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Detroit Free Press

Chilly Filming
by David Lyman (Detroit Free Press - September 13, 1996)

The actors were freezing, but the bees had a heyday. Thursday's cool snap was a rude surprise for the cast and crew of The Polish Wedding, [sic] now midway through a 33-day filming schedule on the streets of Hamtramck.

With temperatures no higher than 72, they huddled close to one another for warmth as director-writer Theresa Connelly giuded nearly 250 extras through a recreation of St. Florian Catholic Church's annual Strawberry Festival and Procession of the Virgin that she recalled from her own youth growing up on Hamtramck's Wyandotte Avenue.

While St. Florian's parishioners battled the legions of bees swarming around the strawberry pies and filling the booths that crowded Florian Street, extras and the movie's principal actors - Claire Danes (television's My So-Called Life), Lena Olin (Mr. Jones) and Gabriel Byrne (Little Women) - performed take after take of the movie's central scene, in which the 15-year-old girl (Danes) at the center of the procession is revealed to be pregnant, much to the horror of the parade celebrants.

The independent production is scheduled to be released to movie theaters next year by Fox/Searchlight films.

© 1996, Detroit Free Press