Nothing Lasts Forever


1h 22m 1984
Nothing Lasts Forever

Brief Synopsis

A displaced artist falls in with a group of social outcasts who actually rule the world.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1984

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m

Synopsis

When a young, aspiring artist returns to see his family in Manhattan, he finds that the Port Authority has taken over the city. After he fails a test given by the new regime, he is forced to take a job directing traffic in the Holland Tunnel. His kindness to a street person gets him invited into an underground society of outcasts, whom he learns are actually controlling all of the cities in the world. .

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1984

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m

Articles

Nothing Lasts Forever


An undiscovered cult film if there ever was one, this comic fantasy remains one of the least-seen features produced from the collaborative talents of Saturday Night Live, a heritage stretching as far back as 1980's The Blues Brothers. In fact, this one originated not long after the release of that Dan Aykroyd/John Belushi epic comedy; in late 1980, Emmy-winning writer Tom Schiller, who created the popular "Schiller's Reel" series of short films aired on SNL at the time and was part of the show's original writing team, began working on a whimsical screenplay marrying his trademark elements of classic cinema, pop culture, and bittersweet nostalgia. These qualities are hallmarks of his more famous short work for television, including such SNL staples as the famous "Don't Look Back in Anger," the Fellini tribute "La Dolce Gilda," the beloved Jan Hooks/Phil Hartman short "Love Is a Dream," and the 1950s educational pastiche, "Java Junkie." < BR>
Schiller spent an extensive amount of time working on the script, which was first submitted to MGM in February of 1981 (with a length of 111 pages) and then revised numerous times through January of the following year. SNL creator Lorne Michaels signed on as producer, with Bill Murray joining in a supporting role as a lunar bus conductor (yes, you read that correctly) and Dan Aykroyd popping in for a cameo. A number of other surprising names also enlisted including TV comedy legend Imogene Coca, stand-up pioneer Mort Sahl, 1950s pop staple Eddie Fisher, and Oscar-nominated actor Sam Jaffe (The Asphalt Jungle, 1950).

Also brought on to compose the film's soundtrack was Howard Shore, a Canadian composer who had risen to prominence working on the films of David Cronenberg (including Videodrome [1983], The Brood [1979] and Scanners [1981]) and who served as SNL's musical director from 1975 to 1980. (He would also return to the show for a one-year stint in 1985 after working on Martin Scorsese's After Hours.) He would remain Cronenberg's composer of choice, while Hollywood fame would soon arrive with his work on The Silence of the Lambs in 1991 and his lauded, Oscar-winning work on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as the subsequent The Hobbit features.

The loose plotline of Nothing Lasts Forever follows the adventures of Adam (Zach Galligan, soon to star in Gremlins), a pianist who publicly renounces his abilities at a Carnegie Hall performance and takes off for Europe. En route, a stranger urges him to return to America, where he finds the Port Authority exercising all control over New York City. Adam decides to become an artist instead despite his lack of training or talent, a decision that sends him into the shadowy underworld (literally) of the city along with the glamorous Mara (Playboy model Apollonia van Ravenstein). Soon his destiny takes a cosmic turn as he's sent to the moon where he meets what he believes to be his true love, Eloy (Bad Santa's [2003] Lauren Tom).

In its finished form, the film ran a tight 75 minutes with numerous tangents from the screenplay drafts discarded along the way. MGM/UA Classics announced a theatrical release for September of 1984, but the film was abruptly pulled and only surfaced for a few play days in Europe. Its reputation flourished almost entirely through word of mouth as the film itself, pedigree notwithstanding, refused to surface even on home video or TV airings. While a handful of films before it could be said to have some artistic similarities (most obviously Forbidden Zone [1980] and J-Men Forever [1979]), the feature's striking aesthetic (shot primarily in monochrome with a gaudy Technicolor segment in the middle) and freewheeling cut-and-paste approach to 20th-century pop culture still make it a fascinating curio capable of catching unaware viewers off guard.

By Nathaniel Thompson
Nothing Lasts Forever

Nothing Lasts Forever

An undiscovered cult film if there ever was one, this comic fantasy remains one of the least-seen features produced from the collaborative talents of Saturday Night Live, a heritage stretching as far back as 1980's The Blues Brothers. In fact, this one originated not long after the release of that Dan Aykroyd/John Belushi epic comedy; in late 1980, Emmy-winning writer Tom Schiller, who created the popular "Schiller's Reel" series of short films aired on SNL at the time and was part of the show's original writing team, began working on a whimsical screenplay marrying his trademark elements of classic cinema, pop culture, and bittersweet nostalgia. These qualities are hallmarks of his more famous short work for television, including such SNL staples as the famous "Don't Look Back in Anger," the Fellini tribute "La Dolce Gilda," the beloved Jan Hooks/Phil Hartman short "Love Is a Dream," and the 1950s educational pastiche, "Java Junkie." < BR> Schiller spent an extensive amount of time working on the script, which was first submitted to MGM in February of 1981 (with a length of 111 pages) and then revised numerous times through January of the following year. SNL creator Lorne Michaels signed on as producer, with Bill Murray joining in a supporting role as a lunar bus conductor (yes, you read that correctly) and Dan Aykroyd popping in for a cameo. A number of other surprising names also enlisted including TV comedy legend Imogene Coca, stand-up pioneer Mort Sahl, 1950s pop staple Eddie Fisher, and Oscar-nominated actor Sam Jaffe (The Asphalt Jungle, 1950). Also brought on to compose the film's soundtrack was Howard Shore, a Canadian composer who had risen to prominence working on the films of David Cronenberg (including Videodrome [1983], The Brood [1979] and Scanners [1981]) and who served as SNL's musical director from 1975 to 1980. (He would also return to the show for a one-year stint in 1985 after working on Martin Scorsese's After Hours.) He would remain Cronenberg's composer of choice, while Hollywood fame would soon arrive with his work on The Silence of the Lambs in 1991 and his lauded, Oscar-winning work on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as the subsequent The Hobbit features. The loose plotline of Nothing Lasts Forever follows the adventures of Adam (Zach Galligan, soon to star in Gremlins), a pianist who publicly renounces his abilities at a Carnegie Hall performance and takes off for Europe. En route, a stranger urges him to return to America, where he finds the Port Authority exercising all control over New York City. Adam decides to become an artist instead despite his lack of training or talent, a decision that sends him into the shadowy underworld (literally) of the city along with the glamorous Mara (Playboy model Apollonia van Ravenstein). Soon his destiny takes a cosmic turn as he's sent to the moon where he meets what he believes to be his true love, Eloy (Bad Santa's [2003] Lauren Tom). In its finished form, the film ran a tight 75 minutes with numerous tangents from the screenplay drafts discarded along the way. MGM/UA Classics announced a theatrical release for September of 1984, but the film was abruptly pulled and only surfaced for a few play days in Europe. Its reputation flourished almost entirely through word of mouth as the film itself, pedigree notwithstanding, refused to surface even on home video or TV airings. While a handful of films before it could be said to have some artistic similarities (most obviously Forbidden Zone [1980] and J-Men Forever [1979]), the feature's striking aesthetic (shot primarily in monochrome with a gaudy Technicolor segment in the middle) and freewheeling cut-and-paste approach to 20th-century pop culture still make it a fascinating curio capable of catching unaware viewers off guard. By Nathaniel Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

b&w

c Technicolor

rtg MPAA PG