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Charles Lane, Nicole Alysia, Tom Alpern
Sidewalk Stories has all the elements of the great silent comedies: physical grace, perfect timing and sly social commentary. Most of all, it’s very, very funny. The difference: Sidewalk Stories wasn’t made in 1919, but 1989. And if you’ve wanted to see it since then, you’ve had very few opportunities.
Cited by Michel Hazanavicius as his key inspiration for the Oscar-winner The Artist, Sidewalk Stories deserves to be seen by everyone. It’s also an essential title of the New Black Cinema that deserves to take its place next to Killer of Sheep and Do the Right Thing.
Just like Chaplin’s The Kid, Sidewalk Stories tells the story of an unlikely father-daughter pairing. The lead (played by the film’s director, Charles Lane) is charged with the care of a toddler when her father is stabbed to death. Fearing he will be framed by the police for the murder, he flees the scene with the child. It’s no surprise that they have a unique closeness as the pair are real-life father and daughter.
Full of fantastic set pieces and social commentary, Sidewalk Stories doesn’t just pay tribute to silent comedy, but also adds a major new chapter to it.