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Storytelling (2001)

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College and high school serve as the backdrop for two stories about dysfunction and personal turmoil.

Director:

Todd Solondz

Writer:

Todd Solondz
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Selma Blair ... Vi (segment "Fiction")
Leo Fitzpatrick ... Marcus (segment "Fiction")
Robert Wisdom ... Mr. Scott (segment "Fiction")
Maria Thayer ... Amy (segment "Fiction")
Angela Goethals ... Elli (segment "Fiction")
Devorah Rose ... Lucy (segment "Fiction")
Nancy Anne Ridder Nancy Anne Ridder ... Joyce (segment "Fiction")
Steve Rosen ... Ethan (segment "Fiction") (as Steven Rosen)
Aleksa Palladino ... Catherine (segment "Fiction")
Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Melinda (segment "Fiction")
Tina Holmes ... Sue (segment "Fiction")
Paul Giamatti ... Toby Oxman (segment "Non-Fiction")
Mike Schank Mike Schank ... Mike (segment "Non-Fiction")
Xander Berkeley ... Mr. DeMarco (segment "Non-Fiction")
Mark Webber ... Scooby Livingston (segment "Non-Fiction")
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Storyline

Storytelling is comprised of two separate stories set against the sadly comical terrain of college and high school, past and present. Following the paths of its young hopeful/ troubled characters, it explores issues of sex, race, celebrity and exploitation Written by Fine Line Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 November 2001 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Todd Solondz Project See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,688, 27 January 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$912,442, 24 March 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emmanuelle Chriqui, Adam Hann-Byrd, and Heather Matarazzo also filmed scenes that were cut from the film. See more »

Goofs

When Consuelo was cleaning the floor while Mikey was asking her about her family, the amount of dirt on the floor changes twice when the camera is turned away. See more »

Quotes

Mikey Livingston: Wasn't there high school in El Salvador?
Consuelo: We had to work. My family was poor.
Mikey Livingston: It must have been hard being poor.
Consuelo: I am still poor.
Mikey Livingston: But Consuelo... even though you're poor, don't you have any hobbies or interests or anything?
Consuelo: No, Mikey.
See more »

Alternate Versions

After "Storytelling" had been shown in Cannes, Todd Solondz re-edited the film. He removed five minutes from the second segment, and inserted five new minutes. See more »

Connections

References The Celebration (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Storytelling
Performed by Belle & Sebastian
Written by Belle & Sebastian
Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing
Courtesy of Jeepster Recordings Limited & Matador Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The "Non-fiction" story is the superior fiction.
6 January 2003 | by stefan-144See all my reviews

I was fascinated by Todd Solondz's HAPPINESS, a spell-binding drama every minute of it - sometimes terribly naked. There are such tendencies also in STORYTELLING, but only in the second of the two independent parts.

The first part, called "Fiction", is significantly shorter than part two, "Non-fiction". This is as it should be, but the best would be to exclude it completely. The story about emotional tension between a college girl with ambition to become a writer, her frustrated CP boyfriend and their impressive/monstrous teacher, the successful writer, is just as conventional as the stories the students write in the film. This may be intentional, to cause multiple layers of meta-effects, but it doesn't save this part of the movie from being pretty predictable and boring.

And the story ends before it should. A sort of coitus interruptus (if the term is allowed), which demands some kind of return or closing-up later on in the movie - but there is none. I got the strong impression that this part was only included to make the movie full-time.

The second story, "Non-fiction", is clearly stronger, and told with much more passion from the writer/director. Here, many facets are explored, the characters are complex, the drama intricate - and the tension builds, right below the drab suburban surface. It is impressive how elements common in just about any family life, here add to the suspense and the sense of doom. The thrill of trivial life, but not at all trivially portrayed.

This might be the reason for the title "Non-fiction", since the lives and fates shown in the story feel so real - contrary to what happens in "Fiction".

Still, this story, too, has been told insufficiently, as if abbreviated, or halted at points where it was about to erupt into infernal drama. Pity. Did Solondz retreat from his own vision? Did he censor himself to get more of a general audience?

I hope that it's not the case. His portrayal of human life, although unpleasant indeed, is fascinating and uniquely his. So he must be true to it.


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