Radiant City | Chicago Reader

Radiant City

With this 2006 Canadian video about suburban angst, writer-directors Gary Burns and Jim Brown seem to have created a new hybrid, the docucomedy. The movie probes the lifestyles of two families from the greater Calgary area, one living in a single-family home and one in a multiunit dwelling, while noted experts survey the waste and isolation fostered by Le Corbusier's model of suburban expansion. Architects Marc Boutin, Andres Duany, and Ken Greenberg argue convincingly for sustainable, balanced development, but in the middle of the movie the tone shifts perceptibly when exchanges between a couple of dads staging an amateur musical and two teens manning a suicide hotline take on the rhythms of a Eugene Levy-Catherine O'Hara improvisation. 85 min.

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