Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

All The Real Americans: The World Of David Gordon Green

Upon initially hearing about it a few weeks ago, I wondered why the heck Gen X filmmaker David Gordon Green was being honored with a week-long retrospective at BAM Rose Cinemas here in Brooklyn, NY.

I enjoyed his break-out film, George Washington (an homage to Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep), but each successive effort simply wasn't as evocative as the first. All The Real Girls had some splashes of genuine emotional truth rarely experienced in contemporary American cinema, but the complete picture just didn't resonate; and Undertow, an attempt at the Southern Gothic sub-genre, felt unfocused and rushed. I didn't see his last film, Snow Angels.

But then I realized that Mr Green is the man behind the upcoming stoner comedy, Pineapple Express, staring everyman, Seth Rogen and the usually dramatic James Franco in a comedic turn. AHA! So that's the reason for this retrospective for a filmmaker barely into his 30s, with only 4 films to his credit! It's essentially a marketing ploy for Pineapple Express - let's shuffle our filmmaker around the country, who certainly has his band of fanboys and girls all over, who'll likely turn out to watch his films and catch a glimpse of their hero, and maybe even hear him speak or touch his hand; and we'll show his previous critically-acclaimed films, let him answer some questions from hosts and audiences, and, by the way, not forget to plug his next film, Pineapple Express, which will be released theatrically next month!

This will certainly do well to raise David Gordon Green's profile as well - a director who has been compared to enshrined filmmakers like Terrence Malick (Badlands, Days of Heaven), although Green is definitely more prolific, and is quickly garnering the respect of new fans, critics and industry personnel as well. His first feature film right out of film school, George Washington, received Criterion Collection treatment for chrissakes! How is that possible, especially when there are so many others from yesteryear, waiting to be granted the honor.

To say that I'm envious would be an OVERstatement :o)

Check out BAM's website for specifics on the D.G.G. retro which kicked off last night with a screening of his last film, Snow Angels. Pineapple Express opens August 8th.

If you haven't seen it, here are the first 6 minutes of his premiere opus, George Washington:


  1. Anonymous said...

    Man, you are so on the mark it isn't even funny! BAM is totally lined up with major Hollywood studios! That's why they did the Christopher Nolan retrospective last week before Batman Begins was released, and the Jon Favreau retrospective before Iron Man came out. Great, insightful journalism! I'm subscribing to this blog from here on out!!!

  2. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    Quit being envious and make another movie, already!


  3. Ed Howard said...

    I don't see anything too insidious there, sorry. I've been catching up with Green myself in anticipation of Pineapple Express, which looks like it'll be a lot of fun. I haven't seen Snow Angels yet, but I'd say that Green's first three films are a progression rather than a regression. Undertow is his finest work yet, a deft blend of genres and styles that's as moving and unsettling as it is funny. I really loved it.

    I've recently watched and reviewed both Undertow and All the Real Girls.

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