8. Storytelling (2002)
Director Todd Solondz was looking to make a three-part anthology on the themes of fiction, non-fiction, and autobiography when he filmed Storytelling, but what he released was a pretentious arthouse film that saw Dawson Creek’s James Van Der Beek getting it from behind. Fans hoping for the best found themselves grimacing through the heavily-censored and laughably un-PC scenes, particularly because only six minutes of Belle and Sebastian’s score was used come the finale.
Even though there’s some gorgeous string arrangements and playfully lethargic piano — not to mention the intricate dance between trumpet and harp on “Consuelo” — Belle and Sebastian were doomed from the start on this one. Stuart Murdoch stepped down from the songwriter stool for an egalitarian move. The title track is the closest we get to a normal cut from the band, but even then it’s gripping our arms too tight as we skip across the yellow brick road with our Scottish pals. Without him in the frontseat, hits are hard to find. There’s so much filler, as soundtracks tend to have, that when a song rolls around that’s mildly decent like “Wandering Alone”, your ears perk up — because anything that’s got a hook is better than nothing. –Nina Corcoran