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August 1, 2009

Watch 45365 on a big enough screen

For the rest of this week, one of the best films of the year is available for free through Snag Films: Bill and Turner Ross' beautiful documentary 45365.

Here's what I wrote about the picture for Hammer To Nail:

I had the occasion to spend some time in Ohio this past week, and while I was there I thought not once of 45365, Bill and Turner Ross’ magnificent ode to the Buckeye state. I strolled through downtown Columbus and sat at a roadside root beer stand in Dayton, and noted no referential asides, thrilled to no points of connection. My experiences there were minimal, and they were my own, and it was only as I sat down to write this review that I realized that I’d been a just hop, skip and a jump away from my subject’s milieu. That would be Sidney, Ohio, pop. somewhere north of 20,000. Its postal code is the source of the film’s title, but: as intrinsic as the place is to their film, the film doesn’t belong to the place, which is why neither sprang to my mind. This isn’t to say that one might fall back on aphorisms such as ‘It Could Be About Anywhere,’ because it couldn’t, and it can’t, and it isn’t. But the specifics of this film’s geography aren’t of a specifically cartographic sort. This isn’t simply a documentary portrait of a small town in Ohio, for the true subject of the film is not the town itself, nor its township, but of the time that passes through the former and around the latter, and the dimensional dialect that is struck up by their conjunction. For a film with its ears so close to the ground 45365 is downright cosmic.

And as to how such a gorgeously composed film like this can be enjoyed to the fullest extent in a tiny embeddable window - Bill and Turner answer this very question in a recent interview with AJ Schnack. "We certainly would concur that 45365 is a film meant to be projected," they write. "We shot it for presentation at that scale, for that environment. That said, however, we want folks to see our work."

So do I. And as is always the case, a really good movie will make a screen of any size as big as it needs to be.

Posted by David Lowery at August 1, 2009 7:50 PM