When I first saw Stories We Tell I was stunned. When I saw it again, I knew that reaction was warranted. And when I talked to the film’s director, everything was further illuminated. That director is Sarah Polley, who is probably best known for roles in films like Go and Dawn of the Dead. Polley is undeniably great in those movies, but after seeing her third feature film Stories We Tell, there’s no doubt she’s an even better director.
Polley approaches Stories We Tell with brilliantly layered execution. On the surface, it’s a personal documentary about her family history, featuring accounts from her brothers, sisters, parents, and friends. The basic story follows how her mother and father met, and started a family. From there, Polley questions the construction of story and truth. She breaks down the structure, turning the camera on herself. Finally, Polley uses this pleasant, thought-provoking documentary to pose surprising questions regarding the essence of cinema. Stories We Tell is now playing in select cities nationwide, so you can finally see what I mean for yourself.
Which brings us to a warm May morning poolside at a Beverly Hills hotel. I was lucky enough to sit down with Polley to discuss her wonderful film and ask all the burning questions I had after seeing it. You can read the conversation below. Read More »
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The calendar might only say “March,” but I doubt I’ll see many movies this year better than Sarah Polley‘s Stories We Tell. Since I saw it at Sundance (read my review here) I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, or accurately convey to people – without spoilers – just why it’s so great. What I’ve been saying is Polley’s documentary is, on one level, a exploration of her family history. At the same time, it’s a commentary on how she’s telling that story as she cuts between traditional documentary scenes and footage of her shooting them. But even that’s not everything.
Thankfully, Roadside Attractions has finally released a trailer that’ll do a much better job of selling the movie than I could. Stories We Tell opens in New York on May 10 and then starts rolling out on May 17. Check out the trailer below.
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Any film fan should make it a point to attend the Sundance Film Festival at least once. Words can hardly describe the beauty of Park City, the camaraderie of the attendees, the smooth running machine that plays dozens of movies a day on screens all over town. And those movies. Oh, those movies. Some of the best films of the past 25 years have debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The list has been well-documented and 2013 is likely to add at least a few to that incredible legacy.
At this year’s festival, I saw 34 movies. Not a staggering, superhuman number – remember I have to eat, sleep and write about these things – but a number to be proud of none the less. I saw comedies, dramas, foreign films, Hollywood films, sports films, happy films, sad films, black and white films, sex films, kids films. You name it; one of the movies I saw fits nearly any description you can muster.
I’ve picked my ten favorite films of the festival, with an asterisk. Though I saw 34 films, I missed probably 100 others, so this isn’t by any means definitive. But out of the movies that I thought looked interesting, or were buzzed about on the streets of Park City, these were the ten that I most enjoyed. Read More »
Sarah Polley‘s documentary Stories We Tell is absolutely brilliant. I don’t use that word lightly, but I’ll say it again: brilliant. The actress-turned-director trains the camera on herself in a movie exploring not only her own family, but how people tell stories. She focuses on the truths embedded in them and different points of view. To help bolster that approach, Polley films not only her family, but herself filming the documentary, and cuts between the two seemlessly.
So while we’re hear Polley’s family history — how her mother and father met, got married, had kids, went through terrible trials, tribulations — we see the family, we see archival footage, we hear different points of view from all parties involved, and we see Polley behind the camera doing this, manipulating and prodding her subjects. And from there things get even more amazing.
After premiering at Berlin and playing Toronto and Telluride, Stories We Tell hit the slopes of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and just might be the best film at the festival. Read More »
Just under two months away from the kickoff of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the second batch of films has been announced. Wednesday’s reveal of the competition narrative and documentaries has now been followed by the Spotlight, New Frontier and Park City at Midnight movies, which is where you’ll find most of the weird and genre stuff that’s playing at the fest from January 17-27.
Among the highlights are, the world premiere of the anthology film S-VHS (the sequel to V/H/S); Jeff Nichols‘ follow-up to Take Shelter, Mud; Ben Wheatley‘s follow-up to Kill List, Sightseers; James Franco interpreting gay S&M footage cut from Crusing in Interior. Leather Bar; Sarah Polley‘s documentary Stories We Tell; and the exorcism comedy Hell Baby starring Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel.
Read about all the films after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, August 30th, 2012 by Angie Han
Just two films into her directorial career, Sarah Polley‘s demonstrated an affinity for intimate, bittersweet dramas whether they be about senior citizens battling Alzheimer’s or pretty young things staving off boredom. However, it’s her third effort that looks to be her most personal yet.
Polley is moving into documentary with Stories We Tell, and the subject she’s chosen is her own family history. Which doesn’t sound all that exciting when I put it that way, I know. But the Polley clan apparently has some interesting stuff to say, and critics at Venice are taking notice. Watch the first trailer after the jump.
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