The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

$23.99

As Southern Gothic goes, Simon Callow’s The Ballad of the Sad Café is about as eerie as a Great Depression-era tragedy can be, rife with subconscious rage, unholy alliances, androgyny, and grotesque spectacle. Based on a Carson McCullers novella but adapted from a stage version written by Edward Albee, Ballad stars Vanessa Redgrave as Miss […]

As Southern Gothic goes, Simon Callow’s The Ballad of the Sad Café is about as eerie as a Great Depression-era tragedy can be, rife with subconscious rage, unholy alliances, androgyny, and grotesque spectacle. Based on a Carson McCullers novella but adapted from a stage version written by Edward Albee, Ballad stars Vanessa Redgrave as Miss Amelia, a singular force in her dusty, rural town worthy of a Walker Percy photo spread. Owner of the only general store in sight, medicine woman, and manufacturer of moonshine strong enough to numb the day laborers who collapse on her porch, Miss Amelia controls the pulse of her community. Things change with the arrival of a strange, hunchbacked dwarf (Cork Hubbert) who claims to be her cousin, but who ultimately sides with Amelia’s ex-husband (Keith Carradine) in a campaign to make her life a living hell. British character actor Callow’s ambition behind the camera proves a little overwrought, but he delivers a powerfully atmospheric, even nightmarish, drama. –Tom Keogh

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