It's difficult to get at what Pootie Tang in "Sine Yo Pitty On The Runny Kine" really is. Screening midnight Friday and Saturday at The Belcourt, it's widely acknowledged as a spin-off from HBO's The Chris Rock Show, it's the directorial debut of comedian/raconteur/stylist/genius Louis C.K., and it's a most distinctive anomaly on the resume of cinematographer Willy Kurant (whom you might remember from his time working with another language-annihilating absurdist, Uncle Jean-Luc Godard). An odd character study, this film. One that springs from its sketch comedy origins and never hesitates to go somewhere far weirder at any given moment.
But it's also an extract of itself (if you accept it on its own narrative terms) and a quilt of a film, assembled by multiple hands and creative forces following a contentious post-production process that found the director and his editor locked out of the edit bay and unable even to see the film until after its release. “Inept” is the word I used when initially reviewing the film in the summer of 2001, disparaging its cobbled-together madness even while praising its grocery store seduction and family tragedy/industrial accident sequences.
Thankfully, with DVD, one can remedy such grievous mistakes. A second viewing allowed for a much different experience, and in the intervening decade, I'd safely say I've watched Sine Yo Pitty... at least 50 times, and it just keeps getting funnier with each successive viewing.
Read the rest of the piece here. And check out director Louis C.K.'s original trailer above.