Strongman

Within a few hours of meeting Stan “Stanless Steel” Pleskun, filmmaker Zachary Levy knew he wanted to make a documentary about the profes-sional strongman’s life. It wasn’t just that Levy had seen Pleskun perform a stunt that day at a New Jersey airport, where he kept two Cessna planes — one strapped to each of his arms — from lifting off through sheer physical strength. After visiting Pleskun at his home later that day, Levy knew he had found something big. “I knew literally that day, there was a real film here,” Levy says. “I remember leaving scared, because I knew the level of commitment it was going to take.”

To make Strongman, Levy followed Pleskun around for three years, documenting the strongman’s stunts — lifting three people with a single finger, bending pennies with his hands, lifting a 10,000-pound truck with his legs — as well as capturing deeply personal moments in Pleskun’s life — fighting with his family, kissing his girlfriend in a pizza parlor, trying — and failing — to obtain a truck for a stunt. It’s shot with a gritty, lo-fi realism without music or narration.

“You can make these kinds of films that revolve around a single event, like a competition,” Levy says. “But I didn’t want to graft it to any sort of structure.” 7 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. 14 Pews, 800 Aurora Street. For information, call 281‑888‑9677 or visit www.14pews.org. $5 to $10.
Sat., June 25, 7 p.m.; Sun., June 26, 5 p.m., 2011

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CAROLINE EVANS
Contact: CAROLINE EVANS