Movie review: North Dixie Drive

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A good documentary can plunge you into a reality half a world away. Or, in the case of "North Dixie Drive," it can take you about an hour and a half west on I-70.

The documentary - which focuses on life in a run-down section of Dayton - will have a screening this Sunday at Studio 35.

It's the work of first-time filmmaker Eric Mahoney, a Dayton native and former Columbus resident who played in the band Murder My Darlings and used to work the door at Little Brother's.

He's turned his camera on the eccentric characters of Northridge, a run-down stretch of Dayton. There's a doughnut shop owner, small-time professional wrestlers, exotic dancers, a wild-bearded oddball on a bicycle and much more.

The culture may seem almost foreign, but if you've ever lived among Ohio poverty, it will feel eerily authentic. It's a touch reminiscent of Harmony Korine's "Gummo" - though Mahoney presents his subjects warmly and without judgment.

The production is low-budget - as whimsically noted in the name of the company, Borrowed Camera Productions - but the camera work is inventive and the film well-paced, clocking in just under an hour.

If anything, you may wish for more of those eccentric characters. "North Dixie" is a pastiche of them, and a few deserve their own movies.

North Dixie Drive

4 p.m. Sunday, March 27

Studio 35

3055 Indianola Ave., Clintonville