Down and Out in Suburbia

Any movie that tackles pedophilia, depression, and suicide will stir up a little controversy. In 1998, independent filmmaker Todd Solondz drew some negative reactions with Happiness, a dark satire about the miserable lives of an upper-middle class New Jersey family. Sundance rejected the film, and the MPAA gave it an NC-17 rating, which hindered where and how the flick was released. Nevertheless, it was nominated for best screenplay at the 1999 Golden Globes and earned the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes. Solondz’s latest film, Life During Wartime, is a sequel of sorts but stars a different cast and is set in our humble Miami. Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) plays a ghost named Andy, who haunts Trish, played by Alison Janney. Trish is busy pretending her pederast ex-husband Bill (Ciasin Hinds) is dead when he’s really rotting in prison. Uplifting stuff, right? Still, the film won best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, and this weekend, you’ll have the chance to see its Miami theatrical digital premiere. The Miami Beach Cinematheque will screen Life During Wartime this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Raleigh Hotel Ballroom.
Oct. 1-3, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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