Bill and Turner Ross’ form-bending documentary “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets” has been acquired by Utopia, which is holding several unique screenings in advance of the dive bar-set film’s release.
It will kick off with an online preview screening May 30, limited to the first 50 people to claim tickets here. Then, on National Dive Bar Day (July 7), Utopia will host one-day-only virtual screenings to benefit the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program COVID-19 Relief Fund. The film will begin to roll out July 10. More information about the film’s release will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This is a unique film in a strange time and we wanted more than anything to share it with the people, offer a window into a way of life that seems foreign at the moment, and give back to those real life people who have been there for us through a lot of ups and downs — our bartenders!” added Turner Ross. “This is a story about the end of things as we know them, and the uncertain beginnings that follow. It is a story about camaraderie and commiseration — of coming together and sharing space.”
The film, which premiered in this year’s Sundance US Documentary Competition, is centered around a Las Vegas dive bar’s last 18 hours in business. But not everything is at it seems with the movie, which earned rave reviews for its formal experimentation.
It’s the viewer’s choice whether to watch the film with knowledge of its secrets. IndieWire’s past coverage — including Eric Kohn’s “A-” review and Chris O’Falt’s deep dive into the Ross’ methods — is forthcoming about what’s going on beneath the surface. Kohn called it a “brilliant, boozy hangout movie” that “is lying to you.”
“At first glance, ‘Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets’ unfolds as a brilliant work of cinema verite. Bill and Turner Ross’ boozy hangout movie captures the last raucous night at the Roaring Twenties, a grimy bar on the outskirts of the Vegas strip where various inebriated outcasts bury their sorrows in a blur of anger and poetic laments,” Kohn wrote. “It’s late 2016, and with the presidential election about to change the world, the pub serves as a fascinating microcosm of America’s fractured, browbeaten underbelly on the verge of self-destruction.”
“Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets” is a Department of Motion Pictures Production, presented by Concordia Studio in association with XTR. Cinetic negotiated the deal with Utopia. Cinephil is handling international sales for the film.