I’m really excited to announce the 20th Anniversary special release of LIVING IN OBLIVION on Blu-ray and DVD.
The film has been completely remastered digitally under my supervision. It looks amazing. This new release by Shout Factory has added bonus features, including interviews with cast members Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage, James Legros and others.
“The Black and Blue Orkestre are pleased to announce their new single, GIRL IN A MILLION. The track is the latest from core Black and Blue members Tom DiCillo and Grog Rox. Written by DiCillo the song is an edgy, groove driven, noir ballad that has Grog sharing the lead vocals.
Guest guitarist Wayne Byrne provides the aching, moody twang. Bass and vocals by Grog. Guitar, drums, vocals and arranging by DiCillo.”
Wayne Byrne is an Irish writer, musician and esteemed film scholar. He contacted me several years ago with the suspicious intent of writing a book about me. Five years later Wayne has completed the first book on me and my films; INCLUDE ME OUT, The Films of Tom DiCillo.
The book covers all my films from Johnny Suede to When You’re Strange and is comprised of in-depth essays on each film by Wayne as well as a series of equally probing Conversations between the two of us.
Wayne is currently submitting the book to publishers. Listen to his guitar playing while they make up their minds.
My step-cousin on my mother’s side, Boone Welles is a young, aspiring filmmaker. She’s just directed her first music video for a new group called The Trygger Twins. She asked me to share it on this most American of American holidays.
The views expressed in the video may or may not reflect my own but as all 38 Republican candidates for Prez proclaim this is still a free country and I respect Boone and The Trygger Twins for coming out on a hot-button issue that is red, white and blue all over.
A few months ago I found one of my student films, GOD SAVE THE KING.
GOD SAVE THE KING was my first sync sound film when I was in NYU film school. Back in 1977 student films were shot on real film and the move from silent to sound was considered a huge step. The original 16 mm print was recently discovered in a box under a bed in the basement of a juvenile correctional institution near Miami.
I wrote and directed the film in my 2nd year at NYU. It was loosely based on an incident that had happened to me one steamy August night a few months earlier. The punk movement was in full spasm. For some performance photos needed for the film we went to CBGB’s one afternoon and they let me shoot Joe and Jay on the stage for 20 minutes.
After graduation I decided for some reason to scrape some money together and re-edit the film. I added titles, did a sound mix and made something that was almost unheard of for an ex NYU student with no job–a real 16mm print.
Eight years later when I submitted my first screenplay Johnny Suede to the National Endowment for the Arts, I sent the print of God Save The King as an example of my work. They gave me $25,000.
A year later I submitted the Johnny Suede screenplay to the Sundance Director’s Lab. Once again, I sent this only print of God Save The King as a directing sample. I got accepted.
In some ways you could say this little film started my career.
A few months ago Nick Dawson from The Talkhouse invited me to write a piece for the magazine. He’s put together a great site where filmmakers and artists share their thoughts about recently released music and films.
The film pieces are not “reviews”. They are personal reflections about the films that offer a perspective missing for the most part in contemporary film writing.
It took me a while to find a film. But, when I saw Alex Gibney’s Mr. Dynamite, The Rise of James Brown, I knew I had something to write about.
Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion) Talks Alex Gibney’s Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown
In this fine new HBO documentary about the legendary soul singer, you hear, feel and see the great man’s music, and also learn the stories behind it.
I always loved this song by Johnny Cash and U2. But, recently I wondered what it would sound like if it had a little Black and Blue added to it.
So, I laid down a new arrangement that brought in our solid beats and funky spaghetti surf sound. Then I recorded the lead vocals and sent the mix to Grog. She added the throbbing bass and then came up with a set of shimmering background vocals that take the song to a whole new realm.
We also had the great pleasure of working with guest musician Tim Carless. Tim wrote and laid down the lead guitar line which adds a great twang and bite. Tim is based out of North Carolina. We hooked up with him through my friend and composer Jim Farmer who did the scores for Johnny Suede, Living In Oblivion, Box of Moonlight and The Real Blonde. Thanks, Jim.
Our interview delves deeper into the creation of the character and the fertile times in NYC from which he spawned. Kathy provides a sharp perspective on the film and includes several clips from it throughout.
I’m pleased at the way it turned out and I think readers will find some new and interesting information. Miramax has helped me make an Official Director’s Cut of the film which is now streaming on Netflix.
Alex Green’s cool music website has been revamped and renamed. It is now called STEREO EMBERS. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read impassioned and informed articles on music–and best of all to discover new music.