Todd Solondz

Todd Solondz
Todd Solondz
  • Born: October 15, 1959
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Filmmaker, Playwright

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Todd Solondz is an American independent film screenwriter, director, and playwright known for his style of dark, thought-provoking, socially conscious satire. Solondz has been critically acclaimed for his examination of the "dark underbelly of middle class American suburbia," a reflection of his own background in New Jersey. His work includes Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), Happiness (1998), Storytelling (2001), Palindromes (2004), Life During Wartime (2009), Dark Horse (2011), and Wiener-Dog (2016).

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A palindrome is a word or pattern that instead of developing in different directions it folds in on itself so that the beginning and end mirror each other, that they are the same.
All I mean is, I'm not the kind of audience comedy directors want at a test screening because I seldom laugh, and if I do, it's not very loud. That doesn't mean I don't like the movie.
And that's just what I'm saying. I would never want to be like certain people, who change the way they dress, go out in disguise, wear a big floppy hat and dark shades. I would hate that.
As Mark Weiner puts it, whether you gain 50 pounds or lose 50 pounds, whether you have a sex change operation for that matter, that it doesn't matter, that there is some part of ourselves that we cannot escape.
But anonymity is very important to me, and I don't want to be recognized in public more than I already am.
But you're right, I did think about acting more and then decided against it.
Casting is everything. If you get the right people they make you look good.
I admit there's an element of brutality in all my work - it's part of the truth about human existence I always want to explore - but the last thing I'm trying to do is put on some kind of freak show, inviting people to get off on other people's pain and humiliation. Truth ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I don't like telling people where I stand on this, although I'm surprised anybody wonders. I suppose if I say I'm pro-choice, if I make that clear, it let's the audience off the hook, then they can sort of relax. Okay, it's alright he's pro-choice then I can enjoy this.
I mean, I don't want to sound - of course it's very nice, people come up and say appreciative things about my work. But the loss, in terms of privacy and anonymity, is no small thing to me. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I mean, there are many other directors who are probably both more skilled and excited to adapt novels or work within certain genre conventions. I'd like to do that kind of work someday, but for better or worse I'm too drawn by my own material. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
In particular, people have trouble understanding where I stand in relation to my characters, and very often this gets reduced to me making vicious fun of them.
It is true that the movie is perhaps my most politically-charged. The story is thrust into motion by the idea of what do you do when your 13 year old daughter comes home pregnant. And not only is she pregnant, but she wants to keep the baby.
Like everything, what compels one to put pen to paper is a great question.
Narcissism and self-deception are survival mechanisms without which many of us might just jump off a bridge.
One thing I want to say: I don't like victim stories and I don't write them.
Optimism is not inherently a superior way of viewing the world. Certainly doctors will say it might be better for one's physical health to be an optimist. But, morally speaking it may not be appropriate in certain circumstances. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Part of it has to do with this business of being approached in public. I have a distinctive look - it's partly the glasses I wear - and people seem to remember me once they've seen me. Business, Commerce & Finance
People can't help how they look.
So far, at least, I haven't found a way to tell my kind of stories without making them both sad and funny. Humor
Some directors hardly talk to the actors at all.
Storytelling is the only studio movie where the censorship is perfectly clear, the only studio movie with a big red box covering up a shot. I take pride in that - and, of course, in having avoided the fate of Eyes Wide Shut.
The ability to take pleasure in one's life is a skill and is a kind of intelligence. So intelligence is a hard thing to evaluate and it manifests itself in so many different ways. I do think the ability to know how to live a life and not be miserable is a sign of that. Life
The funny thing is, strangers still seem to feel comfortable coming up to me and saying things, but now usually it's because they recognize me, and they say nice things. Humor
Usually the audience has no idea that the censored version of whatever movie they're watching isn't the original.
Well, so far, at least, my own ideas always take priority over those of other writers. As long as the well doesn't run dry, I imagine this will be the case.
When I want to show the kind of meanness people are capable of, to make it believable I find I have to tone it down. It's in real life that people are over the top. Life
When I'm asked who my audience is, I say someone with an open mind, which is not a vacant one and sometimes a liberal mind is not the same thing as an open one.
When part of what you're trying to get at is the truth hidden under a taboo, or when you want to nail a hypocrisy, laughter is a very useful tool. I want to show the painful side of existence, but there is no question I also want to make people laugh. Truth
With Storytelling, at least, it's explicit: this is what the censors say American citizens, no matter what age, are not permitted to see, even though it can be seen by other people all over the world. I suppose you could call it a political statement.

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