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Archive: Winter 2006

Palindromes

Director Todd Solondz to appear in person
(schedule permitting)

Presented as part of the UCI Program in Visual Studies conference,“Failure: Ethics and Aesthetics”

T his screening will begin a three day conference hosted by the Visual Studies Graduate Student Association. “Failure: Ethics and Aesthetics” is an interdisciplinary conference at which papers from a wide-range of areas of study will investigate and critically explore, contest, engage with, the concept of “failure.” ­(Visit www.humanities.uci.edu/visualstudies/events/conf.html for details)

Writer/Director Todd Solondz’s films, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness and Storytelling have exemplified these themes of failure with an unflinching tragicomic gaze. We are extremely proud to present his latest film Palindromes, which distills his craft into an even more refined state of lucidity.

Mr. Solondz has made preliminary plans to appear in person for this screening and conference and answer audience questions following the film. However, his schedule is extremely busy and therefore at the time of press we can only provide a probable confirmation of his appearance. Please check the FVC website for further updates and details.

Palindromes, at its simplest, tells the story of Aviva, a morose 13-year-old Jewish girl from New Jersey who gets herself pregnant, is forced by her mother to have an abortion, and ends up running away to a heartland America of wonders and terrors even more disquieting than the suburban enclave she left behind. Describing what happens in Palindromes, however, doesn’t begin to capture what it’s like to watch—the disturbed and heightened curiosity, the feeling of a social odyssey that unfolds with the suspense of a demented screwball dream. Think Welcome to the Dollhouse meets The Night of the Hunter meets Huck Finn in Wonderland. Solondz, who seems to have entered his avant-garde outlaw phase, has made a movie that demands to be seen because it’s like nothing you’ve seen before.”—Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“His characters are so lonely, so unhappy, and so helplessly cruel to one another that as a group they make a convincing case that the human race is doomed ... No comic filmmaker in America today works so hard to stay on the knife’s edge between humor and pathos or is so eager to challenge his viewers emotionally. Irony has become a dirty word of late, but Solondz’s sense of irony verges on the symphonic” —J.R. Jones, The Chicago Reader

2004, USA • 100 minutes • 35mm • Directed by Todd Solondz

 

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