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.