In my opinion, of course!
And only including films that I've seen.
Hardly in order after the top fifty.
Stories We Tell
Filmmaker Sarah Polley interviews members of her family as they look back on decades-old events.
This movie was even more beautifully sad than watching a guy on the subway ride home eat an entire Papa John's pizza by himself.
And let me tell you my friends, that was a mighty sad sight (he was using the dipping sauce -- or at least that's how I remember it).
Stories We Tell is a moving and incredibly candid family portrait as filmmaker, Sarah Polley, explores the mysteries surrounding her mother. Beginning as a rather traditional biography of her late mother it gradually transforms into a far richer documentary that touches on identity, memory, the fallibility of truth and the power of storytelling to create a deeply personal yet universal work.
As with all the best stories it is better to experience Stories We Tell with as little prior knowledge as possible. Yet whilst the film’s narrative takes a series of surprising diversions and features several revelations there is something refreshingly ordinary about this personal discovery. One of the contributors even questions why other people would be interested in their…
The only way this movie could have been more made for me is if the opening credits included a dedication that read: "This movie was made for Adam Kempenaar."
Full discussion available here.
A few notes that didn't make it into the conversation:
- A perfectly Polley-esque touch that I failed to mention about my autobiographical short film... My wife, then girlfriend, played the younger version of my mom.
- A key to the success of this film, I believe, is Polley's obvious fairness, generosity of spirit and lack of guile. Everything we see is a capital-C construct with her as the puppet master, but there's no overriding sense of calculation that might come through with other directors. It's all…
Completely riveted by Polley's reconstruction of a family secret from multiple angles until the degree to which she was aestheticizing her life became clear. At a certain point, she comes out and tells us the themes of the documentary—in that respect, the last 20 minutes of the film are like the psychiatrist scene in Psycho.
"i swatted my fly!"
yes. unremarkable by nature, remarkable by design. Kiarostami 101, but indelibly articulates schism of being / remembering.
works in spite of itself, at times. but then again, don't we all?
also, it may not really count, but Polley includes what i'd like to consider to be the greatest credits stinger of all time.
2014 is turning out to be a rather meagre year for music in my opinion, but one of the albums that does stand out thus far is How To Dress Well’s ‘What Is This Heart?’ One of my favourite songs on the album ends with the following utterance: “A truth like that that opens up, kind of begets other truths, and when you discover truths like that, how you think about truths within that are concealed, it does sort of make you alter the way that you look within, and that opens up.” Little did I know that this quote was taking from ‘Stories We Tell’, a 2012 autobiographical documentary in which director Sarah Polley interviews her father(s), sisters, brother…
In short, Stories We Tell is a documentary about, at first, two things: Sarah Polley's mother and a secret of their family. Polley, the director and writer, also worked on Take This Waltz and Away From Her, but completely changed her work with Stories We Tell.
However, as you might be able to guess from its title, this isn't purely an account of her POV of the events. Polley interviewed all family members and parties involved with her mother and this secret, in a way that the very narrative of Stories We Tell becomes multiple, meta and jointed.
At some point, late in the movie, several people actually begin to write their own version of the story; not because…
Can someone please tell me why this is considered a great documentary?
What a great revealing doc. Give it a try. Fascinating to watch the information rise to the too throughout the fim.
"On the heels of Take This Waltz, one of the most disappointing features for me in the past several years, the hyper-personal non-fiction of Stories We Tell had every right to venture into self-indulgence. And in a year of milestone film courage—Gravity, The Act of Killing, and Upstream Color all felt like pioneers of innovation in their respective film space—Stories We Tell, an early film festival release, could have easily settled into white noise. It was neither of these things. This film has no flaws. It is the best film from a watershed year of film courage and accomplishment."
Decent talking heads documentary which was well made and directed. Unfortunately it did less to me than I expected. I can't say exactly what I missed but maybe I'm not the guy for the ordinary family stories.
Memory, truth and illusions. Great story. Hurt and pain. Family. Felt betrayed by some of the tricks ('home videos') but i guess that is part of the point.
Don't want to forget about the actual people involved and the effect that this story has on them. Potentially got lost in some of the meta but still came through.
Canadian actress Sarah Polley turns the camera on her family in a documentary as much about the search for her true father as it is an exploration of truth, memory and love.
Her step-sister asks at the outset of the film: Does anyone give a shit about this story of their family? It turns out the answer is yes.
Directed by actress Sarah Polley, this documentary delves into her family's past, specifically her parents' meeting, her lineage and the differing perceptions of past events by close friends and relatives. It observes versions of truth and revelations about her biological father and her own actual father's reactions, opinions and feelings (this father - the one she lived and grew up with - also narrates). The film is largely concerned with Polley's late mother - she's very much the sun around which this story revolves - her free-spiritedness, her fallibility and the way her happy, breezy persona concealed much pain and secrecy.
The film's story is told via interviews, actual home-movie footage, and also 'mock' home-movie footage (I think I got…
1.0/5.0 = Bad
There isn't much to say against the pure ambition and unadulterated honesty behind Stories We Tell, but to put it lightly, this 2012 semi-autobiography-semi-biopic is a perfect example of a documentary that simply fails at accomplishing its goals.
Director Sarah Polley goes in with the noble intention of exposing her entire family to her audience by telling the story of her mother's and father's marriage, and everything that happened before and after. Polley's primary goal is to present the audience with multiple perspectives of the same incidents, ranging from first to second hand accounts. She does this in order to show how stories can differ between who tells them. But the film ultimately falls short of expectations,…
In my opinion, of course!
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