Over two days, my "Movies To See" list is unspooling on The Dissolve. Here's your chance to check them off,…
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…
Amazing documentation of thrilling journey to find her parents.
Don't trust a damn thing your parents tell you. They are not on your side. I mean, my mother told me that I'm the most handsome young man in the world and that I could play for the Chicago Bulls someday. I'm half-Jewish and 5'10" + 150 lbs, who does she think she's kidding?
A really moving, provocative documentary about perspective and family.
The astonishing beauty of real life and real people revealed by a movie as a stream of conscious
Stories we tell, it turns out, does not contain a bunch of stories, just one family saga. A real one. Sarah Polley, the director, decided to unearth the skeletons in her family closet and then put it all on film for all the world to see. And she did it brilliantly without making it seem conceited or false or anything like that. And despite the story being a bit soap opera-ish in itself, the movie did not focus on high drama, as a lot of dysfunctional family stories would. It is so tastefully and artistically put together. Stripped down interviews, interspersed with real home videos, and then reconstructed ones (re-enactments or memories with actors to play her mom, dad, etc.).…
Sarah Polley is a brilliant filmmaker.
What an incredible, fabulous and all the positive adjectives combined journey it is to watch such a beautifully done story Sarah Polley's family told.
The movie is shocking but it shocked me in tender way, and tender myself immersed in for the entire movie. Polley tackled the story so proficiently and create a strong tense for it be remade into some kind of detective story, and isn't it so relating to our personal experiences, that we grew up, and discovered certain fragments which would fulfill a grandiose puzzle of our own family (and we just might not be able to finish it)).
Heck, the point being, watch the movie, damn it.
I had heard about this movie through various movie blogs as being one of the best docs in a while, and while it was good, it wasn't That good. It wasn't super gripping or interesting, but it was well made and a different take on the usual documentary film.
A documentary about Sarah Polley's family.
- Beyond the Hills
- Spring Breakers
- Upstream Color
- Stories We Tell
- Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One
- A Moment of Innocence
- Man with a Movie Camera
- Vanya on 42nd Street
A list to compile some of the best "meta" films out there. I'm going to be fairly liberal with the…
- 20 Fingers
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
- Almayer's Folly
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
- Border Radio
A list of films directed by women, in alphabetical order by director. The notes show the director's country, name and…