Last week, Baltimore filmmaker Marnie Ellen Hertzler’s documentary Crestone was made available for streaming. The quasi-documentary made the virtual festival rounds last year and gathered a great deal of deserving buzz and quite a few understandable, “holy shit” responses as well. It tells the story of a group of twentysomethings with a whole lot of creativity and a whole lot of angst and plenty of time on their hands who moved out to Crestone, Colorado where they grow pot and record strange, oft-brilliant rap songs. Weed documentaries are pretty common during this moment of decriminalization and legalization, but Crestone feels like weed—it is partially narrated by a stoned, drone operator—and that’s a lot more rare.
Around this time last year, I reviewed Crestone for the website BmoreArt mostly because I was so excited by the movie and because I was worried that without the “IRL” festival rounds, this unique and funny and at times devastating movie might get lost. In the piece titled, “Doomsday Preppers, Soundcloud Rappers,” I wrote the following: “Baltimore filmmaker Marnie Ellen Hertzler’s Crestone feels like a great piece of outré journalism. It found the sweet spot of making you feel as though you’re there watching something happen and commenting on it all only when necessary. And indeed, it is a movie with one heck of a lede: ‘My friends from high school are Soundcloud rappers now. They moved to the desert of Crestone, Colorado to grow weed and make music for the internet,’ Hertzler narrates early on. I kept thinking of Eve Babitz especially as she is described by Molly Lambert in the introduction to I Used To Be Charming: The Rest Of Eve Babitz: ‘Cool beyond belief but friendly and unintimidating.’ That’s the vibe of Crestone.”
Crestone is currently available to digitally rent on Amazon, Apple, and elsewhere. It will be released on Blu-Ray on April 20. Watch the trailer for Crestone below.