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For anyone who happens to be following along with my "conversation" with Amanda, here is part 3 (my second and final post) of our month long series looking at Polley's films through the lens of Stories We Tell. Amanda peaked my interest in her second post when she connected intimacy with memory: "to be remembered is to be known." The more I thought about this point, the more interested I became in "recognition" as the frame of reference I wanted to take with my reply. And so I did. Have a look if time allows.

Edited by Nick Olson

"What is inside is also outside." -Goethe via Merleau-Ponty, in conclusion to the latter's one extended rumination on film
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  • 1 month later...

Nick, that's great that you highlight the relationship between Stories We Tell and Polley's other films.  I was thinking about Away from Her just as I finished watching Stories, and I told my wife that now I have some inkling as to why Polley chose to film the Alice Munro short story on which Away from Her is based.  As does Polley's own family's history, Away from Her contains a couple balancing precariously between faithfulness and infidelity.  In each case, the story ends with the balance having seemingly tilted, just barely, in one of those two directions.  I think Away from Her is a very good film, and it's quite likely that it will look even better when it is rewatched in light of the director's own life as revealed in Stories.


By the way, what is that interesting song that is played in Stories We Tell over the wordless montage of faces?  That's a powerful moment.  It reminded me quite a bit of the Aimee Mann song montage in Anderson's Magnolia.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finally just saw this. There is a great amount of substantive thought and artistry here.

But, other thoughts aside, given that it is technically a 2012 film according to the requirements of IMDB, I think it will be our strongest 2010s candidate for a Top 25 Films on Memory list.

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  • 6 years later...

I am very much on the fence on this film for 2020 Top 100. I see some artistry here, and I'm a pro-documentary kind of guy. On the other hand, I feel like there were/are better documentaries available both that have been nominated and that haven't. (I think, for example, that Barbara Kopple's Running From Crazy is a powerful mediation on family and family narratives.). Anyone want to nudge me as to the whole spiritually significant question?

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