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I saw this movie at the University of Minnesota when it was new. That I still remember several scenes after one viewing thirty years ago, says much more about the impact of the film than it does about my memory.
The film is set in the Twin Cities in one of the working class neighborhoods such as existed before the collapse of America's manufacturing culture. Two young friends work in a St. Paul car dealership as mechanics. One is an unmarried wisecracker, the other is more sober and married. The latter's wife is late in her pregnancy and it is the middle of the summer. The summer heat, the boredom of the job and home life, the sense of pinched finances create an atmosphere of a dead end to life in one's late twenties. (One simple shot of the three lead characters sitting on cheap lawn chairs accomplishes so much in advancing this theme.) Through the provocation of the wiseacre friend, the more stable one attempts to rebel against his situation. The outcome of this revolt provides the final theme.
The film was shot in the cinema verite, black and white hand-held camera style. It has an authenticity in its frank view of life for lower class, white, manual workers. There is no polemic here, just honest storytelling.
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