I find it appropriate that my interview with Todd Solondz, discussing his new film “Life During Wartime,” was published today, on indieWIRE’s 14th birthday. Since I’ve been affiliated with indieWIRE, either as an editor in its early years or an occasional contributor these days, Solondz’s work has always been an important touchstone for me: It seems with his every new release I’ve wound up contributing some article on the controversies that have dogged his career:
One of my first investigative pieces for iW, in July 1998, was a favorite:
October Loses its “Happiness” and its Autonomy: Distribution, Ratings, and Repression (Jul 21, 1998)
Then a few years later, there was this little doozie: “The Scarlet Box: Solondz Alters “Storytelling” to Secure “R” Rating” (July 24, 2001)
I certainly could have contributed a piece on 2004’s “Palindromes,” but alas, I somehow missed the crazy stories on that film.
While I certainly wouldn’t recommend this career choice for anyone seeking secure, longterm employment, one of the joys of being an indie film journalist for the last 13 years has been to closely watch certain filmmakers as they evolve and follow them closely through the process. Solondz is one of those directors who I always look forward to meeting with and discussing his next project.
I’d also place Errol Morris on that list (I interviewed him first in 1997 for “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control,” then in 1999 (“Errol Morris and the Accidental Nazi“), and then again in 2004 (“War! What Is It Good For? Errol Morris Finds Out With ‘Fog of War‘”).
And while Darren Aronofsky has gone the way of Hollywood, I fondly recall my first interview with him at Sundance 1998 and a follow-up visit to the set of “Requiem for a Dream” (Last Exit to Success, Aronofsky Returns with “Requiem”) and an interview upon the film’s release (“Pi” Progression, Aronofsky Returns With “Requiem”).
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