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The Decay of Fiction Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: An experimental film in the truest sense, The Decay of Fiction makes use of two traditional cinematic practices in juxtaposition. The film is first a journey through a historic hotel in Los Angeles, empty and awaiting demolition. Within these spaces will be set a series of dramatic encounters with characters who might all have been present in this building at the same time. (Anthology Film Archives) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. 88
    The result is hypnotic.
  2. 88
    An acid trip of a movie about a piece of Los Angeles history that exists no more: the Ambassador Hotel.
  3. 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.
  4. 70
    The Decay of Fiction is less a narrative than a monument. In its abstract movie-ness, this 74-minute carnival of souls exudes a wistful longing to connect, not so much with Hollywood history as with the history of that history.
  5. O'Neill showed in his 1989 "Water and Power" a poetic feeling for human evanescence in relation to southern California locales; here he proves equally astute at showing how our sense of history becomes tainted by and entangled with Hollywood myths.
  6. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    The attention given to constructing each shot makes for a hypnotic visual experience, while lack of a progressive narrative telescopes film's running time into infinity.