"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