Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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...

1 comment:

  1. Greatly looking forward to THE MEANING OF LIVE! And yes SPEEDY is a fabulous film--saw it at the Film Forum two years back.