Much ink and footage has been spent psycho analyzing how baseball, football and stadiums hold a central place in American culture. The Last Season is able to cover a lot of ground without making big statements.

Shot, edited, written, and directed by newcomers Charles Cohen and Joseph Mathew, the 70 minute documentary captures the almost ritualistic reaction to the demise of Memorial Stadium. The film captures a steady stream of onlookers during the year and half that the wrecking ball swung, creating a time lapse view of a city wrestling with its blue collar past. Emotionally the Last Season avoids the melancholy quagmire that could come with a documentary about the demolition of a landmark.

Instead, the filmmakers constantly vary the mood and perspective with a cast of characters that include fans, ball players, demolition workers, politicians, neigh-borhood activists, journalists, a historian, an architect and a cab driver once famous for leading 50,000 fans to a rollicking boil.

In short, The Last Season is a cultural ethnography slyly told with fast edits and a diverse sound track, much of which came from local musicians. One moment The Last Season plays like a music video, the next it bristles with the grit of guerilla journalism. This hit and run documentary bypasses a narrator to make way for Baltimoreans to piece together an oral tradition one story at a time. All the while viewers feel like they are sitting off camera, sharing the filmmakers obvious joy of discovery.