Reel Deal Goes to the Movies: Sunday, June 2 for “Stories We Tell” at the Royal Oak Main

May 26, 2013 3 Comments

On Sunday, June 2 , we had the opportunity to screen Sarah Polley’s remarkable film “Stories We Tell”  (see the article in the Must See Movie of the Week).  About fifty cinephiles sat together after the film and discussed their experience and opinions of the movie.  In typical Reel Deal fashion, the discussion was lively and the views expressed varied.  Most in the audience were very enthusiastic about the film , although some expressed disdain.  Whose story was it?  Did the style chosen enhance or distract from the intent of the filmmaker”  what was real?  Certain characters resonated with each spectator, based on their own unique stories (also a point of the film, I think) and those who spoke up could not avoid revealing such individual perspectives.

Please join us for future Reel Deal Goes to the Movies this summer!


Reel Deal Goes to the Movies
3 Comments to “Reel Deal Goes to the Movies: Sunday, June 2 for “Stories We Tell” at the Royal Oak Main”
  1. Norm says:

    I plan on joining you on Sunday, along with 2 others.

  2. 1) could be “disdain” spelling
    2) another comparison besides Rashomon might be The Royal Tenenbaumsk, artsy family, self-absorbed, lush interiors, money
    3) I got home, the last ten minutes of the Law and Order: Criminal Intent episode showing on Ch 20 was another DNA relationship mystery
    4) The comparison with Rashomon eludes me. I reject it. I saw none of the alleged conflicting perspectives in Stories We Tell. That it reveals the writer’s mom in a compelling fiction and that the fiction works through the emotions of those who love her and lose her, and that their emotions are distinct and different and have images is the story and no easy feat.
    367) The presenting emotion of Rashomon I took as grief, misled as I might be by my own feeling and unfamiliarity with Japanese intonation. It is pouring rain, the people are in the outer archway or something of a temple. It’s the Middle Ages, no tobacco, the sky is weeping. Loss. Look at the post-WWII-catastrophe films, Bicycle Thief, Kurasawa’s Mifune films and Ikiru: might the ideals of war and empire, of prowess, of nobility, of chastity and submissiveness, might the be–QUESTIONABLE? Without seeing the film, one forgets that the action supposed to be in question is viewed in its external entirety by a woodcutter, I think, it is he who took the sword, who reports transactions without the heroism and virtue the principals report. If the woodcutter’s is but one perspective among several, what is the woodcutter’s delusion, comparable to the bandit’s erotomania, the prince’s and the bride’s noble virtues (which need more attention than I’m able to give)? Is woodcutter’s comparable fantasy that people are mere selfish animals, is it a poverty of imagination, a blindness to beauty? Is the hewer of wood, the guy at work out of his depth among the classy folks?
    368) The position stated by the mom’s lover and natural father of the writer and filmmaker sounded like the only objective view is that of someone in the thick of the event, which is a straw man of an argument and the weakest thing in the film. People who take it as a valid alternative perspective are mixing emotional truths–compare the end of Vanity Fair where the woman in love can see EVERYTHING at a glance–with something else. Well, it seems lame to me, who am blind to the multiple perspectives.
    444) The question is what was the mom like and what is someone like her like. Was she okay except for being saddled with a passive low-energy husband and a constricting genteel environment? Or did she need help that was unavailable? The easy, partial answer is that she needed work and meaningful work. How near was she to being a good enough mother? The film works by abstaining from answers and keeping our eye on the love.

  3. Bruce Russell says:


    Unfortunately, discussion of this film is taking place in two different venues within the Reel Deal blog. You might click on “Must See Movie of the Week: Stories We Tell,” to see other comments on this film.

    While you are right in saying that there aren’t the conflicting perspective in “Stories We Tell” that you find in “Roshomon,” we do get various perspectives on the truth (about what sort of person Diane was) in both films. It seems that a complete picture in both cases must make sense of all the perspectives, conflicting or not. See my parable of the blind men and the elephant.

    I think we should trust the woodcutter’s testimony about who killed the samurai warrior. Do you agree or not?

    Shouldn’t we trust Harry’s testimony about what went on between him and Diane, the mom? After all, he was in a privileged position with respect to that period of her life. He was an eye witness to events that no one else was privy to.

    I thought the film was pretty clear about what a good mom Diane was. But see some of the quotes I offer from Sarah Polley about the film at the other site on this blog (the “Must See Movie” part).

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