Hillbilly idols
January 3, 2011 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Winter's Bone director Debra Granik offers her 45+ minute documentary, Hillbilly Up!, as a free exclusive iTunes download. The film features several of the local musicians and actors from the film discussing Ozarks culture and history.
posted by dobbs (17 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
What a coincidence. I just watched it tonight via Netflix. Cool intro but I'm still waiting for the ending.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:29 PM on January 3, 2011

Cool intro but I'm still waiting for the ending.

posted by dobbs at 9:38 PM on January 3, 2011

Winter's Bone was probably my favorite film of 2010. Looking forward to watching the documentary.
posted by troubles at 9:57 PM on January 3, 2011

Me too. Especially loved the musicians. The woman who anchors the soundtrack - her name is Marideth Sisco - just made me melt.

Her website is surprisingly charming. It took me a while to find because I couldn't remember how to spell her name. Once I found it I expected to see a corporate site featuring the soundtrack and was pleasantly surprised to see that it's instead her personal blog and scrapbook detailing her sudden and unexpected fame.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:08 PM on January 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you want to understand the south Winter's Bone (strangely enough for being set in the Ozarks) is the most honest picture about poor rural white trash I've seen. I should know, I am poor rural white trash, I live and work with people that sell meth, and do meth. This is what it's like.
posted by nola at 10:23 PM on January 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Literally finished watching WB 45 minutes ago. I'm with jsavimbi -- too strange!
posted by hermitosis at 10:23 PM on January 3, 2011

For those who loved the film, you might want to check out the books of Daniel Woodrell, who wrote the novel. He's written many books with a similar feel (which he calls "country noir") and despite getting raves from the right people, is little-known. His wonderful book Woe to Live On was made into the disappointing film Ride With the Devil.

One day someone's gonna make a kickass movie out of Give Us a Kiss.
posted by dobbs at 10:43 PM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nice advert there.
posted by mr. strange at 12:44 AM on January 4, 2011

I loved Winter's Bone -- easily the best movie I saw in 2010 -- so I am looking forward to checking this out.
posted by Forktine at 5:32 AM on January 4, 2011

May I take this opportunity to pimp John Hawkes for Best Supporting Actor? Hands down, the best performance I saw last year.
posted by steambadger at 7:46 AM on January 4, 2011

As someone who's married to an many generationed Ozarker, who wrote a book on the Ozarks, I humbly ask that the interpretation of the Ozarks as a cold, squirrel eating, meth producing, and trash inhabiting land as depicted in Winter's Bone doesn't in the least represent the region as a whole. It's a beautiful land with good people in it.

If you want to understand the south Winter's Bone (strangely enough for being set in the Ozarks) -nola

Lastly, there's nothing strange about it. A lot of the culture of the Ozarks is Southern, in the same way that Appalachian culture is Southern. However, I can say, in disregard to the writing of Mr. Woodrell, grits are not commonly eaten in the region. None the less, thanks for the link, I'll have to watch it tonight after work!

p.s. For good reading on Ozark culture, I recommend Brooks Blevins, who has written Hill folks: A history of Arkansas Ozarks and their image (about Arkansas Ozarks - but applicable).
posted by Atreides at 7:57 AM on January 4, 2011

Thanks for this. My wife's family is from the Ozarks - I'm from rural Montana. Meth is a plague in these areas. If you don't see it you aren't looking.
posted by rotifer at 8:22 AM on January 4, 2011

Atreides: "grits are not commonly eaten in the region. "

True, but as soon as you get one county south of St. Louis, they're guaranteed to be on the menu. ;)

grits, ugh.
posted by notsnot at 8:22 AM on January 4, 2011

I grew up in Southwest Missouri. In the Ozarks. Since 1834, my family tree has been firmly rooted in the same county that Meredith Sisco grew up in. In fact, my family knew her, her parents, her grandparents. Meredith now lives in the central Missouri Ozarks. As a historian, the enduring image of the region as a backwards, isolated, quaint area is really, really tiresome. Yes, there is meth. Yes, there are poor people. But good god I'm tired of sterotypes.

Winter's Bone should not be seen as just a story limited to the Ozarks: it's about rural areas all over America that offer little, if any, educational and job opportunities. And yes, even if there are people who cook meth and raise hell (From personal experience: Had a drug dealer up the road and down the hollow who my state trooper father never could catch dealing despite his best efforts; an entire family who specialized in theft of all kinds down the road and up another hollow), there are a lot of good, honest, if sometimes dirt poor, folks who do not fit the stereotype. And we certainly do not eat grits in the southern Ozarks despite being primarily settled by Southerners prior to the Civil War. Maybe folks do in Franklin County, but culturally that's a world away from Barry County. One last thing: Woodrell's dialogue sounds like he made a lame attempt to copy Vance Randolph's work on Ozark dialect. If only Randolph, who was also guilty of perpetuating stereotypes, could critique his work! End of rant.
posted by Coyote at the Dog Show at 9:04 AM on January 4, 2011

Thanks for this post. This was one of my favorite films of 2010 as well. It was sooo chewy. The way the female characters were organized in this film was insanecrazy -- and, I thought, a realistic result of the circumstances of their daily lives. The movie was dense with scenes that made me flinch and characters that I'll remember for a good long time. I can't wait to watch this after work!
posted by heyho at 9:15 AM on January 4, 2011

Great thread...I loved Winter's Bone, love Woodrell and really dig reading and learning about the Ozarks in general. So thanks all!
posted by nevercalm at 9:25 AM on January 4, 2011

I am very proud of the people I know that participated in this film, actors and musicians alike. Bo Brown is a dear friend of mine, a fantastic musician, and he runs FirstEarth Wilderness School.

The Ozarks are beautiful. The music is enchanting. And the meth- The meth has changed too many people. There ARE crime families here. As my spouse pointed out, it is refreshing to see a movie that does not romanticize the "crime family."

Regarding the grits, the first part of my life was spent in Franklin County and the second Greene County; grits is not terribly popular.

Thank you for the post, dobbs. It will be nice when the link stops crashing my browser.
posted by psylosyren at 10:02 AM on January 4, 2011

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