Chicago Underground Film Festival

OPENING NIGHTFRIDAY AUGUST 18
7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

STRAIGHTMAN Ben Berkowitz

Feature. 16mm. 101:00. 2000. Chicago Premiere.

Straightman kicks ass…This is the film that “Clerks” should have been.” – Michael Galinsky, Insound.com”Straightman” is a comic exploration of the too-complicated difficulties of friendship and love between modern men. David is a wanna-be comedian, the manager of a small comedy club. A womanizer and a glutton, his only redeeming quality is that he’s a good friend to neighbors Jack and Max. Jack is a self-educated, blue-collar guy who prefers reading to working. His shy wit contrasts with David’s crudeness, yet he’s oddly unable to communicate with his girlfriend, Max. When she abruptly leaves him, Jack’s world is shattered. But David is there for him and the two move in together. David’s dream of orgiastic, bachelor-pad adventures is ruined when Jack confesses to David that he is gay. David thinks he can handle it as long as he can make fag jokes and belittle Jack’s friends. Jack doesn’t put up with David’s needling for long and learns the only way for him to be out and maintain both self-respect and respect from those around him is to stand up for himself.Shot on location in Chicago in a refreshingly direct, unfussy visual style, “Straightman” features fine, naturalistic performances that will remind you of people you know rather than contrived Hollywood “characters.” “Straightman” is the first feature film to be completed with a grant from the Chicago Underground Film Fund.”What kind of film did we use? I have no idea. Ask the camera guy. I just write, act, direct and sign the damn checks.” – Ben Berkowitz “Casting was for us more about a process of elimination. We met a lot of actors and it ultimately narrowed down to the ones we felt could handle spending several months in a little room with Berkowitz, a torture which is illegal in most countries that observe the Geneva Convention.” – Ben Redgrave

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