Tag Archives: Anytown usa

ANYTOWN, USA now on Hulu

23 Nov

Sirk’s 2005 documentary, “Anytown, USA”, directed by Kristian Fraga, is now available for free on Hulu.

About the film:  All politics is local in this hilarious burlesque of a documentary following a tightly run mayoral race in the small town of Bogota, New Jersey.Anytown, USA resonates as an all-too-familiar look at the charade of partisan politics in our increasingly polarized nation. You will laugh because it hurts, and cry because it is all just too funny.


Watch it now

Hollywood Reporter – Indies finding alternatives to old-school distribution

21 Sep

Indies finding alternatives to old-school distribution

Indies’ new plan

Gregg GoldsteinMarch 29, 2006

NEW YORK — For many an ambitious independent filmmaker, the elation of being accepted into a premier film festival like Sundance quickly is replaced by the disappointment of leaving Park City without having attracted the interest of a distributor. This year, of the 64 films selected for competition at Sundance, fewer than one-sixth have been picked up for domestic theatrical distribution.

Kristian Fraga, director of “Anytown, USA,” didn’t even get that far. When his movie failed to make the cut at Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival, “we were a bit worried,” he admitted. Compounding the uphill battle to release his film was the fact that “Anytown” was one of two documentaries chronicling a New Jersey mayoral race, the other being the Oscar-nominated “Street Fight.”

Nevertheless, “Anytown” picked up awards at the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Trenton fests. Still, despite some interest from smaller indie distributors, “it was starting to look like a straight-to-DVD situation,” Fraga said.

Then along came Film Movement. In December, the company made “Anytown” its DVD of the month for its subscribers while releasing the film in three New Jersey cinemas (it plans further select theatrical bookings nationwide). With Fraga’s film rescued from obscurity, “It was the best of both worlds,” he said.

Like Fraga, many filmmakers who don’t succeed in securing an established indie distributor are discovering that, increasingly, there are alternative modes of release. Stepping into the breach are a variety of new distribution outlets — theatrical, DVD and online companies that allow filmmakers to take matters into their own hands.

Emerging Pictures, Film Movement and Truly Indie are just three companies that scout festivals for films deserving of broader exposure.

Launched in 2003, Film Movement already has about 45 films in its library. Operating a DVD-of-the-month club for subscribers, it acquires North American rights to a film and releases most of them theatrically. The company offers anywhere from simply a royalty to more than $100,000 for the films it selects, with a typical backend for the filmmaker of 50% for TV and a 20% home video distribution cut.

“Our standard is that a film gets in a well-established festival,” president Stuart Litman said. “They garner big press, and our subscribers have to know we stand for something.” In February, for example, the company picked up this year’s Berlin International Film Festival winner, Auraeus Solito’s Filipino coming-of-age drama “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros,” for theatrical release.

Emerging Pictures CEO Ira Deutchman, who founded Fine Line Features in the early 1990s, has assembled a network of five East Coast digital cinemas from Scranton, Pa., to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for the simultaneous exhibition of films. The filmmakers retain rights to their work.

“In many cases, our goal is to find films a traditional distributor, but that often isn’t feasible,” Deutchman said. “In those cases, we tailor distribution through existing chains like Landmark or an ad-hoc collection of cinemas.” He cited “This Old Cub,” a docu about the Chicago Cubs, which employed a regional release that set it up for “spectacular DVD sales.”

Deutchman’s team attends festivals, screenings and tracks articles to find worthwhile projects but prefers to catch films before they hit the fest circuit. “That’s the best time to get one,” he said, “because I’m a big believer that a film needs to be premarketed.”

Magnolia Pictures’ Truly Indie program has adopted a slightly different strategy, operating like a cross between a small indie distributor and a “four-walling” service, giving the filmmaker total control over where his film plays, how many screens it hits, marketing and press screenings.

Magnolia CEO Bill Banowsky says the cost to the filmmaker ranges from $40,000 in a minimum of five cities to $150,000 for 20 cities for a week. “It entirely depends on the film, the filmmaker’s objectives and appetite for risk,” said Banowsky, who launched the program in October and plans four releases during the next six months.

After the outfit’s point person, Kelly Sanders, accepts submissions, she sends them to one of three members of a selection team from Landmark Theatres, another 2929 Entertainment company, which showcases most of the films. “If we believe the film has artistic merit and is capable of attracting audiences, the film qualifies,” Banowsky said.

In November, actor Donal Logue’s $600,000 feature directing debut, “Tennis, Anyone …?” served as Truly Indie’s pilot project. It played in Berkeley, Calif., San Diego and Boston after a Los Angeles premiere. “It’s hard work, but you get some good reviews,” said Logue, who paid $5,000-$6,000 per theater per week, plus the cost of ads in local papers. “You keep every dime you earn, and we broke even,” he added. The publicity helped him garner a DVD distribution deal with Fireside Entertainment.

Although alternative distributors give less commercial and star-driven indies a chance at finding an audience, their respective selection processes can leave some filmmakers out in the cold. That’s when it becomes necessary to venture into the uncharted territory of self-distribution.

This summer, Withoutabox.com plans to launch a “distribution lab” to help such creators-turned-entreprenuers. Currently, the Web site sports an “audience” section where filmmakers can upload shorts, trailers and podcasts for free. In return, they can get feedback (that includes the ZIP codes of visitors) to help them determine the ideal markets for each film while also permitting them to sell tickets online.

“It’s a tool kit to essentially self-distribute,” co-founder and CEO David Straus said. Costs are calculated per transaction based on how wide the filmmaker wants to take his film. Royalties from boxoffice sales will be paid through the company, which is establishing relationships with theaters and hopes to partner with DVD and online distributors. “A filmmaker has the power to greenlight themselves,” Straus said.

Two of the first films out of the box will be Susan Buice and Arin Crumley’s quirky romance “Four Eyed Monsters” and Jacques Thelemaque’s drama “The Dogwalker.”

Even after 16 film festivals, “distributors didn’t express an interest to even attend our screenings,” Crumley said. He turned to free video podcasts about “Monsters” on iTunes, and with the help of some press coverage, he said the podcasts racked up about 3,000 downloads within the first 36 hours.

Crumley is negotiating a deal with Withoutabox.com under which theaters would keep half the boxoffice, Withoutabox.com takes less than a quarter and Crumley pockets the remainder. “The idea is one-off screenings where the venue isn’t taking a risk — we can (do it) because this many people have requested to see the film,” said Crumley, who has seen the most online demand in Orlando and Santa Rosa, Calif.

Thelemaque is premarketing his $200,000 film “Dogwalker” through the site and is negotiating distribution terms, hoping to reach 10 theaters initially. He has set up links between the Audience section of Withoutabox.com and sections of MySpace.com for people coping with some of his film’s themes such as cancer and domestic abuse. “The idea is to identify these communities and have them speak out to their members,” he said.

Peter Broderick, president of Paradigm Consulting, rejects the term “self distribution,” preferring to call such efforts “hybrid distribution” because they often open the doors to foreign and DVD deals. He recommends that filmmakers opt for theatrical service deals with outfits like Balcony Booking and Releasing, a 4-year-old company that takes on two or three films a year in exchange for a fee based on the amount of work involved, and sometimes a backend deal if a certain boxoffice is achieved. Under Balcony’s terms, the filmmaker has to pay for the costs of marketing, which Balcony oversees, but gets 35%-40% of the boxoffice and retains all rights to the project.

The most important factor before a filmmaker approaches any of these new venues? “It’s indispensable to have a marketing budget no less than 20% of the cost of the film built into your total budget,” said attorney and producer Steven Beer of Greenberg Traurig. “It’s very hard to start raising money after you hit the festival circuit because many investors believe if a distributor didn’t acquire your film, you’re just throwing good money after bad.”

Tomorrow: While most filmmakers dream of seeing their film on the silver screen, some are facing the reality that DVD and new online ventures might be their only chance at winning an audience.

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The New York Times – Winning a Scrappy Race, and a Bit of the Limelight, Too

21 Sep

The New York Times

Winning a Scrappy Race, and a Bit of the Limelight, Too”


By Josh Benson

WOODSTOCK, NY, Oct. 1- so here’s the plot. Two Guys- one a legally blind right-wing mayor from a small town in New Jersey, the other a maverick political consultant who helped Jesse Ventura become governor of Minnesota show up at a film festival. The setting is a place where the audiences are so left-leaning that people once booed a film about a Cuban dissident because they found it too critical because they found it too critical of Fidel Castro.

Even weirder: The politicians are there as promoters of an award-winning independent movie that has been picked up for distribution next year in theaters across country. Oh, and one thing: They’re the stars of the show. “There are a lot of liberal hippies here huh?”
Said Steven Lonegan, the Republican mayor of the Bergen County town of Bogota, shortly before the screening of a documentary about his 2003 campaign. “You think they’re going to chase me into a corner and attack me?”

Mr. Lonegan, who recently sought the republican nomination for governor, emerged intact. But it was an odd cultural collision of New Jersey politics and art house cinema, indeed, this weekend at the sixth annual Woodstock Film Festival, where a group of producers from New Jersey toasted the accouncement of a distribution deal for the documentary, “Anytown, U.S.A.”

The movie, the creation of Kristinan Raga and Juan Dominguez, tells the story of the 2003 campaign for the mayor that takes unexpected, and the heart-breaking, twists and turns. “We were like, wow,” said Mr. Dominguez, a former Bogta town councilman who refinanced his house to pay the initial production costs of his project. “We realized as we were filming that we had something special on our hands.”

The story starts just weeks before the election, with the campaign of Mr. Lonegan, whose budget-slashing conservatism and bombastic style as mayor polarized the once tight-knit town of about 8,000. The Democratic challenger was almost tragically inept, brought out of retirement for one last run. Then a third candidate, a local high school sports hero who, like Mr. Lonegan, is partly blind, stepped in as an independent. He recruited Doug Friedline, a consultant who aided Mr. Ventura, to manage his write-in campaign.

The campaign was as hard-fought as any national race, without ever being in danger of being mistaken for one; there was no shortage of propaganda, rumor mongering and a bitter battle over lawn signs. And it all took place against the backdrop the Bogota High School football team’s run to the state championship, which came after the mayor’s austerity measures almost eliminated school sports.

The documentary is the antithesis of “The War Room”, the 1993 film that glorified the efforts of James Stephanopoulos in selling Bill Clinton to the American people. Almost inadvertently, its point is that elections are about hard work and, surprise, candidates and their policies.

Or, as Thomas P. O’Neill famously put it, providing the film with it’s opening, “All politics is local.” The documentary was produced by a group of filmmakers, including Mr. Fraga, who grew up in Leonia, near Bogota, and recently moved their company, Sirk Productions, to Manhattan from Fort Lee. “Anytown” was recently bought by Film Movement, a New York distributor, and will run early next year.

It was awarded best documentary at the Long Island and Minneapolis-St. Louis film festivals this year, and Mr. Fraga won best director honors at the Trenton Film Festival. Part of its appeal, perhaps, is that it is impossible to discern the ideological leanings of the storytellers. (Mr. Fraga is an affirmed liberal, while Mr. Dominguez- a former running mate to Mr. Lonegan- calls himself a moderate Republican.”)

Mr. Friedline said the message transcended partisan politics, “ I think this movie is about an opportunity to see what happens when someone gets passionate about the issues and throws him or herself into a campaign,” he said. At points in the film, Mr. Loegan is hissable. During a question and answer session after the screening, Mark Portier, of New Paltz, told him: “I just wanted to say what a treat this was. It’s like going to see ‘Star Wars’ and Darth Vader himself gets up to take a bow.

The remark rolled off Mr. Lonegan, who sees his star turn as the start of something big. “Come on”, he urged the producers at a party after the screening. “You’ve got to make a sequel. Just think of the great reality show we could do.”

Associated Press – Lonegan Has Starring Role in Documentary

21 Sep

Associated Press

Lonegan Has Starring Role in Documentary
Updated: Sunday, May. 1, 2005 – 2:53 PM

By ANGELA DELLI SANTI
Associated Press Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A documentary examining the oddities of a small-town mayor’s race may not win Steve Lonegan any acting awards, but it will give the underdog candidate for governor some free screen time before the GOP primary.

Considered the most conservative of New Jersey’s seven Republican gubernatorial contenders, Lonegan is front and center in “Anytown USA,” a 93-minute film lauded at last month’s Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

The documentary, debuting Sunday in New Jersey at the Trenton Film Festival, looks at the 2003 mayoral race in the tiny Bergen County town of Bogota (pronounced Ba-GO-da). Lonegan, a tough-talking, fiscally conservative incumbent, was running for re-election after angering many by restricting school spending.

Lonegan, who is legally blind, was challenged by Democrat Fred Pesce and Dave Musikant, a former football player who lost his sight because of a brain tumor and is running as an independent write-in candidate.

“It’s a microcosm of the national political scene,” said director Kristian Fraga, whose film won the emerging filmmakers best documentary award in Minneapolis. “We hope when people see it, they’ll pay attention to the importance of voting.”

Besides featuring two legally blind candidates, the Bogota mayor’s race had other peculiarities. Doug Friedline, who helped Jesse “The Body” Ventura win the Minnesota governor’s race, signed on to help Musikant with his write-in campaign.

In the documentary, Lonegan at times comes off as strong-willed and mean-spirited. Still, he pronounced the film “terrific.”

“It caught the essence of a local campaign. What it didn’t show was that Dave, Fred and I were friendly with each other,” Lonegan said.

Lonegan said the film is unlikely to affect his chances in the June 7 Republican primary, where he trails front-runners Doug Forrester and Bret Schundler by as much as 30 percentage points, according to recent polls. Nor will it directly help his campaign coffers.

“Unfortunately, I don’t get any royalties,” he said.

(Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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The Record – Anytown, USA Review

21 Sep

The Record

“Jersey mayoral race wins endorsement”

Movies: Anytown USA

3.5 STARS By Lisa Rose

There’s so much agenda-driven filmmaking on the documentary scene, it’s notable when a political movie comes along that covers its subject with journalistic balance.

“Anytown USA” is an exercise in old school objective reporting, chronicling the 2003 mayoral race in Bogota, N.J. It’s a slice of life, not a manifesto, capturing passionate viewpoints on both sides of the Republican-Democrat divide.

Although the election took place two years ago, the sentiments of voters still resonate. Many of them express their frustrations with the Republican incumbent, but they don’t know enough about the other candidates to choose with confidence. The Democratic contender hasn’t clearly articulated his plans for change, while the write-in independent hopeful lacks political experience.

Director Kristian Fraga, a Leonia native making his feature filmmaking debut, allows the story to unfold with minimal artifice. He doesn’t really need to embellish the tale, since it has more twists than an episode of “Lost”.

The movie introduces us to the incumbent mayor, Steve Lonegan, a seasoned, smooth-talking conservative who’s overcome a disability—he’s legally blind—to make a political career. Coincidentally, his key challenger, an independent named Dave Musikant, also is visually impaired.

A motivational speaker and former high school football hero, Musikant enters the race late as write-in opponent. His candidacy is over-seen by a consultant who helped remake wrestler Jesse Ventura into a politician. Musikant gets the word out creatively, with pencil-shaped lawn signs and a costume mascot. The Democratic candidate, Fred Pesce, is a former councilman whose campaign is low-key due to a shortage of funds.

“Anytown USA,” shot on digital video, ventures backstage at headquarters for all three mayoral rivals. Early on, we see a heated town meeting during which Lonegan is lambasted for his plan to cut school spending by suspending the varsity football program.

It seems like there’s such pervasive negativity toward him, his opponent will win an easy victory. The film demonstrates, however, that politics are never really that simple and voter behavior is volatile.

In the weeks leading up to the election, tempers flare and desperation mounts. There are vandalized campaign signs and propaganda newspapers. One candidate is seen making a frantic phone call to arrange delivery of a single absentee ballot from Estonia. In order to maximize turnout, volunteers shuttle elderly residents from their homes to polling locations. The fervor continues right through the final hour of voting, and the ending is a kicker.

The suspense of the story compensates for the film’s no-budget production values. The movie is more than a snapshot of local politics. It’s a nail-biting drama.

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Miami Herald – Anytown, USA Review

21 Sep

Miami Herald

“Big Race in Small Town Captures the Imagination”

By Martha Barber

Friday, November 3, 2006

‘Tis the season for politics. Give me me a bow to the Cosford Cinema for screening a film that reflects on the state of American politics the weekend before Election Day. Anytown, USA, directed by Kristian Fraga, follows the 2003 mayoral race in a tiny town in New Jersey, just a stone’s throw from the Big Apple. Bogota, with the accent on the second “o”, is described by one of its residents as somewhere between “Norman Rockwell and the Bronx”, but its political situation is as American as apple pie. Fraga begins filming a few weeks before the election, a bit early to tell the whole story, especially about the three contenders, but in good enough time to capture all the elements of a disputed election. Unintentionally funny, the film also carries the suspense of any election: who will win? But few people, even the most savvy political buff, will remember who was elected mayor of Bogota in 2003.

All seems to be quiet in Bogota until incumber two-time Mayor Steve Lonegan, a Republican, announces he’ll run again on a platform of reduced budgets and taxes. That may mean that the beloved high school, the home of the Bucs, may have to be integrated with the high school in a nearby town, which flares the passions of the town. Democrats ask Fred Pesce, a former mayor, to come out of retirement and help them defeat Lonegan. Pesce will do it for the good of the community but his commitment to winning the race doesn’t seem to be there.
In comes Dave Musikant, a former Bucs football hero whose loathing of Lonegan prompts him to run as an Independent. Problem is that it is too late to have him on the ticket, and the chances to win as a write-in are as far-fetched as winning the lottery. Musikant hears that Doug Friedline, the man who helped Jesse “The body” Ventura win his gubernatorial race, is always happy to help Independents. Friedline asks: “Is your name on the ballot?? Do you have a staff? Wil you be bale to collect $2o, 000?” Only the third question receives a positive answer, but Friedline accepts the challenge. A three-man race is about to get interesting.

As the camera follows the candidates, you begin to notice who has the qualifications to be mayor, but as we all know, in politics it is all abotu delivering the message. Interestingly enough, both Lonegan and Musikant, whose campaigns are followed more closely, are legally blind. You only learn about Pesce’s ailment at the end, which explains the Democrat’s lack of vision.

If it weren’t so serious for the people of Bogota, the election would draw laughter. Here are two legally blind men, one of them guided by The Body’s manager, and one complacent Democrat battling it out with all the fervor to win a high percentage of the less-than-2,000 registered voters of Bogota. And the tactic of personal attacks and use of hal-truths equal that of a presidential election.
Anytown, USA, bases its premise on famed Massachusetts politician and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill’s saying, “All politics is local.”

Is what you see in the Bogota election a reflection of the political panorama of the nation? In Bogota, the Republican it the best organized and the richest, the Independent has the most passion and the Democrat lacks vision. Fraga makes us wonder.

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DVD Talk – Anytown, USA Review

21 Sep

Movie: Film Movement is a company that provides a movie a month by subscription, most of which are later offered by traditional outlets sometime later. The idea of the company is to provide quality movies from around the world that otherwise would stick to the film festival circuit, limiting the exposure of some great movies by less known names. I’ve watched a lot of their stuff and found a great many movies worth getting so fans of offbeat movies might want to check them out. Today’s movie, Anytown, USA, came out in the series late last year, detailing a political race for mayor in a small town that largely mirrored the national scene campaigns. The idea was to follow the candidates for three months and after three hundred hours of footage, director Kristian Fraga seemed to have struck gold in the New Jersey town of Bogota. Here’s a look at the movie:The movie is a documentary and the story was about a contentious race for office by three mayoral candidates. Bogota was a small town in crisis with rising costs causing a large number of residents to truly embrace the Republican ideal of cutting financial costs regardless of the social costs involved. The incumbent mayor, Steve Lonegan, is a conservative republican and legally blind (he can see but not very well). New Jersey has seen better economic times and the local school system has been costing the taxpayers more and more. Apparently, the town finances (or partially finances) the school system and the elected school board plays politics when cuts are made (cutting, or threatening to cut, the popular sports program for example instead of administrative costs when the city scales back funding). The open animosity between the elected mayor and the school board places the children in the crosshairs as playing pieces in a large game of sorts. This sets the stage for a mayoral election between Lonegan and a Democrat by the name of Fred Pesce, who had been a city councilman previously. As the race progresses, a third party candidate, another blind guy, Dave Musikant, joins in as a write in candidate after finding both the political party candidates wanting.

What makes the movie particularly interesting is that each of the three candidates plays their role so perfectly in terms of the stereotypes yet it’s a documentary. The older folks in town like Lonegan’s willingness to hold the line in terms of their taxes. The parents of the children in school hate him since he wants to regionalize the high school for financial reasons, a move the school board fights by any means possible (getting the kids to politic, for example, as they don’t want to lose local control), with those directly involved stating their willingness to “pay a little more” against the tides of the times in this day and age of tax cutting. Pesce seems all too willing to mindlessly follow the his party’s philosophy, not providing any clear ideas of his own, killing his chances until he starts to follow those around him but he comes across as wishy washy like many of his ilk, marginalizing himself over and over again. Musikant, for his part, is the goofy candidate that is best known as the high school star athlete from years ago, who has been fighting a brain tumor that took his sight.

Film Movement’s website puts it like this: “All politics is local in this hilarious burlesque of a documentary following a tightly-run mayoral race in the small town of Bogota, New Jersey. When the much-reviled–and legally blind–Republican incumbent Steven Lonegan boldly announces he will run for re-election, the citizens of Bogota go on the offensive to unseat him. Enter Democrat Fred Pesce, coaxed from retirement to share the ticket. With his health in question, and his politics compared to those of Tony Soprano, the field is wide open for sight-challenged town booster and former local football hero Dave Musikant to step in as a long-shot write-in independent candidate–officially making it the only mayoral race in the nation where two of the three candidates are legally blind! Add to the mix the machinations of Jesse “The Body” Ventura`s campaign manager, and Anytown, USA resonates as an all-too-familiar look at the charade of partisan politics in our increasingly polarized nation.”

The way the movie translates into a microcosm of the larger issues in politics (including the parallels to the 2004 presidential election as well as other races) from the way the candidates play their versions of the truth, show a willingness to do whatever is needed to get elected, and spend most of their time attacking their opponents to the manner in which the editing seems to lead the viewer to believe a surprise outcome will be taking place. I got the feeling that Fraga was gearing the audience to think certain things were taking place but not nearly to the extent Michael Moore does in his propaganda pieces disguised as documentaries. Some of the pieces came together a bit too cleanly but overall, I thought the time flew by during my viewings of the film.

If you’d like to see how all politics are local, how the process really works (not the textbook civics class version), and how well a documentary can be made without resorting to too much manipulation, you’ll find this one well worth picking up for your collection. In that sense, I figured it was worth a rating of Recommended or better though I’ll be the first to admit that such a movie is an acquired taste and many won’t care if you believe the polls stating voter apathy as being at all time highs.

Picture: Anytown, USA was shot on video and presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color as directed by Kristian Fraga. It looked clear and crisp with the kind of occasionally jerky camera movement you’d expect of a documentary. There were a lot of talking head moments interspersed with the usual background material and interviews. Given the amount of footage shot for the movie, I’m sure that the editing was a pain in the rear but the picture provided a nice amount of tension thanks in large part to the editing. I still got the impression Fraga tried to manipulate the audience into thinking individual factors were influencing the electorate more than they did in reality but I forgave him since the quality of the overall show was so accurate in regards to a political race.

Sound: The audio was presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo with English as the only language offered. It was closed captioned for the hearing impaired but I’m not equipped for them so if that feature is important to you, check out the disc first. The audio was advertised on the Film Movement website as being in 5.1 Surround but this was simply a typographical error. This type of documentary doesn’t really benefit by using the more expansive sound of a 5.1 set up so I’m okay with it as it was. Other than the music, the vocals seemed to be recorded in monaural and were clear with no problems noticed.

Extras: The Film Movement series always includes a short film as part of the package, typically something offbeat that you would have to see at a festival, and this DVD was no different. The 7 minute short this time came from director David Garrett and was called Clown Car. The story was about two circus clowns stranded in the desert after their car breaks down. The car itself is no ordinary car, it’s a clown car that has infinite room in the trunk and that lends itself to some of the admittedly dry humor of the short. Amazingly though, the best extras this time were reserved for the main feature (not something typical in the series) with an extremely interesting director commentary with New York Press critic Matt Zoller Seitz joining Kristian Fraga to discuss the film on several levels, beyond the usual technical matters and delving into the politics of the movie. I strongly recommend listening to it even if there were times when I wanted them to move along with their discussion. There were also some deleted scenes, five in total, lasting about 30 seconds each. I didn’t really notice much about them that added to my understanding of the movie’s themes or the characters involved, making it easy to see why they were cut, since they amounted to short interviews by the three candidates in each case. There was also the standard trailer and biographies but an interview with the director lasting almost 6 minutes (his political leanings were more obvious here than in the flick) and a slightly shorter interview with the composer who spent some time discussing how the music was arranged for the show.

Final Thoughts: Anytown, USA was probably as revealing a commentary on why the Republican party has done so well in the last several years as anything I’ve seen or read. It showed the small town race as indicative of what takes place on a larger scale better than it should have been able to do and without a lot of juicing it up as other documentary makers would do. While tentatively set in Bogota, New Jersey; it could very well have been any small town in the country from how things worked. The technical matters were capably handled and I thought very highly of this selection in the Film Movement catalog as their “Year 3, Film 12” offering. Check it out if you’re interested in politics but be prepared for the bleak ending that Fraga offered up as a side note.

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