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One of the more fun ways to delve into the filmography of a director, actor, or technical worker is the movie marathon. Put together a lineup of films from the same artist (we'd suggest five films as the ideal number, but go with your gut) and take a tour through the different shades of their career. Invite some like-minded friends over. Get some snacks. Have a day. But which films get chosen -- and in which order -- will make or break a movie marathon. And it's no shame to accept help. Allow us to help curate your filmmaker-specific film fests, and you'll be a much happier movie fan. This week: putting together a film fest for Prince Avalanche director David Gordon Green.
The first movie of the day should be something good enough that it will draw the die-hards to your house early. In the case of David Gordon Green, the best choice to kick things off on the right note is his 2003 romantic comedy All the Real Girls. True to Green’s form, his take on the rom-com genre -- featuring Paul Schnieder and Zooey Deschancel -- is slightly stranger, slightly more melancholy than what you’d normally get. As a nice bonus, All the Real Girls is the best possible preparation for the comedic tone of Prince Avalanche.
While Everyone's Arriving/Snack-Gathering
The temptation here is to throw on Your Highness or The Sitter while people are arriving, settling in, collaborating on a pizza order, what have you. But here’s where you should really take a chance and throw on Undertow. The grimy beats of this southern tale of brothers and bad dads are familiar enough that guests won’t need a flowchart to keep up with the plot, but the film, and especially the performances of Jamie Bell and Josh Lucas, stands a decent chance at distracting people from the Papa John’s menu.
Here’s where you want to hit your guests with everything you’ve got. The best thing about presenting George Washington as your centerpiece film is that you stand a great chance at educating your guests as much as you’re entertaining them. For all of Green’s filmography, even his less heralded stuff, George Washington probably has the biggest gulf between its reputation -- critics and festivals went nuts over it -- and how many people have actually seen it.
Wait For Alcoholic Reinforcements
This feels like an easy call. Pineapple Express is THE film on Green’s resume that you want to watch as your guests get ever boozier. As far as stoner comedies go, this one far surpasses its genre’s reputation and features one of the better buddy-comedy pairs of the last several years in Seth Rogen and James Franco.
The Cool-Down Movie
Despite the fact that it didn’t get a ton of attention when released, Green’s Snow Angels is a nice choice for revisiting (or visiting for the first time) during the sluggish hours that often accompany the movie marathon. The movie is rather sad but also features an incredibly sweet teen romance between Michael Angarano and Olivia Thirlby and a surprising supporting turn by the one and only Amy Sedaris. Totally worth a look and an appropriately moody send-off for a DGG festival.