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HAMMEREDtoNAIL Podcast: Bill and Turner Ross

Previously, I wrote this about Bill and Turner Ross’s remarkable documentary 45365, which is finally getting an official theatrical release in New York City this week (Anthology Film Archives: June 17-23, 2010):

A tender portrait of the Ross Bros.’ hometown, Sidney, Ohio, 45365 plays like a greatest hits of a small town’s most iconic symbols and events—homecoming bonfires, football games, Halloween, the carnival, etc.—capturing this slice of distinctly American pie without ever succumbing to condescension or over-sentimentality. The Ross Bros. apply a poetic editorial rhythm to their verite footage, creating a truly original atmosphere in which the camera becomes an omniscient presence, literally floating between characters and situations, between time and space, to add an air of dreamy reverie to the proceedings. 45365 is a lovely marvel of a picture.

When watching 45365, one immediately gathers that the minds behind it are creative, intelligent, and tender. Which is why we’re here to present the latest HAMMEREDtoNAIL podcast, in which we shatter that theory like a game of mailbox baseball. Earlier this year, following the Cinema Eye Honors (for which 45365 received several nominations), we consumed copious amounts of Montebello Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail (unofficial sponsor), set up shop at those tables and benches in the middle of Times Square, and got down to business. Note: filmmaker Sean Price Williams, who was along for the ride, makes a brief cameo.

***Warning: Foul, irreverent language is contained within.***

(One final note: In all seriousness, for a certain type of film viewer and filmmaker—i.e., yours truly—45365 packs a massive jolt of both jealousy and inspiration. I am from a town like this one. In the months and years following my college graduation, I drove along similar back roads and encountered similar people, wondering how I could turn those sights and feelings into an act of creative personal expression. It wasn’t enough to simply have grown up there. With 45365, Bill and Turner Ross have realized my vision for me better than I ever could have. It’s a truly special film.)

HAMMEREDtoNAIL: Bill and Turner Ross from Michael Tully on Vimeo.

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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