September 28, 2020

Experimental Filmmakers Documented a Vegas Dive’s Final Day of Business: Your Weekly Roundup of New Movies

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

While most Oregonians haven’t set foot in their local for months, we’ve all passed that one obscure watering hole and thought, “Has this place been open the whole time?” Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is an ode to just that kind of dive. Experimental filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross train their lenses on Las Vegas’ Roaring ’20s on its final day in business, and we meet the affable barkeeps, trauma-soaked vets, wayward youngsters and shaggy loners toasting farewell to their only sense of community, no matter that it feeds on their marginalization and addiction. The weeping, the slurred professions of love, the gallows humor, the last dances—it’s as profoundly affecting as it is authentically scuzzy, but there’s a trick afoot. The amateur performers are clearly operating from some vague script, even if they are completely plastered. The sad-bastard country soundtrack is a little too on pitch and, in fact, the interior of the bar is not even in Vegas. Winner of the True/False Film Festival’s True Vision Award, Bloody Nose waltzes at the forefront of creative cinematic nonfiction. And this premise blurs the line between fact and fiction perfectly. After all, there is no stark reality for the spiraling barfly. The tears look damn real, and they flow like swill. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. On Demand.

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