One of the better examples of still-emerging
digital aesthetic was Esther Bell's Godass.
The story of a young punk-rock girl's reconciliation with her gay
biological dad, the film presents a surprisingly nuanced portrait
of teenage confusion. Whatever the film lacks in conventional technical
proficiency it more than makes up for in emotional immediacy, and
in this sense it's analogous to the story's 'zine-culture backdrop.
Naturalistic performances let the oft-wry dialog and situations
sneak up on us rather than going for overt laughs
and polished presentation on a low budget suggest Bell has a future
Godass reveals an edgy sensibility
and is charged with genuine emotion.
Godass defies all the preconceptions
one might have toward independent film
Bells use of digital
video technology gives the film an aesthetic feel comparable to
the high production quality that most people expect from major films
Surprisingly meaty for underground fare -- i.e. more drama, fewer
exploding zombie heads (OK, none).
Philadelphia City Paper
In terms of execution, Godass
is better than Smithereens
female leads evoke Janeane Garafolo and Shirley MacLaine
Schneider is well cast
The San Francisco Guardian
Bell gives almost equal weight to Teri's family and friends in
South Carolina, the zine she brings to New York to sell (Skid Marks),
the drug-fueled music scene she quickly plunges into, and her father's
troubled relationship with his longtime lover (convincingly played
by Fred Schneider of the B-52s). Despite some rough edges, the film
is frequently amusing, bringing out the absurdities and contradictions
of its various milieus.
The Chicago Reader
...Bell sticks her sights and delivers a finished movie and strong
Cashiers du Cinemart
A well written and well directed film, Godass
is reminiscent of late 70s early 80s punk films, both
narrative and music wise. I was strongly reminded of Susan Seidelmans
Smithereens, but also of D.O.A.,
Blank Generation, Another
State of Mind and Ladies and Gentlemen
the Fabulous Stains.