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Analysis of Living in Oblivion

Uploaded by Appleman on Jun 09, 2007

Living in Oblivion

Living in Oblivion is a film that focuses on an independent film maker’s attempt to make a film. Everything that we see happening occurs on just one day of filming. The film is split into three sections – the first part is a dream that the director has just before waking up; the second part is the lead actress’ dream from the same night, and the final part is the filming of a dream sequence. Each section takes about half an hour. In the first hour of the film, the only real occurrences that we see are Nick and Nicole awaking from their dreams. In the final half an hour of the film, when we are watching what “really” happens, we get interrupted by a few daydreams. These daydreams, of which there are six, all happen in the same half a minutes silence.

Tom DiCillo doesn’t follow the classic Hollywood narrative, which comprises of a beginning, middle and a climax at the end. Living in Oblivion starts in a dream, (which we do not realise is a dream until Nick wakes up) continues into another dream, and then finishes with the end of the filming of a scene, with everyone still on the set, except for Tito the dwarf who stormed out a few moments earlier. It has no climax.

Mainstream cinemas usually start dreams by zooming in on the dreamer’s eyes. The screen then becomes hazy and fuzzy, and then a dream will begin. Occasionally, the audio in the dream sounds slightly distorted so that you are aware that this isn’t reality, and often the dreams are in black and white. DiCillo uses black and white in his dreams, but we don’t realise that these are dreams at the time because there is no fuzziness around the edge of the screen and there were no close ups of people faces before they begun. We just went straight into them. The day dreams in the third sequence do begin with close ups, but maintained their correct colours. The only indication at the start of the film that there are dreams involved is the title – oblivion is a state of unconsciousness and complete unawareness of what is going on around you, like when you're dreaming.

We only realise Nick was dreaming when we see him waking up. He had just been freaking out because he could hear a beeping sound, but...

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Uploaded by:   Appleman

Date:   06/09/2007

Category:   Film

Length:   3 pages (685 words)

Views:   6422

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