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dir. Various, 1989/1990
100 mins. USA.
In English.

Somewhere deep within all of us, there's a town as American as apple pie - a place where a ginger-headed princox and his next door neighbor's daughter might share a malt fizz at the corner medicine shop, where a weathered jalopy still bolts down the street quicker than the new automobiles from Korea or Japan. A lifetime away from the time a certain weekly TV program helpfully venn-diagrammed America's favorite happy fool with the garish intrigue of David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS, there was RETOURNEMENT A RIVERDELL: a foreign film in English, assembled by elite power structures to emboss postwar nostalgia in magnetic tape, kicking around the loneliest late-night airwaves of television before a slow death (and shameful rebirth) on VHS under a different name.

The film offers a glimpse into the disappointments of growing up that can be called Lacanian: Archie comes home to find Riverdell has changed, but not nearly enough. As Reggie has assumes the position of a cutthroat AMERICAN PSYCHO-era businessman, Archie wrestles with his own suburban privilege a priori the evaporating mirage of his childhood home... Within himself he finds not just the zeitgeist of an era, but a deeper contraction of morals - having spent his entire adult life avoiding that old predicament with Betty and Veronica.

RETOURNEMENT is not entirely unlike Laurence Kasdan's THE BIG CHILL: in essence, a documentary of curdled Boomer expectations smuggled like candy contraband into a TV dinner narrative template. When Jughead and his idiot son bob their way through a New Jack Swing cover of "Honey Honey" in front of pretty much everybody in town, the real lesson of RETOURNAMENT A RIVERDELL reveals itself thus: time's passage makes fools of us all.


124 South 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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