*eastbound and down

A few years after graduating from the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1998, David Gordon Green found critical success with his debut feature, George Washington, a lyrical coming-of-age story set in the rural South. Since then, his career has taken a number of exciting and unpredictable turns, moving from small-budget character studies (All the Real Girls) to a star-studded stoner comedy (Pineapple Express) and TV shows as varied as Eastbound & Down and Red Oaks. This week, the Criterion Channel’s Short + Feature pairs George Washington with another intimate portrait of adolescence, Clu Gulager’s Cannes-award-nominated 1969 short A Day with the Boys, a grad-school discovery that had a profound impact on Green’s filmmaking style. With the program premiering on the Channel today, I chatted with Green over email about his love for Gulager’s film and his memories of studying and working in North Carolina.

On the Channel: David Gordon Green on A Day with the Boys

  • Elsa: Anna what do you know about true love?
  • Anna: More than you! All you know is how to shut people out.
  • Hans: Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Can you feel the tension? I can! I can feel it...down in my plums. They're getting a nice bluish hue. Gettin' ready to take 'em to the farmer's market. Special offer, two plums for one!
  • Anna: What?
  • Elsa: What?