‘Todd Solondz on Becoming a Filmmaker’: An Unintentional Short Film


As of the time I’m writing this, Todd Solondz on Becoming a Filmmaker & Welcome to the Dollhouse has 412 views in the 6 months it’s been online. That is a travesty. It’s one of the best short films I’ve seen in ages, albeit an unintentional one.

It’s basically just Todd Solondz being interviewed by a film major at Drexel University, Zachary Shevich, but really it’s so much more. It contains all the precise uncomfortability you might expect from a Solondz film, but wholly organic. For starters, it’s as though Solondz is being interviewed by one of his characters—Zachary’s vibe and mannerisms and attire are similar to that of the protagonist of Dark Horse and certain side characters from Storytelling, Palindromes, and Life During Wartime. Then, there’s the production values—the setting, a college screening room, is uncomfortably overlit; Solondz’ lavalier microphone is placed on the wrong side of his lapel for the direction he is speaking, as though they were nervous to be interviewing him and weren’t thinking, and maybe even switched sides last minute; the lower third graphic stating their names is a depressingly ugly, brown, clipart film strip, with a bland font; there are random mic rumbles here and there from breathing and fidgeting, and at certain points, Solondz bows his head and accidentally talks quite loudly into his mic. On top of all of this, you of course have Solondz’ calmly dour and intimidating demeanor. It’s a must-watch.

My favorite moment is the cut at 1:23 where we see the exact distance and body language of our two characters. That’s the shot at the top of this post. By the way, there’s a Part 2! You can watch both parts below:

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‘Dark Horse’ & ‘Damsels in Distress’: A Tale of Two Departures


One of the best shots in recent history. This, right here, is how you say ‘fuck you’.

Dark Horse (2011)
Written and Directed by Todd Solondz
86 min.


I should’ve seen this one in theaters. But I didn’t. I listened to people. I should never listen to people. People are shit. By ‘people’ I mean those-who-tell-you-a-movie-sucks-and-that-it-is-an-unwelcome-departure-from-said-filmmaker. Those people. Fuck those people.

Why is it that they never caution you about the right movies? I would’ve killed for someone to tap me on the shoulder before I saw Damsels in Distress and warn me that Whit Stillman—a once perfect filmmaker of remarkable integrity—has decided to cop out and pander to a generation he doesn’t understand, and isn’t even worth understanding. But no. They had to warn me about this one instead.
Continue reading ‘Dark Horse’ & ‘Damsels in Distress’: A Tale of Two Departures