Heather Matarazzo

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Dawn Wiener is dead, long live Dawn Wiener! Todd Solondz‘s second feature film, Welcome to the Dollhouse, is hailed as the filmmaker’s big breakthrough — a bold, gross, weird and uncomfortably honest look at one awkward tween’s coming-of-age in nineties New Jersey. The film starred Heather Matarazzo as Dawn “Wiener Dog” Wiener, an outcast desperate to fit in with her bone-headed peers, her terrible family and a classmate who repeatedly attempts to rape her. As is Solondz’s signature, the film is admirable and unique, even if you feel like you need a shower after watching it. The Hollywood Reporter now reports that Solondz is “sort of” working a sequel to the 1995 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning feature film, as the filmmaker is currently casting for Wiener-Dog, billed as “an ensemble indie that is tied together thematically by a dachshund.” Moreover, “the script tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading comfort and joy.” Of course, anyone who is familiar with Solondz likely won’t think, “oh, yes, a dog” when they hear “wiener-dog,” they’ll think of Dawn Wiener, and they won’t be wrong, because one of the new film’s stories will indeed be about Dawn Wiener. Wait. How does that work?

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sidewalk traffic 2

Typically the films spotlighted in our Fund This Film column are found on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. This week, I’ve found a project to share that is conducting its crowdfunding efforts through the lesser-known site RocketHub. By “I’ve found,” I should point out that I was made aware of the film by a hometown acquaintance with a minor onscreen role, via his Facebook page. It’s a small connection that has even less bearing on my decision to showcase the project than the fact that Freaks and Geeks actor Samm Levine co-stars (he is the one cast member of that show who really needs to be in more stuff), but I like to offer full disclosure. The film in need is titled Sidewalk Traffic, and it’s written and directed by Anthony L. Fisher, whose past work on the short Reason TV documentary Abandoned in Guatemala: The Failure of International Adoption and the Groundhog Day-ish short comedy Bed Head can be watched online (here and here). In addition to Levine, it features Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse), MTV’s Kurt Loder and comedians Tom Shillue (Mystery Team), Dave Hill and Jordan Clifford (the guy I know). In the lead role is Johnny Hopkins (Kick-Ass), who plays a struggling filmmaker who has just become a father. Another relative unknown, Erin Drake, plays the female lead, I’m assuming his wife.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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