Sunday, December 7, 2008

All About Life During Wartime, part 2

Ok, it's back to being referred to as untitled by its production company, but I'll just use Life During Wartime for now as a working title until a new one is announced. Here's the plot description from the official press release - it's pretty illuminating, but in following with what we've heard so far:

"The characters in this part-sequel/part-variation on HAPPINESS struggle to find a place for themselves in an unpredictable and volatile world. The past haunts the present and imperils the future: ghosts circle and loom, trouble and console. The question of forgiveness, and its limits, threads throughout a series of intersecting love stories, offering clarity and, possibly, alternatives to the comforts of forgetting. There is Joy (Shirley Henderson), who discovers her husband Allen (Michael Kenneth Williams) is not quite cured of his peculiar “affliction” and runs away, seeking solace and guidance from her mother and sisters; her former suitor, Andy (Paul Reubens), now deceased, but still never giving up in his effort to win Joy’s heart; her sister Trish (Allison Janney), who meets Harvey (Michael Lerner), a lonely divorced man on the cusp of retirement, and hopes that a new man in the house will bring stability to her fragile family; her sister Helen who feels victimized by both her family and her Hollywood success; her mother Mona (Renée Taylor), who can’t let go of her bitterness about men; Harvey’s son Mark (Rich Pecci), who struggles with social isolation and profound pessimism; Bill (Ciáran Hinds), Trish’s former husband, just released from prison and on a quest to reconnect with his son Billy (Chris Marquette); Jacqueline (Charlotte Rampling), the needy woman who forgoes caution in her desperate search for love; and Kristina (Chane’t Johnson), a fugitive from prison who can’t let go of her obsessive—albeit chaste—love for Allen. These and other characters and storylines as well—alternately funny and sad, outrageous and poignant—dovetail, expand, and collide to create a kaleidoscopic and emotionally resonant portrait of prisoners of love and life during wartime."

...They do keep using that phrase; maybe it will wind up being the title after all. ;) Anyway, Solondz is also quoted as saying, "ten years have passed since Happiness, but I prefer not to be beholden to the literalness of time or circumstance. I like to tweak things, get at stuff from a fresh angle, and so, for example, some characters have aged five years, some twenty years, some histories have been altered, and I have allowed race not to be something set in stone. Of course, it’s a completely different cast. It’s more fun and interesting that way.”

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes, It's True...

Todd Solondz has cast Paris Hilton in his latest film. And the media's flipping out (really, you should see my inbox), but I don't know how much of a big deal it is. I'm sure Solondz knows what he's doing and isn't planning to put any greater acting weight on her shoulders than she can handle. In fact, if you think the casting in some of his other films, like Storytelling; it really doesn't seem that out of touch with his sensibilities. But we'll see. At least he's getting a lot of press attention now.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Life During Wartime Back On!

According to an article in Wednesday's Variety, Todd Solondz has (finally!) found a financial home for his upcoming film, Life During Wartime! A new production company called Werc Werk Works has taken on Solondz's film as one of their first projects. Neither the article, or the company's website ( offer any hints as to what other films they might be working on.

According to the Variety piece, Mike S. Ryan and Derrick Tseng will still be producing the film - which will begin shooting this October in Puerto Rico - but Ted Hope's name was noticeably absent. The film is described here as a, "part-sequel, part-companion piece to his controversial dark comedy Happiness... which revolves around a group of struggling individuals. struggling [sic.] to find a place for themselves in an unpredictable and volatile world. The narrative is told through a series of intersecting love stories.; the [sic.] past haunts the present and imperils the future: ghosts circle and loom, trouble and console."


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Life During Wartime: Coming Eventually... Maybe.

In an interview with, Paul Reubens, who was cast to play a role in Life During Wartime, said the film's been pushed back three times now because there've been problems financing on the film. "If it gets made, I’m doing it - but I’m not sure. It’s gotten pushed three times,” he said. “To me it’s such a sad state of events that he can’t get that movie made. He’s such a talented guy.”

He describes the film as: "it’s characters from Welcome To the Dollhouse and Happiness whose paths converge. It’s all different people playing the same roles... I’m playing a role someone else played in one of those movies.” Sounds good to me. Let's hope he can pull this off.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Van der Beek's Lost Storytelling Role

An article was just posted on about some interesting parts being cut out of films... and one of the actors they talked to was James Van der Beek, about his role cut from Storytelling. It says how, in the original NC-17 cut which ran for two and a half hours (!! this really needs to get out to the public somehow), he played a sexually confused jock who wound up having, "an explicit Brown Bunny-esque scene with another man." Unfortunately, the article doesn't tell us much more about what was cut than that - casually mentioning that Heather Matarazzo and Emmanuelle Chriqui were also cut out of the film - but there IS a quote from Van der Beek and all, so check it out here. Maybe this will help drum up enough interest to get the full version released.

Thanks to Stephen for pointing this one out to me.