This is the official blog for filmmaker Tom DiCillo. It began in 2006 by chronicling the making and the distribution of DiCillo’s 6th feature film, Delirious. It should be noted that every word written here is true with the sole exception of the stuff that was made up. This blog will occasionally venture off-shore and into uncharted waters. Here are the facts about Tom DiCillo. Anything else you read is unauthorized and unappreciated.
Tom DiCillo was born in 1953 in Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, the second of three children. His father was a Colonel in the USMC. As a result DiCillo moved every two years to different military bases and small towns across America. Technically you could say he’s from nowhere.
He has lived in California, Virginia, North Carolina, New York and Bangkok, Thailand. He attended 3 elementary schools, 2 highschools and 2 reform schools.
DiCillo earned a BA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA in 1975. DiCillo moved to NYC in 1976 and attended NYU Graduate Film School. While there he wrote and directed 6 short films and was awarded the Paulette Goddard Scholarship. He received his MA in 1979 and quickly got his first film job sweeping the floor on a Pepsi commercial.
DiCillo then studied acting for 8 years. He performed in numerous off-off Broadway stage productions and several independent films. In 1984 DiCillo shot (and acted in) Stranger Than Paradisefor friend and filmschool classmate Jim Jarmusch. The international success of that film lead to cinematography offers from around the world for a great array of films that paid no money.
In 1987 DiCillo pieced together a series of monologues he’d written and put on a 1-Man show in Manhattan called Johnny Suede. The success of the show prompted him to reshape the material into his first full-length screenplay. Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment and support from the Sundance Institute, DiCillo directed Johnny Suede, his first feature, in 1990. The film starred the then unknown Brad Pitt and began DiCillo’s 4 film collaboration with Catherine Keener. Johnny Suede won Best Picture at the 1991 Locarno Film Festival and was distributed domestically by Miramax.
DiCillo followed with Living In Oblivion in 1995. The film starred Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener and Dermot Mulroney and won Best Screenplay at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival. Other awards include Best Picture at the Deauville Film Festival.
In 1996 DiCillo wrote and directed Box of Moonlight, starring John Turturro, Sam Rockwell and again Ms. Keener. The film premiered at Sundance and was in the Main Competition at the Venice Film Festival.
DiCillo made The Real Blonde in 1998, starring Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Darryl Hannah and Christopher Lloyd. The film opened the Deauville Film Festival and was released in the US by Paramount. In 2000 DiCillo wrote and directed Double Whammy, starring Denis Leary, Elizabeth Hurley, Steve Buscemi and Chris Noth. Most people claim they have never seen Double Whammy which might have something to do with the fact that despite an “ironclad” distribution contract it was never released theatrically.
In 2006 DiCillo wrote and directed Delirious, starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon and Elvis Costello. Delirious won Best Director and Best Screenplay at the San Sebastian Film Festival as well as numerous other awards including Special Jury Prize at the Istanbul Film Festival and Best Director at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival. Delirious was “released” in the US on August 15. For the joys of that experience please refer directly to the BLOG. More recently Deliriouswas an official selection at Ebertfest 2008, Roger Ebert’s festival for Best Overlooked Films.
DiCillo’s latest film, When You’re Strange, is his first documentary as well as the first feature documentary on The Doors. The film won the Grammy in 2011. The film premiered in competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It also was in the Official Selection at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. It opened theatrically in the US on April 9, 2010 and has been released in most countries around the world.
DiCillo has just completed a feature documentary, Down In Shadowland. The film was made completely by DiCillo and shot entirely underground in the NYC subway system. The film has been picked up for international distribution by Factory 25.
In addition to his cinematic endeavors DiCillo has written two works of semi-non fiction detailing his experiences making films; “Eating Crow” (Living In Oblivion) and “Notes From Overboard” (Box of Moonlight). He has directed for television and has three feature scripts in development.