The Cinema of Tom DiCillo: Include Me Out is a comprehensive piece of work from Irish writer, music critic for Hot Press Magazine and teacher of Film Studies, Wayne Byrne.
It has recently been published by Wallflower Press, which is a wholly owned imprint of Columbia University Press, specializing in books in cinema and the moving image.
Wayne has seen his dreams come true in getting his book to publication but in his own words ‘the time and effort one spends on writing a book cannot be underestimated or underappreciated, it was the cost of realising my dream and I wouldn’t change a thing; except perhaps the time spent entertaining those that call your endeavour into question.’
Continue reading ‘What Price Dreams?’ with my guest today, Wayne Byrne, but firstly here’s a look at the book itself…
The Cinema of Tom DiCillo: Include Me Out considers for the first time in a single collection this acclaimed, award-winning director’s entire oeuvre, addressing and analysing themes such as identity, family, and masculinity, supported by in-depth coverage of the generic and aesthetic aspects of DiCillo’s distinctive and influential film style.
Through detailed chapters on each of DiCillo’s feature films, presented here is a candid look behind-the-scenes of both the American independent film industry – from the No Wave movement of the 1980s, through the Indie boom of the 1990s, to the contemporary milieu – and the Hollywood studio system.
This study documents the writing, production, and release of every DiCillo picture, each followed by an extensive Q & A with the director.
Also featured are exclusive interviews and commentary with many case members and collaborators, and members of legendary rock group, The Doors. Films covered include Johnny Suede, Living In Oblivion, Box of Moonlight, The Real Blonde, Double Whammy, Delirious, When You’re Strange, and Down in Shadowland.
Foreword by Steve Buscemi
Purchase Link ~ The Cinema of Tom DiCillo: Include Me Out
Guest Post ~ ‘What Price Dreams?’
by Wayne Byrne
This year a dream of mine came true: I was finally able to buy a book on Tom DiCillo. That book is called The Cinema of Tom DiCillo: Include Me Out. It’s a great book, my favourite book! I highly recommend it. Okay, I wrote that book, but the dream was to own and put on my shelf a book on that great American filmmaker, and it took becoming an author to achieve that. And yes, I went and bought a copy of my own book, because I owed it to twelve year old Wayne, he who discovered Johnny Suede two decades ago, decided Tom DiCillo was the best director ever, but couldn’t find a book on him.
I am immensely fortunate to have signed with Columbia University Press, the publishing house whose imprint Wallflower Press released The Cinema of Tom DiCillo as part of their “Director’s Cuts” series. I have many of the titles from that line on my shelf, and the thrill of seeing the spine of my book bearing Tom DiCillo’s name alongside other entries in the series – John Carpenter, Clint Eastwood, George Romero, David Cronenberg – is a profound and inexpressible delight.
One of the hardest things to describe to another person is the intimately subjective world of our dreams, be they the elliptical visions that haunt us in the dead of night, or the elusive and more meaningful mirage, the errant flashes of inspiration that get us through the drudgery of day, dictating our aspirations. For five years I worked on The Cinema of Tom DiCillo. I’m loath to call it “work”, it was nothing but a joy, but the time and effort one spends on writing a book cannot be underestimated or underappreciated, it was the cost of realising my dream and I wouldn’t change a thing; except perhaps the time spent entertaining those that call your endeavour into question. A track-list of greatest hits uttered my way with spurious motive includes: “Why would anyone want to buy that?”, “It probably won’t get published”, the brazenly blunt “You’re not going to make any money out of that”, and the deftly patronising “You do know it probably won’t sell that much, don’t you?”
Thank you for your interest.
One former colleague of mine actually Googled “How much money do non-fiction authors earn?” and with gleeful delight reiterated to me the dire results his absurd and frankly insulting search yielded. My potential for self-imposed poverty seemed to validate his internet trawl enough that it resulted in a “ha, you’re wasting your time!” kind of boast. People have stood in front of me and numerated in their head the retail price of my book and my prospective royalty share, as if I cared for or solicited their calculus. It’s infuriating. Nothing at all asked about the craft, creativity, and aesthetics of writing, but myriad financial queries. Yet I continue to smile politely as if their humiliating inquisition doesn’t bother me. It does. It hurts. It stings. You reduce the effort of many years’ intensive labour and emotional investment down to a facile monetary evaluation.
Thank you for your interest.
With the hustle and bustle of the workaday world, it’s perhaps hard for some to put any value on literature, or art of any kind. There’s so much societal pressure and emphasis on upward mobility, or just stability and survival – trying to stay afloat, pay the bills, and to just exist comfortably – that there can be, at best, a general apathy, and at worst, a belligerence towards the arts and anyone trying to succeed as an artist. Perhaps it’s hard for some on the outside to comprehend why authors can sit and mull over one paragraph until three o’clock in the morning, while our body clock is telling us “you have to get up for work in four hours!”. But then again, this is just me rationalising ignorance.
Thank you for your interest.
However, for every condescending pseudo accounting guru, there are the wonderfully supportive people that make it all worthwhile and who celebrate the achievement and attainment of your dream. I recently held the book launch of The Cinema of Tom DiCillo and it was truly one of the best days of my life. With the warm encouragement and endorsement of those in attendance, I experienced a rush of emotion that confirmed to me that art – in this case a marriage of film and literature – can bring the most euphoric moments of joy in one’s life. It was a rare moment that saw most of my immediate family together in one room; it brought complete strangers to my table to wish me well and to have a book signed; it brought acquaintances from around my town to come and talk and ask real questions, with genuine regard for the book and what it means to me; I’d received touching congratulations from Tom DiCillo and some of the actors from his films, and it was also the first time I’d seen many of my friends in a long time. People asked me about Tom’s films, and asked if I wanted to go for a pint that evening; nobody asked about money.
Sincerely, thank you for your interest!
Thank you so much Wayne for such an inspiring, open piece of writing.
To see what others are saying about Wayne’s writing, please do continue reading….
Praise for The Cinema of Tom DiCillo: Include Me Out
“The book now functions not only as a portrait of a life in the pictures, but as a frank examination of several periods of American cinema and the attendant complexities of its industry”.~ The Irish Times
“This volume by Irish author and Film Studies lecturer / education consultant Wayne Byrne is an extremely well-written, intelligent, enthralling addition to the Directors’ Cuts series published by Wallflower Press and a must-read for any cineaste or film student… Byrne’s book is an interesting in-depth look at all of DiCillo’s eight independent films (seven of which premiered at Sundance) the agony and the ecstasy of birthing them, as well as an honest, insider’s view into the independent film industry and the machinations of the Hollywood system.” ~ Christine Bode, Scully Love Promo
“A candid and behind-the-scenes look at DiCillo’s Hollywood, independent, fictional, and documentary filmmaking…essential reading for anyone who is interested in the intricacies of on-location film production, film festivals, distribution practices, acting, and performance.” ~ Sarah Sitwell, University of Utah
About Wayne Byrne:
Wayne Byrne is an author from Co. Kildare.
He is a music critic for Hot Press Magazine and teaches Film Studies. He has written on Cinema for various newspapers and magazines, including Leinster Leader, Click, and Film Ireland Magazine.
The Cinema of Tom DiCillo: Include Me Out is published by Wallflower Press.
Twitter ~ @DiCilloBook
For more information on Tom DiCillo and Wayne Byrne’s book check out the following link:
I’m struck by how some people just love to knock other people’s dreams! I’m so glad Wayne stuck with it, it sounds totally worth all the hard work!
Thanks Noelle. We can be a very begrudging nation at times. Wayne is living his dream. How lucky!!