One of our picks for the best movies of this incomprehensible year so far, Bill and Turner Ross’ Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets has gotten an official release. According to Indiewire, the hybrid documentary—which found lots of love at Sundance and True/False, where the Ross brothers were given the documentary festival’s 2020 True Vision Award—will begin to see wider availability on July 10th, preceded by two preview showings: one on May 30th, limited to 60 tickets, which can be obtained here; and one on July 7th (National Bartender Day), with proceeds going to the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program COVID-19 Relief Fund. Details to follow in coming weeks.
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is the filmmaking duo’s fifth film, following up 2016’s Contemporary Color, an ebullient concert film chronicling the massive color guard performance put together by David Byrne in 2015 (and available on Amazon Prime). As Daniel Christian writes of their latest:
Songs of the soul flow from the drunken mouths of the jukebox-loving inebriates in Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets. The Ross brothers have created a prototype barroom experience: It is closing night for the fictionalized Roaring 20’s in Las Vegas, a real bar actually operating in their home base of New Orleans, and the regulars, led by local professional actor Michael Martin and otherwise populated with true bar-frequenting non-actors, have come together to kiss their favorite watering hole goodbye. Its much-discussed fictional framework is merely that—a framework—beneath which legitimate human interactions play out, with characters representing themselves and actually drinking the night away. There is authentic war vet commiseration and romantic longing, bartender-led singalongs and, inevitably, one guy trying to fight another “with eyes tattooed on his eyelids.” The holy trinity of dive bar life—despondency, frivolity and pugnacity—is present and spiritually enriching.
For more words on the wonderful films of the Ross brothers, find Daniel Christian’s retrospective here, and check out the trailer, which the brothers shared through their Twitter account, for Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets below.