DARK CINEMA

When writer-director Todd Solondz released his black comedy Welcome to the Dollhouse in 1995, it was awarded the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for its intriguing portrayal of the trials and tribulations of a bullied teenaged girl. Solondz’s follow-up, Happiness (1998), fomented much controversy for delving into the dark waters of topics like pedophilia, rape and suicide. Ironically, Sundance refused to screen the film, but Happiness garnered international praise nonetheless; it’s now considered one of the more cutting-edge films in contemporary cinema willing to address the hidden, discomforting, and sometimes-twisted nature of suburban life. At his Sun-Ray Cinema appearance, Solondz will introduce a screening of Happiness (in a 35MM print) and give a follow-up talk.

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