Helmer departs from twisted oeuvre

Lido regular Todd Solondz was in customary self-deprecating mode on Monday, as he reflected on the state of the U.S. indie industry, while launching his unconventional laffer “Dark Horse,” which is actually not that dark.

“Certainly the audience that existed 10 years ago for my movies has shrunk, because of Internet and cable TV with a thousand channels,” the cult New York helmer bemoaned.

“I think my movies make less and less money each time. I’m on that consistent trajectory: each one makes half of the one before,” he noted. “So I feel very fortunate that I have been able to make yet another movie.”

Producer Ted Hope struck a more upbeat note.

“It’s certainly appealing to have a Todd Solondz film that has no rape, no molestation, no masturbation, no pedophilia; none of those difficult subjects that he’s had before,” he said.

Hope added that the cast also is impressive, saying, “When I started making movies in the early 1990’s I never thought I would be able to have Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow, Selma Blair and Justin Bartha in a film of this budget level.”

Pic’s protag is relative newcomer Jordan Gelber (“Boardwalk Empire”) who plays a thirtysomething suburbanite clinging on to adolescence.

Solondz is well aware that “Dark Horse,” which screened in competition Monday, is a departure of sorts from his trademark twistedness.

“I wanted to get at things without any of the pathologies that had been dramatized in my previous works,” he said

As for releasing “Dark Horse” in the U.S., Hope said the worst-case scenario is that he will release it himself if nobody else steps up to the plate.

“With Todd’s movies, about 65%-70% of the box office comes from New York. I have several exhibitors in New York, to whom I’ve screened the movie, who want to book the film.”

Internationally, while some smaller territories have been presold, Goldcrest Films is kicking off world sales in Venice.

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