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Storytelling [Import]

Noah Fleiss , Paul Giamatti , Todd Solondz    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
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Storytelling [Import] + Happiness [Import]
Price For Both: CDN$ 35.42

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Todd Solondz, director of the acclaimed Welcome to the Dollhouse and the controversial Happiness, continues pushing the envelope of social decorum with the merciless and casually cruel Storytelling, his most ruthless satire of suburban complacency. Broken into two unrelated chapters, "Fiction" follows college girl Selma Blair through a degrading encounter with her resentful writing teacher (Robert Wisdom), while the more sprawling and scattershot "Non-Fiction" circles around the mutual exploitation of a fumbling documentary filmmaker (Paul Giamatti doing a near-parody of director Solondz) and his clueless subject, a suburban high school slacker named Scooby (Mark Webber). The squirmy laughs are laced with humiliation and the satire is acidic and cynical; in the world of Solondz, victims and victimizers alike are petty, selfish, vindictive, and thoughtless, and empathy is strictly rationed. Though sharply written and well directed, this misanthropic vision is strictly for daring filmgoers and Solondz fans. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

From Todd Solondz, the critically acclaimed director of Welcome to the Dollhouse comes a film comprised of two separate stories set against the sadly comical terrain of college and high school, past and present. Following the paths of its young hopeful/troubled characters, it explores issues of sex, race, celebrity and exploitation.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone always has a story to tell Feb. 7 2008
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Todd Solondz's `Welcome to the Dollhouse' showed comic/absurd promise; his masturbation scene in `Happiness' overstepped the boundary of film taste but got everyone's attention. While I didn't enjoy "Storytelling" as much as I did the Director's two previous films, "Happiness" and "Welcome to The Dollhouse," Solondz continues to amaze with his depictions of just how awkward true life really is. As always, he masterfully shows the oft times tactless, cynical, transparent motivations of everyday suburban life and combines them with outrageous situations, giving a humorous view into the myriad of interesting quirky characters he creates. As with Happiness, Storytelling has no background characters. Each character gets fully explored in a way that no matter how familiar or foreign a specific character's behavior might be to you, you can't help but understand their motivations. Solondz can develop over 10 characters in 88 minutes while most conventional Hollywood films fail to portray just one in any given 3 hour "epic".

Selma Blair and Leo Fitzpatrick give incredible performances in the first segment of this film titled "Fiction". John Goodman is at his best here in the film's second segment "Non-fiction", not to mention it was a good to see Julie Haggerty in it.

One of the film's most honest moments (and there are MANY) comes in the beginning of the Non-Fiction segment, during a phone call Paul Giamatti gives to a female classmate he hadn't spoken to since high school. While hilarious, I couldn't help but feel bad for his character, which gets fleshed out in the almost confessional tone of the conversation (which of course, he blunders).

I don't want to dig far into the plot because the elements of shock and surprise that are Solondz bread and butter should only be revealed by others, suffice it to say I recommend this movie very highly. I look forward to anything this director does.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant vision of how to tell a story� July 15 2004
Format:DVD
The mode of portraying a tale is in focus in Storytelling through two different stories that are disconnected, yet associated to one another, as one deals with the fictional and the other the non-fictional. In the first part, Fiction, Vi (Selma Blair) is in a relationship with Marcus (Leo Fitzpatrick) who suffers from cerebral palsy and both are attending the same university. Vi and Marcus are currently enrolled in the same creative writing class where the students scrutinize each other's writing. Fiction exposes how personal experiences are turned into writing, which is callously slaughtered by judgmental readers as they their own set of values to the cerebral playing field of literature.
The second part of Storytelling, Non-fiction, illiterates the reality of the world as Scooby Livingston (Mark Webber) perceives it. Scooby lives in a upper-class bubble protected by his ruling father, Marty (John Goodman), where Scooby is constantly asked, "what are you going to do with your life?" This endless questioning of Scooby's future seems to have been stressful for him as he has sunk into a zombie-like state. Scooby escapes reality through smoking pot or chewing down a couple of mushrooms where he flees into dreams of working as a co-host with David Letterman. The day when a shoe salesman, who aspires to make film, visits Scooby's high school in order to make a documentary about the process of entering college Scooby believes that this is his chance to make connections in the world of media. However, when the documentary comes along it begins to depict the dream-like world in which Scooby lives in.
Storytelling is a clever film that displays the symbiosis between the audience and the storyteller, which is meticulously directed by Solondz.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Look Again June 24 2004
Format:DVD
If you strongly dislike this movie, I suggest reading Crowley's scathing early reviews of Faulkner; then read Crowley's later praise of the same works. Initially, Crowley was appalled by what he projected as Faulkner's baseness. Eventually he came to apprehend Faulkner's genius to see, describe, and even love 'man.' For me, the film is upsetting because the gaze is unbroken and the subjects are living/struggling in the world. Like Faulkner, Solondz is looking at his time. His view point is not ridiculing (that view is delt with in young pill to the right of the prof).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting work. June 13 2004
Format:DVD
Storytelling is an interesting movie that portrays the contemporary North American society.
It emphasizes the pitiful importance of the individual as the stem of a civilization; The mistaken use of woman's sexuality as a way to communicate love, pity, confusion and anger; reflects the worth that society has given to women as objects and shows the deep divisions between people of different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Racism and the outcast of minorities are other elements shown but the most shocking issue is the dominant influence of media in our own lives. A single minute of fame and popularity could be worth the permanent loss of our values, personal convictions and even the lives of our most beloved ones.
A movie with content and meaning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light in April May 27 2004
Format:DVD
Thanks for refreshing drama. The first half (all that I have watched so far) seems a portrayal of a young women's (Vi's) daring and traumatic moves into life, a snap shot of courage amongst transformed corpses, monsters and dwarfs of innocence. She is left with a frustrating knowledge that teachers, bystanders and friends live with passionate motives clocked in the delusions and defenses of her time. We are left with a wish and a hope she, like Finnegan, will find "yes."
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars worst movie ever
This is honestly the worst movie I've ever seen. I can't imagine how anyone could possibly have enjoyed it. I hated everything about it.
Published on May 9 2004 by "nflees"
5.0 out of 5 stars Selma Blair = Reason To Watch This Movie
Selma Blair is hot as hell. This movie really utilizes that aspect of her acting repitoire.
Published on April 27 2004 by Chad Kultgen
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories Worth Telling!
"Storytelling" is not one film, but two. They are both different, but very related. The first story is called "Fiction" and it stars Selma Blair, Leo Fitzpatrick, and Robert... Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Ed Mich
4.0 out of 5 stars Reality Bites
After the acclaimed and controversial "Happiness", Todd Solondz produced another acid and depressing vision of today`s America. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by gonn1000
1.0 out of 5 stars What was the point
My mate brought this back because of its glowing reputation, and we both sat in stunned silence as we watched this. Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2004 by John Doh
2.0 out of 5 stars Very experimental with some good moments, but not great
Storytelling is a bit of a disappointment except for some great moments that really stand out, but sadly overall is not really this director on form. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by OverTheMoon
2.0 out of 5 stars Solondz has done better
I previously have been a fan Todd Solondz's work in the pastm but I really didn't like Storytelling. Solondz has a real talent to make the tragic and brutal seem humorous. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Oezekoye
1.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I said 1 star!
I was deeply disappointed by this film. I bought DVD copies of Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness. I loved those films and I was a big fan of the director up to this point. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2004
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