Patton Oswalt on His New Memoir, 'Silver Screen Fiend,' and His Dream Dinner Guests
The comic says he’s never seen 'Risky Business,' can’t wait to show his 5-year-old 'Jaws' and wishes he could've hung with Orson Welles and Mike Nichols
This story first appeared in the Jan. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Patton Oswalt moved to L.A. in 1995 to make it as a comedian, but soon tackled an additional mission: becoming a self-taught cinephile. The stand-up performer and actor (Young Adult, TV's The King of Queens), 45, spoke to THR in mid-December about his new memoir, Silver Screen Fiend, in which he revisits the four years he spent in the dark at the historic New Beverly Cinema.
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What movie from 2014 will film geeks be watching at the New Beverly in 2050?
Boyhood is the first movie that took me back to Children of Men, Being John Malkovich or Star Wars when I was 8, where they're taking this medium I thought I was pretty f—ing conversant in and doing something I haven't seen before.
What are some classics you've never seen?
The top five: Kramer vs. Kramer, Bela Tarr's Satantango, Michael Powell's A Matter of Life and Death, John Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence and Risky Business. Isn't that weird? I've seen every other teen movie. Everyone has crazy holes in their viewing.
Which filmmakers would you invite to a dinner party?
Orson Welles, Ida Lupino, Mike Nichols, Lina Wertmuller and Buster Keaton. Orson had the keys to the kingdom as a director, got thrown out and had to scrape by day by day. Ida had the keys to the kingdom as a leading actress, got kicked out, came back as a director and had to scrape along. [I'd want] to see Lina, who never had the keys to the kingdom, compare notes with Orson, Ida and Buster Keaton, who also was a crazy, freewheeling spirit. And Mike Nichols, because he was part of the kingdom but was always sardonically making fun of it.
Which movies are you looking forward to sharing with your 5-year-old daughter?
Ghostbusters and [1971's] Willy Wonka. I envy her getting to watch Jaws for the first time — fun, scary movies. On Christmas, all of her cousins are getting together and I'm renting a screening room to show them E.T. for the first time.