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Life During Wartime (Criterion) (2010)

Cast: Shirley Henderson, Ciaran Hinds, Allison Janney, more...
Director: Todd Solondz
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Crtierion
Genre: Drama, Black Comedy, Dysfunctional Families, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 97 min.

In Life During Wartime, independent filmmaker Todd Solondz explores contemporary American existence and the nature of forgiveness with his customary dry humor and queasy precision. The film functions as a distorted mirror image of Solondz's acclaimed 1998 dark comedy Happiness, its emotionally stunted characters now groping for the possibility of change in a post-9/11 world. Happiness's grim New Jersey setting is transposed mainly to sunny Florida, but the biggest twist is that new actors fill the roles from the earlier film - including Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney, and Ally Sheedy as alarmingly dissimilar sisters, and Ciarán Hinds hauntingly embodying a reformed pedophile. Shot in expressionistic tones by cinematographer extraordinaire Ed Lachman, Solondz's film finds the humor in the tragic and the tragic in the everyday.

Special Features:

  • New digital transfer, supervised and approved by director of photography Ed Lachman
  • "Ask Todd", an audio Q&A with director Todd Solondz in which he responds to viewers' questions
  • Making Life During Wartime, a new documentary featuring interviews with actors Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, and Michael Kenneth Williams, as well as on-set footage
  • New interview with Lachman
  • Original theatrical trailer

GreenCine Daily PODCAST: Is Welcome to the Dollhouse auteur Todd Solondz a misanthrope, or a humanist whose characters just happen to engage in ugly, perverse, cruel behavior? For GreenCine Daily Editor Aaron Hillis, the answer has been made clear with Life During Wartime, Solondz's quasi-sequel to 1998's Happiness. In this podcast, Aaron chats with Andrew Grant, along with New York Press chief film critic and New York Film Critics Circle chairman Armond White, about the aforementioned misanthropy question, forgiveness, Todd Haynes, Luis Buńuel, and more. Listen to the podcast. Full article >>.

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