For Reel

Putty Hill (2010)
May 20, 2011, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Matthew Porterfield

A dry, almost surrealistically detached drama about a town mourning the death of a young boy whom nobody seems to know a whole lot about, Putty Hill captures the aimless, zombified youth of a lower-class suburb in Baltimore. Throughout the film, director Matthew Porterfield sits his characters down for talking head segments in which an extended series of questions – ranging from personal queries about family living to the specifics of the dead boy – are asked by an objective, faceless quasi-narrator. Though these segments don’t reveal much, it is through their disengaged complacency that Porterfield perhaps begins to formulate an argument about the town’s social deficiencies. Ironically, when two young girls visit the deceased boy’s room in tribute, it appears to be the first moment in the film in which one lovingly contemplates another’s method of living.


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