It’s made the rounds at the festivals and has been getting huge awards. Top directing awards for Tom Dicillio, and stars: Steve Buscemi, Alison Lohman, Michael Pitt, Elvis Costello and Gina Gershon.
Now opening tomorrow (Aug.15th) in limited venues is “Delirious” with Buscemi playing a lovely paparazzi.
Small time celebrity photographer Les Galantine (Steve Buscemi) has a
big mouth and big dreams, but he canâ€™t quite talk himself into the right
parties to get that one great exclusive photo. He meets Toby (Michael
Pitt), a homeless kid who is drawn to the bright lights of New York City
and â€œhiresâ€ him as his assistant.[photopress:Delirious_new_lg.gif,full,alignright]
Les pays Toby nothing but room and board but the two are drawn to each
other and become friends. Although Toby enjoys the glamour and
excitement of Lesâ€™ lifestyle he has dreams of his own; to become an actor.
Luck intervenes for Toby when he accidentally meets Kâ€™Harma Leeds
(Alison Lohman), a beautiful pop diva. As their unlikely love blossoms
Toby finds himself torn between a chance to follow his dream and to fulfil
his obligation to Les. This conflict deepens when Toby leaves Les and
lands a part on a Reality Show, partly by sleeping with the showâ€™s casting
director Dana (Gina Gershon).
As Tobyâ€™s fortunes continue to rise, Les tries to reach out, while also
maintaining a bitter resentment toward his former protÃ©gÃ©â€¦
(and stick around to the end of this article for a hilarious video. caution,strong language)
As the world becomes more and more fascinated by fame and
entertainment culture I find myself fascinated with that fascination.
However, DELIRIOUS is not about celebrity or show business. I chose that
arena as a backdrop for a story that was intended to reflect more on our
emotional culture today.
I see a ferocious schizophrenia everywhere I look; a battle between those
with value and those who are valueless. Most of the time this judgment
comes from within which is why Fame is so powerful and addictive. It is
the ultimate decree of value from the outside world. If the entire world
deems you valuable then you must be; no matter what you feel about
This to me is where the real, heroic struggle takes place – determining for
oneself what within you has value. Those who have no self-value are truly
tragic and it is out of this emotional wasteland that the most desperate
That is why I chose a paparazzi as the center of my film. Paparazzi
occupy the lowest rung of value in the Celebrity world, literally feeding off
of them. They are usually perceived (and portrayed) as the epitome of
worthlessness. But I found this identical schizophrenia raging within all
the paparazzi I met with. All believed they were every bit as equal as the
stars they were stalking and at the same time they were convinced the
worldâ€™s opinion of them was trueâ€”they were absolutely worthless. The
more I saw of this schizophrenia the more I wanted to investigate it; to
get inside the paparazzi in a way that had not been done before. And so
Les Galantine was born, enabling me to use his soulâ€™s schizophrenia as a
mirror for the worldâ€™s.
I also believe there are some people born in this world that are truly
innocent. These strange and blessed people somehow keep going, keep
the light of hope and trust in their hearts despite the fiercest
disappointments. I believe the world is drawn instinctively to these
people, partly out of joy and partly out of a desperate longing to
somehow consume their beauty and their power. I believe this is what
underlies the endless, perpetual cycle of creation of our most beloved
Stars. They are truly pop deities. And so Toby Grace was born, his divinity
clearly visible beneath his homeless rags.
I wanted to see what would happen if I brought these two opposites
together. They are like two sides of the same personality, a schizophrenic
archetype; which is why the fairy tale or myth became the structural form
for the film. Toby is the lost innocent, wandering through the dangerous
forest and Les is the twisted troll he encounters there. Kâ€™harma is the
trapped, melancholy princess Toby is destined to save. Les initially helps
Toby but his help comes with a price. Lesâ€™ infatuation becomes familial
and possessive and Toby eventually sees that he needs to break free in
order to survive.
This idea of family and its rigid tentacles of guilt and obligation were of
great interest to me. All the familial relationships in the film are damaged.
Les, however, keeps going back to his parents for affirmation and keeps
getting rejected. Ironically it is Toby, with an horrific home life of his own
who helps Les understand the pointlessness of this cycle.
I was committed to shooting the film in New York City. Living right in the
shadows cast by the glittering skyscrapers are the most desperate people.
I wanted to capture both. I chose locations to emphasize this; Times
Square at night, the subway, chic hotels, dirty, tenement apartments. The
city becomes the forest; deep, impenetrable, both magnificent and
terrifying at the same time.
Two films greatly inspired me; MIDNIGHT COWBOY and A HARD DAYâ€™S
NIGHT. I tried to find my own version of the tense, sweaty beauty in
every frame of Midnight Cowboy. At the same time I tried to infuse the
film with the bright, perpetual pulse of energy and wonder so pervasive in
the Beatleâ€™s film. Both filmâ€™s have elements of great humor although in
Midnight Cowboy it comes directly out of the finely detailed desperation of
its characters; again, a polarity that greatly interests me.
It was important for me to not make either Les or Toby into onedimensional
stereotypes. I took care to give them both elements of their
characters that were troubling as well as appealing. Particularly with
Toby, I wanted very much to suggest he was not entirely innocent. He
does, after all, steal Lesâ€™ lines. And, although admittedly a difficult
decision, he does desert Les at the Awards Ceremony. He clearly uses
Dana (Gina Gershon) to advance his career. No one is entirely innocent in
But, Les is my hero. His desperation and wrenching inner struggles mirror
our own. Toby disappears into the bright glow of stardom. Les remains in
the muck, fighting on and on.
New York City
Here is a totally hysterical video. Real or not?
We’ll be back with a review after tomorrow.