Todd Solondz (went to Omaha one time)

Started by 82, March 29, 2005, 08:44:23 PM

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Analyze This: Dr. Spengler vs. Dr. Miller on the meaning of 'Happiness'
Source: Hollywood Reporter

It may not have the demented fireworks of your typical Tom Cruise-Matt Lauer glibfest, but Thursday night in Chicago Harold Ramis and Fred Miller, M.D., Ph.D. will debate the merits of Todd Solondz's miserable 1998 film "Happiness" as part of Columbia College's Cinema Slapdown series.

Who's Miller? Well, he's the chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at North Shore University Health System, of course.

His department specializes in mood and anxiety disorders, chemical dependency, eating disorders, adolescent psychiatry, community psychiatry, medical psychiatry and neuropsychology. Which doesn't even scuff the tip of the iceberg of psychoses and regrettable impulses showcased by Solondz (in his movie, I mean).

Also a liability: Miller didn't take over the department until the year after the movie came out. A lot changed during that time, and Ramis was deep into co-writing and directing his treatise on depression and sociopathic tendencies in the Family, "Analyze This," that year.

Miller's also the founder of the Academy for Film and Psychiatry, which is "dedicated to bringing together mental health professionals with an interest in film, be that film analysis, film as therapy, the cognitive neuroscience of film or filmmaking." Throw a rock at a DGA meeting and you'll find a subject worthy of deep study.

And who's Ramis? Please. He's Dr. Egon Spengler. The man who warned us all not to cross the streams, for humanity's sake. And despite occasionally being "terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought," Ramis will not hesitate to break out a mind-crushing Twinkie analogy.

Film & Video faculty member Ron Falzone will be wearing the black and white stripes and wielding the whistle at the bout. It's free and open to the public April 15 at Film Row Cinema.
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy Warhol

Skeleton FilmWorks


Will someone please change the thread title.  I can't keep going to Omaha like this and getting my hopes dashed.


Yeah, change the thread title to Todd Solondz (went to Omaha one time).
Falling in love is the greatest joy in life. Followed closely by sneaking into a gated community late at night and firing a gun into the air.


Quote from: ono on July 25, 2010, 04:12:26 PM
Will someone please change the thread title.  I can't keep going to Omaha like this and getting my hopes dashed.

An even simpler solution would be to stop going to Omaha.
My house, my rules, my coffee


Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow & Selma Blair Join The Cast Of Todd Solondz's 'Dark Horse'; First Details On The Plot
Source: The Playlist

With this year's "Life During Wartime" proving to be not only a worthy follow-up to its predecessor 1998's "Happiness," but also director Todd Solondz's best film since then, we were glad to hear a few weeks back that the not-exactly prolific helmer was moving forward on another project. "Dark Horse," described as an 'edgy character drama,' was first revealed when we talked to Solondz earlier in the year, and recently, while no details on the plot leaked out, Aasif Mandvi ("The Daily Show"), Justin Bartha ("The Hangover") and theater veteran Jordan Gelber were rumored to be appearing in some form. Now, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed all of the above, and has not only announced further casting on the project, but also the first details on the plot. Gelber, Mandvi and Bartha are being joined by Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Selma Blair (the latter a veteran of Solondz's "Storytelling,") along with Zachary Booth ("Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist") and Donna Murphy ("Spider-Man 2"). Gelber will take the lead role, a thirtysomething man still living with his parents (Walken and Farrow), who seeks out a relationship with a woman in a similar state of arrested development (Blair) in an attempt to shed his label as the dark horse of the family. Bartha and Booth will play, respectively, the protagonist's brother and cousin, while Mandvi will be Blair's ex-boyfriend, and Murphy will be Walken's secretary. It's a typically eclectic Solondz cast, but a promising one (how is it that Walken and the director have never worked together before? They seem like a perfect match...). It certainly seems to match Solondz's promise when we spoke to him earlier in the year that "It's not designed to be controversial. There's no rape,there's no child molestation, there's no masturbation, and then I thought 'Oh my god, why didn't I think of this years ago?' Stories take on an unpredictable life." It certainly seems to have the potential to have more crossover appeal than anything in Solondz's career, but we can't imagine he'll water down his sensibilities too far. Filming kicked off in New York this week, so we guess we'll see the fruits of the labor around film festival season next fall.
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy Warhol

Skeleton FilmWorks


Todd Solondz talks film school...and Charlie's Angels
Solondz talked about his career as he was being honoured at the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland.
Source: Screen Daily

Todd Solondz said didn't have much advice for any aspiring young filmmakers in the packed audience at a masterclass in Poland this weekend.

Solondz was in Wroclaw as the subject of a retrospective; his latest film Dark Horse opened the second American Film Festival. He was also given the fest's Indie Star Award.

"There are no rules to this, I can't give you any advice. I am not a role model," he told the audience.

"All of my movies, they make less and less money. I'm down at the very bottom. It's a very consistent trajectory, my career. Happiness made half the money of Welcome To The Dollhouse and then Storytelling made half the money of Happiness... [For Dark Horse], I thought, 'What can I make for very little money,' and I thought of boy meets girl. And it expanded from there."

"I never know how an audience will receive any film. I'm always grateful I have any audiebce. I always assume every movie is going to be my lastmovie. I'm never sure who will want to lose money on me again."

He talked about once being called to talk to Drew Barrymore about making Charlie's Angels. "My idea would make $300,000 — they made $300 million," he said. "My idea would not be popular but it would be fun to play with Charlie's Angels."

Solondz also spoke about film school, both as a former attendee and as a current teacher at NYU. "Film school is a wonderful place for teachers, you need to find a way to earn a living and it provides you with security and benefits. For the students its questionable — For some people it can be very good. I love teaching, I have a good time. I look at the young students with so much ambition and my heart goes out to them. I'm so glad I'm not young anymore."

Of his own time as an NYU student, he said: "I started making films and I said 'Maybe I can do this.' It was very gratifying. It gave me confidence. 90 percent of what I learned was from making my own films, and seeing what my classmates were doing. It wasn't from any class."

Solondz was asked if it was easier getting his films financed as his career progresses. "Nothing gets easier. You are never 'set.' It's always a nightmare...Investing in a movie now is a moneypit. When I talk to a financier I say its possible you could make your money back. Lots of things are possible."

The entertaining talk wasn't as much of a downer as these quotes read, and he did encourage would-be artists to just start writing or start making films.

In a positive mood, he added: "It's good to have hope. To make a movie is a hopeful gesture. It's a leap of faith."
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy Warhol

Skeleton FilmWorks


Interview begins at 5:40

lol @ the brief moment of horror in his eyes after the 20 min mark when he looks at his hand practically descending with a life of its own.


Todd Solondz & Ralph Fiennes To Direct Segments Of Omnibus 'Petersburg'
via The Playlist

Russia has made headlines lately for no shortage of reasons (the Olympics, Edward Snowden, Ukraine, you name it) and so there are plenty of stories to tell from the country. Russia's Ministry of Culture is backing a project that we'd wager they're hoping will shine a different light on the nation, and they're rounding up some big names to help out.

The omnibus "Petersburg: A Category Of Feelings" is being put together and a roster of directors, including Todd Solondz, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Rockwell, Timur Bekmambetov, Avdotya Smirnova, Bakur Bakuradze, Cedric Klapisch, Igor Voloshin and Ilmar Raag are on board to direct episodes of the project. The movie will use the letters from the titular city as descriptions or qualities—Pleasure, Effort, Trust, Envy, Repose, Shrewdness, Bravery, Uncertainty, Refuge and Glee—for the filmmakers to follow in their works. And in case you're wondering, this is a different project than the "Saint Petersburg, I Love You" film that was announced a while back. No word yet on when this will all come together.


Dawn Weiner Returns In Todd Solondz's 'Wiener-Dog' With Greta Gerwig And Julie Delpy
via The Playlist

Todd Solondz has created worlds and characters so unique and compelling that one film can't contain them. Eleven years after "Happiness," the filmmaker returned (sorta) to concerns and lives in that milieu (with some of the parts recast, and other tweaks) with "Life During Wartime," and now he's doing the same with his breakout film "Welcome To The Dollhouse."

THR reports that Solondz is working on "Weiner-Dog," which will feature an ensemble cast rotating around a dachshund forming the thematic backdrop of the movie. But the biggest point of interest is that one of the film's threads will catch up with the adult Dawn Weiner, which will be played by Greta Gerwig. Julie Delpy is also in discussions for a role. Casting is underway and the project is picking up forward momentum thanks to Megan Ellison, who can once again be thanked for backing an auteur in a climate where getting movies like this made is harder and harder. And in case you're wondering, no, Heather Matarazzo, the original Dawn, won't be appearing.


Solondz is sooooo overrrrrrr but maybe working with Annapurna will give him some juice like it did for Korine. We'll see.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


Solondz's Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013) short film

The movie is on youtube in its entirety, featuring the work of 70 different directors including , Celina Murga (who Scorsese has mentored), Monte Hellman, and many more.


And in strange serendipity I open up the screenplay to Storytelling at 2 in the morning to find that Bruce Wagner wrote the introduction:


Production Begins On Todd Solondz's 'Wiener-Dog'; Full Cast Includes Brie Larson, Zosia Mamet & More
via The Playlist

Indie filmmaker Todd Solondz loves to play within his own cinematic universe ala Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino. 2009's "Life During Wartime" is a quasi sequel to 1998's "Happiness" and 2004's "Palindromes" begins at the funeral for Dawn Wiener, the protagonist from his debut feature "Welcome to the Dollhouse."

Well, Solondz is either ignoring his own cannon or just changing history with "Wiener-Dog," his upcoming Annapurna Pictures comedy. The movie stars Greta Gerwig as the aforementioned Dawn Wiener grown up and the comedy tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading comfort and joy

Principal photography has begun on "Wiener-Dog," and Annapurna has revealed its cast which includes the previously in-talks Julie Delpy, plus Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Brie Larson, Ellen Burstyn, Zosia Mamet and writer/actor Tracy Letts. Megan Ellison is producing through her Annapurna Pictures alongside Christine Vachon of Killer Films.

Written and directed by Solondz, in a press release Annapurna says the movie "will feature characters from Solondz's 1995 cult hit 'Welcome To The Doll House,' " so that means more than just Dawn and possibly other members from her family.

Jeremy Blackman

Quote from: wilder on June 24, 2015, 10:15:46 PMWritten and directed by Solondz, in a press release Annapurna says

This sentence broke my brain.

The cast looks really good, though.
Living life big time