Tom DiCillo's 1995 film, starring Steve Buscemi
, Catherine Keener and Dermot Mulroney, is a quintessential movie about movies. It tells the story of Nick, the director of a low-budget indie, trying to keep everything together as his production is plagued with an insecure actress, a megalomaniac star, a pretentious, beret-wearing director of photography and lousy catering. Divided in three acts, each representing a different scene to shoot, this film is an essential for amateur filmmakers.
No relation to the blog
where Chris Livingston plays a Non-Player Character
in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
This film contains examples of:
- All Just a Dream: The first two acts of the films are Nick's, then Nicole's dream. Subverted in act three, when, ironically, the dream sequence is shot in the only act which isn't a dream.
- Chekhov's Gun: The first conversation of the film discusses the state of the milk opened almost a week ago. Thirty minutes later, Wolf is seen puking his guts out.
- Eyepatch of Power: Chad thinks wearing Wolf's eyepatch will make his character more of a badass. Nick, who doesn't like the eyepatch, dissuades Chad by telling him it looks gay.
- Film Within A Film: Types 1. Living in Oblivion is the name of the film Nick directs.
- The Food Poisoning Incident: Guess why Wolf couldn't film the perfect take.
- Genre Savvy: Tito's rant about midgets in movie scenes.
- Let's Just Be Friends: Part of Wanda's breakup speech to Wolf.
- Little People Are Surreal: Tito gets particularly offended by this trope.
Tito: Why does my character have to be a dwarf?
Nick: He doesn't have to be.
Tito: Then why is he? Is that the only way you can make this a dream, to put a dwarf in it?
Nick: No, Tito, I...
Tito: Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? Do you know anyone who's had a dream with a dwarf in it? No! I don't even have dreams with dwarves in them. The only place I've seen dwarves in dreams is in stupid movies like this! "Oh make it weird, put a dwarf in it!". Everyone will go "Woah, this must be a fuckin' dream, there's a fuckin' dwarf in it!". Well I'm sick of it! You can take this dream sequence and stick it up your ass!
- Love Dodecahedron: Nick likes Nicole, who slept with Chad, who asked out Wanda, who's dating Wolf.
- This only applies in Nicole's dream, in which Nick confesses that he loves her. After she's woken up and is in the real world, there's no evidence that Nick is in love with her; she just wishes that he did.
- Meaningful Name: Nick Reve. "RÍve" is French for "dream".
- No Budget: Nick's film is an example of this.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Tom Di Cillo's first film Johnny Suede was a low-budget Troubled Production starring a then-unknown Catherine Keener and then-rising-star Brad Pitt. This, his second film, is about a low-budget Troubled Production which stars an unknown actress (played by Catherine Keener) and a rising star called Chad Palomino.
- Peter Dinklage as the easily offended dwarf in the third act.
- Plot Parallel: In the second act, the dialogue between Chad and Nicole's characters mirror how Nick feels about Nicole or rather how Nicole dreams Nick feels about her.
- The Prima Donna: Chad Palomino.
- This Is a Work of Fiction: The statement after the end credits reads: "The characters and incidents portrayed and the names herein are sort of fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is sort of coincidental and unintentional."
- Troubled Production: In-universe example.