Saturday, April 29, 2017
Tribeca 2017 Day 10 NO MAN'S LAND, THE EYESLICER, THE EXCEPTION, WARNING THIS DRUG MAY KILL YOU and JULIAN SCHNABEL
I saw five films today and here is a brief report before I attempt long pieces:
JULIAN SCHNABEL:A PRIVATE PORTRAIT is a look at the artist, his life and work. Its not bad but it is much too loving a portrait of the man to really be interesting. That's understandable since Schnabel is one of the producers of the film so it doesn't really have anything to say that isn't rapturous about the man. That might have worked had the film really explained why he's such a big deal but even that isn't fully there. I like it but I can't say more than that.
WARNING THIS DRUG MAY KILL YOU is an HBO documentary that should have been better than it is. A very speedy and competent hour long look at opioid addiction in middle America the film hits all of the right buttons but never transcends the feeling that this is little more than a public service announcement. Apologies all around but Tribeca has a habit of programing films on the same subject every year and over the last seven or eight years there have been several that really kicked it to the curb and left you feeling exhausted at the end. While WARNING is moving I couldn't help but wonder why this film didn't do more.
THE EXCEPTION is exactly that, an old fashioned film that is ultimately really really good. The plot of the film has a Nazi captain tasked with guarding the the former Kaiser during his exile. Along the way he is asked to spy in the Kaiser, falls in love with a maid in the house and has to deal with the sudden appearance of Himmler on a secret mission. Its old school storytelling that spins out a tense little tale that is really satisfying. One of the unexpected delights of the Festival. (perhaps a longer is coming)
THE EYESLICER- Very strange, largely very good (the linking Max Headroom host is beyond awful) collection of short films. To say that the content was unexpected is an understatement. I want to see more of these episodes. (A longer review is coming)
NO MAN'S LAND is an on the ground look at the siege that occurred last year at Malheur Refuge in Oregon. The film is a mix of footage shot at the time with talking head interviews. The film walks us through what happened and makes us wonder what anyone was really hoping to get out of it since it kind of becomes clear at a certain point that what the protesters were looking for could never be. It also makes clear that how the actual stand off ended was inevitable given the course of events. I have to ponder this one since this s a film that quietly sneaks up and smacks you a couple hours later. (A longer review is coming)