Fleet Week 2007

May 30, 2007

For the past 23 years, New York City has hosted an annual event called Fleet Week, when attention is focused on the troops who serve at sea: the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Part tribute, part celebration and part recruiting extravaganza, the week begins when a flotilla of ships enters New York Harbor, some docking at Staten Island’s Stapleton Pier, others going to Pier 90 in Manhattan. Official, scheduled activities include military concerts and demonstrations, public tours of ships and aircraft, and participation in Memorial Day events around the city.

The aspect of the week that most New Yorkers most enjoy, however, is the sight of thousands of uniformed sailors and marines scrambling around town, trying to cram in every last sight (and drink, and sqeeze) before their ships depart.

On the town
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Passing the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Helicopter on the deck of the USS Wasp
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Tourists viewing helicopter
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Kid in the cockpit
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Sitting in helicopter
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Signal flags
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Former Miss Liberia, Patrice Juah, on board
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Flag hung inside the USS Wasp
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Marine and friend
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Sailor and family
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Walking away from the ship
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Navy Band Rhode Island Sound
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Navy Band Rhode Island Sound in Times Square
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Navy Band Guitarist
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Lead singer of Rhode Island Sound
Originally uploaded by annulla.

At the Armed Forces Recruiting Station
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Taking photos with a cell phone
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Grabbing a snack in Times Square
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Posing for a sketch artist
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Walking up Broadway
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At Columbus Circle
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Navy Band Northeast Performs at Times Square

The Navy’s Official Fleet Week Web site
20th Annual Fleet Week New York Ends
Commander Navy Region Midatlantic: Navy Band Northeast
Navy Band Northeast
Fort Hamilton Salutes USS Wasp During Fleet Week 2007

DanceAfrica at 30

May 28, 2007

In early 1977 the New York-based Chuck Davis Dance Company staged a remarkable performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Influenced by a recent trip to Nigeria, their show incorporated elements of both modern dance and African traditions.

The critics were captivated. New York Times noted that, “the dancers performed with spirit, good humor and the kind of exuberance with which the Davis company consistently manages to draw in its audience” conveying “the spirit as well as the steps of African dance.”

The success of the show at BAM inspired Davis to create a day-long celebration of music, dance and culture from and inspired by the nations of Africa. He called it DanceAfrica.

In the 30 years since that first performance, DanceAfrica has become an annual Memorial Day weekend tradition. Now a three-day festival, the event includes performances, classes and films as well as a sprawling outdoor African Village Bazaar where vendors from around the world fill the streets surrounding BAM with movement, music and color.

Baskets for sale
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Masks for sale
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Men examining African crafts
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Three old friends
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Dancers with son
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Men with jewelry & shades
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Woman Examining Rack of Dresses
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Man with red scarf
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Man with gold chain
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Originally uploaded by annulla.

Mother & daughter
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Boy selling t-shirt
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Originally uploaded by annulla.

Dancing in the street
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Woman shopping
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Man with flag
Originally uploaded by annulla.

BAM: 30 Years of DanceAfrica
Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble
NY Times: African Energy Celebrated Ebulliently and Symbolically
NY Times: Dance Review – African Pieces by Chuck Davis (02/27/77)
Wikipedia: DanceAfrica
Wikipedia: Brooklyn Academy of Music

Remembering in Bay Ridge

May 28, 2007

This is a side of Brooklyn you’ve never seen on television or in the movies. Here, in the southwestern corner of the borough, in the shadow of the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge, is a place bursting with patriotism and pride.

Today, in this location, there are no wiseguys, gangstas, hipsters or poseurs. No protestors or dissenters, either. Those who crowd the streets and the park have all come for what is known as “the longest-running continuous Memorial Day parade in the United States.”

For the 140th year, those who came to the Bay Ridge Memorial Day parade marched, watched, cheered and waved their flags. They listened to accounts of battles gone by, sacrifices made and lives lost. They wore their uniforms, patches, ribbons and medals, embraced old friends and, quietly, unashamedly wiped away their tears.

On this sunny day, a normally-busy section of the city that never sleeps stopped, stood at attention and remembered. And on Memorial Day in Bay Ridge, no “designer” label could ever equal the status of an ordinary Broooklynite clad in red, white and blue.

Good Fellas Barber Shop
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Kelly’s Tavern with bunting
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Couple paying respects
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Rolling Thunder motorcycle
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Rolling Thunder
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Quartet of Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Girl Scouts
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Group of Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Veterans & granddaughter
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Members of the American Legion
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Lady in a yellow suit
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Member of Rolling Thunder
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Originally uploaded by annulla.

Boy Scouts
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Friends in uniform
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Family group
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Scout & Mom
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Vet with helmet & flag
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Rolling Thunder pair
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Women with flags
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Courier-Life: Brooklyn celebrates Memorial Day ‘07
NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation: This Memorial Day Weekend
Bay Ridge Blog

Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe

May 27, 2007

A luncheon on the grass isn’t what it used to be.

Legend has it that in the mid-1800s, while watching bathers in the Seine, Edouard Manet was reminded of a painting he’d seen in the Louvre, Giorgione’s Concert Champêtre (Pastoral Symphony). He was inspired to reinterpret Giorgione’s work, which showed nude females serving clothed men a luncheon under the trees, and to give it a contemporary twist.

At the time, there was only one way young artist could achieve success: by participating in official, government-sanctioned exhibitions at the Académie des beaux-arts. At these shows, known as the Salons de Paris, conservative juries favored classical painting styles depicting biblical and mythological themes.

In 1863, when Manet submitted Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) — the painting Giorgione’s work had inspired — to the Salon’s selection committee, they refused to include it in the show. In fact, that year the committee turned away nearly every work that employed modern subjects or techniques.

The rejected artists’ protests and their claims of bias resulted in French Emperor Napoleon III deciding to allow their works — including Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe — to be shown in a separate exhibition called the Salon des Refusés.

When the Salon opened, Manet’s painting caused a public outcry. The critics were not offended by the nudity, but by the fact that the nudes had no supernatural or religious connotations; rather, they were shown as real people, modern, recognizable Parisians enjoying what appeared to be a bawdy, drunken picnic on the grass.

Of course, then as now, notoriety has its rewards. The rejection, outrage and resulting scandal not only helped cement Manet’s reputation and make him a hero to the avant-garde, it also brought together the group of young painters who created the Impressionist movement. 

Today I saw a group in Central Park enjoying a birthday luncheon on the grass. Unlike the women Manet’s painting, all of these New Yorkers remained fully dressed. But, just as their Parisian antecedents did, they lounged in the sunlight, nibbled on sweet treats and raised their goblets.

And, they had one thing that surely would have inspired jealousy among Giorgione and Manet’s models: a large, deluxe, insulated fiberglass cooler. After all, on a sunny afternoon, the only thing better than a luncheon on the grass is a luncheon that includes a properly chilled wine.

Fête Champêtre by Giorgione
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Le Djeuner sur l’Herbe by Monet
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Luncheon on the Grass in Central Park
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Picnics in Paintings
Artcyclopedia: Forbidden Visions
National Gallery of Australia: History of the Paris Salons
Musée du Louvre
Rossetti Archive: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s For a Venetian Pastoral
Musee d’Orsay: Le déjeuner sur l’herbe
The Web Museum: Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe
Wikipedia: The Luncheon on the Grass

Times Square Spring Block Party

May 27, 2007

In New York City, most street fairs, block parties and festivals are a mixture of greasy food, shoddy merchandise and bewildered tourists. 

Visitors go to these events expecting to get a taste of local color, and instead find themselves surrounded by vendors hawking plastic jewelry, counterfeit designer purses, funnel cakes, bedsheets, flimsy t-shirts and tube socks. In other words, an assortment of items they could find at their local carnival, dollar store and Wal-Mart.

If you go to a dozen street fairs in a dozen different neighborhoods, chances are you’ll run into the same vendors with the same merchandise over and over again.

The reason for the tawdry mediocrity? Most street fairs, festivals and block parties held here (there are hundreds every year) are run by three large production companies: Mardi Gras Festival Productions, Clearview Festival Productions and Mort and Ray.

According to librarian Marcus Banks, the companies make it “easier both for the sponsoring organizations and for the vendors, by navigating what turns out to be a formidable permit process … [and help the sponsors and vendors] … obtain the necessary individual state and city permits they need. [They] also sell the vendors booths in the fairs … and, if vendors buy a booth at more than one fair, they get a discount, which is why the same vendors appear in festival after festival.”

Cutting through governmental red tape and bureaucracy isn’t a bad thing. However, these firms lack any incentive to include local merchants and craftsmen or diversify the types of vendors at the fairs. The result is aggravating to New Yorkers and confusing to tourists who show up at something called a “Harvest Festival” anticipating displays of fresh baked goods and ripe produce, not knockoff Dora the Explorer backpacks and tube socks.

There are, of course, exceptions to the bland homogeneity. The city still hosts fairs and festivals put on by community and cultural groups that want to celebrate their neighborhood’s individuality, character and, of course, cuisine. Those events, while harder to find each year, are always worth a special trip.

Summer is the prime time for street fairs and festivals, and today I stumbled across the first of the season. And so, since this is the only Mardi Gras/Clearview/Mort and Ray event I plan to attend this year, here is the Times Square Spring Block Party (including a picture of my favorite vendor).   

Barrier across 47th Street
Originally uploaded by annulla.

New York City Souvenirs – Unbelievable Low Prices!!
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Underwear Vendor
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Jewelry Any Item $2 & Up
Originally uploaded by annulla.

T-shirt vendor
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Toys & Knockoff Purses
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Shish-Ka-Bobs & Corn Dogs
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Times Square Psychic
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Sausage & Corn Dogs
Originally uploaded by annulla.

iPod Accessory Sale!
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Tube sock vendors
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Knock-off purses
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Tourists with shopping bags
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Mom & dad’s assistant vendor
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Gothamist: NYC Street Fairs are “Generic”
Gotham Gazette: Block Parties, Street Fairs, Street Festivals
Center for an Urban Future: Rethinking New York’s Street Fairs
Mardi Gras Festival Productions
Clearview Festival Productions
Mort and Ray

AIDS Walk New York 2007

May 20, 2007

AIDS Walk New York is the world’s largest AIDS fund raiser. Since 1986, this annual event has raised more than $90 million for research, treatment and support services.

This year I couldn’t participate as a walker, so I agreed to work as a sign-in volunteer. I reported to Central Park at 6:45 a.m. and spent the morning welcoming and signing in walkers, registering people who decided to join at the last minute, handling forms and gathering donations.

A substantial number of those who participated in the walk did so as members of teams (a team can be as small as two). Most teams are comprised of people who represent businesses, schools, religious affiliations or professional organizations, but many are groups of friends and family members who walk in memory of someone lost to AIDS.

Despite the intermittent rain, about 47,000 people walked the 10 kilometer route (a few collapsed just after crossing the finish line) and they raised a record breaking, astonishing total of $6,857,527.

Volunteer in sign-in tent
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Three volunteers
Originally uploaded by annulla.

A volunteer
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Volunteers at work
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Two volunteers (one unofficial)
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Tie-dyed team
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Team Sikhs in America
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Team HAF: Tu Bienestar, Nuestra Mision
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Team Maria Davis: Mad Soul Runners Can’t Be Silenced
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Family team
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Team Latin Life Savers
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Team Sheryl
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Team Resurrect Auto Club
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Team In Loving Memory of Flor Zevallos
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Team P.S. 158 – Grades 3, 4, 5
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Team James Curley 1964 – 2005
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Team Vanegas Family
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Vivir La Vida: Anna Maria Colon Dec 3, 1944 – March 6, 1988
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Nellie’s Team February 11, 1959 – March 29, 2004
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Fraternity team crossing finish line with linked arms
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Walker with walker
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Official Web site of AIDS Walk New York

P.S. 6: Pony Rides & Petting Zoo

May 19, 2007

Public School 6 is located in one of the wealthiest sections of New York City, on a block lined with mansions and luxury buildings. Today the school, which serves children from kindergarten through 5th grade, held its annual Spring Fling fundraiser.

East 82nd Street between Madison and Park Avenues was closed to traffic and a food table, giant slide, rock climbing wall, dunking tank, entertainment and other attractions were set up. The event was billed as “rain or shine,” but once it began drizzling, most of the activities were packed away.

The petting zoo and pony rides remained in place long enough for these city kids to enjoy the rare experience of meeting calves, chicks, ducks, goats, bunnies and a llama face to face and riding the small, gentle ponies up and down the block.

PS 6 Goes Green information tent
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Petting bunny and chicks
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Kids, chicks & ducks
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Llama, goats & sheep
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Poor little rich girl peeks out the door
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Petting baby goats
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Petting chicks & ducks
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Riding the pony on E 82nd Street
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Boy getting on pony
Originally uploaded by annulla.

PS 6
Street Easy: Real Estate for Sale in the PS 6 School District
The Oil Drum: PS 6 Greenmarket Withdrawn
Curbed: Upper East Side Greenmarket Undone

Daytime Television

May 9, 2007

When television was in its infancy, most American programs were produced in, and broadcast from, New York. Over time, the majority of the major studios moved to California; the shows that remained here were primarily news, variety and daytime programs including soap operas, game and talk shows.

When I was a kid, schools around New York frequently sent students on excursions to the sets of local shows. I have memories of sitting with my classmates and obediently obeying APPLAUSE signs at game shows, but by 6th grade I was bored with the whole experience. As a result, I haven’t been part of a studio audience since junior high school — until today when, much to my surprise, I sat in on the taping of two daytime television shows.

The day began with a visit to The View, described on its Web site as a “morning chatfest, featuring a team of dynamic women of different ages, experiences and backgrounds discussing the most exciting events of the day.” There is a one-year waiting list for tickets and audience members must conform to a dress code (business casual, bright colors preferred).

Once we entered the ABC building on the Upper West Side, we were greeted by a warm-up comedian who engaged the (primarily female) crowd while we stood on line and watched busy staff members come and go. We were warned that there were no bathroom breaks, told to turn off mobile devices, and welcomed inside the studio. As we entered, we were handed packets of chocolate chip cookies and bottles of juice (I would have loved that during those 6th grade tapings of Tic-Tac-Dough) and shown to our assigned seats.

The show is broadcast live and once it began, it went at a furious pace. Hair and makeup people kept rearranging stray hairs, adding dabs of powder, and ducking out of camera range. The hosts for the day included Rosie O’Donnell, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar. Goldie Hawn served as a guest host and Brooke Shields and Gena Rowlands were the guests.

During commercial breaks the hosts waded out into the audience, answered questions and posed for photos. One audience member (sadly, not me) was selected for a trip to London and we all received gift bags containing a Barbra Streisand CD and an assortment of Tupperware.

We emerged onto West 66th Street where eager young men and women offered us tickets to the Montel Show. When? “Now!,” they cried. “You have to go now! Just take a cab and we’ll pay your cab fare!” Um, OK. But before jumping into a taxi, I asked for a note containing the name of the person who would give me the money and made sure to ask the driver for a receipt.

The Web site for the Montel Show says that it is, “entertaining, informative and relatable … a testament to Mr. Williams’ sincerity and compassion, in addition to his willingness to tackle complex issues head on.”

The differences between the shows were apparent even before we entered the building. While the line to get into The View was orderly and well-managed, with frequent announcements about how soon the doors would open, no one seemed to be in charge of those waiting outside The Montel Show. People milled around, pushed and shoved for position and quarrelled about where the line began and how long we’d have to wait for admittance.

Finally, the doors opened. We were herded into a dark, dingy room equipped with pots of tepid coffee (no cups), several large, plastic garbage cans, a broken soda vending machine and a large color photo of the show’s host, Montel Williams.

When the doors (which bore a large sign warning us not to take photos) finally opened, we were told to keep mobile devices in sight (“hold them up next to your face”) so the security staff could examine them and passed through metal detectors. Finally, we entered the studio. Smaller and darker than that of The View, there was no warm up, no snacks, no comedy. We sat and waited until the host himself came out and sternly recited a long list of rules that his audience must follow (“If I point at you, I mean MOVE NOW!”). 

The single guest was self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne. The audience members included several who claimed to have come from as far away as Greece and Australia, simply for the opportunity to ask her a single question.

For the next two hours, the raspy-voiced psychic clicked her long, lacquered nails, the host barked out orders and the audience members meekly did their best to obey, lest they joined those who failed and were in disgrace (“Nope, you can’t ask your question. You blew it.”).

The show is taped and several times during the production the host halted the action and ordered some changes to the equipment or demanded that a segment be repeated. The most bizarre moment occured off-camera when an unidentified man, who was clearly a staff member, stood up and prompted the host to discuss his hawkish political views and ambitions.

At the end of the taping, as the audience was being herded out the door, I began to search for the person who was supposed to pay for our cab fare. Good thing I’d obtained a note from the people who’d given us the tickets and had a receipt from the driver.

It took a while, and there was a bit of quibbling when I insisted on being reimbursed for the tip, too, but they finally came through. I felt sorry for a mother and daughter duo, though. They had been approached outside The View, too, and the people who’d given them tickets promised that lunch would be served after the taping. Nope, no food was available, not even a piece of gum; the promise was just a way to fill the empty seats.

By the way, just for the record, I’m not a regular viewer of either show.

Sign on the set
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Warm-up comedian
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Audience members dancing onstange
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Joy Behar speaking to the audience
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Rosie & staff member with Goldie Hawn & Brooke Shields
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Elizabeth Hasslebeck during a break
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Gena Rowlands, Joy & Elizabeth
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Rosie O’Donnell talking to the audience
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Behind the cameras
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Goldie Hawn grinning
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Goldie Hawn
Originally uploaded by annulla.

The door to Montel’s studio
Originally uploaded by annulla.

The View
The Montel Show
Sylvia Browne
Go Sylvia Browne
Stop Sylvia Browne
Open Letter to Montel Williams: An Answer?

At the Movies

May 6, 2007

The Tribeca Film Festival ran from April 25 – May 6 and included 157 features and 88 short films from 47 countries. I’m not entirely sure that it is possible, but I just might have gone a bit overboard with my film viewing. 

Here’s what I saw in the order in which I saw them. Some were great, some mediocre, and I actually walked out of one film. The descriptions below are taken from the Festival’s Web site. Most of the shorts are available online to view them, just click here.

  1. Playing the Victim
    In this black-humored Russian Hamlet by one of Moscow’s top theater directors, a young slacker receives nocturnal visits from his father’s ghost and literally “plays the victim” in crime reconstruction videos. Observing a farcical justice system with a brash collage of visual styles, this acerbic depiction of contemporary Moscow chronicles Valya’s dangerously escalating disgust with his world. Grand Prize Winner, Rome Film Festival.
  2. The Pelican
    Dubbed “the French James Dean” for his roles in films by Claude Chabrol (Le beau Serge, Les cousins) and Howard Hawks (Hatari), Gérard Blain’s work as director never surfaced in the U.S. This is his masterpiece, a moving account of parental love and obsession, filmed in a rigorous style that recalls Bresson or Dreyer—sans religion.
  3. To Die a Little (Short)
    A remarkable rediscovery: In Chile, To Die A Little (Morir Un Poco) was proscribed, hunted down and destroyed. Considered “lost” for decades, a copy was recently discovered in the vault of a European film festival. An unknown jewel of Latin American filmmaking, unearthed and restored last year, it features images recalling Cassavetes and Rouch.  
  4. Memories About Sayat Nova (Short)
    (aka The Color of Pomegranates)—Restored, Memories About Sayat Nova (Vospominania o Sayat Nove) reveals astonishingly beautiful, newly discovered scenes from Sergei Paradjanov’s masterwork Sayat Nova, which was censored by the Soviet government.
  5. Shame
    In 2002, Mukhtaran Mai, a woman living in a remote Pakistani village, was publicly gang raped to atone for a crime her brother allegedly committed. Instead of killing herself, as she was expected to do, she raised an outcry that became an international cause. A powerful essay in courage. In Urdu and Sariki.
  6. Normal Adolescent Behavior
    A darkly comic look at precocious teens grappling with sex, excess and alienation. Avoiding the high school party scene and random hookups, Wendy (Amber Tamblyn) and her friends form a clique that claims a more fluid sexuality. Schacter’s directorial debut delivers a provocative take on teen romance in this modern promiscuous age.
  7. Planet B-Boy
    A powerful documentary about the vibrant global resurgence of break-dancing, Planet B-Boy goes inside the underground hip- hop dance scenes around the world, as the best crews prepare for the “The Battle of the Year”—an annual “World Cup” of b-boying. Director Lee combines spectacular dance footage with poignant insight explaining why these dancers make tremendous sacrifices for their art. In English, French, Japanese and Korean.
  8. Man of Two Havanas
    Growing up in Miami, the director witnessed drive-by shootings and death threats directed toward her father, a former friend of Fidel Castro and opponent of the embargo. Using never-before-heard CIA audiotapes and fascinating interviews with her father, Weisman links his past and present in an eye-opening film that’s sure to be talked about. In Spanish and English.
  9. Say Can You See (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    An improbable witness experiences New York City from atop the Empire State Building during a time of extraordinary change. Day to night, light to dark, the pathos of the American spirit is explored through a historic event.
  10. Red Shoes (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    An aging Chinatown masseuse, Linda, tries to find a way to buy her 10 year-old daughter, Dee, a pair of shoes. When pressured by her client to make easy money, her vanity gets the better of her and she gives in to temptation. But as Linda finds herself falling down the slippery slope of moral compromise, Dee begins to discover the truth about what her mother does for a living. How far will Linda’s greed take her, and will she be able to continue protecting Dee from the truth?
  11. Lock (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    Two strangers briefly connect as they find themselves locked on a New York city rooftop.
  12. A Nick In Time (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    An old school Brooklyn barber recounts an incident from his past to a troubled young man who is on the verge of making a major life-altering decision. But can the barber get through to him before things spiral out of control?
  13. Super Powers (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    A young couple tries to save their marriage by dressing up as super heroes in the bedroom. But when they’re unexpectedly forced out onto the streets of New York City, they end up saving much more than their sex life. Winner, Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short.
  14. Raving (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    With no apparent direction, young and reckless urbanite, Katie, uses her charm to swindle her way through life. When she meets Dito, an older man in search of a cleaning lady, she thinks it’s the perfect opportunity to clean him out. She soon learns, however, that for Dito, it’s not about getting rid of the clutter in his apartment, but also the memories that go with it.
  15. Happiness (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    One evening, after work, Iwona buys a box of happiness in a strange discount store and has to decide what to do with it. Inspired by the myth of Pandora’s box, Happiness is a straight-faced comedy about how the little things can make all the difference in a humdrum world.
  16. In Vivid Detail (Short — Express Stops Only Program)
    In Vivid Detail is the unusual love story between Leslie and Justin, an architect who suffers from Prosopagnosia — a neurological disorder that makes him incapable of recognizing faces. The couple must decide whether their new relationship can overcome the obstacles ahead of them as they try to cope with this bizarre but real condition, meanwhile raising the questions about how beauty is measured.
  17. Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life
    Darius, a 15-year-old with muscular dystrophy, has never been outside of Georgia, until his 11 closest friends rent an RV and take off across the country, hoping to convince MTV’s Pimp My Ride to work on his wheelchair and raise awareness about the disease. On their long adventure they learn that life, even when imperfect, is always worth the ride.
  18. Between Heaven and Earth (Tussen Hemel en Aarde)
    In the heart of the Eurasian continent, the ancient center of the world where the Silk Road connected China to Europe, the circus is a deeply rooted cultural phenomenon. This film focuses on two circus artists, whose lifelong friendship is affected by the differing political choices they make under the dictatorship in Uzbekistan. In Russian and Uzbek.
  19. Take the Bridge
    Four young strangers meet after their failed suicide attempts land each of them in the hospital on the same day. United by circumstance, they may yet discover a reason to live. This fresh, original take on city life pays tribute to the vitality and energy of the Dominican community in Washington Heights. In English and Spanish
  20. Blackout
    In summer 2003, America experienced the largest blackout in its history–widely reported as peaceful. But in Brooklyn’s forgotten East Flatbush neighborhood, mayhem unfolded when the power shut down. This is the untold story of the blackout–a place where, as night fell, looters emerged, violence surfaced and residents feared for their lives. With Melvin Van Peebles and Jeffrey Wright.
  21. Nobel Son
    In this taut thriller spiked with droll humor, Ph.D. candidate Barkley (Bryan Greenberg) is kidnapped the night before his father Eli (Alan Rickman) will receive the Nobel Prize. When Eli refuses to pay a ransom equal to the $2 million prize, secrets, betrayal and revenge collide. With Bill Pullman, Shawn Hatosy, Danny DeVito, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson, Ernie Hudson and Eliza Dushku.
  22. Falafel
    Everything bad that can happen on the way to a party happens to easygoing young Tou in this chronicle of a nighttime trip though Beirut, permeated by the smell of falafel frying at neon-lit stands. Flipping between the playful youth and scenes of unexpected danger, Kammoun creates a kind of Lebanese After Hours.
  23. Forging a Nation
    Accompanied by his mother, cousins, aunts and uncles, the director retraces the steps of his Jewish ancestors, who fled Europe in the 1920’s hoping to find in Argentina the land of their dreams. This poignant film journey uses the documentary as a singular tool to explore the multifaceted ways in which the Argentine nation was built.
  24. Miss Universe 1929
    Amateur filmmaker Marci Tenczer was smitten with his cousin, Liesl Goldarbeiter and chronicled her rise from a modest childhood in Vienna to the Texas competition where she was crowned the first Miss Universe. Then Hitler upended everyone’s universe. Péter Forgács (El Perro Negro, Best Documentary, 2005 Tribeca Film Festival) continues his fascinating exploration of Europe’s private history through home movies.
  25. Vartan, LLP (Short — Ulterior Motives Program)
    Sidney Taylor heads up one of the most successful asset management funds on Wall Street. He has always escaped the pain and disappointment of life by throwing himself one hundred percent into his work. But when Sidney discovers his estranged best friend and former business partner has died of cancer, all the emotional walls he has built to protect him instantly disappear, and he is shaken to his core with regret so powerful he can barely stand it.
  26. The True Legend of Tony Vilar
    Using a tongue-in-cheek mockumentary style, this half-true, half-imagined tale is based on the story of real-life singer Tony Vilar. Born in Italy, he later moved to Argentina and became one of the most popular crooners in 1960’s Latin America, then mysteriously disappeared, leaving a faint trail apparently leading to New York City.
  27. The Gates
    In 1979, artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude proposed one of the largest public art installations in history: a “golden river” of 7,500 fabric-paneled gates in Central Park. Transcending controversy, it was finally completed in 2005. Renowned documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles and long-time collaborator Antonio Ferrera chronicle the artists’ 26-year commitment to transform the winter darkness of the park into a garden of light and color.
  28. NYC Weights & Measures (Short — Archiving Identity Program)
    NYC Weights and Measures is a simple gathering of New York City street footage. Shot with a spring-wound 16mm Bolex on, above, and below the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn , this dreamy film explores the city’s many moods, even including footage of the ticker tape parade for astronaut John Glen.
  29. Palo Alto
    It’s a bittersweet homecoming when four college freshmen return to their quiet northern California town for Thanksgiving. In the tradition of American Graffiti, this first feature film by college students Brad Leong and Tony Vallone follows the adventures of four friends on one eventful night that changes everything.
  30. Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother
    An intriguing look at sex and celebrity, this richly textured documentary, filled with drag queens and Hollywood glitterati, is actually a serious movie about transgendered life. In this unique and candid documentary, Alexis reveals a more private side as she grapples with the process of sex reassignment surgery.
  31. The Education of Charlie Banks
    Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst makes his directorial debut with this potent coming-of-age drama about confronting one’s fears. Pensive, honorable college student Charlie Banks must reconcile with his past when he gets an unexpected visit from a hometown thug-who may or may not know that Charlie once ratted him out to the police. Starring Jesse Eisenberg. Winner, “Made In NY” Narrative.
  32. Where God Left His Shoes
    Frank Diaz (John Leguizamo) and his family have been living in a homeless shelter for months. But on Christmas Eve, they receive the best gift possible-the chance for an apartment. To get it, Frank needs a job, so he and his stepson go on the hunt for employment. This heartwarming tale shows the compassion of a family that comes together when all else feels lost.
  33. The Workshop
    A spiritual search for answers leads the filmmaker to a California workshop run by a spiritual leader who promotes sexual adventure — and the possible existence of aliens. In this amusing and emotional film, Jamie and his friends shed their clothes and inhibitions for a wild ride of sex, fear, love, anger, betrayal and joy.
  34. Dorme (Short — Show and Tell Program)
    Dorme (meaning “sleep”) takes us on a magical journey into the world of dreams, that mystical place our spirits go to play when our bodies go to sleep at night. A beautiful and mesmerizing fantasy film, Dorme is a celebration of the sub-conscious mind, an artistic feast for the eyes and an escape for the soul. Told without the use of words, this universal story is about a boy lulled to sleep by a captivating melody only to begin his adventure of transformation and discovery
  35. Chinese Dumplings (Short — Show and Tell Program)
    Like any kids their age, sisters Lucy, 9, and Grace, 7, would rather be playing outside after school than practicing the violin in their living room — especially since it is Grace’s birthday, and they deserve a break! Lucy goes out of her way to look out for their interests, but in the end it is younger sister Grace who surprises everyone with her actions and illuminates how, in childhood, even the smallest moments define us in big ways.
  36. Fish Miracle Sky (Short — Show and Tell Program)
    The FishMiracleSky is a short film trilogy about childhood, specifically three significant moments in the life of a five-year-old girl. In When Fishes Cry, Kate tries to save her dream world against the reality of life. In The Miracle, Kate thinks that she can change real life with her imaginary dream world methods. In Closer to the Sky, Kate opens the gates of life.
  37. For All The Marbles (Short — Show and Tell Program)
    Recess begins — the schoolyard is flooded with kids! Ten-year-old Jeff reveals his prized cat’s-eye marble in a bid to win the Universal Marble Championship. But just before his winning shot, Cricker, the schoolyard bully, grabs it and launches it to the other side of the playground, and Jeff must set off across the infamous “big-kid’s area” to retrieve it. With danger at every turn, Jeff plays his way through various games in order to claim his marble, but will he return in time to win the game?
  38. Amarelinha (Short — Show and Tell Program)
    In Amarelinha, Matteus is a six-year-old who treasures storytelling hour with his parents before bedtime. Believing that they will stop telling him bedtime stories once he learns how to read, Matteus comes up with a plan to exempt himself from reading exercises at school.
  39. Dear Lemon Lima (Short — Short Attention Span Program)
    A lonely girl with a vivid imagination struggles to plant seeds of love after her narcissistic sweetheart breaks her heart. But a chance meeting with “angel-headed dorks” Hercules and Nothing enables her to overcome her heartbreak on a serendipitous summer day. Dear Lemon Lima thrives on the notion that life is a time to celebrate our common traits and differences and inspire kindness and equality in others.
  40. Thorndike (Short — Short Attention Span Program)
    Todd, an awkward teenage boy, makes a mess of the last day he and his girlfriend get to spend together before she moves away. He enlists his friends in a harrowing plan to make it up to her but realizes that no effort will take away the melancholy of losing his first love.
  41. Miss Chinatown, U.S.A. (Short)
    Miss Chinatown, U.S.A. is the comical and touching story of a young woman who competes in one of America’s oldest ethnic beauty pageants. As Katie travels from her native Seattle to the bustling streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown, she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery — forever changing our notions of what it means to be young, female, and Asian in America.

Banner on Lamppost
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Festival Box Office at Varick & Laight Streets
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Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival Shorts
NY Magazine: Tribeca Shorts
Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother
Between Heaven and Earth (Tussen Hemel en Aarde)
Chinese Dumplings
Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life
Dear Lemon Lima
The Education of Charlie Banks
Fish Miracle Sky 
Forging a Nation
For All The Marbles
The Gates
In Vivid Detail
Man of Two Havanas
Memories About Sayat Nova (Vospominania o Sayat Nove)
Miss Chinatown, U.S.A.
Miss Universe 1929
A Nick In Time
Nobel Son
Normal Adolescent Behavior
NYC Weights & Measures
Palo Alto
The Pelican
Planet B-Boy
Playing the Victim
Red Shoes
Say Can You See
Super Powers
Take the Bridge
To Die a Little (Morir Un Poco)
The True Legend of Tony Vilar
Vartan, LLP
Where God Left His Shoes
The Workshop

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