When You’re Strange has finished its two screenings at the LA Film Festival. Many of you have written in with your comments and reactions which I greatly appreciate. Early word seems to be that the film was well received. I could not be there but I wrote a brief statement which was read before both screenings.

In addition, a separate screening was held for Johnny Depp and a number of others, including John Densmore. Johnny Depp’s reaction to the film was strong and positive. He appeared deeply moved and expressed gratitude at being asked to contribute.

Jac Holzman was also at this screening. Holzman is the founder of Elektra Records. He first saw the Doors at the Whisky in LA and is solely responsible for signing them and introducing them to the world. His influence guided the Doors throughout their career. He nurtured them, encouraged them and fiercely protected their desire to make the music exactly the way they wanted.

After the screening he wrote me a letter. I’m copying it here not because I want people to see another “positive” opinion of the film. When I first started work on the film I was almost paralyzed with terror at the enormity of the task that confronted me. Not only did I have to discover something truthful in myself to say about this brilliantly complex band, I had to find a way to put that on film.

Holzman’s words, coming from someone who knew the Doors with infinitely more intimacy than I ever could, are actually more of a relief than anything.

Tom – I saw the screening over the weekend and was just knocked out. There have been many attempts at a Doors film AND so many abject failures that I had despaired of anyone getting it “right.” And by “right” I meant just letting the band and their music hit a contemporary audience full blast.

I have lived with The Doors for 43 years and understand that the sheer power and danger of the group had to come out through their music even more than in live performance footage. You got that just right. In the context of all the music that flowed into the mighty rock ‘n’ roll tributary, The Doors still excite, chill, inform and challenge the listener.

The canny addition of the HWY material as context-within-context, the intense editing without showiness, sound mixing , Johnny Depp’s subtle phrasing and solid narration all fuse into one of the great films about music and the crazy, driven people who have no choice but to create it. Pondering the movie later I realized what guts it took for Ray, Robbie and John even to get on a stage with Jim. Only the best and most committed musicians could have made that work.

When You’re Strange viscerally plugs into that tremulous period when The Doors represented the furthest edge to which one might aspire without actually getting arrested. I’ve alerted my associates at Warner Music Group about the June 30th screening in New York. I’ve told them this is a “must see” music movie.


Posted by:Tom

84 thoughts on “ 60. STRANGE IN LA ”

  1. Tom,

    The sun will set later tonight, but the Southeast won’t be dark. It’ll be illuminated by my huge smile at how happy I am for you 🙂 🙂

    You sifted through all that footage; it must have been overwhelming and yet exciting. You relocated to LA, often having sleepless nights, to tackle this project head-on. You and the Doors made the rounds (bumpy at times) to Sundance and Berlin. You brought a soulful glimpse and intimacy to the Doors, while sharing the experiences with your blog readers. You may not have met many of us in person, but we feel like we’ve taken the journey with you b/c of your descriptive blogs.

    Am thrilled to hear about the positive screenings and hope the Sunday night one goes well too. Remember my offer to sing its praises from Southern rooftops 🙂

    The artistic road isn’t easy–not that true artists have any choice but to embark on it–and I’m not only thrilled to hear the latest good news, I’m impressed that you continue the artisan journey despite the fears that arise.

    Well done, my friend. Well done.


  2. Hi Tom – lovely letter from Jac, and I agree. The film was just terrific, couldn’t have been better. Did you get the results of the audience ballots from Wednesday yet? I thought people really enjoyed it, the place was packed.

  3. Hey Sally,
    Good to hear from you. Actually, most of the news from the festival is coming through people like you and others who were there. I have no idea if the film was even in consideration for an award. I don’t think it was in competition.
    Yeah, the letter from Jac is meaningful to me. It came out of the blue.
    Let’s see what happens in the next few days. I’m hearing there is a serious nibble from a serious US distribtor.

  4. Hey Elaine,
    Thank you so much for your note. I sincerely appreciate your support. This road has been a rough one. It’s still not over yet and I think there will be some bumps ahead. But, this letter from Holzman goes a long way towards making it worth while.
    The thing that would make me the happiest right now is a cold beer. And after that knowing that When You’re Strange would have a real theatrical release so that you and many other people could have the enormous pleasure of experiencing the film on a big screen, with a room full of people–the way a movie is supposed to be seen.
    Many thanks,

  5. Like you, I truly think this work deserves to be seen by a broad audience, and on the big screen, where it plays so well. Good luck, Tom! Here’s hoping! (Lifts cold beer in general direction of director!)

  6. Good job, Tom.
    If Holzman didn’t like it I would’ve had to change my vote because he’s da man, but now I can pretend I have conviction. Depp has a lot of reasons to feel superior like the Church Lady but he seems like a humble, real guy who can’t believe his luck (and talent).
    Congrats, Jeff

  7. Hey Jeff,
    Listen, if Holzman didn’t like it I would have changed my vote too, and maybe gone to work for Oliver Stone.


  8. Hey Mario,
    There is a screening coming up in NY this Tuesday but it is a private one for buyers.
    That’s all for NY at the moment.

  9. Hola Tom,

    Always a pleasure to catch your updates. Great news on the WYS reception thus far. Congratulations to you. Jac Holzman is a legend. He has an unbelievable eye and ear and backed so many greats. Janice, Tim Buckley, The Doors, all. His approval of your Film is golden. I hope that the late, great Paul Rothchild is able to see this work somehow. And Jim too. Also, was Bruce Botnick involved in the production of the Film? Great engineer.

    Elektra. I had a band called ‘Isolate’ nearly sign to Elektra in 2003. I was in Iraq though when things started to come together. Long story. Not pertinent here. That it was ever even a possibility got my undivided attention; and illuminated the madness of joining the Army at age 33. Elektra. Perhaps not the label it once was. But that name conjures legends.

    Now, sir. What I got to do to attend the NYC screening on 30 June? Be a buyer? No problemo. Do you accept Chinese credit cards? Do you need a bodyguard? I need to see this movie brother!

    In defense of Oliver Stone, I think he did some amazing things with his film. He clearly loved Jim. The band got short shrift and I can understand their feelings. Me, I was 22 when I saw that film and it changed my life. It made even an acting career seem too safe a choice. The edge beckoned.

    Sell this thing Tom and I think you will be amazed by the turnout. I’m spreading the word on Facebook, etc. But most hardcore Doors fans are probably Vietnam vets, poets from Argentina, African pirates, or otherwise too real for that kind of sissy social networking. Tell your distributors I will see the film 10 times just to see the HWY print on the big screen. Also, I will be full-on in an altered state of consciousness, as it were, and thus will probably buy more than my share of concessions (which is the profit model for theaters, the film itself a loss leader, no?) as a result.

    When You’re Strange is an Event Film. It should be viewed in a Cinema on the biggest screen available. It should not be shown in a multiplex on a little shroud the size of a bedsheet. Tell your distributors. Tell them there is more to the movie business than the quarterly bookkeeping. This is a chance for them to be a part of something…….dare we say it? Sacred? (I think of Johnny Depp now, that lucky bastard…….Hunter S. Thompson and now The Doors?! What’s next, Henry Miller? Khrishnamurti??)

    Tom, a lot of people don’t get The Doors. The ones who do, do. All the way. One of us is worth a legion of flavorofthemonth followers. We are like Spartans.

    “The movie will begin in five moments, the mindless voice announced. All those unseated will await the next show . . . .”

    Molon labe,

  10. Hey Tom,

    You’re very welcome. So many drop off the artistic journey; I’m always inspired by those like yourself who continue the fight.

    Wishing you distributor deals and a great buyer screening Tues 🙂

    Off to drink a few cold beers now, seeing as how it’s a great idea…cheers!


  11. “But most hardcore Doors fans are probably Vietnam vets, poets from Argentina, African pirates, or otherwise too real for that kind of sissy social networking.”

    Zowie. This is one of the best and truest things I’ve ever read. Tom DiCillo, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find this guy and put him to work publicizing WYS.

    Assuming the legendary Leon Barnard himself is not available, or declines the position…

  12. I’m with EJ, if this film gets a cinematic release I will watch it 10 times or more! Thanks for devoting so much of your time to making the Doors story come alive, Tom.

    Are there any plans for a UK screening?

  13. Hi Tom, for this film not to get the big screen treatment, would be a shame indeed. It’s great hear Mr. Holzman loved the film and his letter was first class all the way. I hope we hear great news on a buyer very soon. Keep rockin Tom.

  14. Hey Eric,
    Bruce Botnick was the official music mixer and supervisor on the film. It was a great pleasure to work with someone who’d so directly been involved with the Doors music.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Oliver Stone. Knowing what I do about the Doors now I’m only saying his film was a little, shall we say, hysterical.

    I don’t totally agree that most Doors fans “are probably Vietnam vets, poets from Argentina, African pirates”. This implies the omission of an entire gender. In all the footage I’ve seen of the Doors in concert some of the most passionate were women. In fact, at Miami, where Jim said regarding the lamb that someone handed him, “I’d fuck her but she’s too young,” a great number of the thousands of females in the audience were girls between 10 and 12.

    Your argument/statement about why this film should be shown in theaters is profound and moving. I wish I could get you to speak directly to some of the producers. They feel the same but I agree with you; the potential fan base out there is devoted and huge.

    Sorry, the screening in NY is only for buyers. They tend to keep these things pretty private. But once again I massively appreciate your support now and offers of it in the future. Let’s see what shakes out. There may be a way to utilize it.

    Great to read your comment.

  15. Hello Janet,
    See my reply to EJ above. I concur! I have been fighting for this film to be allowed to reach its highest potential since the day I started. With a couple of warriors like him by my side we could do some things.

  16. Hey James,
    Thanks for writing. As far as the UK, yes there are screenings planned. In fact there is a big buyers screening in London this week, and one in France. But you should know the plan at the moment is to sell the film to all countries, and to encourage the buyers to give the film a theatrical release.
    That part is out of my hands, though I keep reiterating it every chance I can–theatrical release theatrical release theatrical release.
    I sure hope people are listening.
    But, a public screening in the UK is much desired, and will hopefully be one mounted by a UK distributor who will open the film like any other movie on screens throughout the UK.

    Devoting the time was easy. I never believed in anything more.

  17. Hey Baron,
    You know how I feel about it. I can’t even conceive of the film having anything other than a smart, effectively marketed theatrical release.
    I’ll keep you informed.

  18. “I don’t totally agree that most Doors fans ‘are probably Vietnam vets, poets from Argentina, African pirates’. This implies the omission of an entire gender.”

    It does? So us wimmins can’t be Vietnam vets, poets from Argentina, or African pirates? Sez who? 😉

  19. Hey Janet,
    I know you’re just funnin’ with me. My stance on Women’s Rights is consistent with that of the current US Army’s, “Be All That You Can Be.”

    However, Vietnam was well before enlightenment. Women were not allowed to serve in active combat, or even in support units. My understanding is that the only female US military personel in Vietnam were nurses.

    Most of the African pirates I’ve seen lately appear to be teenaged boys though I suppose they could be women in drag.

    Of course that does leave all the female poets in Argentina but I’ve heard they prefer to be called poetresses.

    Perhaps EJ can clarify.

  20. Hi Tom,

    I can’t wait for the movie to open in Ireland. It makes me glad to see your movie getting such praise and great word of mouth. If ever a film maker deserved it,it’s you. I’m still flying the DiCillo flag over here man,nobody who comes to my house is safe from being shown one of your movies,can’t wait until When Your Strange is in the collection too.

    Pints of Guinness are on me if you ever make it over here man:-)



  21. Hello Wayne me brotha,
    I appreciate your support very much. There is still an enormous mountain to climb before this thing can come to life. No matter what happens I’m proud of the film and would like nothing more than for you to have a chance to see it.
    Let’s see. Should probably know which way that flag is flying in a month or so.
    Aaahh, Guinness. It’s like drinking a loaf of bread.

  22. Hey Sally,
    Thanks for the good wishes. I’m in Germany at the moment. I believe the screening starts in NY in 15 minutes. I won’t know how it went for a day or so.
    I’m still working on that date issue. I’m convinced it needs to be changed in the film and will make sure it happens.

  23. Hey Tom

    Haha you are right about the Guinness,it’s a meal in itself, it’s the Irish struggle…dinner or a Guinness?

    I got some great news the other day man,i study film history myself and i write alot in my free time so i sent some of my film reviews and articles that i wrote off to several newspapers to see if i could get some experience in the field and one of the biggest ones is interested in picking me up as a film critic(all going well),so i have a meeting with them next week. Now i’ll be able to recommend your work to much more than just my friends…a good population of Ireland! 🙂

    Best of luck with all the screenings Tom,there’s a small gang of us here rooting for you.


    P.S. i just saw Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt for the first time,have you seen it? Probably my favourite Hitchcock,up there with Dial M for Murder and Strangers on a Train.

  24. Tom, hope you had fun in Germany. 🙂

    Noticed your response to Janet’s funnin’ about the “wimmins” being Vietnam Vets.

    Just thought you’d like to know – approximately 1,200 female support troops served, many of them in non medical positions such as clerk typists, photojournalists, intelligence officers, translators and flight controllers.

    I think we have mainstream Hollywood to thank for the “only nurses served” focus, because a woman sitting behind a Remington typewriter at Long Binh or carrying a gov’t issue camera around the Delta just wasn’t as dramatic as those gals in “China Beach.” 😉

    Wayne, good luck with your interview. If you’re hired make sure they pay you properly!

  25. Hey Tom,

    Hope Germany has been great! Let us know how the screening went when you have news 🙂

    Wayne, you corrupter you 🙂 I’ll have to pick up some Guinness on the way home, esp this week! Love black&tans made w/Guinness and Harp.

  26. Hola Tom, Janet, Elaine, Salli, Sally, Baron, James, Mario, Mark, Wayne, John Warwick Arden, et al.,

    My earlier comment looked of manageable size in this little box…….I’m not sure how it grew so long……..

    In any event, I am lurking quietly…….awaiting intel on WYS distribution.

    No comments at this time on the discussion I stirred up regarding Doors fans, sex, gender, piracy and poetry. I didn’t mean to divert us from the post, which is all about WYS and Tom’s work.

    OK, all I’ll say on the ‘wimmins’ thing is that I in fact served in line combat in Iraq. I was medevaced out and remember vividly the impeccable care I received from Air Force women and doctors aboard the airlift from Balad to Landstuhl, Germany. I thought they were angels. I later visited there with a young female trooper who had lost both her feet in an IED attack. That girl certainly saw her share of the sh*t.

    Respectully, Tom, I don’t think our enlightenment should embrace putting women into combat. Wars are lies to start with, most of the time. I think we have plenty of young men available if the chickenhawks prevail to get us into mires like the Iraqistan Wars. That’s my perspective as a former Infantryman. Combat is pure chaos, sharp as your training may be. Much thought has gone into why women are not permitted in Infantry and Special Operations units (however there are women serving with distinction in intelligence, etc. where they are certainly in the fire).

    As for the other gender implications……me, I call actors actors, doctors doctors, and poets poets. I love women. If I didn’t I couldn’t ever understand James Douglas Morrison’s wild courting of the Muse, which I feel to be a feminine vibration.

    It was interesting to read the above. You have a very dynamic community here, Tom.

    I think it’s amazing that we can reach out here, discuss your work and your latest thoughts and developments, and find you fully involved.

    I promise, I’m going back to lurking.

    Bring on The Doors.

    “Is everybody in? Is everybody in? Is everbody in? The Ceremony is about to begin . . . .”


  27. Thanks Erik! (My youngest is named Erik)

    More importantly thank you for putting on the uniform.

    These words don’t come close to giving you guys the justice or respect or remote understanding of what men and woman have done for this country.

    I reading a fascinating book, “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brian, I’d recommend it.

    The World on Fire…Taxi from Africa…The Grand Hotel…
    He was drunk a big party last night back going back
    in all directions sleeping these insane hours I’ll never wake up
    in a good mood again I’m sick of these stinky boots

  28. Off topic…but maybe not so much. Tom, you made my stomach hurt! It’s still sore this morning.

    Why? I spent part of last night reading your script for “Living in Oblivion,” which I found on line.

    A few scenes into it, I got the gut grabbing covered mouth giggles. To avoid dire punishment for waking my mom and sister, I continued it read “Oblivion” in varying states of smothered stomach clenched hilarity.

    It’s a wonderful script and just as much fun to read as to watch, which can’t be said for 99% of the scripts out there. Thanks for the late night laughs.:)



  29. Hey Salli,
    You crack me up. I cannot believe you read the screenplay for Living In Oblivion. But, I sincerely thank you for doing so.

    I wrote the first half hour after coming home from my wife’s cousin’s wedding. It was there that I’d met someone from an old acting class who approached me after my third martini and exclaimed, “Tom! You’re so lucky! You made Johnny Suede. You made a movie. Lights, camera, action!”

    The money had just fallen through on Box of Moonlight for the fifth time so I promptly told him to shut the fuck up.

    I said, “You don’t know the first thing about making a movie. 99% of the time it is the most tedious, boring place on earth. And then, let’s say you’ve even got an actress emotionally ready to do a scene–most of the time the camera screws up and you miss it.”

    That was the birth of the idea for the whole film. When I recovered from my hangover and wrote the first half-hour I gave it to Catherine Keener to read, who was staying with my wife and me at the time. I will never forget the sound of her laughter coming from the back room.
    So, you are not alone.
    I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    I gave that guy a part in the film. As well as my wife’s cousin. As well as the guy she married.

  30. Hey,
    I attended the Delirious screening in Germany and all I can say is that I really enjoyed that movie.

    After google’ing Tom DiCillo, I stumbled upon this blog, which is also fun to read.

    Looking forward to watch “When you’re strange”. Hopefully, this movie IS gonna be released in Germany.

    best regards,

  31. Dear Mr. Tom Dicillo,

    It is completely impossible for me to make it down to see When You’re Strange, but I would be absolutely delighted if you are planning on releasing this for consumer purchase. I’ve been infinitely in Love with The Doors and Jim Morrison’s words and poetry since birth, if there is any means of finding out more information, could you contact me:
    I am deeply interested and would be ever so grateful.

    Peace and Love,
    Hashie (Hannah D Carmichael)
    Saskatchewan, Canada

  32. Tom!

    I’m pretty curious about your documentary ‘When you’re Strange’. Nice stories – and seeing the trailer I think you finally made the first real documentary about Jim Morrison and The Doors.
    I can’t wait: when is the show-off in the netherlands espected?

  33. Hey Tom,

    Just writing to let you and Salli know that i just got back from my interview and that i got the job as film critic. What a day! 🙂


  34. Congratulations, Wayne! That’s wonderful! I used to be a critic (dance, music)and with that job comes a choice. (1) You can build a reputation as a clever, sarcastic rip ’em to shreds critic, or (2) be fair.

    Remember that no matter what the film is, there are people who spent their talents and months or years of their lives trying to bring their vision to the screen, no matter how wonderful or awful the final product turns out to be. My advice; be fair and good luck!

  35. Hi Tom, a review by Larry Richman of WYS on Ida’s site really is tremendous. He says he was blown away by the film. Gtreat stuff, take a look. Any news regarding a buyer??? Thanks.

  36. Hey Baron,
    Just a quick update on buyers. There will some significant news in a week or so. Don’t want to put anything here until it is final. But, the response to the NY screening was extremely strong. Also, the screening in France has been very productive as well.
    Keep your eyes here.

  37. Hey Wayne,
    Congratulations, mate! That is great news. And, I think Salli’s advice is superb.
    Enjoy the ride.
    And remember, they must have seen something impressive from you.

  38. Thank you very much Tom,Salli and Elaine 🙂

    I will be taking Salli’s to advice to heart as being a film lover my first instinct is to be fair to a film and appreciate the very fact it got made.

    Tom, one of the pieces of writing i included in my portfolio for my interview was an article on you’re films i wrote several months back just because i love you’re films so much i just really had to write about them, even though it was just my friends who would be reading it. I entitled it “Reflections in the Moonlight: The characters and world of Tom DiCillo”. It was a look at the people of Johnny Suede, Living in Oblivion, Box of Moonlight and The Real Blonde and how the characters are all affected by dreams of success and the mundanity of day to day work.

    What i thought interesting was that even in the cases where your characters had their dream job or a successful one(Nick in Oblivion, Al in Moonlight, Sahara in The Real Blonde)they were as neurotic or unhappy as those in less successful circumstances(Joe in The Real Blonde, Johnny Suede, The Kid).
    Also how you deal with the struggles faced by many twenty and thirty-somethings: success at home and at work, sex, family life, dreams, ambition, questions about parenthood and it’s role in the character’s happiness(Al doesn’t seem too bothered about his role as a father and seems like a man happier to be at his sterile and mundane job than talk with or spend time with his child and Mary is under pressure as to whether to have kids due to work and money)these are relevant topics and it’s that combination of reality with the whimsical and surreal which grabs me.

    I hope you don’t mind me including it in my portfolio Tom,but you’re films mean that much to me.

    So thank you Tom for making films which inspired and encouraged me to take up writing about film and help me go towards a direction in my life where i am truly happy or else i may someday have ended up having an Al Fountain style crisis 🙂



  39. Hi Mr. DiCillo,

    Any chance the Doors documentary will be available for download upon release to consumers?

  40. Hey George,
    Yes, I’m sure there will be chances the film will be available for upload, download, reload and unload. First though, we’re still aiming for a real theatrical release which is moving forward. Not definite yet, but movement. And then, once the film has been shown in theaters there will be a dvd release.

  41. Well Wayne,
    You continue to amaze me. If I was able in any way to help you get a job then you’ve made my day.
    I like what you’ve observed about the characters in my films. I might not have been able to articulate it like you have, but feel you’ve discovered some unconscious meanings.
    And if this essay of yours got you hired then all I can say is that you’re in for a good time with these folks who hired you.
    Good on you, mate.

  42. Hello Thomas Ruigrock,
    Thanks for writing. I don’t know exactly what the plans are for the Netherlands yet, but I can say a very prestigious sale is in the works for France. Once that happens, and it is announced I think it will help spur the interest of the other European territories.
    I know the Doors played in Amsterdam. There is the famous story of Jim eating the chunk of hash. I make reference to this in the film.
    I think the film would do well in Holland.
    Keep watching out for it.

  43. Hey Deniz,
    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I’m still recovering from my jetlag.
    I’m really glad you enjoyed the screening of Delirious in Koln. I was there for a week teaching a class on film acting for actors. I thought the screening went well and I really appreciated the response from the audience at the end.
    I agree with you 100%–the Doors film should definitely be released in Germany. As I mentioned to Thomas above, there is renewed interest from European distributors with Depp’s narration and the sharpened version of the film.
    Let’s see what happens in a few weeks.

  44. Hello Hannah Carmichael,
    Thanks for writing. Canada is a very big territory and will be included with any North American sale we make. So, keep watching here for news.

  45. Hello K,
    No, have not officially entered the film in the London Film Festival yet. I think first we’d need to be invited. 2nd, it would help enormously to enter the festival with the support of a UK distributor which is still in development at the moment.
    But, I think the festival would be great for the film.

  46. Hey Tom,

    Great to read your update on the “News” tab. Glad Germany was rewarding and congrats on putting the polishing touches on first draft of screenplay! Woo hoo! That deserves a few cold beers 🙂

    Ah yes, summertime. Drinking chilled beers myself as I watch the fireflies dance amidst green shrubs, set against the lavender evening light. This is one of those times when “Box of Moonlight” always touches my soul the most. The nature sounds in those scenes w/Al and Kid around the fire at Kid’s trailer–the crickets, frogs, and birds–it’s nature’s perfect symphony, and it’s right at my front door in summertime and in your film the rest of the year. Know it was probably a mix you added to the film in post-production, but it’s spot on with getting the sounds right.

    Look forward to more Doors news and seeing more DiCillo films 🙂


  47. Hi Tom,
    I’m a big admirer of your work and ethos! I like to explore what it would take to have you speak and do a workshop at university of Tampa this Fall or spring.

    Always available,
    Tom G

    Tom Garrett, Professor / Producer
    University of Tampa
    Department of Communication-Film Media Arts
    Director of Education and Special Initiatives , Sarasota Film Festival
    401 W. Kennedy Street,
    Tampa, FL 33606

  48. Hey Elaine,
    Your front porch sounds pretty amazing.

    Good ear. All the sounds in Box of Moonlight were added later. I specifically chose the crickets, all the birds and in particular a woodpecker which added something whimsical, musical and a little surreal.

    I hope all is well with you.

  49. Hey Tom Garret,
    Thanks very much for writing. I’d love to come down to Tampa. The fall might be better. What sort of film/directing/acting program do you have?

  50. Hi Tom

    Keep us updated on the Uk please!

    By the way saw Living in Oblivion last night for the first time, always felt very ashamed that I’d not seen that one. You really captured the madness of being on set so well. I’m shooting in about a month and your film was inducing anxiety attacks way too early! Well done!

    “I aksed for the frameline”


  51. Land Ho! gets the official Jimbeau Award for comment of the month.
    It don’t get no clearer than that. My sentiments exactly.

    All I can say is that the machinery of progress is at work. Be patient.


  52. Hey K,
    Believe me, my friend, as soon as I know something you will. I predict some significant information by the end of the week.

    Glad you enjoyed the lunacy of Oblivion. The guy who uttered the “axed” line (that’s how we spell it over here)is an ex-boxer. Like every one of the other actors he got the part by contributing money to the budget. As a reward he got to play the role exactly how he wanted, as a kind of punchdrunk white gangsta.

    Hey, I’ve seen a million of them.

    Good luck with your shoot. Try, try, try to enjoy it. Look how hard you’ve worked, and how long you’ve spent willing the film into being.


  53. “Like every one of the other actors he got the part by contributing money to the budget.”

    *Chuckles* Soooooo, Tom 🙂 🙂 How much did Catherine Keener have to pay…and what would it cost me for an “under five” in your next film? 😉 ;):)

  54. Ahh, Salli,
    Methinks thou doubtest me.
    Catherine’s husband at the time, Dermot Mulroney, was the first to put money in. He contributed 5k, and for that he got to play Wolf and Catherine got to play Nicole.
    You can ax them. And remember, this was 1995; nobody’s moon was in uranus yet.
    As far as an “under five” in my next film it will all depend if I go union or not. If I don’t, you can bet I’ll be calling you.

  55. Thanks for the kind words of enthusiasm, I really will try and enjoy it, there’s enough bad days in this business for us not to try enjoy some of them!
    It’s a short film and we’ve put it together like you with donations from people, including from some of the actors. I’ve got a feature in development with a production company, and they’re driving me up the wall, a constant fight to try to save it from becoming something crass and voiceless. This is why I decided to make the short, so I could just get something done that I had a little bit of control over, and ofcourse have some ‘fun’ with. I’m decomposing mentally here in ‘development’.

  56. Brasília, July 22th, 2009.

    My name is Maia Desiderato Sadouet, I´m the Production Coordinator of FICBRASILIA (Brasilia International Film Festival). I would like to send a letter from the Director of the Festival to invite the film “When you´re strange” directed by Tom DiCillo to our 11th Edition of the Festival, on november 4th to november 15th, 2009.
    Please, could give us a contact e-mail?

    Best wishes,

  57. Hi Tom, i’m from Spain, my english is not very well, but i want to say that i spect for the new film, i made a work of the doors when i was 11 yers old. ilove your films, really, and i’m sure that this documentary will be great. kisses from my city Murcia.

  58. Hello Arancha,
    It is great to hear from you. Thank you for writing. I hope very much that the film will come to theaters in Spain. There is a chance it will go to the San Sebastian Film Festival in September. We will know more in a few weeks.

  59. Apologies for the mis-hap when i posted my last comment Tom!

    So Sorry! Glad you were able to edit and rectify it! So embarrassing!

    Sorry for the inconvenience dude!

  60. Tom, you busted me. 🙂 I was funnin’ and am very camera shy.

    What are the advantages to going Union when you’re doing independent films?

  61. Hey Salli,
    No busting intended.
    The Union/non-union issue is tricky. Once you’re a member of the union you can’t do a non-union film–unless you get a very complex waiver. Usually this requires the budget to be just under the price of a box of bandaids.

    Ostensibly, going Union gives you greater access to experienced crew. It also dictates how much overtime you pay them. Going union gives you access to professional (union) actors. But it also means you can’t just cast someone you met on the street who would be perfect for a part.

    Living In Oblivion was made non-union. Delirious was union. I wish there was some way to combine the two.

  62. Maybe as we sink deeper and deeper into the Mother of All Depressions, as I’m very afraid we’re doing, the unions will loosen up a bit in the interests of survival, and some form of combination will be possible.

  63. Hi Tom,

    Just letting you know the film reviewing is going really well and it’s really exciting going to my first press screeings and all that goes with it. I set up a site for some of my writing i do outside of the publications, i posted the article i did on you and there is also a review of The Real Blonde on the site too. If yourself, Salli or Elaine are interested in reading it it’s here…(Jabba is me by the way,a nickname i picked up in school haha)


    Hope you dig it Tom and hope all is going well with When You’re Strange 🙂



  64. Great job, Wayne. I think the part I like the best is your closing sentence: “DiCillo’s movies are a treat and a world I revisit often,essential viewing for anyone in love with film.”

    In a nutshell, that sums it up. Tom is the only director whose commentaries I’ve listened to more than once. ‘A world I revisit often’ describes it perfectly too–Box of Moonlight is my comfort movie, something I watch to reset my equilibrium but also to restore my faith in humanity on those really tedious, disillusioning days. Living in Oblivion is the perfect medicine for a frustrating day when nothing goes right. And each of his films has that unique nugget that fits a specific situation.

    Congrats again on the gig – thx for sharing it here 🙂


  65. Hey Wayne,
    I do dig it. Not because of what you wrote but because of your obvious love of film and your passion for expressing it. A rare combo, my friend.
    You are extremely fortunate to not only love what you’re doing, but to possess a real talent at it as well.

    Some Doors news coming soon, I promise.

  66. Here’s the update: they’ve asked Tom to insert some car chases into the film so it’ll be more commercial.
    I don’t even believe there is a film. It’s all a hoax.

  67. Hey Baron,
    You and me both, brotha. Check out the latest post. If there isn’t something definite by the end of next week then I’m just going to start telling the movie to people next to me on the subway.

  68. Hey Jeff,
    The car chases went in several months ago, along with the British teenage wizards and the American teenage vampires. The title of the film has been changed to A Doorable; Part 1 with new narration by Hannah Montana.

    What else can I say?


  69. Hi Tom,
    Still want to explore you coming to Tampa, FL possibly in the Fall. I’m a big admirer of your work and ethos! I like to explore what it would take to have you speak and do a workshop at university of Tampa.

    Always available,
    Tom G
    my personal e mail is : circafilm@aol.com
    here’s some links about our program…


    I’m an NYU tisch MFA Grad circa 1985. Your a big hero of mine;-)

    Tom Garrett, Professor / Producer
    University of Tampa
    Department of Communication-Film Media Arts
    Director of Education and Special Initiatives , Sarasota Film Festival
    401 W. Kennedy Street,
    Tampa, FL 33606

  70. Hey Tom Garrett,
    I’d love to come down to Tampa. I’m out of town for a week. Let me call you when I get back to NY in early September. I just did a 5-day teaching gig; Film Acing for Actors, in Germany, and really had a blast.
    I’ll be talking to you.

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