Sunday, May 31, 2015

Nightcap 5/31/15 Open Roads starts Thursday, Random thoughts and Randi's links

Open Roads, the Lincoln Center's annual look at New Italian cinema starts Thursday As in the last few years there are some real gems here, not to mention a few films that may not be the be all and end all, but really damn interesting.

Our coverage will begin on Wednesday and it’s going to be a bit smaller than in years past. As we head into the festival I have five films already written up, I have another waiting to be watched and few more possibilities hanging around the edges (I’m waiting for someone to make a decision about my getting access to the films.) The reson our coverage is smaller is that the fall out from Tribeca and some projects that occurred right after simply ate up too much of my time.

As I’ve learned in years past pretty much anything that screens as part of the festival is worth seeing. I’ll try any film they run because I’ve never really run across a truly bad film. Yes there have been some I haven’t liked but none I hated to the point of wonder why they were running it.

Of the few that I’ve seen I recommend N-CAPACE a highly original look at loss and growing up. I also liked ICE FOREST a thriller set in the Alps which fels like a Hollywood production, to the point I was reacsting it in my head with American actors. There are others but that should get you started.

My advice is pick something and go. For a list of films, more information and tickets go here.
The problem with some of the smaller distributors is that despite their best effort to change things up- or seem to youstill know going into a film what the film is going to be

For example Drafthouse is releasing a film called THE INVITATION. They are marketing it as a psychological drama where they want you to think that the main character is imagining all of the danger he sees, but it’s coming from a releasing house that specializes in exploitation films, especially horror. The result was watching the film I knew instantly who the bad guys were and that the danger was real and much worse than anyone imagined.

(A brief capsule review will appear in our BAMcinema Fest piece and a full review is to appear next February or March when the film hits theaters)
Once again I’m pondering whether or not one should give a documentary a pass if it’s on an important subject but it bobbles how it tells the story. The immediate reason for the pondering is Amy Berg’s latest film PROPHET’S PREY which I saw at a press screening for BAMcinema Fest. The question is not whether it’s a good film or a bad film, it’s a good film, rather it’s a question of how much I should take the film to task for its presentation, which isn’t as clear as it could and should be. The film sits on this fine line where I’m willing to accept its flaws and wanting to shake it for not being better

I have a while before I can post the still being written review-its to be timed with the regular theatrical release- but I was wondering where do you put the line that separates the point at which you accept a film without question and then get annoyed because it could have been better.
The next couple weeks I going to be mostly festival coverage. After some book reviews the next two says we’ll have the aforementioned Open Roads coverage. This will lead right into Human Rights Watch coverage next week. Additionally look for a bunch of new release coverage via new and repost reviews.
And now Randi's links

The graphic tale of the MAD MAXROAD FURY FX
Why the loss of the old Penn Station saved much of the rest of NYC
From threats of closing on opening night to the Tony- The story of THE WIZ
In space no one can hear your office supplies
Which Python are you?
God Bless America
Talking to George Clinton

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