Monday, April 09, 2007


Next month Todd Solondz will begin shooting LIFE DURING WARTIME, a sequel of sorts to his cult classic HAPPINESS. I couldn't be more excited. Solondz, without copying him, has become the closest thing to John Waters since John Waters. In THIS FILTHY WORLD Waters tells the audience Solondz is one of his favorite new filmmakers, so there you go. I'm right.

After HAPPINESS and the overdone misstep that was STORYTELLING, Wellspring Entertainment quietly released PALINDROMES, which ties in with Solondz' first feature WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and then goes off in a completely freaky direction only to return at the end to its suburban scum roots. It's the story of Aviva, a juvenile female whose desire to become a mother leads her on something of an adventure though seedy motels, bizarre halfway houses and even a graphic pro-life shooting. All the while, Solondz makes the interesting choice of having Aviva played by a variety of actors. And when I say variety, I mean they range from children to teens to adults, black to white, dressed in the same wardrobe. It's one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Seriously. It's less outwardly comedic than the other Solondz flicks, but only because the jokes when they happen are really dark and not always punctuated by a smash edit that lets you know you are supposed to have laughed.

PALINDROMES is nothing short of a masterwork by one of today's most consistently interesting and genuinely shocking filmmakers. Highly recommended if you can goddamn find it. One thing that never seems to change about the truly great stuff: they bury it.


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