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Mighty Boosh, Todd Solondz and Michael Moore amongst Glasgow Film Festival highlights

3 Feb 2010

Youth Journey of the Childmen: The Mighty Boosh on Tour Documentary look at the genius of the Boosh being screened with Julian Barratt’s short Curtains and a Q&A (tbc) with the cast. GFT, Fri 12 Feb, 8.15pm. Cary Grant Bringing up Baby…

Wiener-Dog

  • 4 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 15
  • Directed by: Todd Solondz
  • Cast: Keaton Nigel Cooke, Danny De Vito, Ellen Burstyn
  • UK release: 12 August 2016

Portmanteau film following a dachshund passed from owner to owner, including a cantankerous octogenarian (Burstyn) and perennial loser Dawn Wiener (Gerwig) from Solondz's own Welcome to the Dollhouse. Not for dog lovers, but Solondz fans will find that their man is back on form with a cruel and bitterly funny travelogue.

Dark Horse

  • 4 stars
  • 2011
  • US
  • 1h 24min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Todd Solondz
  • Written by: Todd Solondz
  • Cast: Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair, Christopher Walken
  • UK release: 29 June 2012

Still living at home, toy collecting man-child Abe (Gelber) forms an unlikely relationship with the dysfunctional Miranda (Blair) leading him to question his life and the opinions of the people around him. Moving and funny, but Happiness director Solondz favours comedy over compassion for his immature protagonist.

Nothing’s All Bad

  • 2010
  • Denmark
  • 1h 30min
  • Directed by: Mikkel Munch-Fals
  • Cast: Sebastian Jessen

If Todd Solondz ever made a film in Denmark it might look a little like Nothing’s All Bad. Mikkel Munch-Fals’s assured debut feature is a cleverly plotted, deliciously dark ensemble piece exploring the universal longing for a little tenderness and a human touch. Acutely observed scenes of toe-curling embarrassment blend…

Life During Wartime

  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • US
  • 1h 37min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Todd Solondz
  • Written by: Todd Solondz
  • Cast: Ally Sheedy, Allison Janney, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Marquette, Paul Reubens, Dylan Riley Snyder

Solondz' sequel to his 1998 film 'Happiness' is slickly (and sickly) achieved but pathetically irrelevant. Ten years on and we are back in the suburbs of Miami, incarcerated paedophile Bill (Hinds) is released and his ex-wife Trish (Janney) is about to be married again. The perverse, unhinged, abhorrent, disaffected and…

Palindromes

  • 2004
  • US
  • 1h 39min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Todd Solondz
  • Written by: Todd Solondz
  • Cast: Emani Sledge, Valerie Shusterov, Hannah Freiman, Rachel Corr, Will Denton, Sharon Wilkins, Shayna Levine, Jennifer Jason Leigh

This the fourth feature film by Solondz was supposed to be a sequel to his superb 1995 debut film 'Welcome to the Dollhouse', but Heather Matarazzo, the actress who played the troubled, unattractive schoolgirl Dawn Weiner in that film understandably refused to have anything to do with it. And so it is that 'Palindromes…

Happiness

  • 4 stars
  • 1998
  • US
  • 18
  • Directed by: Todd Solondz
  • Written by: Todd Solondz
  • Cast: Jane Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jon Lovitz, Dylan Baker, Lara Flynn Boyle, Justin Elven, Cynthia Stevenson, Lila Glantzman-Leib, Rufus Read, Gerry Becker, Louise Lasser, Ben Gazzara, Camryn Manheim, Arthur J Nascarella, Molly Shannon, Ann Harada

Three sisters, two small boys, one psychologist and a phone-harassment specialist. Out of these unlikely elements Solondz has wrought pure cinematic gold, which veers from belly laughter one moment to stark pathos in another.

Welcome to the Dollhouse

  • 1995
  • US
  • 1h 28min
  • Directed by: Todd Solondz
  • Written by: Todd Solondz
  • Cast: Heather Matarazzo, Christina Brucato, Victoria Davis

Nineties cult classic about Dawn Weiner (Matarazzo) who finds seventh grade super duper hard.

Wiener-Dog

8 Aug 20164 stars

Todd Solondz returns to form with this portmanteau comedy that has serious bite

Fans of Todd Solondz have arguably had to keep the faith through what can only be described as a lean patch. After his experimental and untidy fourth film Palindromes (2004), both Life During Wartime (the 2009 sequel to his 1998 film Happiness) and…

Dark Horse

12 Jul 20124 stars

Todd Solondz film is supremely dark and disturbing suburbia satire

Supremely dark and disturbing satirist of American suburbia Todd Solondz’s seventh feature is his most fully realised and mature film (in cinematic terms, if not subject matter) to date. It might not boast the jaw-dropping subversive outrageousness of…

One minute wonder

3 Jan 2007

The American Industrialist and philanthropist John D Rockefeller may have had a point when he wrote that ‘All competition is a sin.’ But let’s face it some competitions are less reprehensible than others and indeed, by that same measure, some…

Welcome to Me

22 Jun 20153 stars

EIFF 2015: Kristen Wiig heads up this seesawing satire from Shira Piven

Self-obsessed, devoted to The Oprah Winfrey Show, and off the meds that rein in some of her more socially challenging tendencies, Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig) knows exactly what she wants to spend her loot on when she wins big in the state lottery. Alice…

Crazy, Stupid, Love

16 Sep 20113 stars

Interesting observational comedy smothered by rom-com farce and sentimentality

(12A) 118min Suburbia, modern day. Emily (Julianne Moore) tells husband Cal (Steve Carell) that she wants a divorce. Cal agrees to move and hits the local bar. After a period of drunken self-pity, local lothario Jacob (Ryan Gosling) takes him under…

FrightFest 2014: Faults

20 Aug 20144 stars

Riley Stearns' debut pitches a cult expert against a traumatised follower with interesting results

It’s not often you see a film where you have literally no idea what’s going to happen next. That’s one of the main reasons people seek out dark-side cinema, and it’s one of the appeals of American writer-director Riley Stearns’ intriguing feature debut.

News - One Minute Wonder

12 Mar 2007

One Minute Wonder Film Competition

Dust off your imaginations and reach for those sharpened pencils. The List One Minute Wonder Film Competition deadline is on Friday 16 March, so if you’re harbouring a burning desire to try your hand at film writing, there’s no better time than the…

This Filthy World

19 Jul 2007

Edinburgh International Film Festival

As a new film about him comes to this year’s Festival, veteran cult filmmaker John Waters shows no sign of slowing down. Paul Dale does his best to catch up with him

Under the Tree

6 Aug 20184 stars

Amusing and involving Icelandic drama documenting an escalating feud between neighbours

Hell is other people in Under the Tree (Undir trénu). They suffocate and infuriate, prevent us from doing what we want and hold us to account for unconscionable acts. The intense resentment of others lies at the centre of a film that confidently travels…

Why artist and writer Miranda July is the most extraordinary filmmaker of our time

19 Oct 2011

Director of The Future and Me and You and Everyone We Know

The work of American artist and filmmaker Miranda July is divisive; indeed, whether you find her latest film The Future twee and wilfully obscure or challenging and moving will almost certainly depend on how willing you are to empathise wholly with a…