Last night everyone was indulging in the power manipulations of Game of Thrones, for the 8th season premiere. But the show now articulates its power struggles more as spectacle than crafted dialogue. Yes, Westeros has dragons, but Shakespeare has yet to make an appearance in their universe. The truly shocking words of domination last night came not from the Targaryens but from the return of Walter White, Omar of The Wire, and Batman, just an hour later on another HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
It happened again: Entirely randomly and coincidentally, I saw two different narrative presentations (this time a film and a live play) just days apart, and despite their having no real connection, they merged in my brain to produce one review. The various parallels in the two films, including matching themes and potential relevance to right-now America, were difficult to ignore and not compare, so I did – compare and contrast.
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, announced today that Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, from Universal Pictures and Working Title, will world premiere as the closing night selection of the Festival’s 18th edition. Tribeca also announced this year’s Gala Anniversaries, including a never-before-seen restored version of Francis Ford Coppola’s cinematic masterpiece, Apocalypse Now, and the 30th anniversary and cast reunion of the iconic ‘80s coming-of-age film Say Anything… There will be additional Galas with the world premiere of Between Me and My Mind about Phish lead singer Trey Anastasio, followed by a special musical performance by the Trey Anastasio Band at the Beacon Theatre, as well as Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival opener The Good, The Bad, The Hungry
This documentary has become Real News, as filmmaker Morgan Pehme is testifying to serious news outlets about the all-too-relevant relationship that he was privy to while making his film “Get Me Roger Stone.” What Pehme heard and saw while filming that documentary may be shedding light on the shadowy relationship between Trump’s campaign advisor Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, helping to connect the dots between Trump, Stone, Assange, Wikileaks, Cambridge Analytica, Paul Manafort and the Kremlin. Is it all a conspiracy theory? Well, it may be, and if it is, it will delight the spotlight-loving Roger Stone all the more.
The fresh batch of films coming out of Tribeca2017 seems to have a violent teenage psychopaths every time you turn around. What turns our young men into crazy killers? At the same time as a slew of documentaries and true-life tales are depicting the courage and moral fortitude of actual young men around the world, responding to terrorism and war with bravery – going to extraordinary lengths to save lives, we get a bunch of “thriller” films that depict American young men as narcissistic psychopaths who revel in bloody violence. On one hand there is City of Ghosts, Dabka, and When God Sleeps, for starters – peace-seeking films, and on the other is The Dinner, Super Dark Times, Sweet Virginia, and even The Gray State. Is there a cultural connection?
Hey, all you angry progressive liberals, this is your film – to engage your rage. Hey, all you angry lovers of noble and decent democracy, this is your film – to reinforce your sense of injustice. Hey all you morally conscious idealists who imagine a level political field and fair play, get ready to get your hate on! And ALSO all you Republicans, and Libertarians, and you stubborn Trump-defenders: this film is full of quotable, self-satisfying defenses sure to infuriate your naïve, liberal friends who love to hate on you. There is something for every political animal in this movie. And animal may be the key word in that sentence.