Last January, right around the time when Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time was just days away from its bungled release on EPIX, actor and comedian Patton Oswalt spoke to The AV Club about the rich bouquet that is his collection of stand-up specials. In the interview, Oswalt detailed his plan to alternate fresh stand-up specials with books like his New York Times Best Selling essay collection, “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland”, and true to his word, Oswalt will release his next book on January 6, 2015.
“Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film” is described as a “memoir about coming of age as a performer and writer in the late ’90s while obsessively watching classic films at the legendary New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles.”
Here’s more from the synopsis:
“Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakeable addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex. It was film. After moving to L.A., Oswalt became a huge film buff, absorbing classics and new releases at least three nights a week at the New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Patton’s life schoolbook, informing his notions of acting, writing, comedy, and relationships. Set in the nascent days of the alternative comedy scene, Oswalt’s memoir chronicles his journey from fledgling stand-up comedian to self-assured sitcom actor, with the colorful New Beverly collective supporting him all along the way.”
I’m more of a comedy nerd than a cinephile, so the promised exploration of the alt-comedy scene of the late 90s appeals to me more than a discussion about obscure cinema does. I loved Oswalt’s “A History of America from 1988 to 1996” and the “Victory Tour” chapters in “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland” and I’m hoping for more unvarnished glimpses into the “glory” of being a working comic. With that said, though, I’m also a big fan of Nathan Rabin’s pop culture heavy memoir, “The Big Rewind” and of the very personal and formative Towncenter 3 stories in “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland”, so if Oswalt can keep the story personal and find a way to tie his experiences to the films that meant so much to him, I have no doubt that I will adore this book in the same way as I did the last.
Again, “Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film” is set to come out on January 6, 2015 from Scribner. You can pre-order it here.