The Films of Tony Buba


The Harvard Film Study Center, Emerson College, Hampshire College and The DocYard present:

THE FILMS OF TONY BUBA – Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasty (1988) and shorts

Monday, November 12, 2012 @ 7pm, The Brattle Theatre (Cambridge).

Discussion with the filmmaker following screening.


Several local film groups have joined together to host Tony Buba for a long overdue appearance in the Boston-area. Cinematic chronicler for the past 40 years of his hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania, Buba was recently the subject of a full retrospective at New York City’s Anthology Film Archives, which described the filmmaker as “One of the most singular, and egregiously overlooked, filmmakers in the U.S. A national treasure [and] the prime representative of the blue-collar, populist, politically committed yet outrageously entertaining American filmmaking movement that’s largely missing-in-action.”

Buba will screen Lightning Over Braddock, his first feature and the film that established him as an innovator of the “exploded documentary,” fusing social documentary, autobiography and whimsical fiction. The centerpiece of Buba’s oeuvre, Lightning showcases the filmmaker’s eccentric blend of political engagement, poetic self-reflexivity, goofy wit and an unsentimentally committed interest in the working class, in its exploration of both a dying city’s travails and the ongoing drama of Buba’s troubled relationship with a former subject and local street hustler named Sal Carulli. Winner of numerous awards, including Best Film at the Birmingham International Film Festival in England and a nomination as Best First Feature Film by the Independent Spirit Awards, Lightning was shown at Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, and over a dozen other international film festival, and was one of the first titles acquired by Zeitgeist Films. Alongside Lightning Over Braddock, Buba’s Brattle screening will feature two shorts from “The Braddock Chronicles,” a series spanning 15 years and made up of portraits and vignettes describing the life and death of a blue-collar town—and, by extension, industrial America.

To learn more about Tony Buba’s films visit:

Full Program for evening:
Betty’s Corner Cafe (1976, black and white, 16mm, 11 minutes)
Washing Walls With Mrs. G (1980, black and white, 16mm, 6 minutes)
Lightning Over Braddock (1988, black and white, 16mm, 80 minutes)

This event is curated by Rebecca Meyers