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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Todd Solondz: Filmmaker in Residence 2019

Todd Solondz

We are delighted to announce that the award-winning independent American filmmaker Todd Solondz will be at the Centre for Film and Screen in early May of the Easter Term, 2019.

Solondz is one of the leading figures in what has come to be known as ‘independent cinema’—cinema produced outside the Hollywood studio system—a mode of filmmaking that was anticipated by the “new Hollywood” movement of the  1970s  and rose to prominence in the 1990s.

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), Solondz’s second feature film, brought him world-wide recognition and the loyalty of cinephile audiences. Since then, films such as Happiness (1998), Storytelling (2001), Palindromes (2001), Life During   Wartime (2004), and Dark Horse (2011) have pushed narrative boundaries and upset generic conventions. His most recent film is the acclaimed Wiener Dog (2016), which won the Jury Prize at the Deauville Film Festival.

His films constitute a stylistically and thematically coherent body of work and have been noted for their dark humour, their narrative experimentation, and their subversive critique of American public and domestic life. Solondz is, significantly,   both a screenwriter and a director, and has been awarded and critically recognised for his achievements in both capacities.

During the time of his residency, Solondz will teach a sequence of master classes, and be in conversation about his work following a series of screenings at the Arts Picturehouse Cinema in Cambridge.

The residency will culminate with a symposium on his work. Speakers will include Karen Pinkus (Cornell University), Linda Ruth Williams (University of Exeter and Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College), the filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach, and the film critic Mark Kermode.

The programme of Filmmakers in Residence at the University’s Centre for Film and Screen was launched in 2016, with Joanna Hogg, who was followed by Gianfranco Rosi (2017) and Lucrecia Martel (2018). We have been fortunate in bringing to the University and to the city of Cambridge some of the most important and innovative contemporary filmmakers.

Screenings (all are held at Arts Picturehouse Cambridge)

12 May (17.15)           Welcome to the Dollhouse

13 May (18.15)           Storytelling

14 May (18.15)           Life During Wartime

15 May (18.15)           Dark Horse

Master Classes (13th and 14th May)

Members of the University community (with addresses) should write to to reserve a place for the classes.

Symposium: The Work of Todd Solondz

16 May, Winstanley Lecture Hall, Trinity College, 10:00-16:00

Speakers: Mark Kermode, Hope Dickson Leach, Julian Murphet, Karen Pinkus, Linda Ruth Williams

Winstanley Lecture Theatre

Trinity College

Trinity Street





Julian Murphet (University of New South Wales), ‘Bad Taste, Kitsch, and the Space of the Subject in Todd Solondz’s Cinema’


 Hope Dickson Leach (filmmaker), ‘Killing Peter Paul: the Ultimate Act of Love’


Karen Pinkus (Cornell University and Leverhulme Visiting Professor, University of Cambridge), ‘Bedside Tables: On the Margins of the Shot’

12.15 lunch break


Linda Ruth Williams, ‘How to Be (or Not to Be) a Girl: Performing Adolescence in Todd Solondz's Films’


Mark Kermode, ‘Fatally Flawed: A Critic’s Miserably Failed Attempts to Make Sense of Solondz’


Round table: Todd Solondz in conversation

Todd will be joined by all of the day’s speakers

Moderated by John David Rhodes