‘The Fiction’ – a noble cinematic hat trick for any first time filmmaker

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The Fiction

Directed by Danny DiLeo

Written by Danny Dileo

USA, 2010

Rookie filmmaker Danny DiLeo’s breakout film, The Fiction, provides a triple delight, one part Alfred Hitchcock, one part Stephen King, and one part Rod Serling. In this ambitious effort as writer, producer, and director, DiLeo breaks both rules and boundaries, delivering an entertaining and lingering cinematic experience. Screenwriters are preached, often to the point of exhaustion to “write what they know, refrain from having people talk to themselves, and avoid dream sequences.” DiLeo breaks the rules with a twist-laden, thought-provoking plot line.

Lead character Werther Oaks’s (Eric Hammer) writer’s block echoes The Shining, with slippages into Being John Malkovich surrealism, while intellectually yanking us back with a plot thread akin to Secret Window. At times, this film’s dialogue came across as overly expository, but overall was sparse enough to let the story flow. The story delves into the minds of several characters, but to reveal the outcome would prejudice the viewer’s experience, one which extends beyond the film’s viewing time.  The Fiction is a sophisticated physiological suspense thriller about tortured souls, sacrifice, memories, loss, and the redemptive cathartic power of storytelling.

The cast’s performances deliver, but more importantly, their chemistry draws the audience into the drama. Standout Jeff Savage, who plays several characters, convinces the audience in each of his transformations.  DP Aram “Spike” Bauman visually enhances the film with varied shooting techniques, while advancing DiLeo’s vision to keep the audience actively engaged. Justin R. Durban’s original music assists in ratcheting up the suspense.

The Fiction, like classic Hitchcock, commands “icebox talk.” Years ago, when an audiences first went to see a Hitchcock film, afterwards they would go home and after a while would “head to the icebox” for a snack, and en route would comment on the story creating a conversation that could keep people up for hours debating and reflecting about what they had just experienced. Keep an eye out for this film on the festival circuit. Plan to be intellectually engaged, emotionally involved, and, ultimately, entertained – a noble cinematic hat trick for any first time film maker.

L.C. Cragg

  1. Jeff Savage says

    Your recollection is correct. Danny did turn down a substantial offer. The Fiction will go to some film festivals before becoming generally available. Keep your eye out for it.

  2. Jeffery S. says

    Is this the script that turned down hollywood money for creative control? I remember reading on Joblo a while back and this name sounded familiar?? I could be wrong considering I cant find the link on joblo Great review, How or where can i see this film??

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