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.
"I will go on, I WILL go on...''
It is difficult to find words to express the significance of this work, but it is with no doubt the most wonderful cinematic achievement I have seen this year and as demonstrative of this rollercoaster we call life as I have ever seen on projected on the screen.
Blossoming filmmaker Sarah Polley takes us on a journey into the tangled web of her family life, and the result is deeply personal and emotionally tender even as it brushes against the rawest nerve endings. This is obviously a labour of love and a passion project for Polley, and all I can think of as she pulls back the curtains on her private life…
What do we do when we want to make sense of someone, recognizing that we don't and can't know them, completely?
We tell stories.
Let's tell them with this much creativity, grace, compassion, and curiosity.
But it seems to me you never can both equally love each other the same amount.
It was one of the "talking heads" documentary. But an extraordinary good one. I really liked the pace and the picture that builds throughout the whole thing.
They found me outside of Buffalo by the crystal blue bay. No one knew my name, but everyone cared for me, anyway.
Sarah Polley logra un retrato muy íntimo y emotivo de su familia, no sólo del hecho específico que la llevó a hacer este documental.
El relato que va haciendo su padre a lo largo del docu es de lo más emotivo y sincero.
A well made and affecting documentary about a particular family, told from multiple viewpoints. However, the protagonist/filmmaker is aiming higher, using this subject to highlight the way in which different viewpoints affect memory and perception. Unfortunately for art (though perhaps fortunately for life) the differing perceptions don't differ all that much, and the story must stand on its own.
Creative use of actors to portray the real life drama of the director.
Una familia que pudo ser la de cualquiera.
Una historia, como cientas, que ha sido documentada.
Cualquier realidad supera la ficción, aunque no se desmerita.
Un recuerdo es lo que sucedió y lo que me acuerdo.
Sarah Polley reveals herself not only as a human being with family secrets and complex situations but as a talented young director who knows how to cinematically tell a story in a superbly way.
One of the best movies from last 2012. Highly recommended.
- Beyond the Hills
- Spring Breakers
- Upstream Color
- Stories We Tell
- 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…
- Before Midnight
- Only God Forgives
- 12 Years a Slave
- The Rover