Nate Dogg (2003)
Director: Thomas Farone
Nate Dogg is a 16 year-old high school dropout suffering from severe ADHD, living in a trailer park and trying to support himself and his girlfriend. His poverty stricken world is filled with drug dealing, working menial construction jobs and a slew of people ready to take advantage of Nate, who nonetheless does what he can to be hard working and honest. Of course this kind of life eventually ends up with major problems, emotionally and otherwise.
The directorial debut of Thomas Farone uses a very unique style in telling the true life story of Nathan Hale (AKA Nate Dogg). The film juxtaposes interview-like narrative from Hale with dramatic sequences depicting various aspects of his life such as dropping out of school, working as a construction laborer, his involvement with drug dealers, his relationship with his girlfriend and trouble with police. Nathan Hale plays himself, something which probably took a lot of courage since his life seems so shitty and depressing. The film pulls no punches in regards to violence and is quite brutal at times. Throughout most of the movie, ambient low tones drone constantly which contribute greatly to the overall bleak and depressive feeling the film conveys. One particularly interesting thing the film covered is the fact that while Hale is an exceptional artist (his drawings are displayed throughout the film) none of the people in his life, from his girlfriend to his high school guidance counselor, encouraged him to try to do something with his talent. While “Nate Dogg” is a highly depressive film, it is done with sensitivity towards the subject that I would not have thought possible. Farone and Hale did a spectacular job in bringing a difficult and personal subject to the screen without taking it into the realm of exploitation cinema. Of interest to metalheads is the fact that Skinless contributed several songs to the movie, something even more interesting as none of the characters of the film were into metal.
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