Storytelling : Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

i saw this together with my gf at the theater and was bored and repulsed by it

so obviously i dont get it

if anyone gets it and is kind enough to share it on the net, that would be real nice!!!

and now for something completely different


bart from belgium

Post deleted

This message has been deleted.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

Yes, I agree...I liked his two previous flicks but felt like there was nobody you could like, respect, sympathise with or find interesting in this one, and so it was an exercise in nihilism.

Luckily it was short, so it's only 90 minutes out of my life I'll never get back!

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

Hmm... not nearly as repulsive as Happiness which I loved but did leave me pretty messed up. Let's see how well I can sum up storytelling.

First of all it's a movie about how we view ourselves vs reality. We think we are interesting, we think we are open minded, we think we are indestructible... but in the end all the characters in the film live in very poorly constructed fantasies that fall apart with just a little outside preassure.

First story: These kids are idiots. They are writting poorly constructed essays on their own lives and trying to pass it off as ficiton, trying to call themselves writters. What the teacher has sex with his student (concentual sex in my opinion, just not what she expected) she uses it as an exuce to make herself more interesting, to turn her own misguided, racist desire for her teacher into a tragedy. And she get's humiliated, which I dont think is a cop out.

Second movie in less words: Scooby exemplifies lot's of people I know... they expect success to fall on their lap just because every thing else has and well it dosent work that way, they have no idea how it works. Still dosent stop them from dreaming mediocre dreams. It take's some stabs at american beaty, some stabs at the pretension of filmakers, some at youth and so on but my favorite was that creepy little kid. Even though such a character is a total deux ex (practically the director entering the story to change things, he's too weird to be "real") he totally represents the sick selfishness of the white, well off suburbia represented in this movie.

So the moral? Dont make a hispanic maid angry.

Post deleted

This message has been deleted.

Repulsive movie, what's the meaning?

It seems to me that this movie is less about itself, and more about your reactions to it in many varied ways.

It explores and tries to debunk viscious stereotypes. Such as that of the big scary black rapist in "Fiction" by showing how ludocrous our stereotypes look when played out in real life. They don't make a whole lot of sense. That's the point of "fiction".

Another example of "Storytelling" asking its audience to take a look at itself occurs during "Non-Fiction". The film stops dead in its tracks when Consuelo, the disgruntled deposed maid, breaks into the house of her former employers, severs a gas line, and turns the stove on high. The camera turns to a broad shot of the facade of the house. The audience is completely expecting for the house to burst into flames, but it doesn't happen, and it's just an abrasive hault in the film for the average American "guts and gore" movie-goer. This is merely to torture our own morbid psyches.

This is a really interesting film that I intend to watch again.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

It's funny, i actually found the characters in this film a bit less unlikeable that Solondz's previous films. Well, not entirely, but Scooby was at least just a dumb kid, not some pervert.

Actually, i found the characters in Welcome to the Dollhouse the most unlikeable out of all the films. I didn't even feel that sorry for Dawn, which is maybe why it's my least-favorite of them.

Happiness was of course filled with a lot of total creepy creeps, but Joy wasn't really a bad person, just sort of pathetic. Even Philip Seymour Hoffman's character had a glimmer of humanity.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

Maybe the movie is trying to tell us that none of us are perfect or 'good'. Maybe it's a response to average Hollywood film where everybody's good looking, smart, and in the end, they do the right thing.. In real life there are seldom good or bad people, everybody is selfish at some level. I liked Todd Solondz's quote:

"If you want sympathetic characters it's easy enough to do, you just give someone cancer and of course we'll all feel horribly sad and sorry. You make anyone a victim and people feel that way. ... I think that it's only by acknowledging the flaws, the foibles, the failings and so forth of who we are that we can in fact fully embrace the all of who we are. People say I'm cruel or that the film's cruel, but I think rather it exposes the cruelty and I think that certainly the capacity for cruelty is the most difficult, the most painful thing for any of us to acknowledge."

Normally you could've sympathised with the maid, but you didn't. Why ? She was fat, ugly and seemingly stupid. And she was cruel in the end. Was there really a single 'bad person' ? Maybe the kid, but then again maybe he was just naive and young. Did he deserve to die? It's much easier to sympathise with the death/defeat of the average Hollywood bad guy who is strong, 'evil' and clearly deserves it. Usually the moral is so black and white. (I wonder if it has some effect on the way the Americans seem think nowdays..)

Anyway apart from that, Storytelling didn't in my opinion have enough conclusions or some final point. It did seem a bit hollow. Some funny moments also but nothing compared to Happiness.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

All of the preceding posts make sense to me, but I still have one question that the original poster didn't address: Why did Solondz decide that there had to be two stories in the film? Any thoughts?

"Jerry Lewis? You thought that was Jerry Lewis?"
-Tommy Basilio, "Trees Lounge"

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

what i gathered was that it was a statement about fiction and non-fiction. the characters in the fiction writing class wrote about their own lives and experiences, word for word as they actually happened. So, the fiction was more non-fiction.
in the non-fiction section, toby was very biased and skewed the story of this family to fit his own pre-conceived notions of being a teenager. rather than actually following a wide range to teenagers from different backgrounds he only used one person to make it easier to go along with his idea which was more entertaining than the truth. so, his non-fiction became fiction within the process of trying to make his documentary entertaining and likable.
so, sometimes what we call fiction has more truth than what we call non-fiction. does that make any sense?

Re: Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

I think you've got it. The writing class were able to confess things and recount events they would have otherwise not done so- but it was okay because it was 'fiction'. However, in 'non'fiction' we supress the truth of the situation and thus it becomes fiction (I.E Toby's subjective perception on the Livingstons).

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

Its seems like self justification and an attack on critics and inferiors. In that respect, the movie succeeds.
Its about the art of storytelling, and what the director thinks it should be.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

lugaruclone, i agree with you 100%. i couldn't have said it better.

"Happieness, something in my own place. I'm stood here naked and smiling I feel no disgrace"

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

I'll do you the justice of assuming its meaning and humour were lost in translation.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

I love the end of the movie(if u haven't seen it, i suggest u stop reading)...

I havent seen it in a while, so I am probably not using the exact wording, but Scooby gets back and is realizing what has happened to his family. The director in the movie is asking Scooby "How does this make you feel?" And scooby says something along the lines of "It doesn't matter, your movie is a hit" and then it just ends.

That spoke to me so much. Even in real life with our real problems, when things become news worthy, the media gets involved and alhough the story they are reporting begins as non-fiction, a lot of times elements of fiction get added by dirty reporters, conservative/unconservative news stations etc. The of course in big cases movies are made off of people real life non-fiction tragedies and people profit off of horrific reality. It makes you think about when and if the media actually cares and when they just care if "their movie is a hit".

loved it.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

I wouldn't call this movie repulsive, after all, I did sit through the entire thing...but I was just confused. I rented the film because I love Selma Blair, John Goodman, and Paul Giamantti and was happy with all of their performances. However, it seemed to me that the writer had two films he wanted to do, couldn't come up with a suitable ending for either, so he just combined the two films.


Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

Poorly done, overdone. The characters were trite. Not an original thought in the entire movie.

Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

It's a movie about stories and how theyre made, I believe. It's about how some times bad things happen, and there's nothing TO get. It's very sarcastic in it's portrayal by calling the film "Storytelling"
I fu( king love it.

Re: Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

If you need to admire a character in order to feel sympathy for them, Solondz is not the director for you. Solondz movies require the ability to feel for an imperfect, even deeply flawed person.

Despite the fact that his movies are dark, I think his characters are all very human and he is never cruel in his treatment of them. But if you're a vindictive soul and you can't feel for someone without admiring them, then these movies will just be lost on you.

Re: Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

"... I think his characters are all very human and he is never cruel in his treatment of them."

I disagree.

Concerning "his characters are all very human," take a look at the black professor played by Robert Wisdom in "Fiction." He is completely one-dimensional and is really a comic-book character speaking in a monotone while exhibiting cruelty and dominance. Stereotyping & caricatures are abundant in this movie.

I have an even bigger disagreement with "he is never cruel in his treatment of them." The 2nd story, "Non-fiction," ends with the murders of the mother, father and youngest child. Earlier, Scooby's other brother goes into a coma from a tackle at football practice. How much crueler does he need to get for you to recognize it?

This film grossed less than $1 million at the box office and would be totally forgotten if it weren't for interest sparked by pictures of Selma Blair's interracial sex scene.

Re: Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

This film grossed less than $1 million at the box office and would be totally forgotten if it weren't for interest sparked by pictures of Selma Blair's interracial sex scene.
Nice attempt to equate box office with quality. Unfortunately for you, many of the best films being made today make very little at the box office.

In addition, your theory about why the film is remembered kind of sucks. I had no idea that Selma Blair had a sex scene in the film and still rented it for the first time a few weeks ago. I've become a fan of Solondz and found this to be his most enjoyable film so far.

As for the "cruel treatment" of his characters - you may think that you may have delivered some sort of trump card with your "almost the whole family is killed at the end", but, well, you didn't. A director (or writer) can have immense sympathy and empathy for his or her characters and still allow cruel things to happen to them. The original quotation was that he is "never cruel in his treatment of the characters" - and that's true. Yes, the family members die, but it's not an act to be celebrated - he still treats the characters with respect. It's about the attitude towards the characters, not the events that happen to them. In fact, it's actually quite remarkable that he still manages to elicit sympathy for each of his characters - from the family to the professor to the maid - even when it depicts them doing terrible things.

There are many filmmakers who sometimes put their characters through the wringer and who allow cruel things to happen but who are, nonetheless, never cruel in their treatment (once again: it's not the events that occur that determine whether they "are cruel in their treatment", but rather their attitudes towards the characters.) Other filmmakers that allow bad things to happen to their characters but who nevertheless quite clearly have great empathy for their characters: Isao Takahata ("Grave of the Fireflies), Elem Klimov ("Come and See"), Mike Leigh ("Naked", "Vera Drake"), the Dardenne brothers ("Rosetta", "L'enfant", "Lorna's Silence"). Using your logic, one could argue that Lukas Moodysson's "Lilja 4-ever" shows the filmmaker's "cruelty" - as many, many terrible things happen to Lilja and Volodya, the two protagonists. However, such an argument would be ignoring the actual tone of the film and its attitudes towards the characters. It would also be ignoring the fact that Moodysson, at the time, was one of the most humane, empathic, and compassionate filmmakers in the world, and one who always treated his characters with great love (as also evidenced by the utterly beautiful "Together" and "Show Me Love".)

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant

Post deleted

This message has been deleted.

Re: Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

You weren't the only one. Believe me! Fortunately I didn't spend a dime on this. If I had paid a theater ticket for this kind of sh** I'd be pissed. I just downloaded it and watched it on my PC. Couldn't get through half of it though. It's that boring, stupid and repulsive.

Re: Repulsive movie, wots the meaning?

My two cents.
The film was about storytelling, in all the various ways. From stereotyping to making art, and the search as to whether there's a difference between the two.
A beautiful example is in the 'nonfiction' part, where Doobies family is talking about Hitler. The story we tell is he's a bad man and nothing good comes of it. So the story we tell is how we would have died if we hadn't fled. Not that we wouldn't have been born.

There are two keys in the film. One is when the teacher says: "As soon as you start writing it all becomes fiction." and "Are you a pervert? - No, I'm a documentary filmmaker."

The first is said after Vi was criticized, by her fellow students as well as the teacher. They all had their opinion, and they were entitled to, because it was written down. Meaning it becomes an object other then the event itself. Two persons having sex becomes womanhood and black male virile culture etc. The individuals become characters in service of the story. But that line has already been crossed, or maybe doesn't even exist. In his house she tells herself not to be a racist. She has already become a character to herself. Her feelings are not important (repulsion), but what she becomes in her story (racist). Even if it's just a private story. And the other way around. It's not important what his sexual preferences are, but what it says about his role. Also in the greater story we see the same. Solondz shows us the students talking about objectification of women, even rape, black virile culture etc. Never is talked about for instance the student-teacher relationship as such or that she wants rebound-sex, because her boyfriend broke up with her. That's apparently not to be questioned in Suburbia. At least, in the story that Solondz tells us about Suburbia.

The same goes for the second part. It starts out with an awkward phone call, where Toby tells everything he did up to now is a failure. At first it looks like he wants to make a documentary about himself. About a kid who gets crushed by SAT-scores, the rats race. stress levels and whatnot. (Just like himself?) But as soon as he starts showing it, the stupidity of it shows. Not the struggle. So he decides to take the humorist take. It's also his way to deal with it. So that makes storytelling also a way of dealing with life. Showing it as an object there, in stead of an event that involves you. On the other hand, Dooby is not Toby. That's why he is so surprised when he learns that Dooby can go to Princeton. It is precisely that tape that gets stuck...

Also it is a Jewish family. Jews as a people are bound by stories. Also the mother is raising money for Israel. A country that is a story. (Just like all countries.) And again, note that what isn't being told. The story of the Palestinians.

What is also not talked about is the slave they hold in their cellar (Consuelo), who gases the family because they've raped her. Here is shown again the one-sidedness of stories. Remember Mickey saying: "People that are bad should die, don't you agree?" When in reality people are not just bad or just good, only in stories.

What's important for the story? That it's a hit.