"'$18 a damn ticket?' was a common refrain heard during this year's Tribeca Film Festival
, and when you consider it's a higher chunk of change than nearly any North American festival, one wonders why the excess should be allowed," begins Jason Clark
's overview at Slant
. "But on further review, one realizes it's just in the spirit of New York, where everyone pays regularly twice for about half... [T]he films on the whole were actually pretty worth it, netting a possibly even better hit-to-miss ratio than the tonier New York Film Festival
in the fall."
is more than happy to back him up on that. More from the Reeler
Updated through 5/11.
"My Best Friend shows [Patrice] Leconte's fondness for personalities wrapped up in quixotic conflicts, but the premise is too incredulous even by his own standards," writes Eric Kohn. Also: Fiesta Patria ("a sensationally moving drama centered on family dynamics across generations in Chile"), Nanking ("Death offers easy access for creating drama, but it doesn't ensure quality in the execution"), Lillie and Leander: A Legacy of Violence ("an essential portrait of the role the past plays in understanding the present"), Music Inn ("the inn essentially functioned as an artists' haven") and The Polymath or, The Life and Opinions of Samuel R Delany, Gentleman ("consistently fascinating").
ST VanAirsdale again, here on Albert Maysles and Antonio Ferrara's The Gates: "Oddly, the film's narrative momentum is directly inverse to that of the project it depicts." More at the House Next Door from Keith Uhlich, who has trouble with the Maysles "house style of documentary filmmaking" in general. And at Premiere, Aaron Hillis hails the film as "a greater work of art than those 7,503 banalities that salted Central Park for two weeks."
Jennifer Merin talks with Alison Thompson about The Third Wave and with Kathy Huang about Miss Chinatown USA.
On Reeler TV: Eva Mendes (Live!) and Anton Yelchin (Charlie Bartlett).
Tobi Elkin's got notes from the Fame! I'm Gonna Live Forever! panel.
Christopher Campbell listened in on the Heroes for Hire panel, "a terrific conversation on the state of comic book movies and on what can be expected from Marvel Comics adaptations in the near future." Related: Lewis Beale argues that "films derived from works whose protagonists speak in dialogue balloons are one of the cancers destroying the industry."
ST VanAirsdale talks with Marie Losier about her collaboration with Guy Maddin, Manuelle Labor.
More notes: Elena Marinaccio on the world according to Ludacris.
"The dearth of American Independent cinema at this year's Tribeca Film Festival (sorry, Kevin Connolly's Leo DiCaprio-produced Gardener of Eden hardly qualifies) is in no way indicative of the current state of the Indie scene, but rather the result of disinterested programmers, and/or the festival's emphasis on premieres," argues Filmbrain.
Karina Longworth asks a wide variety of New Yorkers how the festival might be fixed and, also for the SpoutBlog, how a slew of films stacked up to their buzz.
Time art critic Richard Lacayo finds Black White + Gray "a decent introduction to an enigmatic man. (Best moments: the interview segments with the rock star Patti Smith, who lived with [Robert] Mapplethorpe for years and was close to both [Mapplethorpe and Sam Wagstaff], and who comes off as one of the most lovable people in the universe.)"
AJ Schnack has a guest over to wrap Tribeca: Ryan Harrington, whose A&E IndieFilms premiered She's My Brother at the festival. Harrington offers capsule reviews of half a dozen of his favorites.
"The idyllic environment of Times and Winds is as seemingly uncluttered as the lives of the village's inhabitants," writes Jenny Jediny at Not Coming to a Theater Near You. "[T]he film nearly hums with the activity of life brimming among children and the natural world."
Ryan Stewart on Rise: Blood Hunter: "I have to say I wasn't expecting such a morally troublesome hero to emerge from those paragons of virtue at Sam Raimi's Ghosthouse Pictures, but I like it!" Also, a batch of shorts, Jerabek and The Poughkeepsie Tapes.
Erik Davis on Mary Stuart Masterson's directorial debut, The Cake Eaters, "one of those comfortable quiet films where most of the action is non-verbal and the characters rarely ever say what's really on their minds." Erik also talks with Zak Penn about The Grand; and Purple Violets is Ed Burns's "best film since The Brothers McMullen."
Online listening tip. Christina Kotlar talks with Lady Chatterley director Pascale Ferran at Zoom In Online, where she has a few other entries wrapping Tribeca: 1, 2 and 3.
Updates, 5/8: "Despite undergoing much scrutiny this year for changes to structure, pricing, locations and programming, the Tribeca Film Festival seems to have beefed up their Midnight and genre selections for the year, leaping miles ahead of the 2006 content," writes Michael Lerman at indieWIRE. "Ranging from some of the year's most creative and original, darker work like György Pálfi's grotesquely beautiful Taxidermia and Ha Yoo's perfectly layered gangster mini-epic A Dirty Carnival (both so strong that Tribeca elevated them to the Showcase section of the festival) to the more dramatic, less shocking side of midnight like Teng Huatao's composed ghost love story The Matrimony, the genre programming of TFF 2007 covers lots of ground, with a few fun gems along the way."
Bryan Whitefield at ScreenGrab: "Hopefully, Normal Adolescent Behavior will be able to find an audience among the teenagers it depicts as it gives them attractive, relatable characters and something to think about. A rare mix these days..."
Also, Sarah Hepola talks with Diego Luna about Chávez.
At Cinematical, Erik Davis interviews Live! writer-director Bill Guttentag and reviews Chops: "Towards the end of the film, as the competition heats up, we watch as these one-time strangers slowly become a family - one tight-knit voice so devoted to the art of jazz that it's hard not to shed tears when the final outcome is revealed."
Watching the Detectives is "a gentle spoof on femme fatales and the men they inevitably drag along by the ear," writes Ryan Stewart at Cinematical.
Updates, 5/9: "[T]o wrap up TFF '07, we are putting aside criticisms about the festival and its ticket-prices to single out some of the best movies that this year's festival had to offer," writes Eugene Hernandez, introducing indieWIRE's "ten best hotlist."
"[T]he two best films of the few I managed to see at Tribeca were Michael Kang's West 32nd and Yoo Ha's A Dirty Carnival," blogs Josh Ralske.
Cinematical's Ryan Stewart interviews Watching the Detectives writer-director Paul Soter.
William Speruzzi offers his take on about half a dozen films and/or events.
"With his second feature, not only does director Michael Kang (The Motel) deliver one of the more beautifully shot films I caught at Tribeca, but he introduces us to the complexity of an entire world that's carefully and delicately situated within one city block," writes Erik Davis at Cinematical.
Updates, 5/10: "I won't pretend I can summarize the lumpy, hit-and-miss mass of films that premiered at Tribeca (which only concluded last weekend)," writes Salon's Andrew O'Hehir. "What I can do is render a subjective list of 10 new films that emerged from the festival with heightened buzz, either among the movie world's commodity traders, its grimy-spectacled cinema buffs, or both."
"A Walk Into the Sea is captivating, astute and artful, even in its straightforward doc structure," writes Aaron Hillis for Premiere. "Produced by Doug Block, director of the dysfunctional-family portrait 51 Birch Street, this is a film about a community whose bonds were only dysfunctional, never familial."
Updates, 5/11: Marc Kandel gathers Hollywood Bitchslap's coverage on one handy page.
With 2 Days in Paris, "[Julie] Delpy moves fluidly between slapstick comedy and raw drama as she effortlessly evokes the heady pace of a short stopover in the city of lights," writes Beth Gilligan at Not Coming to a Theater Near You.
"[F]or all the emphasis put on Jia [Zhang-ke]'s bracing indictment of globalization and post-modernity in China, little attention is paid to the levity of his work, the wit and even euphoria that he affords his characters, which contrasts so sharply with the political cynicism of those critics writing about his work. Whatever grim notes Jia may strike about the state of his country, he never loses sight of the desires and interior lives of his characters." Also at NCTATNY, Leo Goldsmith reviews Still Life.
ST VanAirsdale, whose Reeler didn't just cover Tribeca but practically recreated the entire festival as text in real time, takes a breath and looks back: "Admittedly, it's massive, wealthy, a symbol of ruthless class upscaling - in other words, an easy festival to hate. But for what my impression and those of a number of others close to Tribeca are worth, it might be an even easier festival to misunderstand."
Posted by dwhudson at May 7, 2007 3:56 PM