I am feeling some guilt for kinda dissing Patti Smith in the last essay I wrote – just glibly dashing off a few lines about her Tribeca Film Festival appearance at the premier of Horses: Patti Smith and Her Band, the new documentary about her 40th anniversary performance of her 1975 debut album of the same name, followed by a live concert at the Beacon Theater. I hadn’t planned on writing about that film or event, but it sort of just came out as I typed my introduction to a lengthy film review of a wild, crazy, mind-blowing movie…
Ghostbox Cowboy had me running home, alone and in the dark, scared for reasons I didn’t understand, but definitely totally freaked out, looking over my shoulder for I don’t know who or what. Man, what a relentlessly grim, dark, bleak, terrifyingly phantasmagoric dystopian nightmare of a movie. I tried to shake it off before I went to bed. I couldn’t. I woke up in a wobbly and disoriented state, having dreamt about it, and then sat down at my computer and saw email from the film’s P.R. guy thanking me for attending the screening and asking if would share my thoughts on the film. What the fuck, motherfucker?!
It’s hard to choose which was worse – the acting or the script or the directing. Sarah Jessica Parker, as Vivienne the lounge singer with a life in which no one truly cares about her, tries way too hard to show us without telling us how distraught she is over her very-bad-news medical diagnosis. I kept thinking, “Please give her a line to say, so she stops desperately gesticulating in order to make us believe she believes she really might die.”
Edward Albee is smiling in his grave. He is thinking to himself “You see, they will never forget me, but they also will never surpass me.” He is thinking about the new film, Egg, directed by Marianna Palka and written by Risa Mickenberg, which recently premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2018. Albee was notoriously (and aggressively) protective of his work. He didn’t like directors inserting their own ideas into his carefully crafted dialogue or layering their notions on top of his brilliantly depicted themes. But still, I think Albee might be pleased with this new movie, which is very much an homage to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
It’s Spring in New York – the time for lovers…of film, and narrative media of all kinds. The city’s cultural-cutting-edge gem, Tribeca Film Festival, takes place April 18 -29 and in keeping with its passion for What’s Next, this year’s 17th annual festival includes not only 99 Feature Films and 55 Short Films (from 39 countries), but also 35 Immersive (virtual reality) Experiences, 21 Tribeca TV presentations, 21 Tribeca Talks, and even Tribeca Games. If you’ve given up going to the movies and opted for streaming media in the comfort of your own home, this is the time to get off the couch and get with this extraordinary program. Helen Highly recommends what to watch at TFF2018.
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?