Written & Directed by Harry Dodge and Silas Howard
Produced by Steak House, Silas Howard and Harry Dodge
trt 95 mins
By Hook or By Crook is a buddy film that chronicles three weeks in the life of a handsome, gender-bending, small-town butch with a nagging messiah-complex. Emotionally defeated, since the death of her father, Shy heads to the big city to sink herself into a “life of crime” when she is distracted by Valentine, a deliriously expressive, wise-acre adoptee on a misguided search for her birthmother. The two freaky grifters join forces and learn the true meaning of “poise under pressure” in this visually stunning and wonderfully acted, anti-authoritarian tale of friendship, trust and redemption.
Shot in 1999 at over 64 locations by indie vet D.P. Ann T. Rossetti (Go Fish), BHOBC was directed with lush detail by (then first-time directors) Harry Dodge and Silas Howard. Exploiting the full potential of digital video, the film’s vibrating colors and luminous presence sustain a photographic vision, relaying imagery from an American gothic landscape without dipping toward sentimentality or the voyeur’s wink. The main characters, Shy and Valentine live in and around this world with the intimacy of insiders, as well as the wariness of those who have been relegated to the outside. These characters are thus hauntingly familiar and completely original. With acutely unique stories and styles, this film deftly circumvents stereotype and posturing and rises to the task of portraying gorgeous human intricacy, with incisive, self-reflective wit and generosity. It is the premiere feature from Steakhaus and NGB Productions.
The film was an official selection at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and won juried prizes for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Seattle International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and at OUTFEST LA, where it also won the audience award for Best Feature.