Snow On The Bluff #SOTB
The Livemixtapes Illuminati came to me like “yo we’re working to promote this movie about street shit in Atlanta, you should write something about it.” And I was like “this is a huge conflict of interest, but you guys are the Illuminati so I’m gonna check it out and we’ll talk.” So I watched Snow on the Bluff and I was pleasantly surprised and really entertained, and I am saying that earnestly, unlike when Ludacris was promoting Gamer and he said it was his favorite movie of all time. C’mon son.
The premise of Snow on the Bluff is simple: drug dealer Curtis Snow steals a video camera from some kids trying to buy drugs, and then he starts documenting his life in the notorious Bluff section of Atlanta. It’s not entirely clear why he’s doing it (especially considering how much crime gets caugh on tape), it’s not clear who’s filming most of the time. It’s The Wire’s aggressively accurate depiction of street life with The Office’s aimless documentary style.
The plot loosely follows Snow as he shoots up rival dealers, then gets shot at, then retaliates, over and over again, with increasingly bigger guns. They rob some people. A girl gets naked in the car. They drink constantly. There’s a guy in a white Kangol. Curtis Snow and his boys are hard to understand through their drawls and their near-constant drunkiness, and their motivations are rarely clear. But all that is kind of the point. Where The Wire worked hard to depict its criminals as just another group striving – alongside teachers, cops, politicians and dockworkers – in a long-struggling Baltimore, Snow on the Bluff’s cast seems totally alone.
Although it’s technically part of the ninth biggest metropolitan area in the country, The Bluff might as well be a different planet. There’s a really long scene involving bowling down the middle of a road. RIP notes are scrawled on traffic poles in marker. Shooters can come from any direction and their aim is terrible. Snow on the Bluff is like a Wu-Tang skit writ large; you may not know entirely what is going on, but you care enough to pay attention.
And if the strange, desperate ambiance doesn’t draw you in, the handful of lucid moments Snow has with the camera will. If the cycle of violence wasn’t tragic and evident enough when he half-assedly shoots up a random (?) house with an assault rifle shortly after getting out of jail, the scene where he bags coke in front of his young son while reflecting on watching his uncle do the same thing when he was a toddler really drives the point home. And yet Snow on the Bluff never feels forced, even when an old timer says he spent more than half his life in jail and he can’t wait to go back, the gets arrested like two beats later. Nothing makes sense, so everything does.
Best of all (if this counts as “best”), Snow on the Bluff doesn’t glorify any of its subjects. The Bluff doesn’t look fun and selling crack there doesn’t look thrilling. There’s no gang culture to stylize or stir up animalistic “us v. them” feelings. There’s no kingpin to look up to. The Bluff looks like a third-world country, the kind of place you picture when you read about US-based health organizations abandoning their work in African villages because there is so much work to be done at home. But because the movie is more of a disorienting “day in the life” thing than a well-paced tragedy, Snow on the Bluff is still strangely entertaining.
So, yes this website has a vested interest in me saying so, but you should check out Snow on the Bluff.
The Trailer and Mixtape are available now with the official release of the movie right around the corner.
Dont miss the mixtape available now at LMT:
Or play it now here: