Cinema: Street Sounds

HEAVY TRAFFIC

Directed and Written by RALPH BAKSHI

Michael is a 22-year-old cartoonist who still lives with his parents in a grim flat on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

His mother is a nightmare Yiddisher mama, a shrieking, swooping, loony harridan who plies her son with brimming trays full of food. Papa is a smalltime Italian hood who looks like an eggplant with a two-day growth of beard.

Mama and Papa war around him, but Michael stays safe from the battle by losing himself in his cartoons.

Such fragments of urban naturalism are littered all through Heavy Traffic.

Its novelty derives not from originality of insight but from...

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