Adrian Tomine's Dream Double Feature
"For the past year or so, I’ve been engaged in several different Sisyphean tasks related to the strange business of film and television. Throughout the process, the two films that kept popping into my mind were The King of Comedy and Adaptation. I’d be nervously perched in the reception area of some lavish office building, and all I could think was that I’d somehow transformed from a respectable cartoonist/illustrator into a cringe-inducing pest like Rupert Pupkin. Or I’d be sitting in a restaurant, meeting with someone of importance within the industry, and I’d imagine that person looking across the table and seeing an Asian version of Nicolas Cage’s sweat-drenched portrayal of Charlie Kaufman.
But these were favorite movies of mine long before all this. They share thematic concerns of obsession, creativity, the hunger for approbation, and the blurring of reality and fantasy. They both brutally capture the dissonance between how one thinks they’re behaving and how they’re actually being perceived. They probe deeply into notions of success, and more importantly, failure. They offer indelible protagonists that, for better or worse, I relate to more than I should admit. Above all, they are both ingenious, multi-layered, trailblazing works of art that also happen to be really funny."
Program Notes by Adrian Tomine, a cartoonist and illustrator and frequent contributor to The New Yorker. His most recent book is Killing and Dying.