There are two kinds of people in the world: Todd Solondz fans and sane people. I happily lump myself in with the fans; the guy is a master at button pushing and at making the kind of movies that create an almost palpable sense of discomfort. Walking out of a showing of Happiness I watched two different fights break out – at an art theater! It’s the kind of movie that works on audiences like a low frequency hum. You don’t even realize what it is that’s making you go crazy.
Happiness remains Solondz’s masterpiece. I like Welcome to the Dollhouse and really like Palindromes; I could give or take Storytelling. But Happiness - that’s a film that really hit the culture in a big, weird way for such a small, sick film. If you describe your new indie film as being in the vein of Happiness… well, people get it. I’m shocked that Dylan Baker had a career after that film, to be honest.
It’s been rumored for a while that Solondz would go back to that film (with Paul Reubens being mentioned as one of the possible stars), and now it’s definite – new indie production company Werc Werk Works is fully financing a quasi-sequel/complement to Happiness. Here’s the vague, period-laced description from Variety: Solondz wrote the screenplay, which revolves around a group of
struggling individuals. struggling to find a place for themselves in an
unpredictable and volatile world. The narrative is told through a
series of intersecting love stories.; the past haunts the present and
imperils the future: ghosts circle and loom, trouble and console.
Solondz will film this fall in Puerto Rico, of all places. I’m interested in seeing how this all ties in to the growing Solodzvere – if you watch Palindromes you’ll notice that it opens with the funeral of Welcome to the Dollhouse lead Dawn Wiener. Which characters do you want to see making returns in this still-untitled film?