Putty Hill


Genres: Drama

Hot and Now: Blue Velvet & Putty Hill

Transcript for Hot and Now: Blue Velvet & Putty Hill


And now it's time for Hot and Now where we each pick a film that you can watch at home. My pick is PUTTY HILL, a smart, quiet movie that's less interested in telling a story than it is in showing a community and a particular way of life. Sure, there's something pretty dramatic at the center of PUTTY HILL -- the death of a young man from a drug overdose -- but director Matt Porterfield prefers to focus in on how various people are affected by this event; in fact, the young man who dies is never even seen in the movie. Porterfield uses a wide variety of techniques; one of the most effective is a series of interviews he conducts with the characters of the film. 
PUTTY HILL is set in a working-class area of Baltimore, and few recent movies have evoked a particular place more effectively or more effortlessly. PUTTY HILL played in a handful of theaters earlier this year -- we didn't get to review it on this show. Fortunately, it came out on DVD this week from the very adventurous distributor Cinema Guild. The DVD also includes Porterfield's first feature, HAMILTON.
My Hot and Now pick is a movie that inspired one of the most heated debates between Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. Roger hated it -- Gene loved it. 
Sorry Roger, I'm on Gene's side. It's David Lynch's "Blue Velvet." Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern star as a couple of small-town teenagers who discover a severed ear in a field, and decide to play amateur detective.
But the deeper they dig, they more they find themselves in a darkly stylish and increasingly dangerous underground world. 
"Blue Velvet" is one of Lynch's masterpieces.  It daringly explores one of Lynch's favorite themes, the depravity that exists beneath the seemingly idyllic surface of suburbia. And it gave Hopper with one of his signature-unhinged performances. It's out this week on Blu-Ray.