DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

 
THUNDER-SKY(director/writer: Alfred Eaker/Ross Eaker; cinematographers: James Mannan/J. Ross Eaker; editor: J. Ross Eaker; music: J. Ross Eaker/Jake Speed/Grant Colburn/Greg Brown; cast: Antonio Adams, Keith Banner, Bill Ross, Bob Heidi, Larry Higdon, Tamie Peel; Runtime: 62; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Keith Banner/Patrick Greathouse/James Mannan/Nat Ridge/Bill Ross; Eaker Productions; 2012)

"A pleasant indie small-budget documentary biopic on a colorful character of Indian blood, Raymond Thundersky, who had a zest for life and hope for the future."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

A pleasant indie small-budget documentary biopic on a colorful character of Indian blood, Raymond Thundersky, who had a zest for life and hope for the future. Raymond was a gentle giant who became a recognized figure in Cincinnati in the 1980s by hanging around construction sites that were demolishing buildings while dressed in a clown suit and a construction hardhat. But little was known about his private life, which gets adequately covered in the pic. Obsessed with drawing pictures of wrecking balls and buildings being razed, Raymond, the son of a Mohawk chief and an aristocratic Hungarian-American mother, suffered from a mild form of autism and was not very talkative but was able to best communicate his thoughts for a better world through his visionary unconventional art of the construction sites he visited.

Raymond Thunder-Sky died of cancer in 2004 at age 54. In 2009, it was discovered he left more than 2,000 drawings and social workers Bill Ross and Keith Banner thought that Raymond deserved to be remembered through his art and opened the nonprofit Thunder-Sky Inc. gallery in Cincy's Northside to archive his art and also be a showcase for other "unconventional" artists with links to Raymond.

In this short hour film writers/directors Alfred Eaker (" W the Movie "/""Jesus and Her Gospel of Yes"") and Ross Eaker do a good job with conventional film-making techniques in showing us what made Raymond tick, his rich sense of humor, his well-thought out strong anti-establishment feelings, and why he was so easy to like. Using talking heads and photographs of Raymond's art and animation, we get to know enough about the self-taught artist and why he could appeal to both construction workers and arty types, usually not a good match, and how his humble life is appealing to those under-the-radar artists who also deserve recognition for their contributions to society.

REVIEWED ON 9/9/2012       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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