Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The instant New York Times bestseller from author, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, a “heartfelt and hilarious” (USA TODAY) memoir about coming of age as a performer during the late 1990s while obsessively watching classic films at a legendary theater in Los Angeles. “[Oswalt has] a set of synapses like a pinball machine and a prose style to match” (The New York Times).
Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakable addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex: it was film. After moving to Los Angeles, Oswalt became a huge film buff (or as he calls it, a sprocket fiend), absorbing classics, cult hits, and new releases at the famous New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Patton’s life schoolbook, informing his notion of acting, writing, comedy, and relationships.
Set in the nascent days of LA’s alternative comedy scene, Silver Screen Fiend chronicles Oswalt’s journey from fledgling stand-up comedian to self-assured sitcom actor, with the colorful New Beverly collective and a cast of now-notable young comedians supporting him all along the way. “Clever and readable...Oswalt’s encyclopedic knowledge and frothing enthusiasm for films (from sleek noir classics, to gory B movies, to cliché-riddled independents, to big empty blockbusters) is relentlessly present, whirring in the background like a projector” (The Boston Globe). More than a memoir, this is “a love song to the silver screen” (Paste Magazine).
across the street to Pedro’s Grille, and as 1995 turned to 1996, it caught on. Bigger crowds, bigger comedians—Bobcat Goldthwait and Jon Stewart would drop in. Something was beginning to gel. No one could say what it was, exactly, but my group of friends were starting to come into their own. Tenacious D and Mr. Show came out of the Diamond Club—another usually half-empty showcase theater, on Hollywood Boulevard. Stand-up comedians mixed with characters and sketches. Will Ferrell performed with
performances because the director, Joel M. Reed, pulled his cast from experienced off-Broadway actors. It’s a schizophrenic experience, watching that movie. Cheap gore and clumsy gallows humor delivered with genuine panache and skill. The disconnect is more disturbing than the red Karo syrup dripping off of the obvious mannequin body parts. Or Maniac, on another Sunday at midnight at the Sunset 5.I Now that I think of it, they were doing some sort of exploitation film festival on successive
name, come to think of it. “Um, that’s, uh—” “And now I gotta come home to my five-room house in Malibu, and I find out a bunch of C-list actors are reading a script that I’ve optioned?” said the Kale Salad Eater with Rage Issues. “Well, we’re not charging any money for it, and it’s—” The Hot Yoga Enthusiast’s face turned purple with wrath and he spat, “Oh fuck you, that doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter and you know it fucking doesn’t goddamned cocksucking matter!!!” I felt sorry
February 20, 1998 The Legend of Lylah Clare Raleigh Studios Saturday, February 21, 1998 Network and The Conversation New Beverly Cinema Sunday, March 1, 1998 Dark City Varsity Cinema, Toronto Monday, March 2, 1998 Children of Paradise New Beverly Cinema Wednesday, March 4, 1998 Coffy Mission Street Theater-Pub, Portland, Oregon Thursday, March 5, 1998 Jackie Brown Mission Street Theater-Pub, Portland, Oregon Friday, March 6,
twenty-four-frames-per-second mechanical heartbeat that says, at least for the duration of whatever movie you’re watching, the world’s time doesn’t apply to you. You’re safe in whatever chronal flow the director chooses to take you through. Real time, or a span of months or years, or backward and forward through a life. You are given the space of a film to steal time. And the projector is your only clock. And the need for that subtle, clicking sprocket time makes you—made me—a sprocket fiend.