Welcome To the Dollhouse is available in an R-rated, widescreen (1.75:1) laserdisc from Columbia/ Tristar, or a slightly better framed widescreen DVD (1.85:1), which also features a full-screen presentation on the other side, the theatrical trailer , production notes on the insert (see below) and talent filmographies for Heather Matarazzo, Brendan Sexton Jr., and Todd Solondz. Welcome To the Dollhouse is also available as a full-screen VHS edition. 1995, 87 mins.
DVD Production Notes:
Writer/ director Todd Solondz's first feature, Fear, Anxiety &
Depression, was released in 1989, and was, in the filmmaker's own
words, "a disappointment," due to his lack of creative control.
|"At eleven I was at
the peak of my creative powers: I was writing stories and playlets,
putting together poetry projects. I was absorbed by my 'work.' At
twelve I was no longer reading or writing, just counting off days and
checking them off. I was interested in survival." - Todd Solondz
Welcome To the Dollhouse is a stark suburban comedy
about eleven-year-old Dawn Weiner, a middle child in middle school in
the middle of New Jersey. Sometimes hated, often reviled, seldom
understood, Dawn tries in vain to put on a happy face as she struggles
through the onset of what looks to be a long puberty. Life is
generally grim, and sometimes it only gets grimmer. Nevertheless, she
does find moments of grace amidst the humiliation of her first series
of frustrated love affairs, and soon Dawn begins to wonder if life
might not be better outside of New Jersey...
Welcome To the Dollhouse - Todd Solondz' sceenplay, published by Faber & Faber, Inc. in September, 1996. 96 pages, ISBN: 0571190502
Note on the text: The screenplay published here is a transcription of what finally appears in the movie. Many scenes were juggled around from, added to, or cut out of the original script. A little - but very little - dialogue was improvised on the set. Perhaps I added a few extra "fucks" to Brandon's lines.
Many people have asked me about the "original" version of the script, and why and how I made changes. There were, in fact, several earlier drafts of Welcome To the Dollhouse, all darker and more depressing than the final version. It took time to find the right level of bleakness.
Once upon a time a friend performed a card trick for me. She repeated it many times, but I could never figure it out. I pleaded with her to reveal the secret to me, and she refused. She said it was magic. I became upset. When I relayed this to my psychiatrist he said he wouldn't want to know the secret: he liked to believe in magic.
I still don't believe in magic, but I like the idea of believing in it, and so I have chosen not to print any of the earlier drafts of my script.
© 2001-2011 John W. McKelvey for Tomorrow Wendy Productions