Todd Solondz says there’s only two things he’s concerned about when making a film: 1) that he isn’t embarrassed by it, and 2) that he survives it. While he managed to check off the first thing during the production of WIENER-DOG, the second was a bit challenging.
Over the weekend, the director of HAPPINESS and WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE stopped by the Angelika Film Center to discuss his latest dark comedy. WIENER-DOG chronicles the life of a dachshund, after it is taken in by veterinary technician Dawn Wiener (Greta Gerwig), who sets off on a road trip. Along the way, the lovable dog encounters a young boy, a film professor, and a troubled grandmother and granddaughter, spreading comfort and joy to all.
While Solondz is very particular about the characters he selects for his films, the cute little furry WIENER-DOG star(s) proved to be a bit of a “nightmare” as he put it. However, Solondz’s challenges with the four legged actor(s) went unnoticed as he went on to design a film for theater, which is always the director’s main goal. During the Q&A Solondz discusses his past controversial work, the changing tide of the film industry, and being a film school dropout-turned-professor at NYU.