Here Solondz joins the swelling ranks of artists for whom, remarkably in many ways, Mendes's film has become shorthand for a particular type of educated middlebrow American culture: Solondz rolls a hand-grenade into the politically correct academy. Storytelling has been described as suffering from a kind of "third-album" syndrome, a shrill rebuke to his critics. Is it in bad taste to show a disabled person having sex? At the same time, he seems to be absolving himself from the charge of exploitation and proposing a strained equivalence between his own underdog sensibilities and those of the documentary's preposterous star and equally preposterous director. As she rolls off him, it becomes clear that he has cerebral palsy - he does not baulk at using the word "spaz" - and then he whines about wanting to read her a piece of creative writing he's been working on. She is on top.
No one else could up-end our preconceptions and make sport with our timid liberal taboos quite so uncompromisingly. But where in his earlier movies he is able to ratchet up the provocation and the appallingly inventive horror further and further, in Storytelling he retreats into self-consciousness and a laboured pre-emptive attack on his critics. As things stand, the movie snaps in half and buckles midway through. Here Solondz joins the swelling ranks of artists for whom, remarkably in many ways, Mendes's film has become shorthand for a particular type of educated middlebrow American culture: John Goodman as the massive paterfamilias; Julie Hagerty as the quavering, fragile mom. But it still pulls its punches - those killer blows that landed directly on our collective solar plexus in Happiness. This is the least satisfying and the least funny Solondz film so far, at least partly because it enters into a fatal dialogue with an assumed gallery of dissenters. The themes of race and sex are raised in the most disquieting way: Selma Blair plays Vi, the miserable, mixed-up co-ed with low self-esteem who breaks up with her CP-suffering boyfriend Marcus Leo Fitzpatrick, from Larry Clark's Kids and begins a catastrophic flirtation with Mr Scott, played by Robert Wisdom, the black man who teaches their class - a pitilessly frank critic whose ego-trampling assessments of his students' work are delivered with a cold glitter. And when he is so insensitive to her needs as to whine about his writing project, for all the world as if he has been doing her a favour, should we in fact despise him? But Solondz strikes a very false note here. Solondz rolls a hand-grenade into the politically correct academy. Just because it is based on fact, says Mr Scott, does not exempt the author from the responsibility for having written a work of fiction. Who has victim status here? It is about a would-be documentarist, Paul Giamatta, making a film about a hopelessly dopey high school student, Scooby Mark Webber , and their uptight, prosperous Jewish family: Is Solondz applying this stricture to himself? But then, because Vi writes a pitiably callow short story about her experience, Solondz is able to engineer a distancing scene: Or inoculating himself against it, in some way? The loser making the film about the loser making the film about the loser forms a chain of sympathy for the eternal outsider. It is actually more subtle and indirect than that. Who are we laughing at? It is a minor Solondz movie, a faltering misstep. Share via Email A young man and woman are coming to the end of an unsatisfactory sex session on his single bed. Of the two parts, it is the first that works best, and in fact I think Storytelling would have worked better either with more "stories" in the mix or simply an amplification of the first part, "Fiction". Would it be OK to show him having sex with a woman who wasn't quite so attractive?
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The Paperboy (2012) - Sex Scene - HD 720p
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