The Dirties, film review: Top marks for Matt Johnson's brutal school portrait
(15) Dir. Matt Johnson; Starring Matt Johnson, Owen Williams, 83mins
Thursday 05 June 2014
In his debut feature, the 26-year-old Matt Johnson plays Matt, a nerdy high-school film geek directing an outlandish amateur action-comedy about two nerdy high- school students who shoot all their school's bullies.
And, to begin with, The Dirties is a very funny meta comedy; manna for film geeks, but full of a high-spirited and punkish energy that anyone from fans of Jackass and Ali G to fans of Spike Jonze and Harmony Korine can appreciate. Johnson went undercover in a real Toronto high school and a lot of The Dirties was improvised and filmed on hidden cameras, guerrilla style.
But somewhere around the halfway mark, Matt begins having trouble distinguishing the idea for his film from the idea of shooting all of his school's bullies for real.
Johnson's film gets confusing and darkens, and reveals itself, not just as a knockabout comedy, but as a serious, thoughtful and all too plausible study of the psychological state in which a young, movie- and self-obsessed North American male might decide to take a gun to his school and start shooting.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If you weren't afraid of flying before last week... you probably are now
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 Lauren Goodger calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after sex tape leaks online
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia