all this about fist-fights in parking lots? Whereabouts were you?

    Hope the fire at Universal isn’t polluting your Sunday too badly. It’s horrible over here. I’m about a mile away.

  20. You’re a great filmmaker Tom. I love Living in Oblivion. The Delirious dvd ought to has spanish subtitles… I dont know if it has, I don’t think so.

    Bye!!!

  21. Hey Sally,
    Thanks very much for your kind comments about Delirious. I’m glad you found some truth in it. I worked very hard to try and keep it as accurate as possible; particularly regarding how as human beings we’ve developed an entire set of behavioral survival rules and instincts to cope with this enviroment that is entirely us-created: celebrity and fame.
    It brings out the best and the worst.
    I think we are next-door neighbors. The smoke from the Universdal fire was blowing right in my window. All the lost telecined souls of Hoss Cartright and Desi Arnaz.
    I’ve noticed Californians have a thing with their cars. Some jerk in a parking lot acted this out in a manner which I felt needed correction. Though no punches were thrown, he was, shall we say, corrected. He drove off in his shiny black alter-ego which, no matter how much pride he took in it, could only be described as a gay Batmobile. FYI, if any derision is intended here it is restricted entirely to the word Batmobile.
    best,
    Tom

  22. Hey MR. SHHH,
    thanks very much for writing. You are absolutely right about the Spanish subtitles–they should have done that for the film. All I can say is thanks god they even got the DVD out with anything on it, including the film itself.
    best,
    Tom

  23. Hey Elaine,
    I agree, I think the Doors are vastly influential; even more than people realize. The best experience I had so far was screening the cut for Jim’s sister and her extended family on Friday. They were extremely gracious and encouraging. That meant a lot to me. So much of what is written about Jim and the Doors is stoopit. I almost went there myself in some small areas. Thank god I caught myself.
    See my response to Sally above about the fistfight. I’ve never hit anybody in my life, nor do I plan to. But this guy came very close to being the first.
    best,
    Tom

  24. Hello Tom,

    I greatly appreciate your wrting so much so that I’m hoping we can colloborate in making a short/feature reason I say both is because I’ve recently opened my production company with my business partner and looking to shoot potential material !

    Could you confirm if this is your material ?
    I have the script!

    “Scene 6”

    Screenplay by

    Tom DiCillo

    SHOOTING DRAFT

    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Regards

    Saima

    1995

  25. Dear Saima,
    Thank you for writing. Your message is a little confusing. Scene Six was the working title for a film I made in 1995 that ended up being called Living In Oblivion. So, I’m afraid you can’t make it because it has already been made.

    Where did you get this Shooting Draft you refer to? By the way, “shooting draft” is the term used to describe the script of a film after it has been shot and edited.

    You sign your name “Saima” but you put the date as 1995. Did you write this comment in 1995? As much as that would help me make sense of your question it remains rigidly impossible because I didn’t start this blog until 2007.

    But, I am very glad you like my writing. If you are looking for original screenplays to finance and produce let me know. I have a few that are a little newer.
    best,
    Tom

  26. Hi Tom – there’s a buzz that you’re almost done with the Doors movie. Has anyone come up with a title yet?

  27. Hey Sally,
    Good to hear from you. Been a little crazed. Yes, The Doors film is moving toward finality. Ray Manzarek and John Densmore have signed off on it; enthusiastically I might add. I’ll do a post in a few days when my head clears. Robby Krieger will see it soon. Title is still elusive. I have several in mind. The trick is getting everyone to agree. We’ve been through song lyrics and all poetry. I definitely don’t want to use a song title. If you’ve got something that strikes you send it along.

    I’m back in NYC for a month while we start the technical aspects of the film. Nice to be home. Though I did almost witness a fistfight on the subway last night. A young woman gets on a crowded car and begins preaching/screeching about hell and damnation for 20 minutes with no sign of let-up. The train is crowded and barely moving. The sense of claustrophobia builds throughout the car. Several people ask her to lower her voice. She screams louder.

    Two friends with the woman take pictures of her as she seques into a subtopic of sexual deviates burning for eternity. A gay white guy with a shaved head goes over to her and says, “Listen, girlfriend; you really need to calm down.” Her voice gets even shriller. A black guy jumps up and gets in the white guy’s face, “You wouldn’t be saying anything if she was white!” The white guy quietly gets off the train at the next stop.

    The train pulls in to 59th street. 20 more people get on. The deaconess shrieks, “Welcome to all you new people. We’re talkin’ about Jesus!”

    Ahh, New York.
    best,
    T

  28. A little perspective.

    At the time of the Delirious release, I could not understand the lack of attention from GesAE. I think looking back at a CEO that is currently under house arrest and a near total destruction of the feature film making end of the business, we can see that the problem was probably beyond anyone’s capability to fix.

    Sometimes timing is everything and unfortunately, Delirious had very poor timing from the business operspective. My timing was very poor from an investor perspective.

    Believe me, I am not giving GesAE any benefit of the doubt. I think they have had an ongoing pattern of dis-honest silence. But, to be perfectly honest, I think that no one there could have made things better.

    Also, I will be buying my copy of Delirious this week and look forward to watching it. Could not make the SF showing as it was too short and my daughter got sick on the weekend we had planned. Wish it were out on Blu-Ray, we just got a terrific setup.

  29. Hey David,
    Thanks for your note.
    From my perspective there is, and always will be, a huge difference between timing and idiocy.
    I hope you enjoy the film.
    best,
    Tom

  30. Tom,
    I just watched Delirious on DVD. It was a great film from beginning to end. There is nothing better than a film that is undefinable in terms of genre and that flows along without a hint of what is coming next. It’s as if you have all the pieces of a puzzle and you form them into a whole – seamlessly. The interplay between comedy and tragedy, the fairy tale quality of the story, and the New York backdrop revealed your ability to speak the cinematic language in a personal yet universal tone. I’ve got your films lined up on my Netflix list and look forward to immersing myself in your creative genius. I will also post a similar review on Netflix. The synopsis they give doesn’t do this film justice. Thanks again.

  31. Hey Bill,
    I thank you for your comment. Not simply because you liked the film but because you identified some of the themes I had been wrestling with. The balance between comedy and tragedy was very tricky. I spent quite a bit of time working on it, from the script to the shooting to the editing. I appreciate a straight-out comedy (Caddyshack is one of my favorites) as much as anyone else. But life, as far as I can see, is never just one thing. In fact, many other directors besides myself, see the constant interchange between comedy and pathos as the crucial elements that keep a film truthful and alive. David Lynch is a sublime example.
    I hate having to describe a genre for Delirious to be crammed into. Some critics blink at it in confusion and call it a “buddy pic.” Others think it is only a satire. It still astonishes me what people see and don’t see in the film. One of the most important scenes for me is when Buscemi (Les) breaks down in front of Toby. No reviewer has mentioned this scene. It is the scene that serves as the window to Les’ soul; that opens him up to the world, providing a glimpse into his turmoil, fear and self-doubt. Without it Les is just a creep. Buscemi’s performance here breaks my heart every time I see it. I cannot recall him doing anything so emotionally pure on screen.

    All of this is just a long way of saying thank you for bringing your eyes and soul to the film.
    best,
    Tom

  32. Tom,

    I realize that this reply is a bit late since most of them were written shortly after Delirious was released. I watched it last night and was so impressed that I looked up some more information on it today. I’m sorry to say that I turned off the TV (it was on Starz) before the credits, so I missed the last scene I have since read about. I will be sure to watch it again anyway since I know my wife would enjoy it too.

    I had never heard of the movie, but that is not too surprising since I live in Baltimore and we have one indy film theater, The Charles. You may have heard of it since they have film festivals from time to time; it is a great asset to this city.

    Delirious is truly a gem and there are few people out there who would not be touched by it. Few films truly delve into the complicated nature of friendships but you really nailed it here. It’s so tough when a friend does not fit in with another group of one’s friends or if a friend gets shut out because of differences that could have been resolved. Or what if one’s spouse does not like a friend who was around before the marriage? Ouch. Even people who are otherwise loyal and benevolent fail at times because they lack the strength to make amends or possibly to even just pick up the phone.

    Steve Buscemi was brilliant in his role; even though he portrayed himself as a jerk and a liar, I still felt sorry for him. It takes a lot to actually make me cry while watching a movie, but I felt my eyes welling up when Toby called his name from the red carpet and came over and shook his hand. Steve must have been truly feeling what the character would have felt when he shot many of the scenes in order to portray the emotion on his face and in his voice. I could go on about the other characters as well but this note would be a small book!

    Thank you for Delirious and also for not killing Toby or K’harma in the end. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog as well and will check back in to read some more.

    Best regards,

    Jack

  33. Hey Jack,
    Tardiness of response means nothing, my friend. Thanks for writing. Given the wretchedness of the “theatrical release” it is truly a wonder that anyone besides me and the actors even know the film exists.

    You hit the nail on the head with your description of the relationship element of the story. Those kinds of complications between people are extremely difficult to navigate–there are no textbooks on the subject. And usually all decisions or paths are painful.

    In the film I wanted the audience to feel both Toby’s joy and need to go back stage without Les; and Les’ devastating sense of rejection. Both are true. In my case, the script came more out of family complications, but certainly I have experienced the same things with friends–especially in this business.

    Yeah, that last scene was supposed to be in the main body of the film but the final scene with Les and Toby shaking hands was so intense any comedy coming after it really suffered. I loved Steve on the set of Access Tonight so much I decided to put it in after the credits like a little easter egg.

    I’m glad you appreciated how the film ends. It would have been too easy to let Les go berserk. I think it gives more to him as a character this way. And more to Toby. Some people sneered at it as if it were a “HAPPY ENDING” but the truth is these two will most likely never see each other again.

    Once again, thanks for writing. It gives me hope that the film did not die either–that it still has chance of life out there.

    best,
    Tom

  34. Hi Tom,

    I’ve recently watched Delirious again, and I’m wondering which song exactly is playing near the end when Toby and K’harma kiss on the red carpet. I’ve checked the credits of course, but many of the songs listed there are simply too hard to find a sample of. My guess would be that it’s the one listed as

    Instant K’harma
    Written and Performed by Tom DiCillo
    Published by Double Whammy Inc. (ASCAP)

    So I was wondering if that’s indeed the one, and if so, where I might be able to get it.

    Thanks, and congratulations on the great job that is Delirious!

  35. Hey Jeroen,
    That piece of music you mention is part of the composed score by Anton Sanko. I agree with you that it is a pretty amazing piece. Anton did all of the instrumental musci, including the piece during Toby’s walk home through the falling flowers.
    There was a question from someone else about the song Alison Lohman (K’harma) sings and it makes me think a soundtrack cd would be interesting to some people.
    Dealing with the folks at Gestation to try and put that together would unfortunately be an exercise in futility.
    Thanks for watching the film again.
    best,
    Tom

  36. Tom,

    Thanks for your swift reply! The soundtrack’s a bit of a shame, as it would’ve made for an absolutely beautiful score. Is there anyone I might be able to buy it from directly? Anton himself seems the obvious answer here, but I have no idea what intellectual rights composers maintain over film scores.

    Cheers!
    Jeroen

  37. Hey Jeroen,
    Let me check into this with Anton. At the very least I know he’ll be pleased to hear you responded to his music.
    Let me see if there is a way to make the sounds available to people.
    best,
    T

  38. Tom,

    That would be fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to do this. I realize you’re a very busy man and I just want you to know that it’s great to be able to interact with you directly.

    Cheers,
    Jeroen

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