Hey, did you know that the Tribeca Film Festival is supported by American Express?
I haven’t written much about the Tribeca Film Festival, which opens next Wednesday and runs through May 2nd. But since it’s upon us, here’s some info that might help those of you who are in the NYC area and festival inclined.
All the basics about tickets and locations can be found at www.tribecafilm.com/festival. They also have some events that can be livestreamed, and selected films that will be available on-demand (presumably only on certain cable systems). So even if you’re not in NYC, you might want to check it out.
On Friday, the NY Times had a big article about the festival, and included write-ups of some films of interest. Others to look out for are the numerous Alex Gibney docs, including his untitled rough cut Eliot Spitzer film, and his contribution to the multi-directed “Freakonomics.” “Joan Rivers A Piece of Work,” directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, was well-received at Sundance. Craig Teper’s “Vidal Sassoon The Movie” is described as making the case for hairstyling as an art form. This is screamingly obvious to every girl. And drag queen. Anyway, proceed below to read about the films highlighted by the NY Times:
World Narrative Film
DOG POUND Directed by Kim Chapiron, the film examines the institutionalized brutality at a youth correctional center in Montana through the experiences of three teenage inmates. The film, cast with actual boys in detention, shows why it is almost impossible to avoid brutalization in an insular, punitive culture with a vicious pecking order that fosters rage. The horrors culminate with a rape, an accidental killing of an inmate by a guard and a full-scale riot.
PAJU The rewarding but complicated South Korean film directed by Park Chan-ok, jumps back and forth in time over eight years as it follows a guilt-ridden young man on the lam. Hiding out in the bleak title city near the North Korean border, he becomes involved in radical protests against forced gentrification and has complicated relationships with two sisters, one of whom disappears.
SNAP This Irish film directed by Carmel Winters, has a ferocious performance by Aisling O’Sullivan as the mother of a 15-year-old son who abducts a toddler and holds him captive. The movie unfolds as a mystery that begins with the mother, who has become a social pariah, telling her story to a documentary film crew.
WHEN WE LEAVE Written and directed Feo Aladag, the German film tells the harrowing story of an abused Turkish wife (Sibel Kekilli), who flees Istanbul with her 5-year-old son to stay with her family in Berlin. But in her father’s house the same patriarchal rules apply. When she refuses to return to Turkey, her family rejects her, and she is forced to find refuge in a safe house. There is worse to come.
THE WHITE MEADOWS Filmed on the salt formations of Lake Urmia in Iran, the mystical, allegorical movie filmed in shades of white, follows an itinerant mariner who rows from island to island as he listens to people’s secret sorrows and collects their tears in glass jars. Their woes metaphorically (but obliquely) parallel oppressive conditions in Iran. Written and directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, “The White Meadows” is the competition’s most poetic film.
WILLIAM VINCENT Set in New York, the film tracks an solitary pickpocket (James Franco) who takes a job as courier for a drug dealer (Josh Lucas) and has an enigmatic flirtation with his girlfriend (Julianne Nicholson). Written and directed by Jay Anania, this nearly plotless poetic noir compares its characters to glowingly photographed exotic creatures in the natural world.
THE ARBOR Clio Barnard examines the unhappy life of the British playwright Andrea Dunbar, who died at 29 in 1990, and her relationship with her troubled daughter Lorraine. “The Arbor” is the nickname for the blighted housing complex in northern England where Ms. Dunbar grew up and where her plays were set. Audio interviews with Dunbar’s family and neighbors are re-enacted by an array of excellent character actors.
SONS OF PERDITION The sad documentary by Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten is a nightmarish real-life answer to the HBO series “Big Love.” Looking at the struggle to fit into society by teenagers who fled a fundamentalist Mormon sect, the FLDS Church in Colorado City, Ariz., led by the notorious Warren S. Jeffs, a polygamous self-appointed prophet now in prison for rape, the film shows young men trying to recover from their indoctrination into an insular subculture of forced marriages, mind control and ritual humiliation.
THE WOODMANS The parents and friends of Francesca Woodman, the posthumously famous photographer who committed suicide in 1981 when she was 22, remember her in C. Scott Willis’s documentary. Because the parents, Betty and George Woodman, are also nationally known artists, the film touches on unhealed family wounds: most important, professional jealousy.