Lightening Over Braddock

Subtitled A Rustbowl Fantasy, this very agreeable and funny low-budget documentary by Tony Buba, set in a steel-mill town just outside Pittsburgh, follows the decline of the area as the mills shut down, as well as Buba’s own 15-year activity as a local independent filmmaker. Concerned with union organizing, his temperamental and eccentric star “Sweet Sal” Carullo, his dwindling finances, and his own soul, Buba has a lot of interesting things to say and show, and this witty and intelligent portrait of him and his community has charm to spare. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, March 18, 4:00 and 7:45, 443-3737)

Published on 17 Mar 1989 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

No Comments >>

Chances Are

The most intricately and cleverly plotted of all the recent body-exchange and/or heaven movies, written by the sisters Perry and Randy Howze (Maid to Order, Mystic Pizza), and directed by Emile Ardolino (Dirty Dancing). I don’t want to give away too much of the story, which invites the spectator to flirt with the idea of at least two kinds of incest, but suffice it to say that the setup involves a happily married young lawyer (Christopher McDonald) who dies and is then reincarnated (as Robert Downey Jr.), and becomes involved with his former family. Because the presiding angel neglected to zap out his memory, he develops an advanced case of deja vu when he encounters his former wife (Cybill Shepherd) and best friend (Ryan O’Neal), while his 22-year-old daughter (Mary Stuart Masterson) poses still other complications. Despite the sudsy, overlit look of William A. Fraker’s cinematography and Downey’s varying success with sight gags, this is still a lot of fun. An additional kicker is added by the picture’s crazed doublethink morality, which implies that incest is OK as long as you’ve got amnesia. (Harlem-Cermak, Burnham Plaza, Chicago Ridge, Golf Mill, Orland Square, Water Tower, Woodfield, Hillside Square, Norridge, Webster Place, Old Orchard)

Published on 10 Mar 1989 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

No Comments >>