Pick of the Litter

Recommended at SXSW Film 2002

THE SLAUGHTER RULE

D: Alex Smith, Andrew Smith; with Ryan Gosling, David Morse, Clea Duvall, Kelly Lynch.Narrative Feature First Films The writing and directing team of twin brothers Alex and Andrew Smith have made an astonishingly good first feature. Set in rural Montana, the movie's spare, rugged landscape reflects the story's stripped-down study of male bonding and camaraderie. This strong sense of place lends an honesty to this story about the scrappy six-man football leagues that rule the open plains, and also of one fatherless young man and another rudderless older man whose relationship is clouded by testosterone, rumor, and contradictions. (Arbor, 3/8, 5:15pm; MYEC, 3/10, 5pm; MYEC, 3/16, 9pm) -- Marjorie Baumgarten

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