The Joy of Writing Workshops
The subject of rewatchable movies has been going haywire on this blog lately. Speaking of which, today I rewatched a DVD a good friend of mine lent me — Todd Solondz’s 2001 film Storytelling.
The first time I saw it I thought it was pretty good, but personally I preferred Solondz’s other films, such as Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, two utterly hilarious and disturbing films. Storytelling, while equally disturbing as those two films, wasn’t quite as funny, though in some ways it was even darker.
Anyway, Storytelling is split into two parts, ‘Fiction’ (starring Selma Blair as a student in a fiction writing class) and ‘Nonfiction’ (starring Paul Giamatti as a documentary maker making a film about John Goodman’s family). It’s the type of daring, politically incorrect, perverse, oftentimes cringeworthy film where you don’t really know where it’s heading but you are nonetheless compelled to keep watching. Fans of Solondz’s work will know what I mean.
To cut a long story short, the reason why my friend wanted me to watch Storytelling again was because of one of the first scenes in Fiction, where Blair and her boyfriend (who suffers from cerebral palsy) attend a writing workshop. Having gone through dozens of such workshops in the last 18 months, I can certainly say that Solondz hit the nail on the head with this one. I for one can definitely appreciate what the students are going through. Check it out below.