Monday, November 5, 2007

DVD Buddy

Buddy: The Rise and fall of America’s Most Notorious Mayor (Laurel Hill, $24.95, 90 minutes) Cherry Arnold’ s well-drawn and highly insightful look at the life and times of our own Vincent “Buddy” Cianci is deceptively sharp, and the welcome documentary that unfolds without any noticeable directorial agenda. It’s also a surprisingly wistful look into the captivatingly contradictory public servant, showing a plethora of characteristics that defined his double-ended Mayoral run—part dreamer, part bully, part overachiever, part con man, part used car salesman, part urban pioneer, part old school pol—and the film (which never gets truly inside Cianci) nevertheless demonstrates that Cianci’s striking combo of guile, arrogance and instinct is something the public and private man was consciously complicit to. Arnold’s choices of talking heads are all on the money, and the doc gets to the heart of much of what is specific to both Providence and Rhode Island, while drawing a singularly effecting portrait of the man who could and would be King.

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