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Todd Solondz



Among many colleagues of his generation - such as Todd Haynes, Kelly Reichardt, Gus Van Sant, Richard Linklater or Quentin Tarantino - Todd Solondz is probably a very special case, having since 1995 started one of the most brilliant careers in independent American cinema of that decade, with the succession of three crucial films: "Welcome to the Dollhouse" (1995), "Happiness" (1998) and "Storytelling" (2001). Acid portraits of the American middle class, their social particularities, and above all their immense perversions, these three films seek to outline an American cultural imaginary, using and deconstructing the appearance proposed by television, even using many of its mechanisms, especially the soundtrack, the mise-en-scène and the narrative concentration in the family. Melodramas of brutal excesses, in which profoundly lonely characters coexist in search of a goal that justifies their existence in this world, these films depict a humanity reflected in the mirror and in which desire rescues and condemns the characters. Solondz puts this whole universe in its favorite mise-en-scène: the suburb with its shopping centers, homes, motels, restaurants and car parks. These contemporary non-places are the most obvious face of a deep, hidden America in which the appearances prevail over inner deterioration, and where redemption is not a possibility.