Director: Matthew Johnson
Writers: Matthew Johnson, Josh Boles, Matthew Miller, and Evan Morgan
Producers: Matthew Johnson, Matthew Miller, Evan Morgan, and Jared Raab
Starring: Matthew Johnson and Owen Williams
Running time: 80 min
The Dirties is one of the most insightful films on bullying in years. Effortlessly acted and directed by newcomer Matthew Johnson, it’s as much about the tragedy of school shootings as it is about the nature of the high school experience. Rather than obsess over the seriousness of the crime, it focuses on the series of events that allow a person to slip off the edge. Relatable, funny, touching, and disturbing, it tackles the reality of bullying, and the ramifications of brushing it off.
The story starts with a high school film project. Matt (Johnson, playing a high school version of himself) and his best friend Owen (Owen Williams) are putting together a film for class about a group of bullies called The Dirties who get their comeuppance from some renegade students with guns. Full of obscure film references, the message goes over the heads of their classmates, and the real life bullies.
As their lives become more difficult – bullying gets worse, and mockery over their film turns to physical violence – Matt comes up with a metaphysical cinematic concept for vengeance. What if someone made a film about actually killing the bullies? As Owen brushes off Matt’s concept as a means of venting his frustration, it gradually becomes clear that it may be more firmly rooted in reality. » Read the rest of the entry..