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November 13, 2007

Dear Pillow On DVD

dearpillow.jpgToday marks, at long last, the release of Bryan Poyser's Dear Pillow on DVD. Made in 2004, beloved by festival audeinces around the world, nominated for an Independent Spirit award and cited by John Pierson as the best film to come out of Austin since Slacker, this smart, dirty debut feature somehow managed to slip through the distribution cracks and into that substrata of unreleased festival gems - until Heretic Films came to the rescue. They've been working with Bryan and Jake on the disc for the better part of this year, and the fruits of their labors are finally ready to be delivered unto the world (via Amazon, your local video store and, in short order, Netflix).

The feature itself has been remixed and remastered from the ground up, and it looks and sounds better than ever before. Also included are Bryan's short films, Pleasureland and Grammy's. The latter premiered at SXSW earlier this year and has been making the festival rounds ever since; it's a truly oddball bit of black comedy that gets better and better every time I see it. Pleasureland, which was made in 2001, functions on it's own as an almost Cronenbergian dive into sexual compulsion, but it's especially interesting when viewed as a predicate to Dear Pillow. Both films are about pornography. Both are about the fine line between sexuality and perversity, and take aim at the indistinct point at which pleasure and objectification run afoul of each other. One of my favorite features on the DVD is Bryan's director's statement, an essay in which he clearly outlines the general dilemma of pornography and his "ambivalent, appreciative, highly conflicting and (hopefully) honest feelings" about the medium. That uneasy mixture of confrontation and conflict is what makes his work tick: these films have the brains to match their libidnous hooks.

All of these films screened this past weekend at the Lone Star International Film Festival, where Bryan was presented with a Rising Star Award. On top of that and the DVD release party, he's celebrating his birthday tomorrow. A heck of a week by any standards!

Posted by David Lowery at November 13, 2007 1:37 AM