Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party," comments by Andy

"Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party" might be one of those films that really separates film junkies and Hollywood know-it-alls from those who are only pretending to be. I'm sorry to say that I fit squarely in the latter group. I'm embarrassed to say that until I saw this film, I did not know the name of one of Hollywood's most prolific actors, Stephen Tobolowsky. I certainly knew who he was, but he never rose to the level of someone whose name I should know. I know it now though.

Jason has a fine description of the film - watching Mr. Tobolowsky tell stories about himself. To me, the intriguing aspect to me is how the film came about. From what the director tells us, he cooked this film up after attending one of Mr. Tobolowsky's many parties. Apparently Mr. Tobolowsky is most noted among his friends for spinning yarn (story-telling, for those not in the know). We are told, and I believe it, that his parties always eventuate in everyone listening to him tell stories. The director was so intrigued and impressed that he decided to make a film of Tobolowsky telling his stories.

The film is probably a collection of his favorite stories. Interestingly enough, he's not a name dropper. He's worked with almost every A-list actor, yet his stories have nothing to do with any of them, nor does he generally even mention working with them. Classy, I think. More interestingly was who attends his parties. Sounds like some very well-known people attend his shindigs. For the film, there were at least two recognizable figures - Amy Adams (who had no speaking role whatsoever), and Mena Suvari (who only had a small comment to add).

Anyway, it's a terrific film if you are looking for interesting stories from one of the best story tellers around. I wish I could go to one of his parties.

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