Desperately Seeking Indie

Michael Pitt and Steve Buscemi in Tom DiCillo’s Delirious (2007)
Michael Pitt and Steve Buscemi in Tom DiCillo’s Delirious (2007)

I didn’t see Tom DiCillo’s new film Delirious, and the odds are neither did you. Starring Steve Buscemi as a paparazzo who takes Michael Pitt under his wing, it came out last August to good reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, the New Yorker and Salon. It got a solid 84% Cream of the Crop rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Despite all this and despite DiCillo’s solid reputation from highly regarded films like Living in Oblivion, Delirious went on to a limited release and made a dismal $200,000.

Michael Bay just farted and it made $200,000. And that doesn’t count the inevitable DVD release or the sequel.

Delirious got a tiny mention from me in the Weekend Forecast and that was the end of it. It played in L.A. for about 5 minutes and then disappeared.

I’m only reminded of all this because my friend Joel sent me a link to a sad and interesting column from Roger Ebert. You should check it out.

Ebert liked Delirious. He gave it 3 1/2 stars. DiCillo wrote him a letter wondering where it all went wrong and Ebert tries to answer. He doesn’t quite succeed, but it raises a lot of questions about the state of the movie going universe. It’s a useful reminder in a season where the big studios are duking it out for Oscar favor, that there are dozens of little films out there waiting to be discovered. They need our help, however. You have to look for them.

It’s a reminder to me that I should be doing a better job looking out for the little guys. That’s really why I started doing this after all.

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