Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (DVD)
Like Buba’s earlier short films, Lightning chronicles the decline of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a hard-luck town which once flourished as “Pittsburgh’s shopping center.”
It concerns a director (Tony Buba, playing himself) trying, without much success, to make a movie with a crazy street hustler named Sal, who considers himself responsible for Buba’s (modest) success. Like Errol Morris, Buba has a fascination with the idiosyncratic details of daily life, and uses his formidable sense of humor to document the decay of industrial America.
“A triumph of pragmatic populism with a cast of union organizers, street hustlers, and Buba himself, [it] should be required viewing at every Sundance seminar; this ‘rustbowl fantasy’ is one of the few regional movies to successfully and unsentimentally peel off the national smile button.” –J. Hoberman, VILLAGE VOICE