Saturday, August 11, 2012

Snow on tha Bluff


Snow on tha Bluff is a film I almost definitely would not have given a chance if it weren't for Charlie, but I started watching the opening scene over his shoulder and was immediately gripped. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about the plot, I could immediately tell the seemingly cheery opening scene was about to turn nasty due to its handheld camera/found footage similarities to Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. It's not terrifying in a paranormal, jump‐out‐of‐your‐skin way, but its realism is frightening and moving.

The opening scene that intrigued me is purely setting up real life "robbery boy and crack dealer" Curtis Snow's acquisition of a video camera, which he steals at gunpoint from a trio of youths looking to buy drugs. From there the camera's passed around his crew, documenting their lifestyle of drug raids and drive bys in their Atlanta neighbourhood known as the Bluff.

To be honest, a lot of the time my unaccustomed ears struggled to understand Snow's on‐camera narration of his life, but despite this it's not a difficult plot to follow at all.

I don't feel the film can really be spoiled by warning you there's no feel good redemption or sign things are going to get better for Snow and his community. The final scene is one of few in the film I can feel certain was staged, as Snow uses a payphone to contact a video editing business before walking away from camera down a day-lit street.

While promoting the film, the makers appear to have wavered a little on their claim of how little footage was scripted, apparently following police enquiries ‐ Snow was reportedly arrested five times during filming. Unlike with the initial uncertainty about The Blair Witch Project's authenticity, I think it's irrelevant to the audience how much of Snow on tha Bluff is acted. Even if the characters are not real residents of the Bluff, I think it's an important movie to watch as these troubled lives are being lived the world over, "ev'ry day, all day".



Further reading:
Blake Butler's visit to the Bluff
NYT review of Snow on tha Bluff

Image source.

4 comments:

Caitlin said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Sounds like a really unique movie! I'll have to check it out :)

Renee said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'll have to add this one to my ever growing list. I recently discovered topdocumentaryfilms.com and life just hasn't been the same since.

Alice Jones said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Renee Yes I discovered that recently too! So good! Love it when films I want to watch are on YouTube, perfect for lazy bed days

Alice Jones said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates
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