by Sam Juliano
It has taken a far longer time than we could ever have imagined, but I could now say with the utmost confidence that winter has been vanquished at last, and won’t be seen again, even in compromised form until a good seven or eight months from now. Pollen allergies, the baseball season, short-sleeve shirts, sneakers, and the approaching Tribeca Film Festival, not to mention some April showers and a fast-approaching Easter Sunday have all converged to paint a picture of Spring and some glorious 70 degree temperatures. Speaking of the Tribeca Film Festival, Lucille and I will again be armed with two press passes for the entire event, and I am presently attempting to put together an exhaustive schedule for the 11 days that comprise the April 17 to April 27 window. Opening Day (the 16th) is not covered by the passes, but in effect it is a day of special events rather than the schedule proper anyway. The preliminary (tentative) plans are now to see 37 films over the eleven days. Yes, I know that is “certifiable” but I did see 38 last year. There is no cost for the films, just for the toll getting over to the city, and maybe one or two tickets that will allow my daughter Melanie to come over for the Bjork documentary and teenage horror film that follows it. Lucille, as usual will be my companion for most of the days, though for a few she will stay back to rest, allowing Broadway Bob Eagleson to fill in as he did last year.
The Romantic Films countdown is set to launch on Monday, May 12th, with the posting of the No. 101 choice, and will continue every Monday through Friday well into September. The full results were sent out to the voters and writers shortly after being announced by Voting Tabulator Extraordinaire Angelo A. D’Arminio Jr, and will only be known by voters as they unspool in essays that have been reserved and assigned to an incredible 27 writers: Marilyn Ferdinand, Tony d’Ambra, Brandie Ashe, Jon Warner, Sachin Gandhi, Jaimie Grijalba, Duane Porter, Joel Bocko, Pat Perry, Judy Geater, John Greco, Maurizio Roca, Shubhajit Lahiri, Dean Treadway, Lucille Juliano, Allan Fish, Pedro Camolas, Stephen Mullen, Mike Norton, John Grant, Pierre de Plume, Jim Clark, J.D. Lafrance, Ed Howard, Sam Juliano, and possibly Peter Lenihan. One surprise writer is also aboard for one essay. As is the case with all the past genre countdowns, we are hoping for active comment threads under the reviews.
Manhattan’s premier revival house, the Film Forum, has announced their summer schedule, and it is dominated by two festivals back to back. The first is a comprehensive Alec Guiness Festival, which brings in the Ealings and the epics the actor starred in later on in the 50’s and 60’s. After that, there will be a three-week ‘Femme Noir” Festival that will offer a bunch of double features. Here is the link:
Lucille, Sammy and I were busy this past week with the fabulous Tout Truffaut Festival at the Film Forum, and also managed to squeeze in one new release, which ironically was also screened at the Film Forum, and which we saw late at night after one of the Truffauts:
The Green Room ***** (Tuesday) Tout Truffaut at Film Forum
The Wild Child **** (Thursday) Tout Truffaut at Film Forum
Two English Girls ***** (Friday) Tout Truffaut at Film Forum
The Story of Adele H. **** (Saturday)Tout Truffaut at Film Forum
Day For Night **** (Sunday) Tout Truffaut at Film Forum
The Retrieval **** 1/2 (Thursday) Film Forum
Based on three stories by Henry James, especially “The Altar of the Dead” THE GREEN ROOM is one of Truffaut’s supreme masterpieces, and is a personal favorite of the esteemed critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. This gothic tale focuses on death obsession, though Truffaut (who plays the lead himself) always saw in the tale the healing aspects of grief. Beautifully filmed, though a restored print is very much needed, and an extraordinary score. Unlike anything Truffaut or anyone else for that matter has ever made.
THE WILD CHILD again features Truffaut as a doctor who oversees a seemingly mute child who is found in the woods, and tries to make connections with him. Great cinematography by Nestor Almendros and a memorable performance by Jean-Pierre Cargol.
TWO ENGLISH GIRLS and THE STORY OF ADELE H. are two riveting period pieces; the former is an absolute masterpiece, while the latter is distinguished. DAY FOR NIGHT is an exhilarating film about film making that remains one of the director’s most popular films.
Note: My 11 year-old son Jeremy fell off a bike this afternoon and fractured his wrist, and incurred bruised ribs. This has been a very tough day, starting when Lucille got the call on her cell phone as we (Lucille, Sammy and I) were leaving Manhattan after watching Day For Night. I am posting this already-prepared MMD now (with only a small one sentence addition) and will speak more about Truffaut at some point in the future.