Radiation | Chicago Reader

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It's hard to keep in mind that this poignantly unresolved 1998 feature is the product of craft; part of its gentle documentary style is to use real people to portray versions of themselves. Unai (Unai Fresnedo) is a burnt-out tour manager who ushers American independent bands through Spain. When Come cancels a tour he's planned, he persuades the poet who was going to open for the band to go on the road with him alone. His thoughtful yet spontaneous-sounding voice-overs—observations about the deterioration of his business and emotional state—set the tone of the economical narrative, whose events, even when they come close to melodrama, seem less contrived than inevitable. Expressive scenery in Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao and the score by Andy Diagram and Richard Harrison (Spaceheads) provide context for our emotions without manipulating them. This is the second film by writer-directors Suki Stetson Hawley, who also edited, and Michael Galinsky, who was also director of photography; their first was Half-Cocked (1994).

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