Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jackrabbit (2015) TRIBECA 2015


JACKRABBIT split the audience I saw it with into three factions- those that hated it and walked out or fell asleep, those that admired it pretty much every level except the pacing and the story and fell asleep, and then there was me. I apparently was the only one who liked it. Actually up until a certain point I absolutely loved the film…

…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

JACKRABBIT is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Some event called THE RESET 25 years earlier wiped out civilization. There is no electric outside of City 6, or cars or anything like we have now and they have there. There are hints of some sort of nuclear event and marauders. The city is controlled by a company called Vopo which works to keep everything running and contact with the outside world to a minimum. When a hacker is suicide (his murder made to look self-inflicted) his friends try to unlock the secrets of a computer drive he left behind.

An enigmatic low tech kind of cyber-punk thriller the film is a low budget throw back to some of the low-fi films of the 70’s and 80’s. There are riffs and nods to various earlier films including the Matrix, The Conversation and Besson’s Final Combat. It’s a world where technology stopped in the late 80s or early 90’s (Atari’s Night Driver is a home video game). To me it’s a beautifully constructed world that all makes sense.

The problems with the film comes from two places. First the film is slow. Things happen in their own good time. While I clicked with the pace which matched the speed of the world, many people around me were put to sleep. I can’t say that the pacing is perfect, it is slow, but for whatever reason it didn’t bother me.

The other problem with the film is the film is enigmatic to the point of annoyance. There are a lot of mysteries going on and motivations are not full explained (though in the end you know why) but there is a point, right about the time that one character commits suicide, that it becomes apparent that we are not going to be given all the answers, there simply isn’t enough time.

What put a couple people over the edge concerning the film was the end which intimated something., but didn’t really say anything. Not to be too spoilery but Max does find something but what that is is never revealed- it remains a MacGuffin all the way through and that pissed them off. If there had been a payoff, even a little one they would have liked it more. For me there was disappointment, but as I said I knew it was going to end weakly once the suicide happened.

To me this is an almost great film done in by it insistence not to reveal whats going on. I can completely understand why some will hate the film, but at the same time if you click in with its weird vibe you will be richly rewarded.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Faster Horse (2015) is the dullest film I've seen to date at Tribeca 2015

Dull 90 minute commercial for the Ford Mustang focusing on the most recent redesign of the car.

Lots of talking heads, lots of stock footage come together to be probably the dullest film I've ever seen in six years at the Tribeca Film Festival. Its a low key kiss assy film that wouldn't get a slot on the Velocity Channel.

Yea its full of facts and details but it so blandly put together that if you're like me you'll be fighting to stay awake. In all honesty had I seen this in a theater I would have walked out and had I stayed late tonight to see this at the festival I would have been pissed off.

What a waste of time.

I might have been okay with the dullness but its simply a commercial for the car with tons of promotional footage through out and many sequences shot to frame the Mustang and it's logo as if it were a sales pitch.

Unless you are a big time Mustang fan skip this film.

Tribeca Film Festival pictures are up at Tumblr

I posted the first round of pictures at our Tumblr page including RiffTrax Live, the red carpets for MEADOWLANDS and KING JACK,  and setting up the drive in. To see them go here.

Song of Lahore (2015) Tribeca 2015

One of my notes made during the press screening for SONG OF LAHORE was "Films like this are the reason I get out of bed in the morning"

One of the must see films at Tribeca  SONG OF LAHORE is a glorious portrait of the  a group of musicians centered around Sachal Studios in Pakistan who are trying to keep traditional music alive in their country.

Back in 1977 when a military coup brought a pro-Islamic state leadership music was frowned upon  driving the musicians into other professions. Some continued to play but by the time that things begin to thaw the traditional way of making music was forgotten. Hoping to find an audience via CD releases the artists began to record for Sachal. However since the market for their music they tried something different and recorded some jazz infused songs including Dave Brubeck's Take Five. The BBC did a story and things got crazy and the group was invited to Lincoln Center to play with the Lincoln Center Jazz orchestra.

Wonderful film about bunch or musicians doing what they do and struggling to share it with the world, or even just their own city, will make your heart soar. Full of great characters, marvelous discussions and amazing music this is a film that will make you want to get up and dance. I think someone behind me at the press screening started to applaud during one of the performances. I'm also pretty sure that everyone in the screening room was having a good time because when I turned around at one point everyone was smiling.

The film isn't all light and fluffy music. There is a great deal of seriousness as some forces in Pakistan  seek to stop music being played. The more extreme radical elements are killing musicians and destroying instruments in order to stop it being played. Things are so bad that concerts have to be performed with heavily armed guards in attendance. Its not a happy scene and it gives you a great deal to consider.

As dark as the political climate is, its the music that shines a bright light in the darkness. Watching the men perform in Pakistan put a smile on my face  that only got bigger when we got to see them in NewYork wandering around the city and playing at Lincoln Center. I think the term is way cool.

One of the must sees at the festival.

Prescription Thugs (2015) Tribeca 2015

Chris Bell's follow up to BIGGER STRONGER FASTER would seem at the start to be  been there and done that look at the over use and abuse of prescription meds, but somewhere relatively early on the film takes a personal turn as Bell reveals that the film was made partly in response to the death of his brother from drugs. The film then flips again as more details are revealed.

Damning indictment of the drug industry is a deeply moving look at not only the big companies but also the addicts themselves. This is a film that does what the best documentaries do take a big subject and make it so personal that people are very likely to actually get up off their asses and do something.

I can't say enough good about this film. It really blew me away. I mean that. Consider that by the time I had seen the film I had seen 40 other festival films in two weeks, and four more earlier in the day. I was ready to walk out and go home, but I figured I'd stay and give it a try. At first I was considering how long I was going to stay only to get the thought out of my mind as Chris' brother dies and Chris looks for answers. By the end I was deeply moved, so much so I put it on our Must See List of the festival.

See this film. Even if you think you know what the deal is with the companies odds are you'll learn something new, additionally Chris' own story will move you.

One of the best films at Tribeca

In Brief: Palio (2015) Tribeca 2015

I don't have a great deal to say about PALIO other than Run do not walk to get tickets to see it in the theater. This documentary is absolutely jawdropping and amazing when seen on a big screen with big sound.  It is one of the must see films at this years Tribeca

The film is the story of the Palio, the world's oldest horse race. A contest between ten discticts in the Italian city Sienna, the race consists of three laps around the inside of the central plaza of the city. Its a bone crushing race where riders and horses routinely crash into the walls, jockeys bribe each other horse wins and the losing jockey is an outcast. Its the only race in the world where a riderless horse can still win the race.

Words can not describe what this film is like other than saying short of going to the race you've never seen anything like this. Its an imersive experience that that will have you sitting wide eyed and mumbling.  If it sounds and plays like a real life spaghetti western its only because  they lift Ennico Morricone riffs. If you've seen the producers earlier film SENNA you'll understand when I say this is as exciting as the best race film.

This movie is freaking amazing. You have to see this.

For tickets and more information go to the films web page/

Orion:The Man Who Would Be King (2015)

ORION THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING is the strange story of Jimmy Ellis who had a voice that sounded like Elvis Presley's. The similarity worked against him until Elvis died and he started preforming as Orion, a fictional character based on Elvis created by Gail Brewer Giorgio (she wrote the book suggesting Elvis was alive).

An intriguing as all hell story is given a much too straight forward telling to the point what should be a completely emotional story just sort of lays there. Consisting of archival interviews with Ellis, talking head chats with friends and family, and lots of period footage the film is, except for its subject matter exactly like pretty much every other standard TV documentary bio you'll see today, all you need do is cut this down to 50 minutes and you could play it on one of the various cable TV networks.

Actually if you cut the film down to say an hour you'd have a dynamite film in the style it's told now. As it stands the 90 minute running time is too much for such a conventional tale that interest kind of wanes. Even the late in the game suggestion that Ellis could be Elvis' half brother  generates almost no heat, partly because they don't do anything with it and partly because it's just added in matter of factly.

As with most of the films at this years Tribeca I don't dislike the film I just wish it was better... or in this case more exciting. I, like Hubert and some other people at the screening, went in hoping for an exciting off beat film. If there was ever a subject  that would have improved with a tad of flash it would be Orion, sadly that doesn't happen.

Is the film worth seeing? Oh most definitely Jimmy Ellis/Orion deserves to be remembered, but at the same time I'm not sure you need to pay festival prices , or even regular movie prices to see it. Wait for this to hit TV-which it will- and then watch it as it plays in eternal rotation.

King Jack (2015) Tribeca 2015

I don't think I've seen many films as emotionally truthful as KING JACK. Say what you will about the details of the plot, the pure emotion of being an teen and an underdog  made a whole theater full of critics ponder how in the world they could ever write about the film.

Teenager Jack is just trying to get by. Bullied and abused by the kids around him, and even his older brother, Jack falls in and out of trouble. When Jacks younger cousin Ben comes to stay for a couple of days, Ben's mom had a psychotic episode, Jack finds that he is now entrusted with keeping an eye on someone.

This film kicks ass and takes names. Its a film that resonates with a truth that if it isn't real in a reality sort of way, then it's certainly real in a nostalgic way. Everyone will see themselves in Jack even to the point they will have to look away. I saw whole sections of my childhood flashing before my eyes, both on screen and in my imagination. It was tough, but well worth it.

I really don't know what to say other than I loved this film a great deal. Its a film that talks to you, whoever you are, on your own terms. The filmmakers know of what they speak and it's all on the screen. In truth KING JACK is the real BOYHOOD. There is more truth, more emotion, more reality than Richard Linkletter’s film

The truthfulness is so strong and so powerful that you easily forgive some of the odd twists and turns, especially a villain who is so nasty  that you really can't imagine him not being in prison. Then again I'm not sure that the film would resonate as well as it does if it wasn't bumpy and didn't have monster for Jack to struggle against.

Go see this film and be moved to actually feel something.

Something tells me that this film is going to have a long life after Tribeca. A must see.

Day 2 at Tribeca 2015- three high points impressions

I have to get up in 3 and a half hours but I wanted to say a couple of quick things- a full report will be coming soon.

RIFF TRAX :THE ROOM was so funny that tears roll down your face. Its possibly the best one they've done.

I wish you all could have been there as Lesley Coffin, Joe Bendel, Chris Bourne and I discussed heatedly SCHERZO DIABOLICO. Its a mess of a movie that had about 20 people walk out and had those that stayed saying mostly bad things.

I loved talking to Nathanael Hood about AUTISM IN LOVE. If his finished piece is as passionate as his defense of the film he put up this afternoon then you'll have a great read ahead of you.

Okay-bed time

I have lots to report, pictures to post and films to review-tomorrow....

Friday, April 17, 2015

DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (2015) Tribeca 2015

I would qualify calling DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD (DSBD) one of the two best films at Tribeca so far (the other is MONTY PYTHON THE MEANING OF LIVE) or one of the best films of the year by saying that I was warped by...er...grew up on Lampoon and its off shoots except that the audience reaction at the screening I saw was equally positive. Though I'm certain that I was the only person singing along to the Middle Class Liberal Well Intentioned Blues.

A history of the National Lampoon from it's inception as a spin off of the Harvard Lampoon to second best selling Magazine in the country onward to media giant with live shows, radio shows and movies and ultimately to its collapse. Filled with most of the people who were there (PJ O'Rourke, Tony Hendra, Chevy Chase among many others) the film is everything you need to know about the Lampoon and its influences. Its filled with wild stories, clips from all their shows plus many cartoons come to life. It also explains why Lampoon is the reason that American comedy is the way it is (spoiler-Saturday Night Live stole everyone from Lampoon)

Quite frankly this is as good a documentary, nay film, as I've seen all year. Its near flawless with it's only two minor problems being that it isn't longer (which would have allowed more detail and stories) and the other is it doesn't have some people talking about what happened, but since they are all dead (John Belushi, Doug Kenny, Michael O'Donoghue) its completely understandable.

The only thing I can say about the film s go see it and stay through the ending for an animated closer based on one of the iconic Lampoon cartoons.

As for me I've just been hit by a bus

Gored (2015) Tribeca 2015

Let me begin with two warnings. If you are easily grossed out stay away, the nastiness in this film will make you wince. Additionally if you are an animal lover stay away since this portrait of a dying sport will make you angry. Also be aware I'm not going to talk about the morality of bullfighting. I'm not going to discuss the cruelty of it. I'm just going to talk about the film.

GORED is a portrait of bullfighter Antonio Barerra, a man best known as the most gored bullfighter ever. We watch as Barrera prepares for his final bull fight and we look back over his life.

Biography meets hypnotic journey this portrait of a man in danger sucks you in and drags you along. The early portion of the film which involves a lot of talking heads gives way to the second half footage of Barerra's fights. The fight footage is filled with both the wounds that Barerra suffered but also the beauty of bullfighting.  Knowing full well that I may get brick bats thrown at me I have to say that there is a beauty in the motion of the matador  dancing with the bull.  Partly it's the suit, partly its the motion of the human body and partly its the metaphor of man and nature that makes it something hypnotic to watch.

I really liked this film a great deal. There is something about the experience of seeing this film and how it portrays a fading way of life that is truly special. While animal lovers are going to have problems with a film that portrays a man who kills animals for a living as noble, the film is ultimately extremely compelling.

Actually in thinking about it I don't know really how to discuss the film, My reaction to the film is not intellectual but emotional. Looking at my notes I found that there is  a great deal not said in the film, yet at the same time the film is much more compelling than many other more detailed films. The imagery and the few words in the film are enough to create a unique and emotional experience.

Definitely one of the better films at this years Tribeca. Its recommended for anyone with an interest.

Transfatty Lives (2015) Tribeca 2015

Patrick Sean O'Brien, aka the Transfatty of the title, was diagnosed with ALS, aka Lou Gerhig's disease, aka the same thing that Stephen Hawking has, in 2005 and was given 2 to 5 years to live. Ten years later he is unveiling his autobiographical film as a way to explain to his young son who he is and what he's going through.

Say what you will about Patrick O'Brien he is not one to go into that good night without having the ambulance blasting Black Sabbath. Where other people might get their affairs in order he kept on going, making films, writing on his blog, and oh yea, fathering a child he adores.

The film that we have been gifted with is O'Brien's ballsy warts and all FUCK YOU to the disease that is slowly killing him and a wet kiss with full on tongue to the life he refuses to leave. If you ever wanted to know what it's like to have a disease that would keep you trapped in your body fully aware of everything this is it.

This isn't so much a document of his life but of his mental space- this is how he feels and what he thinks. Its a moving, over powering kick to the nuts. You can not help but be moved by the story. This film will make it damn difficult for you ever again to say you have a tough life or you hate your situation. How can you bitch and complain when someone like Patrick O'Brien is still fighting the good fight  despite being trapped in his body.

I don't know what else to say other than its a must see film

Mary J Blige: The London Sessions (2015) Tribeca 2015

I had intended on going to see this play at the Beacon theater earlier tonight but I realized that I can only handle so many late nights and even though Mary J Blige was performing after the film I would probably be falling asleep in the middle of her set. Additionally tickets were pricey...

Little more than an extended promo for the same titled album by Ms Blige this film suffers from, in the words of Chris Bourne, being neither fish nor fowl.  While the film is too long to be a commercial for the album, the film is equally too short by half to be an insightful documentary. Seeing as little as we do of the creation of the songs its clear that there is a story to be told about how they were created. Additionally the film could use more detail on Blige's life up to now since what is revealed is moving enough that it would win her a whole slew of new fans once they saw a longer cut of the film.

I can't imagine actually paying good money to see this 45 minute film unless it was a precursor to a concert.

Honestly this film is good enough to wish it was longer but too short to really bother with. My advice- buy the album instead.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Democrats (2015) tribeca 2015


Democrats is a really good look at the writing Zimbabwe’s constitution. After Robert Mugabe, the long term dictator of the coutry looked to be on the verge of losing the election he agreed to share the presidency with another and to allow the writing of new constitution. The committee to do so brought together Paul Mangwana and Douglas Mwonzora one pro government and one the opposition. The pair become a weird odd couple who slowly begin to see things through each other’s eyes.

This is a great story about the political process not only in Zimbabwe but also elsewhere. Here in the US where partisan politics has taken over Washington and frozen the government the film illustrates very clearly the need to reach across the aisle and make your enemy a friend if you want to get anything done.

For me the joy of the film is watching both Paul Mangwana and Douglas Mwonzora change over the course of the film. As time gos on and what was supposed to be weeks stretched into years we see how the process alter the way they are. Changing the most is Mangwana who is an information minister in the government. All cock-sure and full of piss and vinegar he’s ready to take on the world and get his way. Things don’t go his way and his life is put in danger when the unfinished draft is leaked and his masters threaten to cut him loose, a move that would probably end up in his death. Its a chilling moment and you realize that the men really are dealing with matters of life and death.

Hollywood can't make films this gripping.

This is a wonderful film and a Tribeca must see.

The Birth of Sake (2015) Tribeca 2015

Great look at the Tedorigawa brewery which still makes sake the old fashioned way- by hand. This involves the brewers spending six months at the brewery- October through April and monitoring the process and going with their intuition.

When you see the film you have to give yourself over to it. Structured so that we see and more importantly feel the rhythms of the brewing process the film can seem daunting. The film first has long takes of the men going through their routines. We watch as the rice is boiled and rolled by hand, we sit with the men as they eat and check the fermenting mixes all day and night. All along the way the mixes are tasted and adjusted not according to formula and intuition. The pace is a tad slow as we get to see and understand what they are doing. We also slowly find a place among the men as they become more than just random faces but people we like. Once we are set in the cycle of the days the film picks up speed as we move through time faster and we branch out into looking at how taste is selected, how the sake is sold and what the guys do when they have a rare day off. You really get a sense of what it takes to do the brewing by hand.

The film is easily one of the most beautiful films at Tribeca. While the film is largely straight forward reporting of events there are times when the film transcends the routine and turns the act of working into a glorious ballet of image and sound. Sometimes it’s in artistic sequence but more often than not its simply in managing to pick the right angle at the right moment to reveal the beauty in the everyday. I know there is a long tradition in Japan of finding the magic in the everyday with something like the tea ceremony or pruning a bonsai tree, but here in the creation of sake, we see that notion not in a ceremony but in the every day. It’s magical and shows us just how glorious life really is.

I love this film a great deal, but I’m having a hard time explaining the film. This is one of those films I can tell you how good it is, but I can’t adequately explain the film without it seeming like something it’s not. I can say it’s deliberately paced and a mediation but that will make it sound stogie. The opposite is actually true it’s very much alive. It’s like a quiet afternoon with friends instead of a morning in church. The film is so alive and so affecting that when something happens toward the end of the film the entire audience gasped. I could hear people reacting around me. It got to people.

This is a great little film and if you’re willing to go with it you’ll be greatly rewarded.

In My Father's House (2015) Tribeca 2015 will make you want to call your dad

Portrait of Grammy and Academy award winning musician of Che Rhymefest Smith as he buys his father's old house then decides to track his long disappeared father down. What happens when he reconnects is the film.

Deeply moving story begins on a dizzying high as Che buys the house and then locates his father who has been living on the street and in shelters for the last 20 years. Che sees it as an opportunity to get the paternal love he always craved, but how things play out are different than he or we expected.

This fantastic look at what it means to be a father contrasts Che's dance to reconnect with his dad with his own efforts to be a father to his own children. The film also deftly adds yet another layer into the mix as Che, a radio talk show host, expands the discussion to the question of single parenting in the black community as he talks to people on the air and engages with some kids in person. Frankly there is so much going on I don't know where to start talking about it.

Perhaps the best thing that I can say about the film is that as soon as the film ended and I wiped the tears out of my eyes I sent a text message to my dad telling him I loved him. I have no doubt that the text confused the hell out of him, but that's okay I needed to tell him how much I loved him.

This is a wonderful film. As I've indicated I was moved to tears by it. One of the things that I loved about the film is that it doesn't unfold as expected. What should be the rousing finale is the start of the film and it goes from there.  By not taking the path you'd expect you'll wonder where it all is going. Not to worry there is a point to it all and by the time of the final fade out you'll want to call your dad- or your mom.

To be honest there is much I want to say about the film but I need another pass or two to be able to do it justice. The film is just too full of ideas and emotions to get it all after one go round, especially when the film wonderfully blindsides you and turns out to be something special.

Put this one on your list and go see it.

TRIBECA Day One- Preview of Coming Attractions

Up two hours earlier than I do for the day job so I can hop a train into Manhattan to see movies.  It would be fine except I'm exhausted from a late night last night. I'm going to write up the day later on but I just wanted to say I'm in and alive.

Much of today was seeing friends and talking. Some people like Matt Monagle it was a a brief chat before heading off in opposite directions or in the case of Hubert we saw movies and had lunch.

I saw SLOW WEST, GOOD KILL, (T)ERROR and LUCIFER today. I was going to see the Saturday Night Live film but word before it was it wasn't that good, and word coming out was the same. As it was a good bad good bad day. I can't review the films yet  because of an embargo

I'll have more to say about everything soon, but I'm in unexpectedly in early and I want to see the family before I start writing.

Reviews should start hitting in about a half an hour

For now that's it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Tribeca Film Festival has just started- here's the Unseen Films plan of attack

Its 730 pm which means the the first screening of this years Tribeca Film Festival (LIVE FROM NEW YORK) should be starting any moment at the Beacon Theater. Actually it will probably start in about half an hour after all the introductions, thank yous and speechifying.

What this means is starting tomorrow some time in the early evening reviews will start hitting Unseen. I would have loved to have dropped some of the reviews sooner but I am bound by agreement that no review can go up until after the first festival screening was scheduled to end. Since the first films won't be ending until seven or so the reviews won't appear until then. From that point on look for over 80 reviews and pieces to appear (43  reviews are already in place)

The way this is going to go is that reviews will be appearing all over the place between tomorrow night and May 3rd. As in past years I will supplement that with reports from each day as I get home. This year the exception is going to be Friday night because I expect to come home crash into bed, get four hours sleep and then be out the door Saturday morning.  The plan is for John to get some early word on the Riff Trax show up Saturday while I hit the press screenings.

As of right now the plan is for me to do the majority of the reviews for Unseen. Hubert is going to do a bunch too, but he's also going to be cranking out think pieces on several films. Hubert will also be dropping reviews at Ruby Hornet and Flixist (where Alec will be directing all his coverage). I'll try to link to those as well.

More coverage will be coming as Mondocurry and Chocko dive in and out of the festival as their schedule allows. As I said above John is locked and loaded for Riff Trax and Randi has a seat for the new Monty Python doc.

I'm not sure whats going to happen or when anything will show up. This years festival already has a different feel so until it really gets going I don't know how this will play out.

What I suggest is that you all keep an eye on Unseen plus the twitter feeds of all of us since you never know what is going to show up where.

And now if you'll excuse me I need to get some last minute stuff done- I have to be on a train by 6:50AM

Tribeca 2015- The Revivals: An Overview

The Tribeca Film Festival is screening something on the order of 125 feature films. I think somewhere around 85 of the films are world premieres The rest of the films have screened elsewhere and 10 are revivals. All of the revivals tie into special events.

Every year the Festival devotes the first three nights after the grand Opening Gala to free outdoor screenings. The screenings are usually a combination of old films and new films. This year one new film (A FASTER HORSE) on Saturday is teamed up with two older films CLUE (celebrating its 30 anniversary and the Disney Classic LADY AND THE TRAMP.

Yes CLUE is based on the board game. When the film was originally shot four endings were filmed and three were released to theaters. All of the endings (including the fourth) were all cut together for the home video release. An amusing door slamming farce the film is more comedy than mystery. It works because the cast (Tim Curry, Martin Mull Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn and Michael McKean amongst others) sell the silliness. It’s a mindless popcorn film and the perfect film to chill to. (And for the record I saw two of the endings in the theater when the film was released)

LADY AND THE TRAMP is the Disney classic with songs by Brenda Lee. For a while the film was out of circulation during the early days of home video because of a lawsuit over the music, the film now is out and about for all to see. While not one of my favorite Disney films it does hold a special place in my heart since the first girl I ever had a crush on, at the age of 6, always reminded me of Lady. I don’t mean that in a bad way, simply that to a six year old who loved cartoons Lady was the most beautiful woman I could imagine.

The festival is celebrating the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra. In addition to a special presentation at Spring Studios. The festival is also running three Sinatra classics. SOME CAME RUNNING is the story of what happens when a bitter vet returns to his home town after time away in the big city and it’s a powerhouse drama. ON THE TOWN is a film version of the classic stage musical that’s famous for being shot on location in New York. Those of you who have the time could do a compare and contrast between the film and the show since a revival is currently running. I mention it because the film removes over half of the material in the Broadway show which confuses many people. HIGH SOCIETY is a musical version of the PHILADELPHIA STORY that also stars Grace Kelly in one of her last film roles and Bing Crosby. For my money it’s better than the source thanks to the great chemistry between the leads. (This was also reversed engineered into a stage musical)

The great Harold Lloyd’s classic film SPEEDY is having a one night only screening of a new restoration. The interesting thing is that the film is getting a live score done by DJ Z-Trip. I so want to see this but I need a night of rest and the chance to unwind at dinner with my dad is too good to pass up. On the other hand you all should go because it’s a great film.

Monty Python is coming to Tribeca and I couldn’t be more excited. (seriously for me this is like getting to see god- the only think that was more important to me was getting to hold my niece for the first time)The group maybe done performing but they are coming to New York for a celebration of the 40th anniversary of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL but also the best of the fest (so far) doc MEANING OF LIVE. If you don’t know Python you should make an effort to see the films because they are funny as all hell and incredibly intelligent (I wrote a paper in college about how Python can be used to teach history, philosophy and literature). They will be appearing at HOLY GRAIL (a send up of King Arthur) and doing a post film talk. I believe they are also doing one after THE MEANING OF LIVE. The guys will also be introducing the MEANING OF LIFE (an episodic look at life) and THE LIFE OF BRIAN, their irreverent look at the life of Christ. I’m not sure if they are doing Q&As after them. This maybe your last shot to see the guys together so I suggest you grab tickets and go.

The festival is closing on a revival. That may sound odd until you realize that the film is the classic GOODFELLAS and that a Q&A with the cast and filmmakers is going to follow. I don’t know if I really need to say more than that but if you have the cash and can get to the Beacon on the 26th I suggest you go.

Okay-  overview of the revivals is done– its time to move on to the new films...

In Brief: The Palace (2013) Art of the Real 2015

THE PALACE is a short film by Nicolas Pereda that focuses on seventeen women who are living together in a house in Mexico. Its never really clear why they are living or what the relationship between everyone is. There is some sort of interconnectedness to them which is revealed in part through a series of sequences where things happen or the women talk to the camera.

To be honest I'm not sure what I make of the film. While I found it interesting for a while I found the film's lack of answers bothersome. I suspect that had I seen this film first instead of last in the group of Art of the Real Titles I would have liked it more. However the fact that it was yet another observational film kind of wore on me, especially since things are a bit unclear as to the hows and whys. With some of the other films you can piece things together if you are patient, here there is no chance there simply is the women and for me it wasn't enough to sustain my interest for the full 36 minutes.

Its not terrible but it wasn't my cup of tea.

The film plays with the directors THE ABSENT For more details and tickets go here