Monday, November 17, 2014


Yesterday was a long day at DOC NYC that had me visiting all three of the festivals locations. I saw two and a half films and interacted with some good people and some bad people.

First up was a trip to Chelea Bow Tie where I was joined by Mr C for a screening of the new film HARDY on boxer Heather “The Heat” Hardy as she tries to make her way in the realm of professional boxing.

Before the film promoter and HARDY executive producer Lou DiBella introduced the film

The film is a look at Hardy as she tries to finish out he rookie contract in such a way that she can get a long term contract with Lou DiBella. She needs to win her final two fights. We watch Hardy as she goes through life, caring for her daughter, trying to make ends meet and training. It’s a very good look at a young woman who is trying to make her way in the world .

While its a good film I do have genuine reservations with it. First the films time line is jumbled. We see the Hardy training and boxing and then we’re thrust into the devastation that is Hurricane Sandy. The trouble is the events of the film take place six months or more after Sandy (Director --- came upon Hardy when she was investigating boxers in the wake of Sandy). The film also plays with the time line in other ways that doesn’t make the things flow smoothly. And that’s another problem with the film, one that’s no one’s fault except the money’s, in that the filming was not continuous. Things were filmed when either big events happened or when a camera crew could be grabbed. The result is that you can feel things are missing.

On the other hand the film is really good portrait of the drive needed to climb through the ranks as a boxer, especially a female boxer, which in the eyes of many is still considered something of a gimmick or novelty. Its neither as this film makes clear.

After the film director Natasha Verma, Hardy and executive DiBella did a Q&A. The Q&A can be found here-

What I found interesting is that DiBella said that he gave the film the fight footage of Hardy because he liked the film and because he thought it would help promote his fighter. Had he said no I’m guessing the film would have collapsed.

Its also interesting that between the film and the Q&A you really realize how important promotion is when it comes to rising through the ranks. You need good PR people.

After the film MrC and I went to Boston Market across from the theater where we ran into boxing analyst Steve Farhood from DiBella’s boxing shows and Showtime. (My apologies for getting flabbergasted and calling you the Boxing Guy)
Mary Dore introduces her film SHE'S BEAUTIFUL....

The second film was at SVA and that was SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY.

I’ve reviewed the film already (that can be found here) but it if you don’t want to read that know it’s a deeply moving film that had the audience being moved to cheer, applaud and cry all through the film. Seeing it in a theater was a magical experience. I wish I had been able to stay for the Q&A but I had to get to the IFC Center for KASAMAYAKI.
Mary Dore points out people  in the audience

I hesitate to mention the screening of KASAMAYAKI but in fairness I will.

This was not a magical experience.

From a bit of confusion outside from the theater as the lines of the film and another crisscrossed, to the loud guy behind me on line who proceeded to tell everyone the twist of every film currently playing-going so far as to tell one of his “friends” not to read Gone Girl or any book because the movies tell you the story faster (though not as fast as this nimrod who wrecked it in 15 seconds).

Inside the film started about 25 minutes late. I understand there were projection problems but someone really should have said something. I had to meet someone so I could hand off tickets for a 7PM screening and had I known there was going to be a delay I could have made arrangements- as a result I had to leave the screening of KASAMAYAKI half way through in order to meet my friends in a timely manner. (any delays over 10 minutes should be announced to the audience-even if it’s to simply say we don’t know when it’s going to start)

KASAMAYAKI has director Yuki Kokubo going home to see her parents. While she was born in Japan she has lived in New York Most of her life. Her mother returned to Japan when she was 12 and her father when she was 16. Over the intervening years her contact with them diminished. However in the wake of the Fukishima disaster she returned to Japan to spend time with the parents she barely knows.
Yuki Kokubo introduces her film

The film is a series of slices of life as Kokubo observes and interviews her parents. It’s a kind of zen meditation on a family.

What I saw of the film was good. Sadly just as the film was getting more interesting with past strife in the family being revealed I had to leave, Somewhere along the line I want to see how it all plays out.

However with the need to drop tickets I headed off after about 45 or 50 minutes.

It was a good day with some great movies.

(A special thank you to Mr C for the photos and video from the HARDY screening.)

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