Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
October 31
Todd Solondz October 15, 1959
Todd Solondz born

As Todd Solondz enters production on his seventh feature film, we’ll stop and take note of his birthday (October 15, 1959) as well as his position as one of American independent film’s enduring and most instantly recognizable voices. Queasily mixing comedy and drama, satire and social critique, Solondz has made a career out of movies populated by the estranged, by people who, for whatever reason, don’t fit into polite company. In Welcome to the Dollhouse, that character was Dawn Weiner, a bullied, unpopular, and socially awkward girl who finds approval in a classmate’s threats of rape. With Happiness, Solondz began to explore interlocking, multi-character stories, this time including everyone from a pedophile to an obscene phone caller. In Palindromes, the different segments of the story each featured a different actress portraying the same protagonist, the 12-year-old Aviva. And in his recent Life During Wartime, Solondz revisited the characters of Happiness, but this time radically recast them as entirely different actors. Little is known about the plot of Dark Horse, but Solondz told The Playlist that he’s gotten major agency support for the first time due to its lighter tone. “And you know CAA?” he said. “It's funny, it's the first time they actually like one of my scripts and I realized [in Dark Horse], there's no rape, there's no child molestation, there's no masturbation, and then I thought, ‘oh m god, why didn't I think of this years ago?'"


More Flashbacks
Louis Malle October 31, 1932
Louis Malle born

The great French director Louis Malle was born October 30, 1932. Coming of movie-making age alongside the New Wave directors, Malle was never formally associated with that movement and, perhaps, was never treated as a boundary-breaking director.

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October 31, 1993
River Phoenix dies

During his successful and all-too-short career, actor River Phoenix was the James Dean of his generation.

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October 31, 1993
River's End

In a macabre twist, the 23-year-old actor River Phoenix died early on Halloween 1993 at 1:51 a.m. from a drug overdose at Los Angeles’ Viper Club.

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