When David Gordon Green debuted his luminous and intimate George Washington in 2000, he signaled a return to less gritty filmmaking within the formerly low-budget indie world. The film played like a Maxfield Parrish remake of Stand By Me as an episode of The Wire, with its ensemble cast of kids handling a tragic death against a golden-hour backdrop of Southern small-town decay. "I'm often frustrated by low-budget movies," says Green. "I'd feel ripped off when I'd go to the art house to see something that felt cheap and compromised." His films since George Washington simultaneously recall classic and maverick Hollywood: the High Noon-ish modern Western noir of Undertow, the lighter but still menacing All the Real Girls, and, as he puts it, the "dark beauty" of Snow Angels, his Neil LaBute-meets-Sidney Lumet adaptation of Stewart O'Nan's complex relationship novel.
Next, Green takes on his first comedy, the Seth Rogen stoner caper The Pineapple
Express. "I knew it would be a breath of fresh air, but the fast friendships and
hilarious dynamic quickly became obsessive and we decided to evolve it into an
outrageous action movie. It's ridiculous and violent and funnier than shit and
it brought me full circle," Green says. "As a director, once I've got an actor
in costume, they become my friends. I can take the ride with them."
Hobey Echlin * Photographed by David Mushegain
David Gordon Green Styling by Tyrus Wilson
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