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.
Of the 96 Tribeca Film Festival 2018 feature films, 46% of them are directed by women, the highest percentage in the Festival’s history. And there are 28 female-centric feature films. #TribecaToo. ha. But what struck me as I was watching my way through this year’s screenings is how many films deal specifically with the mother-daughter relationship. Some make that relationship the core subject of the film and others get around to that topic tangentially, and sometimes as an insightful way to end a story — giving context and emotional resonance to the rest of the film.
Tribeca Film Festival 2018 offers several films about art and artists,
but perhaps the most compelling selection is the list of Fashion Films —
three documentaries that profile fascinating characters from the fashion world.
Here is the list: