Archive for May 2nd, 2011

CarolChanningLargerThanLife 500x281 ‘Carol Channing: Larger Than Life’ (documentary)

Dori Berinstein's vivacious "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life" was Tribeca's best documentary feature

Michael Cuesta's perceptive and minimalist "Roadie" was Tribeca's finest narrative feature

by Sam Juliano

A hectic time-consuming week at the Tribeca Film Festival and a weekend stomach virus have consorted to prevent me from tackling the blogosphere links that display on this thread every week.  I simply didn’t have any time to do this, but fully expect to have the links back up next weekend.  My apologies to all. I still have managed a few that pertain to the body of this thread, including the feature link to The Dancing Image, a soon-to-be-abandoned site managed for several years by the incomparable Joel “Movie Man” Bocko, a cherished WitD affiliate, colleague and personal friend, who has publically announced he is ending his long-running blogging stint as of this week.  Career moves and a probable relocation to the west coast have convinced Bocko to presently suspend further postings at his site, though he is hopeful the treasure trove of movie-related features and reviews will serve as a continuing reference tool for the blogging community.  Bocko’s deparature leaves a void that is frankly impossible to fill, and one that will be acutely felt, especially by those who have been enriched by his exceptional writing and one-of-a-kind commentary.  WitD will always consider Joel as part of the family here, and his name will never be removed from the sidebar as long as this site continues to thrive.

Maurizio Roca’s ‘Film Noir Countdown’ has officially crossed the finish line, and the young Brooklynite deserves exceeding praise for his selections and excellent writing throughout the long-running project.  His choices will provide those embraking on a comprehensive study of the genre with a plthora of great essays and insilghts.  On another most worthy note, Tony d’Ambra’s sidebar poster continues to feature the recent publication of his extraordinary collection of film-inspired poetry titled “Cinematic Poetica.”  There is presently a terrific discount being offered for those who order through the site.

Otherwise, it’s been Tribeca, Tribeca and more Tribeca.  Through the generous efforts of one of the festival’s program directors, Mr. Pete Torres, (a friend and contact of Dennis Polifroni) WitD received 2 tickets for nine features.  I succeeded in attending all nine (most of the time with Lucille, but a few with Broadway Bob and Melanie) and to boot, waited on the Rush line on Sunday night to secure a ticket to the Carol Channing documentary that wasn’t requested on my original list to Torres.  The Tribeca Festival, conducted primarily in four locations around the city, was headquartered at the Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on 23rd Street, where I saw 60% of the screenings I managed.  With well over 80 feature films on the schedule, even the most avid filmgoer wouldn’t be able to make more than a quarter of them, so to have successfully negotiated ten was a satisfying achievement, especially having watched the Heinecken First and Third Place Award winners, and several others that are sure to win theatrical openings in the near-future.  Staying on for a number of the Q & A sessions certainly added to this remarkable festival experience.  I have decided to integrate the Tribeca venture into this week’s diary thread, offering up star rating and capsule reviews.  I have furthermore opted to post the star ratings together, and then the brief commentaries on each film.  I have ordered then in the sequence I saw them with date included.  I did include the first two films on last week’s diary thraed as well, since they were seen before I prepared last week’s installment.  Keep in mind that my comments here are of course based on the ten films I saw.

Point Blank  *** 1/2   (France)     Saturday 4/23  – AMC Loews Village 7

The Last Round  **    (Chile)        Sunday 4/24  – Clearview Chelsea Cinemas

The Swell Season  ****   (USA)     Monday 4/25 – SVA Theatre

Gone     **      (USA)                         Tuesday 4/26 – Clearview Chelsea Cinemas

The Perfect Family  *** 1/2  (USA)  Wednesday 4/27 – AMC Loews Village 7

Roadie   **** 1/2   (USA)       Thursday 4/28 – Clearview Chelsea Cinemas

Detachment   ****   (USA)                Friday 4/29 – AMC Loews Village 7

Shakespeare High   ** 1/2  (USA)    Saturday 4/30 – Clearview Chelsea Cin.

Give Up Tomorrow  **** (UK, USA)  Sunday 5/1 – Clearview Chelsea Cinemas

Carol Channing: Larger Than Life **** 1/2  (USA) Sunday 5/1 – Chelsea Cin. (more…)

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