George Washington

Director: David Gordon Green
Year Released: 2000
Rating: 3.0

In an unnamed, broken-down town in North Carolina, a bunch of kids - observant Nasia (Candace Evanofski), who provides the narration, self-confident Buddy (Curtis Cotton III), quiet Sonya (Rachael Hardy) and fragile George (Donald Holden), who has a medical condition where he can't get his head wet and wears a football helmet to protect it - aren't sure what to do when one of their own dies in an accident (he slips on a wet bathroom floor) so they hide his body.  It's a pensive and soul-searching debut for Green: you can see touches of Malick and Herzog in there, but it really is about poor, rural America in all its grassy, rusted splendor (lovingly photographed by Tim Orr).  The first time I saw it, I was bothered by the improvisation and amateurish acting, but now they just add to the oddness: it's a raw movie and very peculiar, and they don't make indies like this these days.  Heck, Green doesn't even direct movies like it anymore: twenty years later and he's doing TV comedies (like Vice Principals) and horror movies (the Halloween reboots).  Let this remain the little gem that got it all rolling....