Come to a Point Like an Ice-Cream Cone | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Come to a Point Like an Ice-Cream Cone 

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Heather McAdams's latest manic, pranksterish effort takes a sympathetic peek at circus freaks: the title comes from a sideshow barker's taunting description of a pinhead's conical skull. Besides scenes she filmed in Paris and Saint Louis, McAdams includes found amateur footage--glimpses of freak acts rescued from quick pans of carnival midways. She also reproduces a Florida newspaper clipping condemning a new law against exhibiting human deformity for profit because it would hurt the "hireableness" of one Norbert the Dwarf. As a cartoonist McAdams often brings her geeky sensibility and gawky self-image into her work, and she does the same here. In a risky gesture of solidarity with her subjects, she makes a grotesque cameo wearing a bridal veil and chimplike false teeth. Also on the bill are stray gems from her found-footage collection, including a Sugar Pops TV commercial in which a whip-wielding cowboy disciplines corn on the stalk, a feverish trailer for The Student Nurses, and a vintage Nat King Cole rendition of "Is You or Is You Ain't My Baby?" McAdams's husband, who composed the sound track, will perform before the screening with his band Chris Ligon and the Problems. Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Saturday, 8:00, 384-5533.

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