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Archive for April 23rd, 2012

by Sam Juliano

The Tribeca Film Festival, now in it’s eleventh year has been steadily gaining in popularity and in perception among the world’s cineastes.  Founded by the actor Robert DeNiro, the eleven day film celebration, primarily offered up in four houses, but also extended to other venues for special events, features over 200 features and shorts, and a plethora of films that will eventually win release in theatres within months of the festival’s conclusion.  The Festival is divided into several categories and awards a $25,000 prize to the winner of the “Heinecken” audience award, determined by exit voting on a small white ballot and simple rating from one 1 to 5.  The “Spotlight” selections are usually the most prestigious, while the ‘World narrative competition,’ ‘World documentary competition,’ ‘Viewpoints,’ ‘Cinemania’ and ‘Short film programs’  regularly yield some great surprises.  It’s a time the sitting is overcome by movie fans from around the world, and visits from directors, stars and industry people.  Appearing in the Tribeca line-up is a dream come true for aspiring artists and it’s usually the first stop for eventually distribution and acceptance.

Tribeca Film Festival followers usually get a fair chance to piece together schedules, because of the programming that usually offers four screenings of any given feature or shorts compilation.  In some instances, like the world premiere of The Avengers or the two screenings of Michael Winterbottom’s Trisha -which is only screening twice- schedules won’t permit for expanded coverage, bit in exceedingly large measure, most fans will be able to see the vast majority of films on their must-see lists.

The Festival launched on Wednesday April 18th with galas and special events, and on Thursday when the regular screenings went full-swing, a restored print of Jaws was shown at a drive-in location near the World Trade Center.  The first four full days of the festival were attended in force by Yours Truly, with a total of ten feature films successfully negotiated, a few of which were most impressive.  A full round-up will be published at WitD after the festival concludes, one that will also include a listing of the event’s favorite works. (more…)

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Seth Rogan and Michelle Williams in Sarah Polley's perceptive and moving drama "Take This Waltz" screened at Tribeca

by Sam Juliano

April showers bring May flowers.  Almost every year this adage rings true, but in the NYC area there has been little of the wet stuff.  Only the past few days have we been reminded of how it might feel walking down the street without an umbrella.  Those with allergy problems have been faithfully taking their allegre tablets twice a day, while wearing shorts has suddenly come into vogue again.

It’s been business as usual at Wonders in the Dark, with a high-quality posting by Peter Lenihan on an early Ford, Jamie Uhler’s excellent treatment of David Bowie in his amazingly prolific series, and the usual contributions by Allan Fish, including the latest entry in his ‘forgotten artists’ series and the Sunday posting on the most recent year in voting for all the major movie categories.  The comedy countdown specifications draw closer, but Yours Truly has barely had enough time to visit the bathroom the last few days since the start of the Tribeca Film Festival.  As a result I have not a spare moment to do any link updating, and was only able to put together this brief MMD lead-in before departing on Sunday morning.

Everyone is urged to keep watch for Dee Dee’s sure to be exciting new interview, which is tentatively planned for posting this morning. (more…)

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