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Just wanted to share this thought-provoking movie. It's an exploration of a man in his 30s who seems to be stuck in a childish state of mind. It's quite cringy as his life catalyzes over the span of the events of the film. It offers some welcome commentary on parenting in an age where this kind of critique is somewhat taboo.

I'd be interested to hear what others here think of it. Despite it being fiction, I found myself desperate to find out how the character got this way and how things would turn out. This man reminded my powerfully of myself and people I grew up with. It was startling.


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We watched two more of this director's (Todd Solondz) movies, "Life During Wartime," and "Wiener Dog." Both feature a neat philosophical device: A child asks a parent a question, and the parent tries to give an answer that reconciles with societal norms. But these kids have like super mega brains, and the adults' answers NEVER satisfy them. They keep pulling the adults further down the rabbit holes of truth. It's fun to watch the adults squirm under the scrutiny.

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I'm a huge Todd Solondz fan, watched all of his movies. They're all connected in some fashion, "Life During Wartime" is the direct sequel to "Happiness" and all of his other movies have reoccurring characters. His style is unique, his movies have very, very dark themes however he presents them as a comedy. He presents this bizarro world in which the important things are trivial for the characters and the trivial things are important. For instance he adds happy/fun music when a character is going through a crisis or a tragedy takes place. Like in "Wiener Dog", during the end credits the most uplifting song ever plays all throughout. Or in "Welcome to The Dollhouse" the bullying and threats of rape to the main character (which is a child) turn out to be something very innocent in the end. "Incidentally" the character's nickname in "Welcome to The Dollhouse" is Wiener-Dog.

The way I see it he's trying to say something, maybe the same truth in every movie from different angles, but it may be such a horrible realization that he has to sugarcoat it for the audience by masking it as a formulaic comedy.

I can't say I "get" his movies but the feeling I have after them is similar to when you try to remember a word and it's right at the tip of your tongue but you simply can't say it out loud.

You mentioned how much you saw yourself into the main character of "Dark Horse", you're not alone. I think it's by design, I saw myself in a lot of very different characters from all of his movies. In "Dark Horse" for example I saw bit of myself reflected back from both Abe and his brother. It's as if he he touches on an universal human trait and creates a whole character around it.



Haha. I just looked a little bit into "Welcome to The Dollhouse" and just now realized "Wiener Dog" is the direct sequel to it. Puts some scenes in a whole new light. For me there's almost a 10 year gap between the two but my mind still made an unconscious connection.

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Dark Horse, haven't seen it, but from the synopsis looks like a story based around the Oedipal Complex. A horse is often a symbol of the unconscious("Man and his Symbols" Carl Jung) whether it be biblical in revelations or the idea of a Trojan horse. 

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