Secrets and Shadows | Chicago Reader

Secrets and Shadows

Four short videos. With gritty visuals and spare dialogue, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's credible slice-of-life drama Gowanus, Brooklyn tells the story of a precocious 12-year-old who stumbles upon a troubling secret involving her basketball coach. In Leona Whitney Beatty's The Last Chair (2003) a black high school freshman moves to a predominantly white neighborhood in 1968; despite the schmaltzy score and slick, made-for-TV look, it's an earnest and heartfelt look at the turbulent early years of integration. Less impressive are Kirby Ashley's Blast On, a pointless riff on film noir, and Julius Amedume's The Phone Call (2003), about a law-abiding man whose drug-dealing friend asks him for a favor. 96 min.

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