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   541 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 & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Interesting format to portray people around a funeral, but I badly missed interesting contents 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?

Filmed in twelve days.See more »
Movie Connections:
I Will Always Love YouSee more »


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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Interesting format to portray people around a funeral, but I badly missed interesting contents, 21 October 2011
Author: JvH48 from Amersfoort, The Netherlands

I saw this film as part of the Ghent filmfestival 2011. My reason to book this film was its original format, as could be derived from the announcement. The latter also contained a bold reference to a film that I much admired: Winter's Bone.

To start with the reference to Winter's Bone: the resemblance proved to be literally superficial. I refer to the looks of the people, their houses, and the way they live in general. Main difference with Winter's Bone is that nothing really happens in Putty Hill. We witnessed a series of empty dialogs, starting with How Are You, Good, etcetera, but ending soon after that with nothing important to remember. I know these opening lines are standard, but what followed after that remained nearly empty.

It all did nothing to tell us about the deceased, other than an OD. What his relationship was with the interviewee, was also left unclear. Other than bare facts as being a relative or a school mate, it revealed nothing about how they got along, and whether they saw any pointers leading towards the OD. This utter lack of information was intentional, and meant to be the core of the message (as I extracted from the synopsis): no one knew the deceased very well.

A technical fault that I observed several times, was the background noise with some of the interviews. It made it hard to understand what was being said. This cannot (and should not) be intentional.

After 1 hour the interview format is dropped. We see two real-life scenes that make this film a bit interesting, one before and one after the funeral. We observe how the funeral worked out indirectly on people standing by. It was clear to me that it was rather the atmosphere around a funeral that triggered the emotional outbursts, and not because of some good friend died.

The funeral after-party between these emotional scenes was a bit interesting, mostly while being different from what we here (in The Netherlands) are used to do around a funeral. A large photo of the deceased was prominently visible. Alas, neither the photo nor the speeches revealed anything further about him. And the nightly visit to the junkie's former house also failed to reveal something interesting; it left us literally in the dark.

I've seen some positive reviews about this film, but I don't get it. For the public prize competition, I marked it with a 2 stars (out of 5). The actual contents deserved 1 star, but the original setup worked a bit to compensate. It may encourage the film makers to repeat the process, at which time they should take a subject where people show more substance. And finally, before I forget it: thanks for the live demonstration how graffiti is produced.

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