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Billy the Kid

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jennifer Venditti's first feature documentary tells the story of Billy, an articulate but isolated fifteen-year-old boy trying to figure out life and death, love, and rock and roll. Nerdy but heroic, Billy wanders through the quiet streets of small-town Maine, trying to traverse the frustrating gap between imagination and reality. By turns exhilarating and disturbing, and featuring an explosive soundtrack of KISS and a host of hot indie artists, Billy the Kid captures an intimate view of an expressive and seemingly fearless outsider.


SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Anamorphic master, created from Hi-Def elements and enhanced for widescreen TVs
- Audio commentary by director Jennifer Venditti and Ryan Gosling
- Pieces That Don't Fit, a new short by Venditti
- Director interview
- Music selections from the film including The Virgins' "Fight to Survive" + bonus tracks
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- U.S. Theatrical Trailer
- New essay by Miranda July
- Beautiful foil-stamped O-ring package

Amazon.com

Unlike the western outlaw, 15-year-old Billy Price isn't a gunslinger, but he does walk a lonely path. Instead of a case study, casting director-turned-filmmaker Jennifer Venditti offers an empathetic character profile. Consequently, her teenaged protagonist doesn't represent everybody with Aspergers syndrome--just himself (and he wasn't diagnosed until after filming concluded). A resident of Lisbon Falls, Maine, Billy rocks out to KISS, practices karate, and utters solemn profundities like, "I'm always at war with myself" and "I'm not black, not white, not foreign... just different in the mind." Billy shares a double-wide with his mother Penny, unseen stepfather Paul, and baby brother Ethan. For the most part, he speaks directly to the camera, while Penny fills in blanks from his past. The "horrendous" temper tantrums of his infant years, for instance, served as her first indication that Billy wasn't like other kids. And his biological father split the scene early on, leaving Billy with abandonment issues. At 15, though, he has the same hopes and desires as other high-school students. For one thing, he wants a girlfriend and set his sights on 16-year-old Heather, a shy diner worker with a vision problem. Billy sees her as a damsel in distress and attempts to sweep her off her feet, but the course of true love never did run smooth. Extras include commentary from Venditti and Ryan Gosling ("a big fan"), an interview with Venditti, a short follow-up film, and a testimonial from Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know). --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • Audio commentary by director Jennifer Venditti and Ryan Gosling
  • Video interview with the director
  • "Pieces That Don't Fit", a new short by Venditti

Product Details

  • Actors: Billy
  • Directors: Jennifer Venditti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Surround Sound, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CCY434
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,090 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Billy the Kid" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Miller on April 14, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first came across this film when I saw it linked to Ryan Gosling's name. I love his work and was disappointed at first when I slowly figured out that he isn't in it. (Only the commentary, which, by the way, was beautiful). When Amazon first listed this film for "pre-sale" it didn't have as much description, etc. explaining what it was. My initial disappointment quickly wore off as I began to get more and more into Billy's story. He's a strong, beautiful, poetic kid doing the best he can in a world that isn't always kind. I think everyone can probably relate in some way to Billy. He try's real hard and always wants to be on the side of good. What struck me more than anything else, was his MOM. She's like GOD incarnate or something. She's been there for him every step of the way guiding, nurturing, protecting, defending, LOVING!!! It's a powerful film that shouldn't be missed. (And, I probably would have missed it, if it hadn't been linked to Ryan's name.) It's a beautiful story about two challenging lives and the HUGE amount of love that intertwines them. If there were more mom's like Penny, we'd see a completely different world!!! Peace, LOVE, and all good things, L.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Lemon on November 13, 2008
Format: DVD
I happened across the trailer for this movie on the apple trailer website, and it looked really interesting. On a whim I picked up the dvd when I saw a deal. My wife and I watched it and I have to say that this movie is one of my favorite films. The awkwardness of being a teenager has never been so vividly, humorously and at the same time heartbreakingly shown. The director obviously went to a lot of trouble to show Billy honestly, but with dignity. Billy is a special "kid" and I think most viewers can see a part of themselves in him. I highly recommend this film, it is incredible!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By NYGUY on November 22, 2008
Format: DVD
Easily one of the best documentaries I've seen in a long time. A great, quiet little film about an amazingly complex, intelligent, unique young man. Fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan Byard on May 20, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The camera(s) are allowed to follow Billy (for awhile) because he's soooo interesting and wonderful. Smart and innocent, kind-hearted and trusting. So (for awhile) we get to see the world the way Billy saw it back then. He's the kid I'd always want to stay in touch with...to see what happened later in life and have conversations with his Mom, as interesting and compassionate as I'd want a Mom to be. I love slices-of-life stories and Billy's was both heart-rending and humorous. I found myself smiling through most of the film because I liked the way most of the people treated Billy and found I liked the same people Billy liked. I didn't want to not have this wonderful documentary (and Billy) with me in case I wanted to see him again or share him with someone I knew would be as impressed as I've been, so I bought the documentary and Billy and his teenage world in Maine, is sitting on my shelf, nestled among the other films or documentaries I couldn't live without.
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