Tony Buba: In Person

Monday, 10/18, 7:00 PM

Monday, April 6, 7:30 PM

Tony Buba has been described as one of the most unique voices working in American independent filmmaking today. With humor, compassion, and a complete dedication to the working-class heroes of his hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, Buba has created a body of work which documents the rise and fall of a steel town with unblinking accuracy. Buba has made over thirty films exploring working-class issues in and around his hometown since 1974. After working on several feature films with John Rice and Tom Dubensky, Tom and John teamed with Tony Buba and Ray Henderson to produce the award-winning Struggles In Steel in 1996 and they have been collaborating ever since. Buba’s work has been showcased at Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and other film festivals and in one-person shows at The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Carnegie Museum of Art and more than 100 museums and universities and aired on PBS, Sundance, Starz and Bravo channels. His awards are many and include fellowships from the NEA, AFI, and the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations.

Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (1988)
Director: Tony Buba
Documentary, USA, 80 min.

In Lightning Over Braddock, Buba plays himself as a struggling director trying to make a feature with narcissistic conman Sal (subject of the short Sweet Sal), but never manages to leave Braddock, where factories keep closing despite the heroic efforts of local unions. With its mix of politically potent documentary portraiture and hilarious comic re-enactments, it’s an un-categorizable work of art that has had a vast, if underground, influence on the future of documentary, anticipating the work of everyone from Michael Moore to The Daily Show.

“The subjects of Tony Buba’s film are unaffected; a woman washing windows and recalling her immigration from Italy, a used furniture salesman, steelworkers eating at Betty’s Corner Cafe. Through Mr. Buba’s camera lens simple images like these have become historic records of a way of life that is slowly diminishing.” The New York Times