After being buried by MGM for 30 years, the 1984 film Nothing Lasts Forever has resurfaced online on YouTube in its entirety. (Well, it actually resurfaced three years ago, but there’s just so many cat videos and supercuts for people to wade through.) The film, written and directed by Saturday Night Live alum Tom Schiller, is a science-fiction comedy that concerns a young artist (Gremlins’ Zach Galligan) trying to find his voice in a bizarre alternative Manhattan ruled by the Port Authority and a mysterious cabal of tramps. Similar to Schiller’s work in his famed SNL shorts like “Don’t Look Back In Anger” and “La Dolce Gilda,” the film combines the shot composition, effects, and transitions of movies from the ’30s and ’40s with the odd surrealist flourishes and social satire that would be hailed just a year later in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
Dan Aykroyd plays Galligan’s quick-talking and gun-toting boss, while Murray shows up in the small yet pivotal role as the conductor of a bus that drives Galligan up to the moon. (It doesn’t make much more sense in context.) It’s an odd film that sporadically transitions to color and goes in and out of expressionistic dream sequences and musical set pieces.
The weird circumstances of the film’s release (or lack thereof) was covered in depth in 2005’s Nothing Lost Forever: The Films Of Tom Schiller by Michael Streeter. MGM refused to release the film in 1984, despite being invited to Cannes Film Festival twice, and has since buried it, only allowing a few screenings here and there (mostly organized by Murray and Schiller), as well as airings on German television. Fans of cult cinema, Bill Murray completists, and people who enjoy the term “lunartini” can now watch the film in its entirety, embedded below.
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