Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Tribeca ’13: Deep Powder
to go back to the 1980’s to get your Bret Easton Ellis on again. The privileged kids of a New England prep
school consume conspicuously and do mountains of blow. They even do a spot of smuggling, which
predictably leads to trouble in Mo Ogrodnik’s Deep Powder (trailer
Viewpoints selection of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.
years ago the Deep Powder secret society was formed on campus by the elite of
the elite. Ostensibly a ski club, every Christmas
vacation a member is chosen to score a load of cocaine in Paraguay for the
group to distribute over the coming year.
Reckless senior Natasha Tabor conspires to take the place of her
risk-averse middle class roommate because she just doesn’t care. Or at least she didn’t until she met the
dirt-poor brooding ski-lift operator Danny.
promising high school hockey player, his college career was derailed by an
accident. However, a Division I coach
has promised him a three year scholarship if he can cover the first year. Has anyone ever heard of a college making
this kind of an offer, because it smells like a clumsy plot contrivance from
here, but maybe that’s how NCAA Hockey rolls.
Regardless, he needs money and his girlfriend just so happens to be
making a drug run.
good news is Deep Powder is possibly
the funniest movie screening at Tribeca this year. The bad news is it probably isn’t supposed to
be. The word “comedy” never appears in
the film’s description, but if it was intended as a parody of overwrought
indies, Ogrodnik nails it.
the design team is rather wide of the mark recreating the 1980’s. Aside from a nostalgic appearance of a
handheld video game, everything feels wrong here, including the wardrobe and
figures of speech. In one scene, Danny
Ski Lift woos Tabor with a vintage soul 45 that sounds very cool, but is
totally era inappropriate. Still, Deep Powder captures the vibe of cheesy
1980’s melodramas. Throughout the film,
audiences will constantly expect a John Parr video to erupt. Perhaps “hope” is a more accurate term than “expect.”
truth, St. Elmo’s Fire seems to be
the standard on which the cast based their performances, getting about the same
tepid results. Still, Haley Bennett
brings an interesting presence to the film.
It might not be a great star turn, but we certainly believe she is a
messed up kid.
One can imagine the pitch for this film as Donna
Tartt with a pinch of Miami Vice. If only that were on the screen. Instead, Deep
Powder offers a surfeit of unintentional comedy. It is hard to recommend a film on that basis,
but sometimes we have to take our entertainment where we find it. For those who
are strangely intrigued, it screens again tomorrow (4/21), Monday (4/22), and
Friday (4/26) as part of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Labels: Tribeca '13