Today marks the first day of BAM’s early-career tribute to David Gordon Green, “All the Real Americans: The World of David Gordon Green,” which has put me in a rather contemplative mood. It was almost nine summers ago to the day when I returned to NYC after having joined a group of friends in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to live together and work for free and make a feature film that felt ambitious and unique and alive. Several months later, I attended an investor’s screening of the fruits of that labor, George Washington. My connection to the film was far too subjective to allow me to see it from a detached, critical perspective, yet I still believed--with a measure of objectivity--that it was a genuinely refreshing, striking achievement. When it didn’t get into Sundance, I became worried that it was too original, something other people wouldn’t be able to understand or appreciate. But then it got into Berlin, and with that, David’s career was off and running. On August 8th, that career trajectory will have pretty much reached the tippy-top when Pineapple Express is finally released. I was in Times Square a few days ago and looked up, only to see a forty-foot tall Danny McBride (aka, George Washington's additional second unit director) staring back at me. It really is a strange, funny world, isn’t it?
(check out the white t-shirted dudes in the background; Gebert on the left, yours truly on the right!)
While I’m looking forward to watching All the Real Girls today--it will be strange to return the memories of making that film in Asheville in November of 2001--I am most excited to see many of David’s picks for the films that inspired his first five features. Out of these, the two that stand out are The Gravy Train and Bless the Beasts and Children. For my money, the Wednesday/Thursday one-two punch of Gravy & Cash and Pineapple is the cinematic event of the summer in New York City. Batman Schmatman.