Putty Hill

Director in Person
$12 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Matt Porterfield.
With Sky Ferreira, Zoe Vance, James Siebor, Jr..
USA, 2010, digital video, color, 89 min.

After funding fell through at the last minute for a fully-scripted feature, Metal Gods, Porterfield dispensed with the script and rehearsals, reconvened the cast of non-professionals culled from the working-class outskirts of Baltimore, and reanimated the spirit of the original idea onto the bare bones of a simple scenario: the death of a 23-year-old from a heroin overdose. The tragedy serves as an axis around which stories from the actors' personal lives intertwine with the largely-improvised fiction. Their relationship to the dead boy sometimes the only bond, alienated family members and old friends reunite – to variously apathetic, uncomfortable, or painful ends. Divulging more freely to an off-screen interviewer whose identity is never revealed, the characters' interactions with one another are usually mediated via paint ball, graffiti, drugs, video games, tattoos – culminating in an awkward karaoke-and-beer funeral for the departed. The self-conscious authenticity and quiet nihilism of Putty Hill matter-of-factly returns its gaze to a broken, disaffected reality of the American present. – BG

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