Trailer: “General Orders No. 9”

The (appropriately timely) comparisons to Terrence Malick are obvious even without the pull quote from Hammer to Nail‘s Michael Tully or the acknowledgement from /Film’s Russ Fischer (on whose post I saw this trailer). Just look at the award-winning, visually poetic cinematography and listen to the pensive voice-over narration from William Davidson, who sounds like a drawling Emilio Estevez (son of “Badlands” star — but not narrator — Martin Sheen). The film in question is titled “General Orders No. 9,” and it’s the longtime effort of first-time filmmaker Robert Persons. Perhaps he’s inspired by Malick, but I might be more inclined to think about another disciple, David Gordon Green, whose earlier work seems more similarly interested in the rusting decay of the changing Southern American landscape.

The “tone poem” style documentary, which made its way through the festival circuit in ’09-’10, is also being likened to the work of Godfrey Reggio (“Koyaanisqatsi”), but I’d place its kinship even before that with his city symphony predecessors. “General Orders No. 9” isn’t about just one city, though, so let’s call it a South symphony film. It additionally seems like both the perfect companion and the very antithesis of something like “Sherman’s March.” As much as I hate to say it, I kind of understand why the doc currently has an embarrassing 3.4/10 rating at IMDb. It must be really fresh and wonderful.

I literally just marked June 24 on my calendar, because that’s when “General Orders No. 9” opens at Brooklyn’s awesome reRun Gastropub Theater (playing through June 30 only). Join me there for the first showing. You’ll want to after viewing the trailer after the jump.

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About Christopher Campbell
I am a blogger for Documentary Channel and Movies.com, where I write the Doc Talk column. I prefer real stories to fake ones. I tweet here: @thefilmcynic

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