Sunday, April 3, 2016

Nightcap 4/3/116 Art of the Real Starts Friday, The return of the Buried Land Rule

The World Was Wide Enough from Megan Lloyd on Vimeo.
The Art of the Real Lincoln Center's annual look at off the beaten path documentaries starts Friday. As always it's an interesting mix of film, essay and docu-fiction that probably will never find a huge audience because the approaches can be too experimental or the subjects too esoteric.

As this posts I'll have seen ten of the films, two shorts and eight features. This year there aren't the highs and lows of past years. This year it's all solidly good with most of the films I've seen falling into the observational style of filmmaking where the filmmakers point the camera and record what happens.

Art of the Real is the one festival that I hate to do recommendations for so I won't. Its not that the films are bad, rather that they tend to be so mannered that what I like will not be what you like. If you want proof of this go into a room full of NYC centered writers and mention the series and then stand back as everyone will let loose with their opinions.

The best way to experience the films is to look at the schedule and pick something that sounds interesting and try it.

I will be reviewing everything I've seen starting at the end of the week

For more information and tickets go here.

Major General Urquhart: Hancock. I've got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven't arrived. My communications are completely broken down. Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea?

Corporal Hancock: Couldn't hurt, sir.

With Tribeca rapidly approaching its time to remind the world that if they don’t like a movie they can walk out.

Contrary to popular belief you are not required to stay to the end. I know this shocks some people who feel that they paid for something and they have to stay to get their money’s worth, but at the same time if you pay for a night at the theater and you find out its entirely having someone poke you in the ye for 90 minutes you’d walk out because you were being abused. Your time is too short- get up and leave.

For those who want to hang figuring the film will get better you have to consider if the film fits the BURIED LAND RULE or not. If is meets the BURIED LAND RULE by all means leave.

For those who don’t know the BURIED LAND RULE is named for the first film I ever saw at Tribeca. The film was a part fiction film part documentary about earth mounds in the Balkans that may or may not be buried pyramids. The documentary portions that opened and closed the film were great but the middle fictional section and I kept hoping that someone would walk into the mine fields that dotted the landscape. No one ever did and so the BURIED LAND RULE was born.

The BURIED LAND RULE states that if you think a film would be better if someone did X (ie. walk into a minefield), they never will, so you might as well go home because it’s never going to happen.

I haven’t been using the rule when at screenings much lately, but I use it as an excuse to turn off a movie on home video. Actually I use it as an excuse to scan to the end and except for one of two instances I’m never wrong. The movies suck.

To that end if you see a film that sucks- leave.


And Randi's links
Adam Curtis's BITTER LAKE
The story of the Iraqi supergun that wasn't
The History of the Balkan War
Tarantinos Favorite Spaghetti Westerns
Real Story of THE REVENANT

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