Thursday, February 17, 2011
PUTTY HILL by writer/director Matt Porterfield, who earlier gave us Hamilton, has received a surprising amount of main-stream press for a film destined to reach few mainstream audiences, with those seeing it likely to emerge from the experience scratching their heads. As some of my compatriots stood around, post press-screening, scratching ours, one of us -- Michael Lee of Film-Forward.com -- noted that the movie is made up of a number of interesting scenes, any of which works pretty well on its own. Yet together, they don't add up to much.
interviewer who, by default, becomes a kind of character in the film. We never see him, though we hear him asking questions of various characters we meet along the way. Like so much of the movie, however, this charac-ter disappears at some point, never to return, as though he were not all that important in the first place. Mr. Porterfield, pictured at left, makes him an interesting touch that, like the movie itself, doesn't finally go anywhere or provide much edification.
Sky Ferreira, above, who acquits herself well but does not approach what I'd call memorable. Still, the PR materials refer to her as "the 18-year-old sultry electro-pop newcomer who will release her debut album in the U.S. in 2011," so at least we have synchronicity here.
TrustMovies is reacting more negatively to Putty Hill than the film deserves, and I admit that this is in part due to the rather amazing press it has garnered in advance of release. As my compatriot Mr. Lee (mentioned in the opening paragraph) states, a number of the scenes in this movie do work and quite well. The paint-ball match that marks the beginning of the film is very well done; likewise the dialog between grandmother and (I think) granddaughter (shown above). The at-home tattoo-parlor (below) should garner a lot of interest, too. As annoyed as the movie made me, I acknowledge Mr. Porterfield's skills and would like to see them increase. (I'll also try to view his earlier Hamilton, which I've just discovered one can stream via Netflix.)
Cinema Village and will also play in Baltimore (that's only fair), Columbus, Los Angeles, and Omaha. Click the city to learn the venue, and/or click here then scroll down to see any further upcoming playdates....
Social Notes of interest:
Filmmaker Matt Porterfield will be in attendance for all Q&A's at Cinema Village (22 East 12 Street, NYC).
6:30pm, Yance Strickler (Kickstarter) for a fundraiser discussion
8:30pm, Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation) with Putty Hill crew and Sky Ferrira
10:30pm, Yance Ford (POV) and Esther Robinson (ArtHome, Danny Williams: A Walk Into the Sea), the Heterodox team
Afterparty: Café Select for industry and friends with large Putty photos and behind the scenes footage, great DJ line-up!
Music by Justine D, Chris Keating (Yeasayer), Matt Papich (Ecstatics, Meters Delight) and Kari Altmann (blackmoth.org)
RSVP only: email@example.com
*Surprise daytime Q&A with Gordon Porterfield (writer-father of the filmmaker)
6:30pm, Jeronimo Rodriguez (NY1 News)
8:30pm, Richard Brody (The New Yorker)
10:30pm, Amos Poe (filmmaker)
Afterparty: The Beauty Bar (231 E 14th St off 3rd Ave)
6:30pm, Amy Dotson (IFP)
8:30pm, Chris Keating (Yeasayer)
10:30pm, Jem Cohen (filmmaker) with Putty Hill crew
Afterparty: Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave off 6th St) with Dope Body, Dustin Wong (Ponytail) & Co La (Matt Papich).