Bless the Beasts and Children

by |
07/18/2008 9:00 AM |

Right now, BAM is paying some attention to David Gordon Green, choked-up poet of forgotten America. Since making a splash as a 25-year-old at the beginning of this century, Green’s progression from George Washington to All the Real Girls to Undertow to Snow Angels (which played last night; the rest are forthcoming) has felt a bit like diminishing returns for me — what was raw and pure at first seems increasingly like willed naivete — but he also gets the feeling out of a place as well as anyone. Working with children and other animals, in dusty, rusty places, he’s open to a fault; he’s the filmmaker I’d most trust with James Agee’s A Death in the Family, for his occasional slide toward po-facedness as much as his gifts for American folk-poetic characterization and location.

The series includes all his features (including The Pineapple Express, the forthcoming-next-month ApaCorps stoner action comedy; it closes things up next week) and several films of his selection, including, to no one’s surprise, The Last Picture Show, Night of the Hunter, and the Terrence Malick-scripted The Gravy Train.