Official movie site:
Watch the entire movie with German or Spanish subtitles here:
Short description / Kurzbeschreibung
"A lonely man on the brink of emotional desolation talks to his Oatmeal. His need for friendship compels the man to a bizarre act."
The short film Bowl of Oatmeal, originally released in 1996 on 16 mm, is the final project, a group work, done by six students during an eleven-week intensive film course at New York University -- SCE (School of Continuing Education). After its first showings in New York and Philadelphia the film went to many film festivals around the world.
Now it will be made available for the first time in a digital format through the "play loud! archive & store".
The best way to not give away the bizarre story is to read through some of the below reviews:
"A man fed up with his solitary existence decides, on the advice of his breakfast cereal, to take up a hobby. Made not at the famous TISCH School but at the School of Continuing Education, this film was a group collaboration which took, from conception through post-production, less than a month to complete."
UFVA Student Film & Video Festival Philadelphia, September 1996
"A Bowl of Oatmeal, a rare group effort led by Dietmar Post, is the tale of a hermit in the throes of a nervous breakdown who receives advice from a sly, articulate bowl of oatmeal with a Bostonian accent."
Michael Simmons, L.A. Weekly, April 1997
"Desperate people who hate making decisions will take advice from just about anywhere...mail-order evangelists, psychics, politicians, breakfast food. A morbidly fascinating look at the effect two of the major food groups have on a lonely man's life."
Chicago Underground FF, August 1997
"A lonely man of the brink of emotional desolation begins to hear voices emanating from his breakfast cereal, guiding him to get a hobby. Against his oatmeal's better judgment, he takes on a new pastime involving stolen meat."
New York Underground FF, March 1997
"Who ever thought a conversation with a bowl of oatmeal would make for intriguing cinema? Bowl of Oatmeal is the story of a paranoid shut-in who tries to take advice from his kvetching breakfast. The camerawork is basic, but the dry humor of the script keeps things moving. (...)"
Neil Gladstone, Philadelphia City Paper, March 1997
"You need money to eat, to have a good glass of wine. But you can do life with oatmeal and water, too, believe me."
Jean-Claude Van Damme, US Magazine, October 1998
"An eloquent and controlling bowl of oatmeal attempts to dominate the solitary life of a grimy glutton in this smartly shot descent into the meat of loneliness."
Eric Brummer, Hollywood Underground Forum, April 1997
"Atmospheric and strangely compelling."
Fangoria, # 176, 1998
"Bowl of Oatmeal serves as a dress rehearsal for the final film, but in its own right stands as unsettling cinema. An agoraphobic loner inexorably loses his mind within the confines of a bed-sit. Not even the revelation that a bowl of unappetizing oatmeal is taunting him alleviates the gloom. As the high fiber breakfast continues its needling, the man develops a keen interest in dead meat, but the film takes this into an area unexpected and haunting."
Rob Daniel, England, 1998
"Bowl of Oatmeal" finds a lonely slob in a dreary apartment taking advice from a bowl of oatmeal (no, I'm not kidding). I won't tell you what the oatmeal tells him to do, but I'll hint that it involves stealing lots of raw meat. Offbeat and oddly disturbing, if you dig that sorta thing.
Flipside Movie Emporium, 2000
The other standout is Bowl of Oatmeal which is just hysterical. I don't remember who directed this, but I would love to see more of his/her stuff as well. Dark, dark humor!"
"'Bowl of Oatmeal', to which six separate creators are credited, is a bizarre "Eraserhead"-like tale of a lonely schmuck whose sentient breakfast treat taunts him to madness."
This darkly comical short was included in EI Independent Cinema's anthologized VHS release of "Cutting Moments." This is definitely the strangest one, as it's about a seriously disturbed loner who imagines (?) that his only friend is his talking bowl of oatmeal. When the guy begins to unhealthily obsess over what he can do with meat, a rift is driven between them. In tone and thematics, the absurd, pathetic alienation and insanity of this story brings "Eraserhead" to mind, but it's definitely it's own beast. (I know, a lot of stuff gets compared to "Eraserhead," usually by people who aren't sure what to compare something to.)
Rate Your Music -- Cinematery, 2013