If The Kids in the Hall and the live-action cast of South Park had ever met a group of real teenage boys and somebody brought a camera, audiences might have been able to predict how charming, how shockingly funny and how deliberately revolting Bindlestiffs would be.
My assignment is to cover up-and-coming New York filmmakers at Sundance. The underage Texan mob of filmmakers that flooded the main screening room at the Treasure Mountain Inn came to premiere their feature at Slam Dance. Are they up-and-coming? Unquestionably. One out of three equals questionable odds, but the massive mess of offensive, good-natured energy that night, could not be denied.
The dozens of friends, parents and teachers, most of whom are barely out of high school, and who, out of convenience and fondness I’ll refer to collectively as the Bindlestiffs, strutted to Slam Dance and swooped down on this year’s Slam Dance Audience Award for Narrative Features.
Edited in a style perfect for the frenetic, punchline-driven storytelling, Bindlestiffs is the story of three friends out to come of age, while they’re on suspension for protesting the ban of a book they’re scarcely interested in reading.
And it is a testament to how fresh and arresting movies can be, when the form continues to recreate itself. As much as Director Andrew Edison, and all his movie-making Bindlestiffs owe to Kevin Smith, to Daniel Tosh, to Jackass, these forefathers can marvel proudly at the evolutionary prowess of their digital age descendents, already breaking molds before they were even old enough to leave the nest.