Billy the Kid
Feature-length documentary about an extraordinary,
ordinary outsider growing
up in Maine.
***Tickets*** | Official
Website | Trailer
| Reviews |
Billy the Kid Blog
FRI., September 14, 2007
Live Music by Lissy
9:00 - Showtime
11-1AM -After Party: Open Bar at Fontana's (105
Eldridge St @ Grand)
Courtesy of Martin Miller's Gin
On the roof of the Open Road Rooftop Project
CLICK for DIRECTIONS
350 Grand Street @ Essex (Lower East Side, Manhattan)
F/J/M/Z to Essex / Delancey
In the event of rain the show is indoors at the same location.
Tickets -$8 at the door or online
Presented in partnership with - IFC.com, New York magazine & Open Road
Billy The Kid (Jennifer Venditti | New York/Maine |
"Many memorable dramatic films about adolescence have been made over
the decades, but few of them can match the impact of "Billy the Kid.""
A contemporary documentary, Billy the Kid begins as an intimate portrait that
quickly expands into broader social observation of teenage self-discovery; both
the darkest and brightest places in youth. Shot in eight days over two seasons,
summer and winter,
the film uses a trans-genre-verité approach in which the subject seems
to be directing the movement of the film as equally as the filmmakers behind
the camera. It is, without a doubt, one of the most uniquely powerful documentaries
of the year--a film so miraculously honest that Indiewire declared that, "to
say the film is a haunting, intimate portrait of a teenage boy struggling through
hardships of adolescence would be selling the film short."
Jennifer Venditti stumbled upon Billy while casting Carter Smith’s short
film, Bugcrush (Rooftop Summer Series 2006), from non-actor
high school students in rural Maine. Intrigued by his eccentric wisdom and pop-infused
sensibility, Venditti decided to include Billy along with other everyday heroes
that she had encountered through her casting career in what she initially imagined
as a multi-voiced documentary on iconoclastic characters. Filming began with
a mini-dv camera and fellow Bugcrush alum, actor Donald
Cumming, as DP. He and Venditi traveled up to Maine to capture moments from the
precocious teen’s everyday life. Unfazed by the wireless microphone that
he faithfully wore each day, Billy allowed Venditti and Cumming to follow him
and witness the highs and lows of school, taunting from bullies and the colorful
locals of Main Street, as well as intimate emotional discussions with his mother.
In the midst of shooting, Billy serendipitously crosses paths with his crush
Heather at the local diner, and the film takes an unexpected turn as the filmmakers
track the nuances of first-time teenage love and its aftermath. Billy shares
intimate and acute observations about himself and those around him without restriction.
Penny, Billy’s mother, proves to be a valiant touchstone. She shares their
difficult history with Billy’s addicted, abusive biological father and
we see glimpses of how Billy’s attitude towards women was shaped by his
inability to protect his own mother when he was a child. His fantasy world is
similarly constructed from heroic desires to overcome demons from their shared
past and prevail.
Billy the Kid is the coming of age journey of a teenage
outsider who confronts obstacles with courage and awareness. He struggles to
apart from his past and others’ notions of who he is. The film challenges
viewers to look beyond labels and to contemplate a teen’s undetermined
Billy the Kid ventures into a small, contained community to focus on a single
life and thereby turns the camera on the world."
25 NEW FACES OF INDEPENDENT FILM:
"Venditti believes in willing away labels and seeing beauty without
to understand it, and the film proves her right."
-Film Maker Magazine
"...this gangly 15-year old from rural Maine reveals a startling sensitivity
to the world and a sad wisdom about his place in it."
"In Jennifer Venditti's Billy the Kid, there's a long sequence in which
an emotionally scarred 15-year-old boy finally works up the nerve to approach
the girl he's been admiring from a painful distance. So deftly has the film aligned
our emotional attachment to Billy, the ensuing exchange has all the raw, almost
unbearable suspense of anything to be found in a contemporary Hollywood thriller.
We pray that she will like Billy as much as we have come to."
--Geoff Pevere, The Toronto Star
"Easily the most-talked about documentary in this year's SXSW Film Fest,
with good reason, is Jennifer Venditti's 'Billy the Kid.'"
--Michael Lerman, Indiewire
"A near-perfect directorial debut"
--Diana Welch, The Austin Chronicle
The Music: Lissy