Through the support of the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research, the Cinematheque is proud to welcome veteran filmmaker and teacher Tony Buba on September 22-23. Buba has for 50 years been the resident cinematic chronicler of the once mighty steeltown, Braddock, PA. After making a series of short documentaries and featurettes about Braddock and its denizens, Buba emerged in 1989 with Lightning Over Braddock, a brilliantly creative feature-length essay film. Mixing humor, music, and a great deal of heart, Buba’s magnum opus has been compared to the work of Errol Morris and Michael Moore, and earned the praise of Werner Herzog. Buba will join us in person to present Lightning Over Braddock and his latest short work, Mon Valley Trilogy. Plus,  a screening of the 1977 horror movie Martin, directed by George Romero, a fellow Pennsylvanian whose regular behind-the-scenes teams included sound recordist Tony Buba and his editor brother, the late Pasquale “Pat” Buba. These screenings are presented with the support of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research and the Center for Visual Cultures at UW Madison. 

  • Fri., Sep. 22 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

A once thriving community, Braddock, PA was one of the country’s largest producers of steel. After the first steel mill closings in the 1970s, filmmaker and Braddock resident Tony Buba began chronicling the decline of his hometown with a series of short documentaries, culminating with this wildly creative feature-length movie. Against a backdrop of shuttered businesses and crumbling homes, Buba attempts to complete a film project centered around the eccentric, combative, tough-talking, and frequently delusional Braddock denizen, Salvatore “Sweet Sal” Caru, who credits himself for Buba’s success. This screening will be preceded by Buba’s latest addition to his Braddock Chronicles, Mon Valley Trilogy (2023, 5 min.). After the program, Tony Buba will discuss his work and answer questions.

  • Sat., Sep. 23 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Made between his landmark zombie movies Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, horror master Romero’s modern-day take on vampire mythology stars a terrific John Amplas as Martin, a shy, sensitive young man who believes himself to be a vampire. Sent to live with his superstitious uncle in Braddock, Pennsylvania, Martin tries to fit in and stay out of trouble while continuing his bloodthirsty ways. Trouble arises when Martin falls for a lonely, depressed housewife (Elayne Nadeau). Atmospheric, suspenseful, and touching, Martin features several of Romero’s most brilliantly composed and edited set-pieces and was his personal favorite of all his films. After the screening, a discussion with Braddock resident Tony Buba, Martin’s sound recordist and a frequent Romero collaborator. (BR)