by Sam Juliano
The 2015 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival will be staged at three Manhattan locations from Thursday, April 15 to Sunday, the 26. For the fourth consecutive year, Wonders in the Dark will be covering the event, armed with the usual pair of press badges, that will get us into to any and all of the screenings. Lucille and I will be in overdrive, though I really don’t envision anything like last year, when I somehow managed 52 films in eleven (11) days. I see a more relaxed pace this time around. In addition to the normal Bow-Tie Cinemas and SVA Theatres on 23rd Street, the venue will for the first time include the Regal Cinemas complex near the World Trade Center. In fact, that location will be hosting the majority of the showings. I am just now trying to put all the pieces together, but no doubt I won’t know for sureuntil Wednesday afternoon. I plan on covering the event on the next two weekly MMD’s.
Due to e mail requests from a few of the regulars, the Greatest Childhood Films countdown will be starting a few weeks later than originally planned. Ballots should now be sent in from May 15th till May 25th, with a June 1st launching of the countdown, after the results are tabulated by Angelo A. D’Arminio Jr.
Lucille and I saw one film in the theater this week, though at-home viewings occupied us for many hours as I will note below:
Clouds of Sils Maria (Oliver Assayas) **** (Saturday night) IFC Film Center
The History of Scotland ***** (10 hours watched in two sessions mid-week on blu)
Crows (Wrony; 1994) *****
A Bag of Rice (Iranian; 1998) **** 1/2
Nobody’s Daughter (Hungarian; 1976) **** 1/2
The Story of the Grey Pigeon ***** (Czechoslovakian; 1961)
Moving *** 1/2 (Japanese, 1993)
Palle Alone in the World **** (Denmark; 1949)
The Ice Palace ***** (Norwegian; 1987)
Peppermint Soda **** 1/2 (France; 1977)
I’d like to talk about all these films, but for now I’ll just discuss the staggering ten hour masterwork THE HISTORY OF SCOTLAND partly written and wholly narrated by the charismatic Neil Oliver. My e mail reports:
“Just unbelievable. Long-haired Neil Oliver is entrancing, the program has a riveting and dynamic forward motion, and the blend of cotton swabbed maps, re-enactments, Oliver on location and the grand history of Scotland with its endless wars against its southern neighbor provides far more than just a prep course for those inclined to take up the history of a nation, a kingdom, indeed a shrine. This comes off as a narrative (I watched the first three episodes last night in succession, but obviously still have seven to go) more than any kind of exhaustive documentary.