5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant vision of how to tell a story�
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...
Published on July 16 2004 by Kim Anehall
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 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...
Published on Jun 13 2004 by The OpiumDen
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4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone always has a story to tell,
This review is from: Storytelling (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant vision of how to tell a story�,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (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. Solondz depicts the power of the audience to choose what to believe and what to disregard if it is not portrayed in an manner that the audience can accept. In addition, Solondz offers a notion of how the power of storytelling can sway an audience's convictions in a chosen direction if carefully planned. In a sense Storytelling is a philosophical film in regards to film and film making, which can be derived from the economics, politics, and the arts. Yet, the philosophical debate of Storytelling is deep beneath the surface as the audience must use a dialectic approach in order to reach it. Nonetheless, Storytelling offers a terrific cinematic experience as it offers the audience to choose whether to sink into thought or merely enjoy the ride.
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Again,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (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).
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting work.,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Light in April,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (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."
1.0 out of 5 stars worst movie ever,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (DVD)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Selma Blair = Reason To Watch This Movie,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (DVD)Selma Blair is hot as hell. This movie really utilizes that aspect of her acting repitoire.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories Worth Telling!,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (DVD)"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. They were both about high school life, and the problems that teenagers face. They were also totally unrelated, because they both focus on the different types of storytelling. The documentary being the nonfiction. The short stories being the fiction. I thought that "Storytelling" was a very funny, and very brilliant film. It was short and sweet. I liked the scene where Mike spills some juice, finds the maid crying about how one of her family members has been excuted for rape and murder, and then kindly asks her to clean it up for it. It is a character study, because it shows how spoiled this family is, and how they have everything done for them. Throughout the film, except for Mike, they don't even notice that she is around.
"Storytelling" deals with another major subject of racism, so it is not for everyone. In "Fiction" Gary Scott's character is black, and in Vi's final story, with a black character like him in it, everybody in the class has a comment to say about how it is a black man. I feel that this shows how just because something happens to somebody else, and a black man is the cause of it, it is racism. It's a sad, but true fact. "Storytelling" was a great movie, and it is not a film for everybody, but those with an open mind will enjoy it.
Rated R for strong sexual content, language and some drug use.
4.0 out of 5 stars Reality Bites,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (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.
1.0 out of 5 stars What was the point,
This review is from: Storytelling [Import] (DVD)My mate brought this back because of its glowing reputation, and we both sat in stunned silence as we watched this. When it was finished we looked at each other in bafflement, and then passsed a very pleasurable half hour ripping it to shreds.
Perhaps it's becuase I'm a Brit, we both are. But for a film that's supposed to be darkly humourous, there isn't a laugh in it. It labours most of it's points so hard you want to get up and club it to death, and most of them you can see coming a mile off. It's just dull, the characters are unsympathetic characatures, and the plot is risable. If you want a wierd and funny college move buy "Battle Royal" instead, the Japanese do it better.
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Storytelling [Import] by Todd Solondz (DVD - 2002)
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