Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tribeca Day Four Capsules: SHADOW WORLD, BURDEN, BAD RAP, JEREMIAH TOWER, ENLIGHTEN US and giant rabbits

It was a busy day at Tribeca. I'm going to once more give capsule reviews of five of the six films I saw today (I can't talk about the Spock doc until tomorrow night). I'll be writing longer reviews of some of the films over the next few days. There was just a long enough break between films to run across the street to see the giant inflatable rabbits at Brookfield Place

SHADOW WORLD is about how war is now being run purely for profit. An occasionally troubling look at the way things are being done now. The film names names in the corruption and it will anger you. Unfortunately the film seems to be much too literate for its own good and it assumes you have background on some of the scandals mentioned. I'm mixed on the film but I want to see the film again before I write a long review in order to nail down some details.

BAD RAP is about several Asian rappers trying to make their way in the entertainment industry. Not quite my cup f tea, I liked it none the less, finding it gets better as it goes on and we really get a better handle on the rappers themselves.

JEREMIAH TOWER: THE LAST MAGNIFICENT is is a portrait of the legendary chef who was the guiding force behind the rise of the new American cuisine and the legendary Stars restaurant in San Francisco. For the most part this is a great look at a truly unique individual. The problem with the film comes in the final third as the film jerks around about why Stars closed which becomes this odd double and tripling back to give reasons as to what happened. Its the cinematic equivalent to having parsley stuck in your teeth after a great meal. It doesn't make it any less great a meal, it's just annoying.

ENLIGHTEN US:THE RISE AND FALL OF JAMES ARTHUR RAY is a surprisingly good look at the self help guru who rose thanks to appearances on Oprah, but who lost it all when three people died on a week long retreat. Starting when Ray is getting out of prison, the film the film looks at where he was and where he's going. What makes the film absolutely fascinating is that the film isn't clear as to where it stands on Ray, at times painting him as a nice guy and at others as a bit of a jerk. A must see for anyone who doesn't want easy answers.

BURDEN is a great portrait of artist Chris Burden who gained infamy by being shot as piece of art. The film is wonderful overview of Burden's life and career that explores his early confrontational style and how that all changed once he set up his big shop in California. If you only know his early work the film will surprise the hell out of you as you discover how good an artist he really was and why he did what he did. I was enthralled once we got past the performance pieces. Interestingly there were lots of walk outs in the early part of the film as if people thought it was all confrontation. You have to stay past the craziness since that isn't what the film or the artist is really about. One of the best surprises at Tribeca. (I should mention that the film is even more interesting if you see THE FAMILY FANG since Burden is mentioned in the film and his performance pieces are clear influences on the elder Fangs)

Longer reviews hopefully will becoming now that the screenings calm down a bit for me.

For those who want to see pictures of the rabbits at brookfield place pictures can be found here.

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