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Week of December 1, 2004

McElwee Retrospective Ross McElwee. (unrated) Director/writer/editor, onscreen talent and voiceover narrator Ross McElwee anchors his feature-length documentaries in his North Carolinian roots, using autobiographical events as catalysts to explore, often ironically , sociopolitical issues past and present. In Six O'Clock News, for instance, McElwee rails at the local news' penchant for disaster and crime reporting while traveling to a friend's home hit by Hurricane Hugo. In the mind-numbing Sherman's March (over two and a half hours), he connects diverse topics from Civil War General Sherman's scorched-earth drive to nuclear threat to Southern women. Time Indefinite follows his meandering path to marriage, cajoled by a surplus of unsolicited advice. Capturing many striking public and private images, with a casual, associative approach, McElwee also indulges in excessive home-movie moments and settles too often for the obvious. McElwee will conduct a filmmaking workshop at Webster University on Saturday, December 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. Sherman's March will screen at 5 p.m. and Time Indefinite at 8 p.m. at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Sunday, December 5, Bright Leaves will screen at 7 p.m., followed by Six O'Clock News at 9:30 p.m. at Webster University. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)

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