Thursday, April 14, 2016

Steve's Day One at The Tribeca Film Festival 2016

Unseen Films contributor, action superstar and all around great guy Bully The Little Stuffed Bull was hanging out at Tribeca today 
Its been a long day at the Tribeca Film Festival and beyond and I'm going to be brief tonight. After 4 films, hanging with Nathanael Hood, Randi, John, Bully and Lesley Coffin, and some personal errands I'm exhausted. Hopefully all I'll be meeting more friends tomorrow.

I was texting like mad with Ariela who will be reporting in on two films plus two of the Tribeca Talks. Her reports will be coming soon. She has a lot to say and as soon as she gets it down I'll get it up.

As far as the films I saw today go-

I can't say anything about MAURIZIO CATTELAN until the film World Premiere's on the 24th but if you want to know why it's the only one of today's films getting a full review buy a ticket.

FIRST MONDAY IN MAY opened the film festival last night and it huge disappointment. The film is nominally a document of how the Metropolitan Museum of Art put together  the show CHINA THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS which looked at Chinese art's influence on fashion. The reality is its a self congratulatory puff piece made by people connected to the Met full of vapid celebrities and unfocused ideas. When the film focuses on the show it's dynamite but the film wanders all over the place including spending way too much time with Anna Wintour of Vogue including her working out a seating plan for the banquet and bitches about her new offices. What is all this crap doing in the film? I'd love to see it all removed and the film cut differently so it doesn't play like a vanity piece destined to disappear off the face of the earth (despite Magnolia picking it up).

NATIONAL BIRD was half a disappointment and half a kick ass film. For me the first half of this film about the effects of drones in the US's current wars is a been there and done that tale of the damage making life and death decisions causes even far away. We've seen variations of this before and I tuned out. It wasn't until one of the interviewees goes to Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission and we meet victims of the drone war that the film springs fantastically alive. Here at last the film finds its footing and we are kicked in our asses. The trouble is it takes us almost an hour to get there. Oh what this film might have been had the film been focused from the start on what we in the second part.  Worth seeing if the subject interests you- just hang on tight until the second half.

Yes I know this played ESPN tonight and will get heavy rotation on the network's channels but I can't go to Tribeca without one ESPN film. The film follows the formation and brief reign of the Orlando Magic basketball team during its glorious early days when Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway lead the team on a fairy tale run in the 1990's. Its a wonderful film about how things seemed to fall together perfectly for the team before it kind of went sideways (the ending seems odd only because what happened was). I was roaring with laughter and smiling from ear to ear all through it. Another home run from 30 for 30.

And now bed. I have to be up at 530am again tomorrow since I have a whole bunch of films tomorrow. Expect lots of reports including pictures from the public screening of THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY.

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