George Griffith, Matthew Lillard, Jeffrey Doombos, Samantha Lemole, Jon Polito, James Urbaniak, Jay Giannone
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Equiv. to "R"
Breaking Glass Pictures
BUY THIS FILM
"From the Head" Hits Home Video
Winner of Best Feature at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and the Golden Ace Award at the Las Vegas Film Festival, writer/director/star George Griffith's From the Head is a smooth and confident film that takes what could have so easily been formulaic drivel and turns it into a thought-provoking and involving film based upon Griffith's real life experiences working as a bathroom attendant. Griffith reportedly recorded real life conversations within the course of his work, and it's these conversations that breathe life and naturalism into From the Head.
While quite a few films have been set inside a strip club, I'm struggling to come up with a single one that has set itself squarely inside a strip club bathroom. However, this is the world for Shoes (Griffith), a guy celebrating his third anniversary as a bathroom attendant. A seemingly normal guy, Shoes excels at what he does and who he works with but it's all in the name of maximizing his tips. As one might expect, Shoes encounters everything from those who try to avoid him to those who tell him their every sorry tale. He's friend, confidante, therapist and much more.
Told entire through the eyes of Shoes, From the Head is neither exploitation nor histrionic tripe. It's a film that examines the various types of people who frequent strip clubs but rather than judging them it just sort of represents their truths in a remarkably honest and low-key fashion.
From the Head also features performances from familiar faces including Matthew Lillard, Jay Giannone, Jon Polito, James Urbaniak and others. The film is a remarkably solid debut from first-time writer/director Griffith, who has managed to capture his own experiences with tremendous insight and respect for those involved.
D.P. Martin Matiasek's lensing captures the grittiness of the setting without losing sight of the intimacy of this story. Scott Enge's production design is also top notch.
For more information on the film, visit the Breaking Glass Pictures website.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic