DVDs

What begins as a film following two junior high basketball phenoms with aspirations for the NBA becomes, over five years of filming, 'Hoop Dreams,' the classic depicting the collision of the American dream and the reality of life on the streets of Chicago

DVDs

Hoop Dreams

Criterion, $29.95

What begins as a film following two junior high basketball phenoms with aspirations for the NBA becomes, over five years of filming, Hoop Dreams, the classic depicting the collision of the American dream and the reality of life on the streets of Chicago. Widely hailed as the best film of 1994, it was scandalously snubbed by the Academy except for a Best Film Editing nomination (a feat for a movie clocking in at three hours). Filmmakers Peter Gilbert, Frederick Marx, and Steve James offer more than just a mere snapshot of reality; they capture something more elusively macro and truly American than what has come to define "reality" entertainment. This perseverance makes their commentary about three white men attempting to capture on video the inner thoughts of two promising but flawed black youths an illuminating addition. Even better are the subjects' comments and insight more than 10 years after the fact and seeing how that insight informs their adult lives. Painfully absent is a "Where Are They Now" featurette, replaced by a Washington Post article included in the 40-page booklet that does little more than whet the appetite for a proper sequel already in the works.

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