Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Solondz Film: Wiener Dog!

In addition to and apart from his segment of St Petersburg: A Category of Feelings, which has yet to be released, The Hollywood Reporter has just learned of a new Solondz feature in the works. It sounds like a real return home for Solondz... Firstly, Dawn Weiner, lead character in the Solondz classic Welcome To the Dollhouse, is set return in this film, entitled Wiener-Dog. THR describes the film, "an ensemble indie that is tied together thematically by a dachshund. But one of the stories also will center on Dawn Wiener, the character mercilessly teased as 'Weiner Dog' in the 1995 cult hit... The script tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading comfort and joy."

Solondz fans will remember that he asked Heather Matarazzo, the actress who originally played Dawn Weiner, to reprise her role for Palindromes. As he describes in this About:Entertainement interview, "I begged Heather Matarazzo to revise this role, but she refused me. She did not want to ever play this character again." And because of that, the film opened at her character's funeral. So, I suppose this will be a prequel to Palindromes? Or perhaps it's better not to get hung up on the continuity. At any rate, it appears the role won't be played by Matarazzo this time around, which is still a shame. But it appears Greta Gerwig will be playing the part now, who you may know for starring in recent films by Woody Allen, Whit Stillman, Noah Baumbach and even her own Nights and Weekends.

At any rate, this film is also a return for Solondz in that it will be produced by Christine Vachon and her company, Killer Films. He hasn't worked with Killer since Happiness, so it looks like a lot of elements are circling back around for this new film.

Julie Delpy has also been reported to appear in the picture. But it should be noted that both her and Gerwig are still described only as being "in talks to star in the movie." So fingers crossed; but my hopes are certainly high.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Todd Solondz Next Film Will Be... Russian?

The Hollywood Reporter has just announced a new, Russian anthology film about St. Petersburg called St Petersburg: A Category of Feelings. Overseen by Fyodor Bondarchuk (son of Sergey Bondarchuk, and an established director in his own right), it will consist of ten short films, each by a different director. And yes, one of those directors will be Todd Solondz. The sub-films will be titled Pleasure, Effort, Trust, Envy, Repose, Shrewdness, Bravery, Uncertainty, Refuge and Glee... the first letter of each word spelling out "PETERSBURG," get it? There's no word on which of those will be Todd's entry, but maybe it's more fun to guess for now anyway.  Uncertainty perhaps?

Also fun to note is that another of the ten will be directed by French filmmaker Cedric Klapisch, which will make it a bit of an In Transit reunion for Solondz. According to the article, the film is already funded and they expect to have substantial international distribution. So it looks like a safe bet that we'll be able to look forward to this one.