IMDb > Putty Hill (2010)
Putty Hill
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Putty Hill (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Putty Hill -- At a neighborhood karaoke bar, friends and family gather to remember a young man who passed away. Knowing little about his final days, they attempt to reconstruct his life.


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5.9/10   521 votes »
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Release Date:
18 February 2011 (USA) See more »
A young man's untimely death unites a fractured family and their community through shared memory and loss. | Add synopsis »
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An Incredible, Exciting Film from a New Director See more (11 total) »



Directed by
Matthew Porterfield 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jordan Mintzer  story
Matthew Porterfield  story
Matthew Porterfield 

Produced by
Eric Bannat .... producer
Tian Cheng Dou .... executive producer
Steve Holmgren .... producer
Joyce Kim .... producer
Jordan Mintzer .... producer
Rob Schwartz .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Jeremy Saulnier 
Film Editing by
Marc Vives 
Art Direction by
Sophie Toporkoff 
Costume Design by
Sara Jane Gerrish 
Production Management
Annie Holstein .... assistant production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jordan Mintzer .... assistant director
Sound Department
Alexandra Byer .... boom operator
Ben Goldberg .... sound mixer
Nick Rush .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Rommel Genciana .... assistant camera
Rommel Genciana .... gaffer
Joshua Gleason .... best boy
Carlos Valdes-Lora .... key grip
Music Department
Annie Lin .... music clearance
Other crew
Eric Bannat .... location manager
Devon Deimler .... script supervisor
Josh Polon .... special thanks
Mika Wendy Sam .... special thanks
Josh Slates .... very special thanks

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

A lot of the actors appearing in this movie live in Baltimore.See more »
Movie Connections:
Amazing GraceSee more »


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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
An Incredible, Exciting Film from a New Director, 7 November 2010
Author: sc_hijinx from United States

Putty Hill did everything right.

I'll skip any in depth discussion of formal excellence -- real critics like Roger Ebert and Richard Brody have already said much about that -- and just say that almost every shot, every element of the film is fantastic. Porterfield has a great instinct for composition, for length of shots, for what to focus on and what to leave off the screen. He introduces a few unique elements, including a lot of lingering shots away from prevalent dialogue. The visual style alone is reason to see the film.

But it's not the most important reason. Putty Hill accomplishes something very, very exciting on the level of the heart. In a brief Q&A after the film screened, Porterfield was asked about his decision to shoot the neighborhood and people he did, rather than any of the "shine" that the city of Baltimore has. Porterfield answered that it was part of where he came from, and that he saw it as an ethical responsibility to represent the working class in a moderate, non- sensational light. Much more than something like The Wire (or, say, Winter's Bone, another contemporary film with a similar focus on devastated, poor working class America), Putty Hill does not exploit poor, mostly "white trash" (as one British writer called them) characters, does not sensationalize or wring out their dire situations in hopes of creating great drama. The film is stark and realistic, but the treatment of characters is sympathetic. This is not a film that tries to shock the viewer with a saturation of hyperrealistic details about "what life is like on the other side" of the poverty line: it's not all drugs and violence and grime. Instead, Putty Hill is a film that shows a group of people living their lives just as they know how to. Sure, some things are dark, some things are gritty, some things are sad... but on the other hand these are people, like anybody, with great capacity for love and understanding.

Putty Hill is the greatest current example I have seen of art treating the lives of the working class with both realism and respect. It's not coddling, it's not political, it's not a shock piece. The camera rolls, and what we see is Life, with all of its imperfections, problems, and beauties intact.

When this accomplishment of subject is combined with stunning formal elements, what results is one of the most exciting, important films I've seen in years.

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