A Triumph of Salvage - Putty Hill at Berlinale Forum
Matthew Porterfield, USA
2010, 89 min
20 February 2010
Delphi Filmpalast, Berlin
Cast: Sky Ferreira (Jenny), Zoe Vance (Zoe), James Siebor, Jr. (James), Dustin Ray (Dustin), Cody Ray (Cody), Charles “Spike” Sauers (Spike), Catherine Evans (Cathy), Virginia Heath (Virginia), Casey Weibust (Casey), Drew Harris (Geoff), Marina Siebor (Marina)
A junkie’s house, a boy’s death. Girls smoking in the woods. Cops on the hunt for a bank robber. Grandma is a good egg. Tagger – Rest in Peace, Cory.
A girl comes home to her estranged father’s tattoo party. A karaoke wake. Visiting a dead brother’s junkie lair at night. All he kept was his skateboard. The friendship of girls.
Putty Hill in the Northeast of Baltimore is both urban and bucolic. A filmmaker was working a coming-of-age tale about a group of metal-heads skirting the fringes of Baltimore. It was a timely script, but financing fell through. To rescue the work of everyone involved, he shot a new film in 12 days. Director Matt Porterfield:
“Putty Hill is not quite like anything I’ve ever seen. On a most basic level, it is an amalgam of traditional forms of documentary and narrative realism. But it is an approach to realism in opposition to the anthropological, lyrical, and romantic currents present in most of the genre. More importantly, though the structure of the film was plotted, the details of individual scenes were largely improvised, breathing life into the dialogue and bringing an enhanced degree of naturalism to the relationships between characters. I had already established firm bonds with my cast working with them on Metal Gods, so they trusted me enough to take risks and bring a level of emotional honesty to the material.”
A triumph of salvage. Not to be missed.
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Tags: Berlinale , Film Festivals , Matthew Porterfield
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