Scene from the film Tom
Scene from the film Tom
Scene from the film Tom


  • Canada
Audio Tracks 

Tom is an ethereal stream of bright images, a brooding nightmare about life of obsession, an emotional profile of the director's friend Tom Chomont - a photographer, filmmaker, video artist and a prominent figure of the New York underground culture.

Once again, the body - encoded into the fragments of film images, a biography of the body analyzed from the inside out - is the centerpiece of the film: Chomont's naked skinny body, showing the symptoms of AIDS and trembling at the onset of the Parkinson's disease. The biography is a map of images that are connected with it and illustrate it without necessarily being original. The biography thus becomes an imaginary passage through the history of film signs, the water of images, which imitate our memory to show that only such images can make it accurate and true.

In a labyrinth of the city, we follow the life of a man, who talks openly about his weird childhood, a romance with a crook, incest with his own brother, sadomasochism, fetishist romances, and about the light that opens and ends the film (life). The film hypnotically connects the original work of Chomont (experiments with a homosexual touch made in early 60s), selection from the main stream of American cinematography (West coast), tempered images of the City (a reflection of NYC in time), Tom's present situation (long shaving, dressing in women's clothes) and his original commentary.

The sequences are cut out of context; Chomont's body becomes the fetish of Hoolboom's installation, a skin for a fascinating style of a river of irrelevant, yet perfectly interconnected images. The film is a pledge of faithfulness of one filmmaker to another, a heritage of odd sensitivity, an ornament of the fringe that will never become the center. It is a film made by people who are falling apart and use a lyric trick to remind us of the progress of death that otherwise seems so sudden and static.


  • Original Title
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Mike Hoolboom
  • Cinematography
    Caspar Stracke, Mike Hoolboom
  • Editing
    Mike Hoolboom, Mark Karbusicky
  • Runtime
    75 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Canada
  • Production is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

Doc Alliance Members

Sign up to receive regular updates on our film program:

By signing up for the newsletter, I hereby consent to receiving commercial communications by electronic means and to all relevant personal data processing required for the purpose of sending the Doc-Air Distribution s.r.o. newsletter. I hereby confirm that I have read and familiarized myself with the Principles of Personal Data Processing and that I consent to the text therein. I also hereby acknowledge the rights specified herein, including, without limitation, the right to submit objections against direct marketing techniques.

Poslat svému Junioru