Albert Stainback goes all Clockwork Orange in the ring.
FIGHTVILLE (Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker). 85 minutes. Opens Friday (April 6). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
Weaving moments of psychological insight into a crowd-pleasing underdog narrative, Fightville takes an energetic look behind the scenes of mixed martial arts while still functioning as an incisive documentary.
Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker, directors of Gunner Palace and The Prisoner: Or How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair, examine the MMA circuit in Louisville through the eyes of a pair of up-and-coming fighters, Dustin Poirier and Albert Stainback.
Using tiny digital cameras, Epperlein and Tucker capture intense footage of the fights, but they're equally good at getting close to the athletes and their coaches out of the ring, as we see when Stainback shares a harrowing memory of domestic abuse without seeming to understand how his past has led him to adopt a stage persona borrowed from the Droogs of A Clockwork Orange.
It's not for the squeamish - the cage matches get pretty messy - but just about everyone else should find something to appreciate.