CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
DVD Review: Sarah Polley’s Brilliant, Moving ‘Stories We Tell’
CHICAGO – Sarah Polley’s amazing “Stories We Tell” earned raves a year ago when it played at the Toronto International Film Festival, continued to build buzz at Sundance, opened the first Chicago Critics Film Festival, and had a successful theatrical run but never quite made it to a lot of major markets. Now it’s on DVD and everyone in the country and around the world can finally see the best documentary of 2013. And everyone should.
DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0
When the writer/director of “Away From Her” and “Take This Waltz” began to interview her family about their mysterious, deceased mother, she had no idea what she was going to uncover and I would never spoil the many fascinating developments of this film here. What you should know is that “Stories” becomes way more than just a saga of family secrets. Polley’s masterpiece transcends home movies when she begins to use her skill to comment not only on why we keep secrets in the first place but the ripple effect of when they’re revealed. She even takes it a step further in a commentary on how filmmaking is a form of storytelling. We all tell stories — to ourselves, to our family, to our kids, to our parents. Few films have told a better one recently than this gem.
Sadly, Lionsgate has made the disappointing decision not to release their best 2013 film on Blu-ray nor to accompany their DVD-only release with a single special feature. Hence, the 4 instead of a 5 rating up there. The movie is a 5. The DVD is disappointing.
Stories We Tell was released on DVD on September 3, 2013
Photo credit: Lionsgate
Stories We Tell is an “unmissable” (Rolling Stone) genre-twisting film by director Sarah Polley, who investigates the elusive truths of her eclectic family of storytellers as she playfully interrogates a cast of characters who each relate their version of the family mythology. Polley reveals the essence of family as she uncovers the secrets buried deep within…