|Early morning outside SVA|
Hello to Lu Lippol of the FLYWAY FILM FESTIVAL in Stockholm and Pepin Wisconsin. I told you I'd say hi when I got a minute-HI! (And keep me in the press loop and I'll post info here at Unseen)
Hello to Nina Ringer, one of the Tribeca volunteers. Thank you for the heads up on a bunch of films, I am delighted to have the information you threw my way.
I had been planning on writing tonight about how the films over the last few days were ultimately disappointing because they were so bland and unremarkable, and then things turned around and I get three wonderful films completely out of left field.
Of the five films today, three hopefully will get longer reviews after the festival coverage is done... right now I am so burnt I don't know where I am or who I was. I may have 2 days of at festival screenings to do (6 or 7 films) but I have 11 films on line to get through- plus the shorts. All kidding aside- from here on it it's all going to be capsules of what I see with any longer reviews coming after the festival.(I still have at least 2 reviews everyday through next Friday)
NORTHWEST is a killer crime story out of Denmark. Casper is a burglar who meets a man named Bjorn and soon finds he's on a downward spiral of crime. I don't want to say too much but let me just say Hubert of Flixist yelled at me for missing part of the film because I got waylaid by three people to and from the bathroom so I missed some good stuff. This one is a keeper.
BRIDEGROOM disappointed me. From a filmmaker like Linda Bloodworth Thomason, who created Designing Women, this film looked rather anemic. Yes it is heartfelt and the story about the complications the survivor of a gay couple faces when one dies is important, but the film is just unremarkable. Worse I felt manipulated
JIN is a film that must be seen on a big screen. The story of a young woman's flight from war into the wild is as beautiful a film as I have seen this year at Tribeca (give the cinematography all the awards now.) The problem with the film is two fold, first the film is extremely deliberately paced, which you can take to mean it's slow. Add to the fact there is little dialog for portions of the film and it seems slower. The other problem is this film will never work on anything other than the largest of screens. Characters are literally tiny figures in the landscape-there is a reason that our heroine wears a red head scarf, with out it we'd never see her. I liked it and I'm glad I saw it on a big screen but I never need see it again.
THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI is simply put the best film on Ali the man that I've seen. Focusing on the uphevals in his life (converting to Islam, refusing to fight in Viet Nam and Parkinsons) the film is a portrait of the man as a human being. He is no god, he is a man and we are so much better for it. The film will move you. One of the best of Tribeca and the year (Just don't look for the boxing, its not here). Both screening have sold out but still try to get a rush ticket or if all else fails wait for this to show up after the festival because it will.
HAUTE CUISINE is a small pleasure. Based on a true story of a woman who was hired to cook for the President of France, this is a charming film filled with pornographic foodie images (ie hunger inducing food shots.). Truth be told it's one of my favorite films of the festival (though far from the best). The problem with the film is that the story structure, which bounces between her now in Antarctica and then doesn't work. The drama is largely missing, there is very little tension just life in the trenches. That said it's still a blast to spend 90 minutes with these people and I will be getting it on DVD when the US release happens.
And now to bed since I have an early start....