Tom 52 minutes 2002

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“A dazzling experimental documentary about notorious cineaste Tom Chomont. Tom narrates his recollections and transgressions against a dizzying array of found footage, video, super-8 and photographs. At moments, he appears in front of the camera, alternately flamboyant or fragile. His revelations cover a broad scope from sadomasochistic desire through existential vulnerability to an incestuous relationship. With this extraordinary portrait, Hoolboom creates a different kind of biography film, one that eschews traditional mimetic realism in order to depict the reminiscences of a fading life lived in the throes of image culture.” (Diane Burgess, Vancouver Festival)

Tom is a visually choreographed thought-scape, intermingling footage of Tom with found and archival footage ranging from the erecting of the Empire State building to Hollywood classics to much more abstract images, the film weaves Tom’s daily life and struggle with AIDS with distant memories and present fantasies.” (Reeling Festival)

“An uncommon biography of Tom Chomont-a key figure in New York fringe culture, a notorious video artist, ill with AIDS. The backdrop of the story: New York City… Hoolboom adopts an associative approach, taking dozens of film segments, from forgotten newsreels to the most well-known Hollywood moments-attempting through them to rebuild Chomont’s biography.  The stories elucidate the fabric of the image and give them meaning: childhood memories, stories of incest, a mobster’s love or even the great white light that for Chomont symbolizes the beginning and end of life. The other star is New York City, images of which from various periods and from often incongruous angles play a part here. Utilizing all these visual elements, he constructs a new, fictitious biography that fills in the gaps left by memory and by those things located on the hidden side of the subconscious. The end result is a work with hypnotic effect-an uncommon experience.” (Vivian Ostrovsky, Jerusalem Film Festival Catalogue)