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Train Coming 

Wednesday, Jul 5 2006
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If you're the type of person who sees death at every turn, climbing through the window with a slingshot or crouching in an alley with a ball-peen hammer, you’ll feel right at home watching the Australian film Look Both Ways. Directed by Sarah Watt, it follows a host of interconnected stories that deal with lives that are ending, have ended, or could very well end if, say, a train jumps the tracks or an SUV crosses against the red. These what-ifs figure prominently in the story line of the main character, Meryl, whose fertile, frightened mind imagines all sorts of horrors as she goes about her life (we get to see these horrors, too, thanks to bursts of animation from director Watt, a longtime creator of animated shorts). Despite her visions, Meryl seems fairly well adjusted, and she falls in love, but it's to a man riddled with cancer whose dad died a year ago, and the affair struggles vainly against the gloom. You'll likely watch with slack-jawed despair at your own mortality — at least until the end, when Watt backs down and offers us a photographic montage of hope. It lasts maybe five seconds.

The award-winning Look Both Ways screens at 2:30, 4:45, 7, and 9 p.m.

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Michael Leaverton

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