Tag Archives: Todd Solondz

Big Screen Berkeley: Dark Horse

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Todd Solondz has quite a lot to answer for. His 1996 art-house hit Welcome to the Dollhouse laid the foundation for the late 20th century ‘American Indie’ style, and we’ve since had to contend with countless screen tales of awkward social outcasts or beautiful losers trying to adapt to the unreasonable expectations of mainstream American society.

The vast majority of these films were gratingly arch or painfully camp, but Solondz possessed tools the copycats lacked: a sharp pen and an uncompromising commitment to truthfulness. Avoiding the too clever by half, nudge-nudge wink-wink style of such indie scribes as Diablo Cody, the Duplass brothers, and Andrew Bujalski (among many others), Solondz’ scripts tackled uncomfortable topics with refreshing honesty — and his newest film, Dark Horse (opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, July 20th) , is no exception.

Abe Wertheimer (Jordan Gelber) is the stereotypical All-American man-child. Balding, overweight, and in his 30s, Abe works at the realestate firm owned by father Jackie (Christopher Walken, here looking even more ghoulish than usual), and still lives at home, where his bedroom walls remain lined with mint-in-box action figures and Gremlins posters. … Continue reading »

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