The Definition of Insanity is a tragi-comedy about elusive dreams, love, loss, and the passions that drive us. It is structured as a documentary about Robert (Robert Margolis), an actor moving past his prime who is still running after that one great role. His life begins to unravel as he struggles to survive in a competitive environment without realizing how his obsession affects the people close to him. Like many barely surviving artists he faces the existential question: When is the time to move on?
Just when it seems that he will be forced by family and financial pressures to give up everything he has worked for, he meets legendary filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich ("The Cat's Meow", "The Last Picture Show"). That encounter changes his life profoundly -- but in a very different way than he had anticipated.
The Definition of Insanity is a film about big dreams and everyday rituals, humiliating defeats and little triumphs, and the inexplicable optimism -- some might call it delusion -- that keeps us going.
Blurring the line between fiction and reality, the director combines a fictional story with real documentary footage, a mix that gives the material freshness, immediacy and an unsettling authenticity. The Definition of Insanity was shot on location throughout New York City over the course of 18 months. Working from a simple storyline, the director developed the individual scenes together with the actors who in real life face many of the same questions as their characters in the movie.