Friday 25 December 2020

Away from these stories we tell and the waltz we take.

_Take This Waltz_ is a current offering on MUBI, a film-streaming service. Also, _Away From Her_. I own a dvd copy of the latter which has an Academy Award nominated screenplay, adapted from an Alice Munro short story.

Sarah Polley writes, casts and directs her film stories for women and for those who love us. Some tedious men who reviewed _Take This Waltz_ were rather loathsome about it. Their hatefulness is self-revealing; it exposes their toxic masculine insecurities and egregious, narcissistic beliefs about people who don't look like them or behave as they do.

Men who will twist themselves into knots defending Weinstein + other movie industry sex predators and glorifying their worst anti-cinematic garbage, can't find enough words in their meagre vocabulary to disparage Polley's films, as this dickhead did. Fortunately, there are many who are able to appreciate her work
Stories We Tell is not just very moving; it is an exploration of truth and fiction that will stay with you long after repeated viewings. For a first screening of this picture is simply a way of getting in training for it. It is fiendishly difficult to review and to praise properly. This is not just documentary, but narrative magic. As one figure in the film says to the director, Sarah Polley, “What a vicious director you are.” The remark is offered with paternal humor, but no great irony. For the speaker has been put through the wringer, and a similar process is waiting for anyone hoping to talk about the picture. [...] 
So the documentary has to yield some space to being a family story—like Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Ghosts, and Three Sisters. But those plays are written in tragic tones, and they involve self-destructive people. One of the bonuses in Stories We Tell is how decent and well-meaning the other people in the circle are. They include the siblings and half-siblings as well as friends from several generations. There is a tenderness implicit in the way they talk and pay attention to each other that may be unusually well-behaved, but which also grows out of mutual respect for untidy family get-togethers, children mingling with pets, and the urge to record them all for the album of record and misunderstanding. Stories We Tell is an admission that we are not good with facts.
When _Stories We Tell_ was released in 2013, I wrote this at DJ!

I love _Take This Waltz_ and upon viewing it again, discovered delightful bits that hadn't registered the first time. Such as this deliciously raucous version of _Closing Time_ performed by Feist.

A key confrontation played by Sarah Silverman and Michelle Williams encapsulates a dilemma many women face.  What is worse: abandoning the social imperative to nurture one's child, or refusing to coddle a man-baby who doesn't want children who might be winning competitors for his wife's attention?

The film has scene upon scene of such subtle, underwritten encounters between its characters. Women get it. Most men don't. 


Priscilla Judd said...

I'd very much like to see this screening! Thanks. best way to send the link is a private message on twitter @PriscillaJudd tx

deBeauxOs said...

Unfortunately, since my Twitter acct is suspended, I can't read, post or receive private msgs.

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