Living in Oblivion (1995)
August 17, 2022 7:40 AM - Subscribe

Independent film director Nick (Steve Buscemi) is making his first feature. Everything that can go wrong does. Tension boils between lead actress Nicole (Catherine Keener) and actor Chad (James LeGros), who have just slept together. An actor brought in to play a dwarf in a dream sequence (Peter Dinklage) has sharp criticism about the sequence. As money and time run out, Nick struggles to complete his film.

Written and directed by Tom DeCillo.

86% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Amazon Prime, Kanopy, Peacock, Tubi, Fandor, and The Roku Channel. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total)
 
This is a pretty funny movie in general, with James LeGros likely being a take on Brad Pitt, whom DeCillo directed in an earlier film. Buscemi, as ever, is great.

But the real reason this movie lives rent-free in my head forever, and the reason why absolutely no one who saw it was surprised when Peter Dinklage later became a star is Tito's rant about dwarfs and dream sequences.
Tito (Dinklage): Why does my character have to be a dwarf?

Nick (Buscemi): 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!
Here's the clip.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:44 AM on August 17 [10 favorites]


A college friend who went into film and video production tried working for a while on an indie film shortly after graduation, about a year before this film came out.

She said that the trailers alone were enough to trigger some flashbacks to the experience and she swore off ever seeing it as a result.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:55 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]


Never seen it (probably will), but I'm laughing just imagining a very awkward meeting between Dinklage and David Lynch.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:18 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]


I saw this when it came out, and have fond memories of it. And the Dinklage scene above is what stands out in my memory the most as well.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 7:55 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]


This was one of the first indie movies I ever saw on purpose, and I'm so glad it was my introduction to movies that don't quite fit the Hollywood mold. It was at a film festival, outdoors in deck chairs in the summer (we saw Black Cat White Cat in the same season). I'd never heard of Steve Buscemi before and it made me seek out everything he's in, before and since. And when Game of Thrones cast Peter Dinklage as Tyrion, I cackled with laughter because I knew he'd be perfect.
posted by harriet vane at 8:54 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Tito's rant about dwarfs and dream sequences

See also Jimmy in In Bruges.
posted by praemunire at 12:14 PM on August 18


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