SWAN Day Screening

March 28, 2015

And in remembering a road sign
I am remembering a girl when I was young
And we said, “These songs are true
These days are ours
These tears are free”

— Paul Simon, Obvious Child

This is the eighth anniversary of Support Women Artists Now Day (SWAN Day). Created in 2007 by film critic Jan Lisa Huttner and arts administrator Martha Richards, SWAN Day “helps people imagine what the world might be like if women’s art and perspectives were fully integrated into all of our lives.”

While the official date of SWAN Day is March 28, activities celebrating women in the arts take place throughout this month and the next, following the founders’ statement that, “The spirit of SWAN events is far more important than the exact dates.”

In New York, several groups, including New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the School of Visual Arts Film department, the Women in Arts and Media Coalition, and HerFlix, organized a special SWAN Day movie event: a special screening of Obvious Child, a critically acclaimed romantic comedy that was produced, directed, and written by women.

The film was followed by a reception and a Q&A session with director Gillian Robespierre and Caren Spruch, a member of the Board of Directors of NYWIFT.

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SWAN Day sticker

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SVA Theater

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Introducing the screening

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Q&A with Gillian Robespierre and Caren Spruch

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Gillian Robespierre

WomenARTS; SWAN Day
SWAN Day 2015 Calendar
SWAN Day Screening and Reception
Obvious Child
Wikipedia: Gillian Robespierre
The Dissolve: Gillian Robespierre and Jenny Slate on Finding Obvious Child’s Voice
Paul Simon: Obvious Child
The Straight Dope: Paul Simon’s The Obvious Child –What Does it Mean?
New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT)
Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
School of Visual Arts Film Department
Women in Arts and Media Coalition
HerFlix

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Big Joy at the New York Public Library

June 18, 2014

Tonight, in honor of the DVD release of the documentary BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton, the New York Public Library (NYPL) hosted a special celebration.

While filmmaker/poet/author/teacher James Broughton had a notable following among the avant-garde during his lifetime, today he is known to many only through the “warts and all” biopic, BIG JOY.  

The film traces his life from his painful childhood in Modesto, California, through his career as an acclaimed underground filmmaker and poet, his tumultuous marriage and fatherhood, his sudden emergence (at the age of 61) as a gay man, his death at age 85 and his legacy.

Prolifically creative, Broughton made 23 experimental films, several of which won awards a film festivals, and wrote 23 books of prose and poetry. In his final years, Broughton earned a reputation as “the bard of the modern gay rights movement” and was known by his frequently-uttered slogans, “follow your own weird” and “when in doubt, twirl.”

 

I was born in the San Joaquin town of Modesto,

on the Tuolomne River of Stanislaus County

in the state of California.

My grandfathers were bankers, and so was my father.

But my mother wanted me to become a surgeon.

However, one night when I was 3 years old

I was awakened by a glittering stranger

who told me I was a poet and always would be

and never to fear being alone or being laughed at.

— James Broughton

 

The NYPL program included a reception, where it was possible to view some of Broughton’s surprisingly-charming short films, an introduction by cabaret star Justin Vivian Bond, and a discussion with experimental film experts Jon Gartenberg, Robert Haller, and Jim Hubbard.

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The official poster

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Justin Vivian Bond

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On the screen

Big Joy: The Film
All About James Broughton
NYPL: The Adventures of James Broughton
Justin Vivian Bond
Jon Gartenberg
Robert Haller
Jim Hubbard


It’s Movie Time

May 3, 2010

Founded only nine years ago, the Tribeca Film Festival has become a major cultural and economic force in New York City. During the 12 days of this year’s Festival, a great swath of Lower Manhattan was filled with directors, producers, screenwriters, dealmakers, actors, photographers, reporters and volunteers, all rushing through the streets with their distinctive badges flapping in the breeze.

This year more than 5,000 films from around the world were submitted to the Festival. Of those, officials selected 85 feature length films and 47 shorts (amounting to 193.94 miles of film) from 38 countries.

In and around the Tribeca, from April 21 to May 2, banners hung from lampposts, streets were closed, theaters and auditoriums halted normal activities and just about everyone in the neighborhood became a movie-goer and a film critic — including me. Here are the films I saw this year:

  1. Visionaries
    Oscar®-winning filmmaker Chuck Workman brings alive the vibrant history of the avant-garde cinema. Through interviews with filmmakers and critics including Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger, Su Friedrich, and Amy Taubin, he reveals how this artistic movement highlights subjective vision, sensory experience, and dreams over plot and storyline. Workman couples these conversations with a dazzling array of diverse extracts from experimental films that illuminate for the general audience a qualitatively different kind of moviegoing experience.
  2. My Own Love Song
    In his English-language debut, Olivier Dahan (La vie en rose) sculpts a hyper-stylized and uplifting road movie about family, perseverance, and redemption. Wheelchair user Jane (Renée Zellweger, exceptional) is a fiercely independent ex-singer whose tough exterior hides a secret that has paralyzed her emotional life and career. When her zany neighbor Joey (Forest Whitaker) forces them to skip town, Jane must change her tune. With songs performed by Zellweger and original music by Bob Dylan.
  3. Big
    At a carnival, young Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) wishes he was big-only to awake the next morning and discover he is! With the help of his friend Billy (Jared Rushton), Josh lands a job at a toy company. There, his inner wisdom enables him to successfully predict what children want to buy, making the awestruck, naïve Josh irresistible to a beautiful ladder-climbing colleague (Elizabeth Perkins). But the more he experiences being an adult, the more Josh longs for the simple joys of childhood.
  4. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (Winner: Heineken Audience Award)
    For fans and newcomers to the legendary Canadian band Rush, this is the music documentary to experience. Directors Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn embark on a comprehensive exploration of this extraordinary power trio, from their early days in Toronto, through each of their landmark albums, to the present day. Sit back and revel in the words, music, and wonder of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart.
  5. No Woman, No Cry
    More than half a million women each year die from preventable complications during pregnancy or childbirth. In her gripping directorial debut, Christy Turlington Burns shares the powerful stories of pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States.
  6. Into Eternity
    Three miles below the earth, the people of Finland are constructing an enormous tomb to lay to rest their share of humans’ 300,000 tons of nuclear waste. To avoid disaster, it must remain untouched for at least 100,000 years. In this poetic, hauntingly beautiful, and thought-provoking doc, Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen ponders how to warn future civilizations that the buried treasure of our nuclear era—unlike the pyramids and great tombs of pharaohs—must never, ever be discovered.
  7. Cairo Time
    In this graceful cross-cultural love story, a happily married woman (Patricia Clarkson) is separated from her husband in the overwhelming city of Cairo. While waiting for his return, she experiences the unique beauty of Egypt with his friend (Alexander Siddig). As their tender friendship blossoms, a series of small yet profound moments changes both of their worlds forever.
  8. Snap
    With a fresh and intense style, playwright-turned-director Carmel Winters composes a gripping psychological drama about three generations of a family poised to repeat the mistakes of the past. Aisling O’Sullivan (The War Zone) commands the screen as a calloused mother who will do anything to protect her son—even go as far to deny her own past. From the producers of TFF award winner Eden and the Academy Award® winner Once.
  9. I Scored a Goal
    In the history of the World Cup, there are only 55 men who have scored a goal in the final match, and only 34 of them are still living. “I Scored a Goal” is a series of thirty short films, each of which profiles one of these men. The narratives are told in the goal scorer’s own voice — they tell the story of their journey up to the goal, and what the goal meant for them, their team, the game and even their country.
  10. Last Play at Shea
    The intersecting histories of a stadium, a team, and a music legend are examined in a documentary that charts the ups and downs of the New York Mets and the life and career of Long Island native Billy Joel, the last performer to play Shea Stadium. Set to the soundtrack of Joel’s final Shea concerts, Last Play interweaves personal Joel interviews with exclusive concert footage—featuring guests like Tony Bennett and Roger Daltrey.
  11. Climate of Change
    A group of 13-year-olds in India rally against the use of plastics. A renaissance man in Africa teaches villagers to harness solar power. Self-described “hillbillies” in Appalachia battle the big business behind strip mining. Tilda Swinton beautifully narrates this rich and inspiring documentary—from the producers of An Inconvenient Truth—about a world of regular people taking action in the fight to save our environment. Executive produced by Participant Media and the Alliance for Climate Protection.
  12. Get Low
    In 1930s Tennessee, backwoods recluse Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) is feared and shunned by the local townsfolk. Then Felix decides to plan a living funeral to lay his own legend to rest. But behind this surreal plan lies a devastating secret that must get out…. Academy Award® winner Aaron Schneider makes a confident feature debut with this engrossing and slyly funny folk tale of forgiveness and redemption. With Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, and Lucas Black.
  13. Please Give
    Death, materialism, liberal guilt, adultery, midlife malaise… writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Friends with Money, Lovely & Amazing) makes such topics sing with earnest emotion and devastating humor. Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt star as well-to-do Manhattanites waiting out the death of their crotchety neighbor so they can take over her apartment. Things get messy when they try to make nice with the old lady and her granddaughters (Amanda Peet and Rebecca Hall).
  14. Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll
    Mat Whitecross (codirector of The Road to Guantanamo) paints a stylized, ripsnorting portrait of mercurial British punk rock pioneer Ian Dury (flawlessly portrayed by BAFTA nominee Andy Serkis). From a troubled childhood and a battle with debilitating polio to the effects of fame on relationships and fatherhood, here are the highs and lows of a life lived sneeringly, unapologetically out loud. With Olivia Williams, Ray Winstone, and Naomie Harris.
  15. Ondine
    Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) weaves a visually arresting tale of a lone fisherman (Colin Farrell) who pulls in the sweetest catch of his life—a mermaid-like beauty. But as their passion grows, their dark pasts come to light, and the real world begins to threaten their fairy tale romance. This stunning film will challenge your senses and imagination as fantasy and reality clash on the big screen.
  16. The Space Between
    Lonely flight attendant Montine McLeod (Academy Award® nominee Melissa Leo) becomes responsible for a 10-year-old Pakistani-American boy traveling solo when news of the 9/11 attacks grounds their flight in Texas. After learning of the boy’s direct connection to the tragic events, McLeod musters the compassion she could never afford her own family, and the two embark on a heartrending road trip to meet an uncertain future in New York City.
  17. The Infidel
    Mahmud Nasir (comedian Omid Djalili) may not be the most observant Muslim, but deep down he is a true believer. His life is turned upside down when he learns he was adopted-but most scandalous is that his birth mother was Jewish! And his given name was Solly Shimshillewitz! As Mahmud tumbles into a full-scale identity crisis, a true comedy of religious errors unfolds. With Richard Schiff and Matt Lucas.
  18. William Vincent
    The versatile James Franco (Milk, Spider-Man) stars in the story of William Vincent, a quiet and peculiar criminal uninterested in the fruits of crime. When he falls for a gangster’s (Josh Lucas) favorite call girl (Julianne Nicholson), William is forced to flee New York. But after four years in exile, William secretly returns, intent on rescuing the woman he loves from her dangerous fate.
  19. Yanqui WALKER and the OPTICAL REVOLUTION
    This film explores a now-obscure American expansionist and military dictator, William Walker, who through military force and coercion became president of Nicaragua in 1856. The film blends found footage, documentary photography, ethnographic inquiry, and personal travelogue with experimental film techniques such as hand-processing, optical printing, and time-lapse to detour and derail the various approaches to history-making that have been applied to this story.
  20. The Travelogues
    In The Travelogues, Dustin Thompson creates a more personal story. He travels with his film camera across two continents and compiles a series of mini-narratives, suggestive of loves gained and lost. He generates lyrical images, shot at oblique angles and developed with shifting camera speeds; in each scene, the heightened film grain tends to move the depiction of the natural universe toward abstraction. From the prologue through to the epilogue of his journey, this artist travels a fine line between real and imagined worlds.
  21. The Arbor (Winner: Best New Documentary Filmmaker)
    Brilliantly blurring the borders of narrative and documentary filmmaking, artist-cum-director Clio Barnard beautifully reconstructs the fascinating true story of troubled British playwright Andrea Dunbar and her tumultuous relationship with her daughter. Working from two years of audio interviews, Barnard uses classic documentary techniques, actors, theatrical performance, and Dunbar’s own neighborhood to generate a unique cinematic feast while unraveling the truths of a dark family past.
  22. The Two Escobars
    Born in the same city in Colombia but not related, Andrés Escobar and Pablo Escobar shared a fanatical love of soccer. Andrés grew up to become one of Colombia’s most beloved players, while Pablo became the most notorious drug baron of all time. While adeptly investigating the secret marriage of crime and sports, Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist (Favela Rising, TFF ’05) reveal the surprising connections between the murders of Andrés and Pablo.
  23. Gainsbourg, Je t’Aime… Moi Non Plus (Winner: Best Actor in a Narrative Feature)
    From a young man in Nazi-occupied Paris to the sultry crooner who bedded Brigitte Bardot and married Jane Birkin to the vulnerable poet hidden behind a shroud of provocation—Serge Gainsbourg’s is a life large enough for grand treatment on film. One of France’s greatest mavericks is brought back to life (uncannily, by Eric Elmosnino) in this imaginative and visually flamboyant film debut from one of France’s greatest cartoonists.
  24. Just Like Us
    Egyptian-American comic and first-time director Ahmed Ahmed takes us on a hilarious tour from Los Angeles to Cairo, Dubai to Beirut, Riyadh to New York with a gaggle of other stand-up talent, including: Maz Jobrani, Tom Papa, Ted Alexandro, Tommy Davidson, and Omid Djalili (The Infidel). Along the way, taboos of culture and geopolitics are exploded, and a younger generation of both comedy talents and audiences is born.
  25. Monica & David (Winner: Best Documentary Feature)
    Monica and David are in love. Truly, blissfully in love. They also happen to have Down syndrome. Alexandra Codina’s affectionate and heartwarming documentary is an intimate, year-in-the-life portrait of two child-like spirits with adult desires. Supported (and, for more than 30 years, sheltered) by endlessly devoted mothers, Monica and David prepare for their fairy tale wedding and face the realities of married life afterward.
  26. Legacy
    British-Nigerian director Thomas Ikimi builds a thrilling psychological drama around an all-consuming central performance by Idris Elba (The Wire). Black ops operative Malcolm Gray is returning home after a botched mission in Eastern Europe. Holed up in a rundown Brooklyn motel room, he is torn between retribution and personal salvation as he mentally unravels. When the walls close in, his story may be all he can leave behind….
  27. Meet Monica Velour
    In this quirky comedy, Tobe (Dustin Ingram, perfectly cast), an awkward teenage aficionado of 1980s soft-core, sets off in his grandfather’s (Brian Dennehy) used Weinermobile to see his sexual idol perform at a strip club in Indiana. After defending her honor against ruffians who taunt the aging erotic starlet (Kim Cattrall) off the stage, he negotiates his unripe romantic impulses with the reality of her anything but glamorous life as a trailer-park single mother.
  28. Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives
    When a group of transgender women are violently beaten and left for dead, the violated vixens turn deadly divas in this hilariously campy homage to the exploitation films of the ’70s and ’80s (“Transploitation,” anyone?). Loaded with bodacious bods and extreme violence, this revenge fantasy proves that it takes more than balls to get even.
  29. Gerrymandering
    This wake-up-call doc exposes the hidden history of our country’s redistricting wars, mapping battles that take place out of public scrutiny but that shape the electoral landscape of American politics for decades at time, posing a threat not just to democrats and republicans, but democracy as a whole. Featuring stories from nine states, Gerrymandering takes a hard look at the framework of our democracy and how it provides our politicians a perfectly legal way to control electoral outcomes.
  30. The Trotsky
    Like most high schoolers, Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel, Tropic Thunder) is having an identity crisis. What differentiates Leon, however, is that he believes he is the reincarnation of Soviet thinker Leon Trotksy and predestined to follow the same path as his namesake. Tackling issues from students’ rights to semi-formal dances, this “revolutionary” comedy will have you united in laughter.
  31. Spork
    Junior high isn’t easy for anyone— especially if you’re a frizzy-haired, pink-cheeked hermaphrodite like Spork. But when the talent show shines a chance for Spork to show up Betsy Byotch’s mean girls gang, her recently best-friended trailer-park neighbor Tootsie Roll steps up to coach her in booty-poppin’ moves. This ’80s-inspired dance send-up is littered with colorful dialogue from a tween cast with mouths beyond their years.
  32. The Woodmans (Winner: Best New York Documentary)
    The Woodmans are a family united in their belief that art-making is the highest form of expression and an essential way of life, but for photographer daughter Francesca, worldwide acclaim came only after a tragedy that would forever scar the family. With unrestricted access to all of Francesca’s works and diaries, The Woodmans paints an incisive portrait of a family broken and then healed by its art.
  33. Monogamy (Winner: Best New York Narrative)
    Exhibitionism, voyeurism, jealousy, lust. Brooklyn wedding photographer Theo’s (Chris Messina) side business shooting surveillance-style photos of clients on the sly takes an unexpected turn—and creates a rift with his fiancée (Rashida Jones)—when he’s hired by a provocative mystery woman (Meital Dohan). The first narrative feature from Oscar®-nominated director Dana Adam Shapiro (Murderball), Monogamy effectively fuses an absorbing mystery-thriller and a taut relationship drama.

Tribeca Film Festival
NY Times: 12 Days, 132 Films, 38 Countries
Time Out New York: Tribeca Film Festival: The must-sees


The 29th CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival

October 25, 2009

It was created by College Media Journal (CMJ), the magazine that published the first record charts based on college radio airplay. Back when it started in 1980, the CMJ Music Marathon (the Film Festival was added in 1994) provided college radio staffs the opportunity to meet and hear music from new and emerging sources.

Over the years the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival has grown and changed, but its primary focus has remained on music that appeals to college audiences.

This year’s Festival featured thousands of musicians at dozens of venues around the city and drew an estimated 120,000 fans, artists, filmmakers, and industry pros. To my surprise, someone gave me a pass to the event. Although I expected a “college music” festival to consist of endless loud party tunes for drunken frat boys (think MTV Spring Break), I was wrong.

In fact, I saw more acts than I could count (including old favorites and new discoveries), performing in a wide variety of genres. The panels, which I anticipated as dull, dry discussions of industry statistics and forecasts, turned out to be entertaining and enlightening. Not to mention the film. Or the parties.

I did remember to take my camera to a few of the events. And if anyone wants to give me a badge to new year’s Festival … I’d be more than happy to accept.

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Badge

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The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars

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Jim Rado and Galt MacDermot

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NOW Ensemble

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JD Souther

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Kimberley Locke

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Diana DeGarmo

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Mieka Pauley

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Woody Harrelson

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Jarrod Gorbel

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Fred Mascherino

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Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

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Jets Overhead

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Emmanuel Jal

CMJ09 Music Marathon and Film Festival
Wikipedia: CMJ Music Marathon
CMJ Milestones
The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars
Emanuel and the Fear
JD Souther
Mieka Pauley
Jets Overhead
The Color Fred
Free Energy
Jarrod Gorbel of the Honorary Title
NOW Ensemble
Emmanuel Jal
Julia Wolfe
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
David Lang
Jessica Pomerantz
Guyora Kats
The Messenger
Arlene’s Grocery
Pianos
Kimmel Hall
Living Room
Blue Note
Le Poisson Rouge
Judson Memorial Church
Clearview Chelsea
Rockwood Music Hall
Norwood Club
Gawker: Norwood: A Club For The Artistic And Talented
MTV Spring Break


Oooh, a movie star!

July 14, 2009

Movies and television shows are shot on the streets of New York City nearly every day and most residents take them in stride, barely giving the equipment and workers a second glance. Generally, New Yorkers’ attitude towards the actors and crews who live and work here is that they are simply part of the scenery. Many of those in the entertainment industry say that one of the things they enjoy about Brooklyn is our indifference (whether genuine or feigned) to the stars in our midst.

That’s why I suspect that most of the group that gathered outside the movie trailers parked near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge were from out of town. At least, I hope so. The overwhelmingly female crowd arrived on Cranberry Street armed with cameras, sunglasses and water bottles and stood for hours in the blazing sun, hoping to catch a glimpse of Robert Pattinson, one of the stars of the film being shot here today.

Some were, to put it mildly, obsessed with Pattinson, the actor who stars in the Twilight films.  One rather average-looking woman confessed to me that she travels the country and follows him around. Scary stuff, I think, but I guess it explains why the set was crawling with security agents and bodyguards. No one can predict when an adoring fan is going to turn into another Mark David Chapman.

Fortunately, despite the flurry of frenzy, the shoot was completed without incident. By the time the sun went down, the equipment was packed up, the actors were spirited away, the sunburnt crowd dispersed and Brooklyn Heights was restored to a quiet neighborhood of tidy brownstones.

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Signs were posted to alert the neighborhood

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Fans gathered at a trailer on Cranberry Street

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They were all equipped with cameras

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Some climbed light poles for a better view

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They didn’t notice Roger Moore being filmed on the next block

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The former 007 was able to work in peace

Robsessed
Twilight The Movie
Mark David Chapman


The thrill is gone

June 25, 2009

Michael Joseph Jackson, the world’s most famous entertainer, has died at the age of 50. I’ve been a fan of his music just about forever; I remember a big family event I attended years ago where I sat around a table with my cousins, arguing about whether or not Thriller was the greatest album ever recorded. The very first song I loaded onto my very first iPod was Michael Jackson’s Ben, the greatest love song ever dedicated to a rat. 

A year ago I attended Thriller Night, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the video for Thriller. The evening included an appearance by John Landis, director of the ground-breaking short, a stage filled with zombie dancers and two Michael Jackson imitators who showed up unannounced. After a few minutes of competing for the spotlight, they peacefully posed together for me.

You can read my account of Thriller Night is here and see the very shaky video I shot here.

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Michael Jackson: Thriller, 25th Anniversary Recording Remastered
Michael Jackson: Video Greatest Hits – HIStory
Michael Jackson: Ben


Tribeca Film Festival 2009

May 3, 2009

Thanks to the troubled economy, the Tribeca Film Festival was significantly smaller than in previous years. While audiences were still eager to participate (what better way to escape problems than by spending a couple of hours at the movies?), the 2009 Festival offered fewer films, fewer venues, fewer screenings, making it much more difficult to gain entry to screenings and events.

Although I was shut out of some of the films on my “must see” list, I managed to attend some screenings, panel discussions and events, and my favorite film, City Island, was also the winner of the Heineken Audience Award. Here’s what I saw in alphabetical order. The descriptions below are taken from the Festival’s Web site.

  1. Antoine
    Antoine was born 100 days premature and became blind from the effects of his incubator. Now five years old, he uses a mini boom microphone to discover and capture the sounds around him. Through this visually striking portrait, expertly crafted by Laura Bari, we share both the everyday and imaginary worlds Antoine lives in and learn how he overcomes adversity by creating his own alternative universe of beauty.
  2. Camera Roll (for Taylor)
    A camera roll city cine-poem, filmed in Brooklyn in the vicinity of the Gowanus Canal. Shot on a single roll of 16mm film and made as a filmic postcard for a distant friend, Camera Roll captures a Brooklyn neighborhood’s beauty and dereliction, industry and atmosphere, and the sounds of the elevated train rumbling in the distance.
  3. Chop Off
    Chop Off exposes the dark, fearful recesses of the human psyche by filming the body modification of performance artist R.K. Literally risking “life and limb,” R.K.’s body is his medium, and amputation is his art. The very act of filming him often stimulates a cascading range of emotions, from disgust to fear to dread.
  4. City Island
    Vinnie’s been secretly taking acting classes, his daughter’s moonlighting as a stripper, his son’s got a weighty fetish, and mom’s eye is wandering… the Rizzos might get along a lot better if they weren’t keeping so many secrets. Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, and Alan Arkin star in this smart and poignant dysfunctional-family comedy, set in unassuming City Island.
  5. densen
    Inspired by the Japanese word for power line, densen is a musical voyage through photographs from Tokyo, St. Petersburg, Barcelona, Milan, and Buenos Aires.
  6. Don McKay
    Don McKay (Thomas Haden Church) should have followed the old cliché: “You can’t go home again.” After 25 years, he returns for the first time to his hometown at the out-of-the-blue bidding of his cancer-stricken ex-girlfriend (Elisabeth Shue). But a lot of time has passed, and an old secret crashes into new ones in this darkly comic thriller, also featuring Melissa Leo.
  7. An Englishman in New York
    John Hurt astounds as he revisits the role that made him a star (in 1975’s The Naked Civil Servant): real-life writer, actor, and gay icon Quentin Crisp. This smart, sensitive drama—marked by Hurt’s bravura handling of Crisp’s razor-tongued wit—focuses on the flamboyant 72-year-old star’s move to New York in 1981, and the fallout from a reckless comment about the burgeoning AIDS epidemic. A Leopardrama Film for ITV1. Executive producers are Joey Attawia, Susie Field, and James Burstall.
  8. Entre Nos
    Adoring mother Mariana (talented codirector Paola Mendoza) has toted her two children from Colombia to New York to indulge her husband’s whim. But when he abruptly abandons the family, she’ll have to rely on her own imagination and courage—and that of her remarkable kids (breakthroughs Sebastian Villada and Laura Montana)—to survive insurmountable odds during their first summer in the United States.
  9. Hysterical Psycho
    In this side-splitting horror send-up, a theater troupe takes a trip to a country cabin, but its nearby lake is full of lunar radiation, and one of the troupe members is already straight-up crazy. Put them together and you get one psycho thespian! Full of bloody, fun-filled kills, a deaf-mute chick, inventive animation, and some big boobs, Hysterical Psycho is a wild trip.
  10. influenza/Composition II (chrome square)
    A sticker project translated into animation, this film uses shiny square stickers as miniature, abstract urban screens that quietly reflect the city life on their blurry surface. In the mid-1990s filmmaker Jeroen Jongeleen discovered in stickers a simple and cheap means of functioning in public.
  11. Love the Beast
    Eric Bana’s directorial debut is a love story. The object of the actor’s affection? A Ford XB Falcon Coupe, his “beast,” the car he’s had since he was 15. Tracing Bana’s lifelong obsession with cars to his participation in the ultimate auto race—the five-day Targa Tasmania—this impassioned doc is fueled by family, friendship, and an insatiable lust for life.
  12. A Matter of Size
    In this touching, lighthearted comedy, an overweight, underemployed chef and three close friends abandon their weight-loss group to pursue an activity for which girth is a virtue: sumo wrestling. While training, they discover the soul of sumo, realizing that—fat or thin—love and success will only come from being true to themselves.
  13. Métro
    A journey into the 68 stations of the Montreal subways.
  14. My Last Five Girlfriends
    Based on the international best seller On Love by Alain de Botton, this delightful romantic comedy explores with delicious wit and whimsy just how modern urban relationships go wrong. Surveying the wreckage of his last five relationships, thirtysomething Duncan (Brendan Patricks) concludes that love is a battleground where only the fittest survive.
  15. My Life in Ruins
    From Nia Vardalos, writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, comes the hilarious comedy My Life in Ruins. Georgia (Nia Vardalos) has lost her kefi (Greek for “mojo”). Discouraged by her lack of direction in life, she works as a travel guide, leading a ragtag group of tourists as she tries to show them the beauty of her native Greece. While opening their eyes to an exotic foreign land, she too begins to see things in new ways-finding her kefi in the process.
  16. Original
    In this fresh and colorful lovable loser tale, Henry has spent most of his life trying to blend in. When his seemingly normal life turns upside down, his friend convinces him to move to Spain and open a restaurant. But before he can break free of the mundane, he gets sidelined caring for his mentally unstable mother, running into a lost-soul feminist who does performance art in a strip club, and a big bag of steroids.
  17. Playground
    Executive produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Steven Soderbergh, this astonishing doc travels to the dark heart of one of the world’s most sinister industries—the child sex trade. Beginning her journey infiltrating brothels in South Korea and Thailand, director Libby Spears soon discovers that the United States is a major player in the human trafficking racket and turns her attention to the homeland. Featuring original artwork by Yoshitomo Nara.
  18. Racing Dreams
    What Little League is to baseball, go-karting is to auto racing. Oscar®-nominated director Marshall Curry (Street Fight) follows the exhilarating and emotional journeys of three top racers competing for the national championship. Three adolescents and their families must discover if they have the talent and dedication—and sponsorship dollars—to one day become NASCAR superstars.
  19. The Swimsuit Issue
    What begins as a joke turns into a new shot at glory for a group of over-the-hill athletes who decide to form Sweden’s only all-male synchronized swimming team. The less they’re taken seriously, the more determined they are to win the world championship in this fun, feel-good comedy about friendship and family.
  20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    In shell-ebration of their 25th anniversary, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will make a totally radical appearance along with their sidekick April at the Drive-In’s giant pizza party and screening of their 1990 film. To welcome the Turtles, the plaza will be decorated with glow-in-the-dark manhole covers. Families can climb inside the all-new Party Wagon, a mobile treasure trove based on the original Party Van. Kids can get their faces painted Turtle-style, take pictures at the photo booth, and pick up new moves with karate demos!
  21. A Time and a Time
    A Time and a Time is a short film made entirely from archive footage shot in three specific locations in Bristol over the past 100 years. Films and photographs across time are combined to create new scenes where contemporary shoppers mingle with people that walked that same street a century earlier.
  22. TiMER
    Finding true love is easier than ever thanks to a bio-technological implant called the TiMER, which counts down to the exact time people meet their soul mates. Love-starved Oona (Emma Caulfield, TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is pushing 30, but her TiMER hasn’t even started counting down yet. What’s worse, she’s falling for a guy (John Patrick Amedori, Gossip Girl) who is set to meet his true love in four months. Newcomer Jac Schaeffer crafts a smart romantic comedy that leaves behind the burning question… would you want to know?
  23. Trailer Trash
    A skewed take on film detritus: 35mm movie trailers are rescued from the trash and affected by hand and digitally, holding up a funhouse mirror to the industry of expectations.
  24. Without You
    Inspired by a poem by Josef Albers, Without You is a visual exploration of London’s industrial suburbia, focusing on an imaginary circle drawn at a 10-mile radius from Charing Cross, where the natural and man-made environments lie side-by-side in harmonic indifference.

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Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal onstage at Borough of Manhattan Community College

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the outdoor screen at the Tribeca Film Festival Drive-In

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Cooking demonstration at the Tribeca Film Festival Family Festival

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Balloon animal maker at the Tribeca Film Festival Family Festival

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Director and stars of City Island at the film’s premier

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Laura Bari, director of Antoine

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Director and stars of An Englishman in New York

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The Scandinavian filmmakers who created Original

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Filmmakers speak at Tribeca Talks: The Future of the Independents

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First-time director Eric Bana fields a question at premier of Love the Beast

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A star meets fans at the Tribeca Film Festival Family Festival

Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Talks: The Future of the Independents
Heineken Audience Award


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