by Sam Juliano
Note: I trust all celebrating Easter Sunday had a great day! Thanks as always to Dee Dee for her fabulous sidebar holiday tribute!
The late April Easter has come and gone amidst a nagging cold spell that performed an uneasy tango with the Spring temperatures that ruled the day-time hours on the day of Purple and Yellow. The unusual tardiness of the holiday allowed it to clash with the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, which launched on Holy Thursday, and will continue until Sunday, April 27th. Lucille and I have taken full advantage of the press passes we have enjoyed for the past several years, and found ourselves cabbing back and forth between the Bow Tie Cinemas on 23rd Street and the East Side Loews Village 7, with even a single stop at the SVA, a block down from the aforementioned Bow-Tie multiplex. The madness will continue through next week, and attendance will be challenging, what with school re-convening today. But I have four unused personal days (I am rarely absent, and have over 200 sick days in the can) and will be using two of those this week on Tuesday and Friday to allow for better options and more movies.
After attending the final Tout Truffaut feature of the well-attended Film Forum retrospective of the iconic New Wave French director (Small Change) we rested up for a few days, knowing that the 11 day Tribeca event would have us in cinematic overkill, and partaking in the cut-rate -for-Tribeca-patrons veggie burger program at Lucky’s next to the Bow-Tie multiplex. As always, the festival has featured some most impressive films that deserved full distribution, and some others that left us indifferent. But what a fun time this experience allows for and you could feel the excitement in the air on the streets around the theaters.
I have listed the feature films that I have seen so far on this past Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and have provided brief notes and ratings. Time does not allow me to do more right now, but as always I will be presenting a comprehensive Top 10 and reflections on the festival, in addition to some other Tribeca related posts being planned.
Something Must Break * 1/2 (Thursday) Bow Tie 81 min.
Manos Sucias **** (Thursday) Bow Tie 84. min.
Art and Craft *** 1/2 (Thursday) Bow Tie 89 min.
Ice Poison ** (Thursday) Bow Tie 95 min.
Beneath the Harvest Sky *** 1/2 (Thursday) Amazon 116. min.
Below Dreams * (Friday) Bow Tie 72 min.
All About Ann **** (Friday) SVA 82 min.
Broken Hill Blues **** 1/2 (Friday) Bow Tie 72 min.
Summer of Blood *** 1/2 (Friday) Bow Tie 86 min.
About Alex *** 1/2 (Saturday) AMC 96 min.
Dior and I **** (Saturday) Bow Tie 90 min.
Love and Engineering ** 1/2 (Saturday) Bow Tie 81 min.
Black Coal, Thin Ice **** 1/2 (Saturday) Bow Tie 106 min.
Super Duper Alice Cooper *** (Saturday) AMC 86 min.
Alex of Venice *** 1/2 (Sunday) AMC 86 min.
An Honest Liar *** (Sunday) Bow Tie 90 min.
Brides **** (Sunday) Bow Tie 90 min.
In Order of Disappearance **** (Sunday) Bow Tie 115 min.
Silenced **** (Sunday) Bow Tie 90 min.
Tomorrow We Disappear **** (Sunday) Bow Tie 82 min.
Small Change **** (Tuesday) Tout Truffaut at FF
Note: Lucille saw GABRIEL (84 min.), which I will also see on Tuesday when she will not be with me. She rates it with ****.
Obviously the best films of the first four days of the Festival include the Berlin Golden Bear winner, the impressionistic Chinese thriller BLACK COAL THIN ICE, two outstanding Scandinavian features, the poetic fable of adolescent angst, BROKEN HILL BLUES, and the perverse crime thriller IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE that stars Stellan Skarsgard; MANOS SUCIAS, set on the Pacific coast of Columbia and chronicling drug smuggling, directed by a former film student of Spike Lee, and executive produced by the famed director; BRIDES, an intimate Georgian film about a harsh penal system and a woman’s marital struggles in its aftermath; and four outstanding documentaries about Ann Richards, fashion designing, a puppet troupe in India and a government worker and his family purged the former GOP administration.
I will have plenty more to say about these individually and some others here that were good.