Storytelling

( 3 )

Overview

Director Todd Solondz once again produces an uncomfortable look at human nature with Storytelling. The film is offered in both an R-rated and unrated version. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is above average with solid colors and dark black levels. A tad bit of softness creeps into the image at times, though the bulk of the image often looks very even and well defined. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround as well as a Dolby 2.0 mix, both in English. Since Storytelling is not an ...
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Overview

Director Todd Solondz once again produces an uncomfortable look at human nature with Storytelling. The film is offered in both an R-rated and unrated version. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is above average with solid colors and dark black levels. A tad bit of softness creeps into the image at times, though the bulk of the image often looks very even and well defined. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround as well as a Dolby 2.0 mix, both in English. Since Storytelling is not an action adventure movie, it's not surprising to find most of the sound filed to be confined to the front and center speaker with little-to-no directional effects present. Overall the dialogue, effects and music are all free of any excessive hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are English and French subtitles. Extra features for Storytelling have been kept to the bare minimum -- the only supplement to be found on this disc is a theatrical trailer for the film.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Rated and unrated versions of film; Theatrical trailer; Closed captions
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Master of extreme irony Todd Solondz Welcome to the Dollhouse tells two tales of tale telling in this odd satire about truth in fiction and the fiction of "truth." Part One, "Fiction," follows an aspiring writer Selma Blair whose preconceptions about her craft -- and her sexuality -- are challenged by a mysterious, ruthlessly critical professor Robert Wisdom. Solondz methodically invokes taboos involving racism and physical handicaps here the professor is black; the writer's boyfriend has cerebral palsy and then drenches them in a variety of critical responses. Part Two, "Nonfiction," comprises the bulk of Storytelling and follows a suburban New Jersey family John Goodman and Julie Hagerty as a struggling documentary filmmaker Paul Giamatti turns his video camera on their pot-smoking, aimless eldest son, "Scooby" Mark Webber. Again, the stereotypes come fast and furious, designed to provoke preconditioned responses and expectations. And here Solondz also seems to be leveling an attack at the way documentaries exploit their subjects in the name of truth. Ultimately, Storytelling pushes its envelope of irony until it seems at times to break, leaving the audience alone with conflicting and perhaps irresolvable sentiments. In the process, it becomes the very definition of a provocative film. It is an hour and a half that may not go down easily, but it is potent medicine indeed.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Todd Solondz mines familiar territory with Storytelling, but adds a large dose of self-consciousness. Obviously Solondz has heard his critics who complain that he is a manipulative writer interested in little more than cruelty and pain; he has characters in both of these stories voice these complaints to the two characters who are attempting to work out their personal lives in their art. While the "fiction" half of the film addresses its difficult issues with the shockingly cold deadpan humor and the bored "in-your-face" style that is familiarly Solondz, the much longer "non-fiction" portion is little more than the work of a director who, with nothing new to say, simply attempts to answer his critics. Giamatti is made to physically resemble Solondz, and his battles with his editor allow Solondz the chance to have a character voice towards his look-alike the complaints levied against Solondz and his earlier films. While apparently self-critical, Solondz turns the tables on his critics by showing an audience laughing appreciatively at the cruel film his character has created. Solondz is less interested in analyzing why he is drawn to this material than he is in blaming his audience for liking his (according to his critics) "mean-spirited" films. This disturbing attack might work if there was a narrative to go with it, but the story of the family that Giamatti is chronicling is barely more than a tired and redundant retread of Happiness and Welcome to the Dollhouse. Storytelling is the work of a man at a crossroads, which is an uncomfortable place to be for a director who has thus far blazed his own trail.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
1/2
A movie that advances the career of a demonstrably gifted filmmaker, a fearlessly funny movie whose laughs draw blood, a bracingly provocative movie that won't apologize for its bad temper.

1/2
A movie that advances the career of a demonstrably gifted filmmaker, a fearlessly funny movie whose laughs draw blood, a bracingly provocative movie that won't apologize for its bad temper.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/16/2002
  • UPC: 794043554421
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Pan & Scan
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Selma Blair Vi
Leo Fitzpatrick Marcus
Aleksa Palladino Catherine
Robert Wisdom Mr. Gary Scott
Noah Fleiss Brady Livingston
Paul Giamatti Toby Oxman
John Goodman Marty Livingston
Julie Hagerty Fern Livingston
Lupe Ontiveros Consuelo
Franka Potente Editor
Mike Schank Mike
Mark Webber Scooby Livingston
Mary Lynn Rajskub Melinda
Technical Credits
Todd Solondz Director, Screenwriter
Michael De Luca Executive Producer
John Dunn Costumes/Costume Designer
Frederick Elmes Cinematographer
Ann Goulder Casting
Amy Henkels Executive Producer
Ted Hope Producer
Susan Jacobs Musical Direction/Supervision
Drew Kunin Sound/Sound Designer
Nathan Larson Score Composer
David Linde Executive Producer
Alan Oxman Editor
Christine Vachon Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [2:22]
2. Fiction-The New Ending [2:39]
3. Trite and Pretentious [3:26]
4. The Break-Up [2:27]
5. Potential as a Writer [5:10]
6. An Intimate Encounter [1:42]
7. "It All Becomes Fiction" [4:01]
8. Nonfiction-Toby's Phone Call [:02]
9. The Guidance Counselor [:07]
10. Dinnertime [5:19]
11. Consuelo's Family [4:55]
12. "We're All Survivors" [1:34]
13. The Documentarian's Love [3:05]
14. Scooby's the Focus [1:38]
15. The SATs [2:35]
16. Love and Conan O'Brien [2:55]
17. Brady's Good Reputation [5:12]
18. "You Should Smile More" [3:37]
19. See It With an Audience [4:30]
20. The Grape Juice Incident [2:52]
21. Hypnotizing Dad [1:32]
22. Scooby's In, Consuelo's Out [2:48]
23. The Test Screening [4:33]
24. Monsterproofed [3:48]
25. End Credits [3:12]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
      Rated R: Widescreen
      Rated R: Fullscreen
      Unrated: Widescreen
      Unrated: Fullscreen
   Select A Scene
   Setup Screen and Sound Options
      5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound-English
      Stereo Surround Sound-English
      English Subtitles
      French Subtitles
      Off
   Watch Theatrical Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wow! Storytelling blew me away!

    Pass this one over if you are easily offended. But if you want to see a vivid, shocking portrayal of a slice of college life; and struggles within a suburban family, don't miss this one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Satisfying

    To me, the meaning behind the Fiction/Non-Fiction split is to point out the irony that the ''Fiction'' story uses more realism and the ''Non-Fiction'' story is so over-the-top, it couldn't be real. I rented the movie once and when I returned it I wanted to see it again and again, so I bought it. This Movie is a Hit!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    whoa...

    This movie kind of screwed me up, which I love in a movie. I liked the second half better than the first half but I like how they are linked. At least there was no child rape, like in Happiness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews