Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nightcap 1/25/15-Upcoming festivals, Unseen plans, Hedwig on Broadway and Randi's links

pondering the future
This was a strangely quiet week at the Unseen Films owing to a couple of things, chiefly my ending up sick for most of the week. Things were so bad that I didn't see many movies.

On the plus side New Directors New Films have announced 9 titles. Hopefully they will be better than last year which disappointed me with what I saw - though catching up with the ones I missed was a delight with BABADOOK and GIRLS WALKS HOME ALONE making me regretwhat I missed.

Do check out the BAM website. They have two series coming one on John Carpenter which includes his appearance for a talk and screenings and their annual Kids Film Fest.  Mondo and I are going to the Carpenter talk together and Hubert is going with a friend. (we also should be dropping some pieces on Carpenter's films) I'll be at the Kids fest for several screening this year on both days so look for reports. (more on both series next weekend)

The Films for the New York International Children's Film Festival are on sale to members. The schedule and film list is here. Between new stuff and reposts we'll get you reports on most of it. I think the only things we'll be missing is some of the shorts collections and the Tinker Bell movie.

Promised access to Sundance and Slamdance titles has not materialized as of this writing. I'm still hoping to pull stuff together but I don't know. If you want Sundance/Slamdance coverage try Joe Bendel's blog JB Spins since he is there in the thick of things.
As far as Unseen itself is concerned this week we'll finish up the New York Jewish Film Festival coverage. I know its not the best known festival but the choices are great. I do hope that you managed to see something- though to be honest many screenings sold out so my desire to fill in what I missed was cut short.

I have caught up with a whole bunch of recent films and they will be coming down the road. While I know we tend to get more readers with new titles, some of what I've seen has been on the last legs of theatrical runs so my telling you to see something will not help the box office.

Actually the site is programmed into May. Three weeks are dropped out  for Tribeca but otherwise we're set until the week after it ends barring some art for the posts.. Of course things will change since more is coming along but for now you basically wouldn't know if I went to Tahiti until May.

What I have coming is a mixed bag of delights- more shorts, lots of New Releases. I have stuff already set for Film Comment Selects.  A week of newer animated films including the Oscar nominated PRINCESS KAGUYA which is a cinematic work of art of the highest order. All of the Dr Kildare films for the start of March, more Bowery Boys in May, the latest Cinerama releases from Flicker Alley as well. Basically tons of stuff some of it you'll recognize and some of it you won't.
I saw HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH on Broadway Thursday.

John Cameron Mitchell who originated the role and authored the book returned to the show for the first time in 15 years or so.

It was both marvelous and a tad unsettling.

The show about a transgendered woman trying to find her place in the shadow of the super star she nurtured is as always a fantastic piece. Mirchell and his co-creator Stephen Trask created a show for the ages and the greatness is on view on Broadway.

The sense of being unsettled comes from realizing that on Broadway the pain of Hedwig's life is eased. Seeing Hedwig playing the big room takes away from the tragedy of her life. There is less sadness because she's on Broadway. To see her in this big room, with an audience who loves her and cheers her when she takes the stage you realize she is no longer the outsider- she is a goddess. She is no longer what Mitchell and Trask wrote, and the thing we fell in love with two decades before-the outsider who like us, will never win- Hedwig has won and won big.

On Broadway much of the pain of the piece is gone- Hedwig has triumphed- even in losing she has won

While I love that Hedwig has finally found the love she so desperately deserved, I am pained that the play is ill served. It must be played in small places, in dive bars and rec rooms- there at least the pain of the outsider can truly be felt.

Hedwig on Broadway is not about the show as written but something else entirely- its become too big with Tommy on a pedestal and the biggest loss- there is no melding of Tommy and Hedwig as we saw back at the Jane Street Theater so many years ago.

Don't get me wrong, the show as we see on Broadway is glorious and my heart soars at the thought of her getting standing ovations every night but I still miss the intimacy of the small scale production- I still miss feeling, really feeling her pain instead of seeing it dressed up in sequins and lighting effects.

With luck I will see her before she packs up and heads back to the trailer park- one can never see the a fighter such as Hedwig too much.
And now we conclude with Randi's links.

24 pieces of advice from Werner Herzog
Horror film director up sets island inhabitants
The Hobbit as one 4 hour film
Final Image Oscar Montage
10 movies ruined by bad endings
Trapped in development hell
Skeleton Key to the Conspiracy: The Eriksson Twins
Heritage Auctions to sell Laika models
10 Forgotten Superhero movies
Why BIRDMAN is a Muppet movie

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