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George Washington (The Criterion Collection) (2000)

Candace Evanofski , Donald Holden , Clu Gulager , David Gordon Green  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Candace Evanofski, Donald Holden, Mike Hertel, Jack Grindle, John McCaffrey
  • Directors: Clu Gulager, David Gordon Green
  • Writers: Clu Gulager, David Gordon Green
  • Producers: Clu Gulager, David Gordon Green, Craig Zobel, Darius Shahmir
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: March 12, 2002
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V8TD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,944 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "George Washington (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scene with commentary
  • David Gordon Green's short films: Pleasant Grove (with commentary) and Physical Pinball
  • Charlie Rose interview with David Gordon Green
  • Exclusive new interviews with the cast
  • Clu Gulager's 1969 short film A Day with the Boys, an influence on George Washington

Editorial Reviews

Over the course of one hot summer, a group of children in the rural south are forced to confront a tangle of difficult choices in a decaying world. An ambitiously constructed, sensuously photographed meditation on adolescence, the first feature film by director David Gordon Green features breakout performances from an award-winning ensemble cast.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amazing debut film July 2, 2001
By A Customer
David Gordon Green has created a lush, vibrant film showing not just immense potential, but genuine talent. Set in the deep south during the recession of the 1980's, GW captures the melancholy of childhood in a rarely (if never before) seen light. While obviously influenced by the great talent of Terrence Malick, Green's choice of cinematographer and talent demonstrate a fundamental understanding of film as a visual and sensory medium, and not a dumping ground for rehashed dialogue and filler about bad relationships with witty quips. Green throws aside the usual bad dialogue and poor camera work of most first time film makers, and finds language in imagery and visuals in dialogue. The exploration of heroism and simple responsibility are given appropriate weight, but with no small sense of the absurd (perhaps appropriate when dealing with the perspective of children). This is an excellent film, and should stoke the drive of all wannabe or potential first-time film-makers. The bar need not be set low just because of a constrained budget. Films can be made that are meaningful and well-shot without a $100K budget.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A poignant landscape of a dusty, delapidated South September 9, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this film at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2000, and thought it one of the most original and haunting films I have seen in years. It is a very subjective, impressionistic and almost transcendental movie about a group of kids, and how they follow their own particular code of honour in the face of misfortune. Kind of like Harmony Korine but at an easier pace, and with more unity of vision.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic February 15, 2003
Format:DVD
In one of the opening scenes of George Washington, a boy and a girl break up. There is not much else to this scene, which makes it like most breaks ups. It makes it like many of our experiences is childhood: they just happen. The movie George Washington, however, mixes such everyday happenings in a poor, rural/industrial landscape with a level of complexity that is suprising and revealing. The characters experience love, loss, friendship, joy, forgiveness, boredom, and a longing for something more. The characters like each other. Some are white, and most of them are black, but they are all friends. Every summer, kids all over the country experience the kinds of events that many kids experience, yet there is a tragedy that occurs in this movie that renders this story unique. Tragedy aside, George Washington is simply a beautiful and quiet film about one hot summer in the south and it's children.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I should like this film, but.... March 18, 2007
Format:DVD
On paper, I should love this film. It has many thing I admire in films. It's beautifully shot in scope, it has a leisurely pace to it, and it's very understated at times. But it's also muddled, sloppily edited, incoherent, and the dialogue leaves something to be desired. The film has a real disjointed feel to it, and I don't think this is deliberate. David Gordon Green's follow up to this, All the Real Girls, had the same sloppy craftmanship that this film does, except that film has better performances. Some might say Green is attempting an expressionistic type of film, but he doesn't really pull it off. Directors who do make expressionistic films like this one was trying to be (Tarkovsky, Tarr, Sokurov, Kieslowski) do pull it off, and their films feel remarkably coherent, despite the ambiguity that exists in them. Here it doesn't work. Green gets points for making an independent film that really isn't like Hollywood at all (many indie films have an eye towards the mainstream), but it doesn't fully work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ghetto as a poem. A lingering portrait. January 23, 2006
Format:DVD
I'd imagine that if Mark Twain, Robert Frost, or Walt Whitman were still alive, they might appreciate George Washington as a film personified through a poem. Maybe not, but something tells me that David Gordon Greer, the director/writer of this film, comes from the same mold as the aforementioned individuals.

In it, we have five young friends - four black, one white - living among the ruins of an impoverished, yet somehow beautiful, ghetto landscape. When one of them meets accidental disaster, the others are left to struggle with guilt. One of the ways they do is through escapism. For one of them, he envisions himself as a superhero who can read God's mind, thus enabling him the power to predict who will die and who will live. Meanwhile, two of his friends take a path of self-destruction while the third watches the climatic events unfold with stoic restlessness.

I was amazed at how well this film was made. The characters, particularly "George", seem almost ethereal. When I saw the film, it didn't feel like a fictional movie. It felt like some otherwordly documentary focused on a place that most of us would otherwise ignore at all costs. Truly, David G. Greer has captured something splendid here, and has managed to turn the "ghetto" into a place of childhood dreams, both realized and dreamt. One of the top three films I've seen this year.

4.5 out of 5.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Considerable Talent on Display Here December 26, 2005
By Wendell
Format:DVD
I often find the 5 star rating system doesn't leave enough room for films that sit somewhere in between. I'm giving this three stars because it's not really up to the level of many films that I gave four stars to. On the other hand, I'm not saying I didn't like it or that I don't think the director has potential for greatness. The down side for me is that I don't think story satisfies as a story. I don't, at the end of it, know what it was about in terms of narrative theme, etc. I wish I could make more sense of that side of things.

On the other hand, the filmaking is great. The mood, characters and dialogue, the cinematography, the originality. I love it that it's a truly southern film. And a film starring young black actors in something that's not about race, crime or drugs? That's also a wonderful aspect of this film. It's a true original. Flawed in ways that merit note, but it's also a lot more worthy of our attention than most Hollywood fare. So this is one three star movie that I actually recommend highly - if original, independent filmaking is of interest to you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Perceptive
How many films have really taken time to get inside the minds of southern small town black children? I can't think of one. Read more
Published 8 months ago by mr. contrarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
I had to watch this movie for class and write a report on it. This is a very reasonable price and is very convenient
Published 16 months ago by Co D. Nguyen
5.0 out of 5 stars A true Souther Gothic masterpiece
I first came to know of David Gordon Green from how crappy his recent movies have been by reading online reviews. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Anthony D. West
4.0 out of 5 stars Rough edges but very compelling
This movie is definitely more about character development than advancing the plot at any cost, and it pays off. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jennifer Bevan
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous film
It's just beautiful. Some parts, however, are extremely violent in a quiet kind of way and were hard to watch. Read more
Published 22 months ago by alligator
4.0 out of 5 stars A stellar core frays at the edges...
The concept and actual execution of David Gordon Green's debut film is actually close to perfection. Read more
Published on April 27, 2011 by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning
David Gordon Greer's feature debut is to be commended on many levels. A cast of young non-professionals presents a tale, not unlike others (like "Mean Creek") but without malice. Read more
Published on December 8, 2009 by R. Gawlitta
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start
George Washington was the first feature film ever made by indy wunderkind director David Gordon Green. Read more
Published on September 11, 2008 by Cosmoetica
5.0 out of 5 stars not for everyone...but an indisputable masterpiece for others
firstly; this movie is unashamedly derivative of terrence malick. structure-wise, down to the narrative techniques, it's a repositioning of 'badlands', but all i can say about... Read more
Published on March 9, 2008 by mark twain
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning and poetic debut film -- the rebirth of a nation
The children of this film speak of matters and in a manner that suggests a maturity beyond their years. They have to, since they have only peers to serve as moral guides. Read more
Published on October 29, 2007 by Nathan Andersen
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