S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
David Gordon Green
Over the course of one hot summer, a group of children in the rural south are forced to confront a tangle of difficult choices in a decaying world. An ambitiously constructed, sensuously photographed meditation on adolescence, the first feature film by director David Gordon Green features breakout performances from an award-winning ensemble cast.
George Washington is a meandering, moody, and hypnotic
look at a group of black children, ages 9 to 14, during one summer in North
Carolina. This was my second viewing and it remained a deeply satisfying
experience. Though at times self-conscious, George Washington brings to
mind Terence Malick's Days of Heaven with its voice-over narration, languid,
dreamy tone, and gorgeous cinematography.
The youngsters are shown talking and playing aimlessly among the squalid junkyards and abandoned buildings of their neighborhood. They do not talk much about their hopes for the future but focus on their families and their girl friends and boy friends. The dialogue is partly improvised and, like Days of Heaven, allows the characters to speak in a manner that is slightly more poetic and contemplative than the average teenager.
The narrator, Nasia (Candace Evanofski), is a 12-year-old who has just broken up with her 13-year-old boyfriend Buddy (Curtis Cotton III) because, in her view, he's too young and immature. She's more attracted to Buddy's friend George (Donald Holden), a quiet and serious boy who always wears a helmet to protect his soft skull. They hang out with their friends, a mismatched pair of amateur car thieves named Vernon (Damian Jewan Lee) and Sonya (Rachael Handy), and also with Rico (Paul Schneider), a local railroad worker. Buddy shares his sadness with Rico who comforts him with his own story of lost love.
When an unexpected tragedy occurs, each of them must look closer at themselves and struggle to make an emotional connection with the events. They come to their realizations at different moments throughout the film and slowly begin to change in different ways. George, for one, after saving a drowning boy in a swimming pool becomes a neighborhood hero. Those realizations, however, do not provide an instantaneous fix and Green does not provide a forced happy ending.
Theatrical Release: September 9th, 200 - Toronto Film Festival
DVD Review: Warner Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Criterion Collection - Spine # 152 - Region 0 - NTSC|
Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.33 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)|
• Commentary by director David Gordon Green, cinematographer Tim Orr, and
actor Paul Schneider
• 4 page liner notes of "Director's Statement"
This is an upper-tier priced Criterion - but worth every penny. Although modestly produced as an independent effort the slightly inferior quality of the master is only moderately realized on this DVD. The film is a great work of art reminiscent of many of cinema's great auteurs. Extras are bountiful with commentary and shorts. Fabulous work by Criterion bringing this to DVD, when it might otherwise have gone by the wayside. out of