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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] + Welcome to the Dollhouse + Happiness [Import]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 64.85

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Product Details

Product Description


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
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant vision of how to tell a story� July 15 2004
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 Stories Worth Telling! Feb. 15 2004
By Ed Mich
"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 Wisdom. Selma Blair stars as Vi, a collage student who is taking a writing course with her boyfriend Marcus, who has celebral palsy. The class is taught by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Gary Scott. When Marcus's story is comments badly by Gary, he becomes nervous that Vi is interested in Gary when she does not stand up to him during the class. They break up, but when Vi goes to a bar she meets Gary, and she learns something about him, and her life is changed.
The second and longer story is called "Nonfiction" and it stars Paul Giamatti, who already amazed me this year with "American Splendor" and he gives another great preformance as Tobey Oxford, a documentary filmmaker who is doing a documentary about high school students, and how it is hard to get into the collage of your choice. He finds his focus in Scooby Livingston, who is a student who does not want to go to collage, and is a slacker who has no idea what he wants to do in the future. That makes his parents, Marty and Fern, ticked off at him, and also their middle child Brady to the suspection that he is gay. Their youngest son Mike, is ten years old, and is complety spoiled, and also interested in their live in maid Consuelo's life and family history. As Tobey shoots the documentary, the family deals with problems that arise, untill finally "Nonfiction" and the movie comes to a surprising and bitter end.
The end of "Nonfiction" surprised me. I did not see anything like that coming. It also made me think that I should have seen it coming. I was decieved. What I liked about the movie was how the two stories were related to each other.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reality Bites Jan. 29 2004
Format:VHS Tape
After the acclaimed and controversial "Happiness", Todd Solondz produced another acid and depressing vision of today`s America. Forget "American Beauty", since "Storytelling" goes further down the spiral. The movie contains two distinct segments, the first, "Fiction", and the second, "Non-Fiction". In the first, a writing student gets involved with her teacher and that experience will determine her vision of the world and her writing process, leading to a complex, tense discussion. In "Non-Fiction", Solondz makes an insight into the "typical" american family, presenting some dysfunctional characters who struggle to somehow survive in a bitter, convulted world. The director also reflects on the effects of the showbiz industry and its relevance in a society full of lonely and depressed individuals. Sarcasm and irony are a constant here, used to maximum effect to describe the growing process of a young slacker who tries to find something worth caring about but ends up failing again and again.
Although it`s not perfect, "Storytelling" is nonetheless a powerful movie that gives much food for thought and again shows the strenght of one of the most original voices of american indie cinema. Very good but not for everyone.
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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. There are some social statements made here but the film does bore at times and never really manages to engage the viewer. It sort of ends up looking like a somewhat rushed piece of work and you get the feeling that a little more attention to the script would have made all the difference.
Many of the big name actors here are obviously involved in this project because of the director's previous powerhouse drama "Happiness". Although we are not expecting the director to do all that again we are expecting a story, but really only get some piece of experimental cinema that seems as if it was just made for the director's amusement alone and very little else. Storytelling almost plays out as if the director is trying to establish a film that he wants to make. So he has filmed all of these scene to try and see what kind of film he would eventually like to make, but instead actually presents this test as the final approved version of the film. Could it be that this director is just testing the critics to see if they would end up loving a "bad" movie because of his last piece of work?
The "film" is two different stories. One is about a student writer who ends up doing a very non-politically correct story about domination by a mandingo black teacher. The other story is about a documentary film maker following a student at school and at home with his family. The scene at the table about Nazis and being conceived in the womb is fantastic but there is little else here except for maybe the burning at the stake scene.
Overall this is just a bad film that doesn't work. Only recommended as something you should see because you like the director - but all else should avoid.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone always has a story to tell
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2008 by Jenny J.J.I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Again
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. Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by Guipi Boy
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting work.
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... Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by The OpiumDen
5.0 out of 5 stars Light in April
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... Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by Guipi Boy
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
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 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. 9 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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