Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nightcap 3/30/14 NYICFF is largely done (for me), more festival coverage & bumping the schedule

Chocko (with the hat) waits to get an autograph from Benjamin Renner director of Ernest and Celestine (Photo copyright NYICFF and is from their newsletter) 
Yesterday was my last day at the New York International Children's Film Festival and I'm already going through withdrawal.  This is the first of the big festivals of the year for me so  I always hate when it ends. (Well it may not end I may take my niece to see something next weekend, and a chance to see two more films outside the festival but that's another story)

Before I say anything else I want to shout out to the staff and volunteers who made it a glorious event. They rock. And I want to give a shout out to the young woman who was giving out booster seats at the big SVA theater yesterday, they need to pay you a lot of money- to the staff of NYICFF-hire her-she's wonderful.

The important thing beyond that is I had a blast. NYICFF gets better and better. Thank you to everyone who has anything to do with it I love you all.

Not to worry more stuff is coming- I have reviews of the weekend's films to write up and they'll be coming toward the end of the week.  I also have several hundred pictures to go through and get up.

Since I did see some films yesterday here are some quick impressions:

AUNT HILDA- is a beautifully animated film that will annoy the piss out of many adults. The film, about a genetically modified plant that takes over the world, would be fine if it didn't beat it's point of view into your head with literally almost every line of dialog. Its enough to make you want to join the other side. Parents I spoke to during the rest of the day didn't care for the droning, though the kids puzzled why I didn't like it.

I miscalculated with ANINA which was too far to get to in a short period of time between films. By all accounts its charming. A review will be coming either myself via other means or by a guest reviewer.

PATEMA INVERTED is a trippy film life after a gravity experiment goes horribly wrong leaving some people with a different sense of up and down. It's a film that should be seen big, it's constantly shifting POV messing with your head.  If I have any reservations its its final twist which made my head spin further.

The screening of JACK AND THE CUCKOO CLOCK HEART had one of the directors there- pictures to follow. A fairy tale whimsical story that's been told in novel form and as a concept album, the film has moments of great wonder. I'm not sure it all hangs together with bits of things not being explained enough and things occasionally turning WTF (Jack the Ripper appears on a train for no determinable reason other than allow Jack to meet Georges). Its a film I admire more than I like...however I fully expect this to have a huge huge cult following.

As I said full reviews at week's end.

Other NYICFF items:

Friend of Unseen Films Joe Bendel's review of GIOVANNI'S ISLAND can be found here.

More pictures from the NYC Premiere of the English  Ernest and Celestine can be found here.
NYICFF T-shirt toss pictures here
Pictures of co-director Stephane Berla doing a Q&A following the screening of Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart on 3/22 are here
I may have just punched my ticket to the looney bin. The short version of things is that not only has the spring festival season heated up, its exploded in an atomic explosion that’s throwing molten metal everywhere.

I am so stupid.

The short version of the story is that as Tribeca begins its pre-festival screenings for the press we at Unseen are going to try and shoe horn in films from two other festivals, the incredible Hot Docs in Canada and the equally great Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real. I wouldn’t try this perilous juggling act except that all the festivals have films that look positively wonderful and I want to have coverage of some of the films on Unseen.

From our stand point it means the next six weeks will reduce the Unseen staff to drooling piles of flesh. From your stand point it means that you are going to be buried in new films at an unbelievable rate at the end of April and the beginning of May. I know this will thrill those of you who love our new film and festival coverage. Those who like the older stuff or when we mix stiff up will have to wait until mid-May for the return to sanity.

Actually things are going to be so crazy that I’m bringing in extra help for a film or two.

There is tons of stuff coming so keep reading.

This week things have gone into flux. Originally I had a week of animated films scheduled to be the films of the day but things have gotten in the way and the week is getting bumped yet again (I promise the week will get up before it’s been a whole year of bouncing around the schedule- I think it’s going to be July or August.) In its place I’m putting in the remaining films of our New Directors New Film’s coverage and the final films in our New York International Children’s Film Festival.

I’d tell you what’s happening past this week except that the way things have gone the last few weeks I expect lots of changes between now and April 14 when our Tribeca coverage starts with some films playing at Tribeca that I've already seen.
As always we close  with some of Randi's Links
Lenny Henry's BAFTA Lecture
Paul Greengrass's David Lean Lecture
Full list of BAFTA talks
On Jodorowsky's Dune
Found- a lost Alan Bennett series

NYICFF founder Eric Beckman talks about Ernest and Celestine while a certain writer listens (Photo courtesy of Chocko) 

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