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Set in the underbelly of 1980s Modesto, California, Warm Blood uses the real-life diary of a teenage runaway named Red (newcomer Haley Isaacson) returning home to find her father. In his narrative feature debut, director Rick Charnoski’s history as a skate video director informs the frenetic storytelling style, as he combines Red’s nihilist musings with a collage of documentary and B-movie meta-narratives that paint a seedy picture of life on the outskirts of town. Talk-radio bits and punk music underscore the auditory cacophony of doom, while frequent Kelly Reichardt collaborator Christopher Blauvelt (First Cow, The Bling Ring) lends his immersive, naturalist lens shooting on gritty 16mm film. While Red searches the streets, a constant foreboding presence looms around the chemically toxic river polluting the town. Via a cable-access news reporter interviewing the local residents about its impact, Charnoski infuses today’s growing apathy around the insurmountable nature of our man-made ecological disasters into this raw, politically subversive tale.
directed by: Rick Charnoski
starring: Haley Isaacson, Ryan Toothman, John Veit, Andy Roy
2022 / 88 min / 1.78:1 / English Dolby Digital 2.0