The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 7 - 14, 2000

[Boston Film Festival]

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Running on the Sun

Some think a marathon is a walk in the park. Yes, these people are crazy. And this documentary about Badwater, a 135-mile summertime ultra-marathon through Death Valley, is filled with them. What with the opening shots of training, the mid-film shots of vomiting and oozing, blistering feet, and the concluding shots of collapsing, tearing, and retching, this movie is not for the fainthearted. It's also not for those with ADD. "I feel like I've done about a bazillion crunches," groans a beefy Marine midway through the race. And you may feel you've been there from crunch #1, thanks to the film's shoddily edited, painfully thorough blow-by-blow. Produced and directed by Mel Stuart, Running has elements of comedy (a woman trains for the race by dragging a tire while she runs), tragedy (an amputee has to drop out after 90 miles because of blisters on his stump), drama (the heartwarming moment when a double amputee hobbles across the finish line), and horror (close-ups of feet, replete with cracked toes, spurting blisters, and toenails falling off). But mostly, it's just a plain ol' low-budget bore once the novelty of the entertaining story runs out -- and the gushy music amps up. Screens tonight at 6:30 and 9 p.m.

--Nina Willdorf

Film Festival Feature Films

Shadow of the Vampire | Songcatcher | Venus Beauty Institute | What's Cooking? | The Broken Hearts Club | Envy | Goya in Bordeaux | Human Resources | Skipped Parts | Amargosa | Henry Hill | Relative Values | The Rising Place | The Contender | Pitch People | Roof to Roof | Four Dogs Playing Poker | Reckless Indifference | Requiem for a Dream | Shadow Magic | About Adam | Charming Billy | Enemies of Laughter | Into the Arms of Strangers | Running on the Sun | A Trial in Prague | Harry, He's Here to Help | A Man is Mostly Water | Seven Girlfriends

Also, Boston Film Festival short films

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