One of the best films that screened last week for audiences in Park City, Utah was not at the Sundance Film Festival, but at the Slamdance Film Festival. That movie is called The Dirties, and aside from winning the big Grand Jury Award for Narrative Feature from Slamdance, it's quickly risen to the top of my personal list of favorites, and it's a movie that is sure to gain traction once more people watch it and more festivals take a chance on its controversial theme.
The Dirties is more a movie about the psychology of a teenager than it is about school violence, but its excellent performances and found-footage approach really take it to another level in terms of humanizing young people who may or may not be heading in a very dangerous direction. The film follows two high school friends (and movie nerds), Matt and Owen, who are making a short movie for their film class about two Quentin Tarantino-quoting, detective-type tough guys who set a plan in motion to kill a gang of bullies at their school they've named the Dirties. As the boys invest more and more in the movie, the line between what's real and what's fake begins to blur, setting the stage for an uncomfortable conclusion, sure, but one that immediately makes you want to talk about it more.
And talk we did! Joining me to discuss The Dirties and the impact it could have on the school-violence conversation moving forward, is my friend and colleague Jordan Hoffman of Film.com and ScreenCrush. You can listen to our chat below.
Note: This is part one of a two-part conversation about The Dirties. Tomorrow we'll be posting an interview with cowriter, producer, director and star of The Dirties, Matthew Johnson.
Follow along on Twitter @ErikDavis and @Moviesdotcom.