Solondz' News

2001: 12/23/01

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Storytelling.coms

The official Storytelling site, http://www.storytellingmovie.com is now full of content (hurray!). Look how much shorter Solondz bio is than Ted Hope and Christine Vachon's. :) ...They say Storytelling'll be released on January 25th for NY & LA, then additional cities on February 8th (what are the odds that'll include anywhere around us?).

The French Storytelling site, http://www.diaphana.fr/storytelling is also live and full of (different) content; so you might wanna check that one out, too; though the text is, naturally, in French. But there's a bunch of good pics, etc.

Both links are also up on my links column on the main page (natch).

Thanks to Milk Man Dan, again, for the French site link.

11/27/01

Look at Storytelling

Storytelling is currently slated for a January 25th release, with Belle & Sebastian's people saying "early next year" for the soundtrack. The book's release was also delayed, no doubt to correlate with the film's release. Oh well; let's see if Fine Line lives up to these dates... In the meantime, you can check out the pictures (below) and download the French trailer (English language) at: http://www.commeaucinema.com/bandeannonces/storytelling/qt/storytelling.mov



Photos contributed by Colonel Sanders; link to trailer & poster art from Milk Man Dan

10/28/01

Storytelling - The Book

Faber and Faber Inc., the same publishers that put out Solondz' Welcome To the Dollhouse and Happiness screenplays, have already announced the release of their Storytelling paperback (ISBN: 0-571-21283-2; dare we hope it will contain the now infamous, excised sequences from the film?), with a December 3rd release date and a list price of $13.00. Their description reads, "Todd Solandz offers two separate stories that unfold amid the sadly comical terrain of college and high school. A young female student has a stranger-than-fiction sexual encounter with her creative writing tutor; and a struggling documentarian finds himself drawn into his material." It's available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, etc.

On a similar note, according to Amazon, the Storytelling soundtrack, on Matador Records, has a November 13th release date.

10/1/01

Official Storytelling Site Up

Fine's Line official Storytelling site is finally live, confirming that the film won't be released until 2002. There's really not much else there, yet, but at least it shows Fine Line is finally starting the publicity machine ahead for Solondz' latest effort. Coming as no surprise, the site lists the lead actors and does not include James Van Der Beek or Heather Matarazzo (it also notes its R rating). The address is: www.storytellingmovie.com; which has also been added to my links column.

9/6/01

Slightly Less Mutilated Storytelling DVD

Contractually obligated to give Fine Line Features an R-rated picture, Todd Solondz has had to censor (in addition to the whole James Van Der Beek sequence) an explicit sex scene with Selma Blair and Robert Wisdom from his latest film.
Well, according to a recently published article in IndieWIRE, Solondz claims the scene will be included, un-censored, in foreign prints and the upcoming DVD, adding, "I knew that the U.S. would be the only place - except for Iran and Iraq - that I would have this problem... It's not just the MPAA; the studios are complicit and the whole country has issues that you don't have to deal with abroad."
The same article also mentions that the MPAA also censored one of the trailers Solondz wanted for the film, which explains why the big red box which covers the aforementioned Blair/ Wisdom scene is there. "The MPAA didn't approve it," Solondz said, "because it suggested they would be censors. While, strictly speaking, it's unfair to say that the red box is censorship, this is one irrefutable example of censorship in the trailer: they're not letting us state the facts about why there's a big red box in the movie."
Well, it's good news, at least, that the one scene will find its way onto the DVD uncensored, and, hey - maybe we could even get Solondz' proposed trailer on there, too, but as far as the shorn Van Der Beek/ Matarazzo subplot, it still looks like we may never see a non-butchered Storytelling. "I wish that I didn't have these obstacles," Solondz said. "On the other hand, perhaps on some unconscious level, that's what spurs me on."

8/16/01

Storytelling Preview in Premiere:

"It's two stories in one. And it's not exactly clear how they relate to each other. "They resonate," says producer Christine Vachon (Boys Don't Cry). In the first, "Fiction" (which was edited down so heavily that a story line featuring a sexually confused James Van Der Beek disappeared), a college student (Blair) leaves her handicapped boyfriend (Leo Pitzpatrick) to seduce her African-American writing professor; in "Nonfiction," a documentary filmmaker (Giamatti) reveals how clueless his teen subject (Webber) is, all under the suspicious gaze of his parents (Goodman and Julie Haggerty). "I've never dealt with race as an issue before," says Solondz (Happiness). "I know I'm playing with fire. There's a certain thrill there. I know people will be offended by it." Happiness, which dealt with pedophilia and masturbation, was released unrated, but Fine LIne wants to open Storytelling with an R. So Solondz has placed a red box over strategic body parts during the scene in which the professor thrusts against the student while forcing her to yell the N-word.
Eyes Wide Open: The cover-up is "the oppposite" pf what Stanley Kubrick did in the orgy scene of Eyes Wide Shut, Solondz says. "I want the audience to know [that what we're hiding] can't be digitally removed. That this is so censored." - Premiere 9/01

8/01/01

Storytelling's Untold Story:

Ok. As I understand it, now, Solondz original cut of Storytelling was about two and a half hours, rated NC-17, and featured three stories! Apparently, the producers wanted the film cut for both a shorter running time and an R rating. According to Dark Horizons, the shorn segment starred James van der Beek as "a closeted high school jock who becomes involved in a very explicit gay sex scene," along with Heather Matarazzo and Emanuelle Chriqui (Detroit Rock City, A.I. Artificial Intelligence). That's right, Matarazzo is out of the picture, too! Hopefully (my fingers are crossed, but I'm not holding my breath), the disappointing reception at Cannes (see below) might help convince the film's producers to do right and restore the third segment for Storytelling's official release. ...More relasitically, maybe we can just keep our fingers crossed for an inclusive DVD?

7/27/01

Storytelling Soundtrack Information:

According to their official site, Belle and Sebastian recorded the music for the second half of Storytelling, with the first part of the film being scored by Shudder To Think's Nathan Larsson, who also composed the music for Boys Don't Cry and High Art. They expect the film to be released in October, with the soundtrack album coming out through Jeepster and Matador Records around the same time.

7/4/01

Disturbing Storytelling news!

"Storytelling, the new film from Todd Solondz, got a lukewarm reception from reviewers. Solondz is blaming its producers. He says they cut an entire hour of it, including a controversial scene where James Van Der Beek of Dawson's Creek fame engages in a homosexual sex act. In the version seen at Cannes, not only is the scene gone, but also Van Der Beek is not seen at all." - from The Kansas City Star

"Director Todd Solondz is complaining that the producers of his new movie made him edit out a scene in which James van der Beek is on the receiving end of anal sex. When asked for a comment, van der Beek said, 'They were FILMING that?'" - from Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update

6/30/01

It's Never Been Easy Fitting In... Until Now!

Solondz' latest film, Storytelling,due out September 28th, is divided into two segments: Fiction and Non Fiction. The first stars Selma Blair (she played Uma Thurman in Cruel Intentions) and Leo Fitzpatrick (Kids), while Non Fiction stars Paul Giamatti (Martin Lawrence's partner in Big Momma's House), John Goodman, Mike Shank (American Movie) and Julie Hagerty (Airplane!). James Van Der Beek ("Dawson" of Dawson's Creek) and Heather Matarazzo (of course from Welcome To the Dollhouse) also star.

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2001-2008 John W. McKelvey for Tomorrow Wendy Productions