movies directed by women,
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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…
“It’s highly unusual for a public figure to expose so much of themselves & their immediate loved ones in this honest of a way and that vulnerability alone makes Stories We Tell a memorable experience. On the other hand, the story at the heart of the documentary isn’t quite as fulfilling & engaging to outsiders as it is to the people who lived it and the film has a tendency to over-explain its own intent instead of simply allowing the story to unfold.”
An extremely personal and emotionally deep documentary by one of the most interesting voices in the industry today.
My Uncle Bob really needs to up his "family historian" game after this...
Our lives are certainly complex. It's interesting to see how we remember certain episodes of our past and how they're being remembered by the other actors involved in the same events. Sarah Polley does a great job exploring this issue by looking at her own past. One story hides another one that hides another one.
"Alle unglücklichen Familien gleichen einander, jede unglückliche Familie ist auf ihrer eigene Weise unglücklich" mit diesem Satz beginnt Leo Tolstois Roman "Anna Karenina". Und auch wenn Sarah Polleys Dokumentation "Stories We Tell" mit einem glücklicheren Ton beginnt, wird dem Zuschauer schnell bewusst, wie gut sich Tolstois Satz auf den Film anwenden lässt. Die Dokumentation, die, neben einer Erzählerstimme, hauptsächlich aus Interviews und nachgespielten Super-8 Aufnahmen besteht, erzählt die Geschichte von Diane Polley, die Mutter der Regisseurin. Am Anfang ist man sich nicht sicher, ob das Ganze auf Etwas hinausläuft oder einfach mehr ein Familienalbum darstellen soll. Doch nach der Hälfte des Films wird einem klar, dass die Regisseurin ein klares Ziel verfolgt. Sarah Polley schreckt nicht davor zurück ihre Familie und auch sich selber mit den unangenehmen Dingen zu konfrontieren. Obwohl der Film so spezifisch auf ihre Familie zu geschnitten ist, besitzt "Stories We Tell" eine Universalität, die brillant von der Regisseurin eingefangen wurde.
A superbly assembled and deceptively complex documentary, but one that sacrifices emotional heft for a pacing that whirrs with little pause. This was clearly the intent of director Sarah Polley, who is more interested (as she makes clear throughout) in exploring the nuances and disparities within our own recollection and our tendency as humans to reimagine events in fascinatingly unique ways. And with the many left turns, layers and threads presented, Stories We Tell will ultimately make you think more than it'll make you feel — even if the latter shapes our memories as demonstratively as our brains do. Yet, while I expected it to make me Feel Something more than it did, I suppose the muddiness of it all is reflective of this pervading theme of uncertainty, and in that sense, it feels appropriate.
Why would anyone think it's a good idea to make a movie out of such a dull story?
Michael Polley's writing is wonderful and the most interesting part of this story
movies directed by women,
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