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Interview: Robert Siegel

 On the shoulders of Giants fans
By SHAULA CLARK  |  September 25, 2009

 interview-RSeigel_main2

Big Fan director Robert Siegel (right) with Patton Oswalt (left)

Big Fan is the kind of movie that taps directly into my lizard brain, stirring up bits of primal dread. By which I mean to say Big Fan is a gut-wrenchingly great film. The directorial debut of screenwriter Robert Siegel (the Onion's former editor-in-chief who also wrote the screenplay for The Wrestler), Big Fan stars comedian Patton Oswalt as Paul, an arrested-development working stiff whose fervor for the NY Giants verges on religious mania and whose awe of fictional linebacker Quantrell Bishop resembles an adolescent crush. When Paul follows Quantrell into a strip club, the athlete freaks out and unloads a savage beating on his fan, bruising his brain and shattering his world. As Siegel explores the idea of what it means to inflict your presence on your personal idol, and what happens when reality curb-stomps overblown expectation, it's hard not to feel a visceral twinge of empathy. Last week, I accosted Siegel via phone, and we got a little meta.

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