The "non-fiction" story is the superior fiction
Review of Storytelling (2001) movie, by Stefan Stenudd
And the story ends before it should. A sort of coitus interruptus (if the term is allowed), which demands some kind of return or closing-up later on in the movie — but there is none. I got the strong impression that this part was only included to make the movie full-time.
The second story, "Non-fiction", is clearly stronger, and told with much more passion from the writer/director. Here, many facets are explored, the characters are complex, the drama intricate — and the tension builds, right below the drab suburban surface. It is impressive how elements common in just about any family life, here add to the suspense and the sense of doom. The thrill of trivial life, but not at all trivially portrayed.
This might be the reason for the title "Non-fiction", since the lives and fates shown in the story feel so real — contrary to what happens in "Fiction".
Still, this story, too, has been told insufficiently, as if abbreviated, or halted at points where it was about to erupt into infernal drama. Pity. Did Solondz retreat from his own vision? Did he censor himself to get more of a general audience?
I hope that it's not the case. His portrayal of human life, although unpleasant indeed, is fascinating and uniquely his. So he must be true to it.
6 January 2003
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.