Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival, Sept. 28, 1999. (Also in Austin Film Festival.) Running time: 70 MIN.
With: Liam O’Mochain, Antoinette Guiney, Marco Van Belle, Kristen Marken, Carol Myers.
This minuscule effort is getting outsize fest buzz, based more on its insider ephemera than anything intrinsic to “The Book That Wrote Itself.” A little of star-helmer Liam O’Mochain’s self-impressed charm goes a long way — his delivery can best be described as a high-speed mumble — but not long enough to cover even the modest 70 minutes offered. Cutting further for hour slots on hip webcasters would be the appropriate next step.
The Ed Burns–like O’Mochain plays Vincent, a would-be author put off by publishers intent on “rubbishin’ other people’s writing, par excellence.” His concept is to revive an ancient Celtic saga by retracing its steps in a modern setting. It is unclear how stealing a book or brand-new soccer shoes in nearby towns will do this, but it gives him an excuse to have a winsome videographer (Antoinette Guiney) follow him around on his less than quixotic journey. Eventually, he flies to the Venice Film Festival, where, more or less in character, he asks unwitting real-life panelists — including George Clooney, Kenneth Branagh and Catherine Deneuve — questions that are tangentially related to his project. Tech credits are generally miserable.