A director’s cut is often a personal thing. Once a studio releases a film, a director makes many compromises to appease the ratings board, test audiences, and the producers. When they get a chance to release a director’s cut, they reclaim the art they put so much time and effort into. Fourteen years after the release, director Tom DiCillo, the man behind the cult 1995 indie hit Living in Oblivion, gives us the director’s cut of his 2006 film Delirious.
Les (Steve Buscemi) is a high-strung, bottom-feeding paparazzo looking for that one celebrity photo to make a name for himself. A homeless kid named Toby (Michael Pitt) crosses his path, and Les takes pity on him, offering him a closet to sleep in and an assistant job. When Toby falls for pop star K’harma (Alison Lohman) and gains her trust after a chance meeting, Les becomes jealous, and his hunger for fame jeopardizes his livelihood and friendship with Toby just as Toby’s life is about to change.
There’s an unspoken pact when you become a celebrity. Once you make it big, you’re the property of the general public. What you eat, what you wear, and who you’re sleeping with are all up for public consumption. Today, all the gossip magazines are still full of stars, A-list to D, getting coffee, eating at restaurants, and on vacation. DiCillo’s extended cut of Delirious holds up a microscope to the celebrity circus that still carries on. He dissects egos as fragile as glass and the pettiness that comes with fame. We still see the pecking order of celebrity, the rags to riches mythology, and the consuming urge to capitalize on image and popularity.
You can’t beat the cast either. Buscemi is an indie all-star and has the most incredible street cred in my books. It was nice to see him opposite his Boardwalk Empire, co-star Pitt, who has also gone on to play some brilliant characters. His portrayal of Toby leaves a lasting impression of a pure heart in a nasty world and someone who has a lasting positive effect on everyone he encounters. Lohman, who exudes a Britney Spears-like persona, and Gershon, who plays Dana, Toby’s casting agent, are also fantastic. The film’s early 2000s vibe will bring up some nostalgia for the end of the MTV generation. There are also cameos from Cinque Lee, Spike Lee’s brother, and Kristen Schaal, better known as Louise Belcher on Bob’s Burgers.
Bonus Features: 3 Promotional Shorts: ‘Casting Michael Pitt,’ ‘Steve Buscemi is Pissed’ and ‘The Gina Gershon Tape’; New filmed Director’s Intro by Tom DiCillo; New audio Commentary from director Tom DiCillo; ‘Stalking Delirious’ making-of featurette; Alison Lohman Music Video: ‘Shove It’; Original Theatrical Trailer