Decay of Fiction (2003)

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Movie Info

L.A.'s legendary Ambassador Hotel provides the backdrop for director Pat O'Neill's avant-garde film The Decay of Fiction, which superimposes reenactments of classic Hollywood films onto shots of the dilapidated establishment. Gangsters and their molls interact with icy blondes and wisecracking bartenders in carefully deconstructed snatches of dialogue and narrative that serve an intentionally distancing purpose. O'Neill's time-lapse photography further adds to the film's ethereal effect.

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Critic Reviews for Decay of Fiction

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

If there were more experimental films as entertaining as The Decay of Fiction, Pat O'Neill's luminous Hollywood ghost story, the notion of a thriving avant-garde cinema might not be so intimidating to the moviegoing public.

Sep 22, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5

The Decay of Fiction is an acid trip of a movie about a piece of Los Angeles history that exists no more: the Ambassador Hotel.

Sep 21, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4

Eight years in the making, this haunting and highly watchable 35-millimeter experimental feature by Pat O'Neill is partly a color documentary on the ruins of Hollywood's Ambassador Hotel and partly a speculative patchwork of its decaying 'fictions'.

Feb 19, 2005 | Full Review…

The fullest expression of [O'Neill's] career on the periphery of the dream-factory assembly line.

Oct 8, 2002

Avant-garde filmmaker Pat O'Neill's haunting ode to pulp fiction and the now-vanished Ambassador Hotel is steeped in decaying California glamor and the ghosts of noir thrillers past.

Sep 22, 2006 | Full Review…

The film's superimpositions, movie-dialogue samples, and audio-visual burps collectively suggest an acid trip.

Sep 11, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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