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28 September 2012 (USA)  »

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1.7: Fire in Dreamland by Rinne Groff: Could have been a bit more direct but does cleverly overlay reality with fiction and irony
7 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

It was interesting in the wake of this film to go online and read more about this story that is told with some energy here. A showman (straw boater at the end of a piano) tells us about the great fire, delivering the story with plenty of drama and intensity. The descriptive and engaging manner of the delivery is part of the point of course, and it works well because we are drawn into the tale as was intended. It supposedly links to America, or so the showman tells us, but the more enjoyable linkage comes from the final line, which is soberly delivered and nicely done by Mays.

The suggestion that America is a country of showmen is a fair thing to suggest and I liked the way that it mixed the reality and fiction in order to do it. We have this terrible fire where a huge amusement park caught fire and burnt to the ground overnight and yet it is relayed in such a gripping way, full of spectacle, showmanship and pizazz. There is a nice irony of this huge failing entertainment project itself becoming an entertainment project through this fictional telling (or pitch) and I liked this aspect of it. Perhaps it could have been more direct in its commentary but it was engagingly delivered by Mays and cleverly constructed to be a quite satisfying little piece.

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