American Film Movement

The American Independent Movement sprang from the small “art houses” of a few major American cities and became a presence in American public culture. The key filmmakers of the moment saw themselves as challengers to the hegemony of Hollywood, eschewing entertainment—fantasy, pleasure, happy endings—and offering instead harsh and “edgy” stories about life in contemporary society.

Chuck and Buck

The clue was in the title. At least for anyone with a knowledge of urban slang. For those that weren’t, Chuck and Buck starts out amiably enough, awkward tension only setting in when socially inept and blissfully naive amateur playwright ‘Buck’, a young man with the maturity level of a ten year old, reunites with his childhood friend ‘Chuck’ now a successful music industry exec and known strictly as Charlie. But the former moniker isn’t all Charlie has left behind and we soon realise that the two had had intimate experiences together during their erstwhile childhood friendship. Those experiences, and all other aspects of Buck are parts of his life Charlie would sooner deny and forget. However Buck is not so ready to let the relationship dwindle a second time and draws out all his savings, takes Charlie up on a token offer to visit him and sets off for California where his memories of and obsession over Charlie intensifies, much to the chagrin of Charlie, his friends and current fiancé.

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While pitched as a comedy, ‘Chuck and Buck’ is far closer to a darkly humorous drama. It gets under the skin as you grasp a feeling for what is really going on and what is about to occur as events unfold. It breeds a sense of slick nerved anticipation often of the type inspired by suspense thrillers. So if you like clammy as opposed to scary. Unsettling rather than terrifying. A genuine and honest drama about the below the surface complexities of human relationships and all the things an independent film is supposed to be then ‘Chuck and Buck’ comes highly recommended.

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