27 March 2009

Oh, all right then, Tribeca.

I've all but ignored the Tribeca Film Festival since its inception seven years ago, without much regret. Initially, it seemed more like a post-9/11 neighborhood marketing tool than an actual festival—although, to be fair, most "actual" festivals probably started out much the same way. More than that, each year's lineup inspired a resounding "ehh," consisting largely of movies I'd already seen at other festivals and completely unknown quantities. To this day I think the only Tribeca screening I've ever attended was Guy Maddin's Cowards Bend the Knee, and even that I would have already seen had Rotterdam shown a print rather than forcing you to watch the thing by stooping to look through mock peepholes. (Seriously.)

That's about to change, however. This year the festival actively solicited my attention for the first time, and while I did almost everything in my power to dissuade them from accrediting me (you should see how snotty my application letter was), they chose to do so anyway. And by god I actually do see at least eight films I want to check out this year, which is about four times as many as there have been in any previous year. Those would be:

• Garapa, directed by José Padilha (Bus 174).
• The Girlfriend Experience, directed by Steven Soderbergh.
• In the Loop, which was well received at Sundance.
• Kobe Doin' Work, directed by Spike Lee.
My Dear Enemy, which Michael Sicinski quite liked and that's good enough for me.
• Outrage, directed by Kirby Dick (Sick).
• Salt of This Sea, one of the remaining Cannes '08 films I haven't seen/sampled.
• Whatever Works, directed by Woody Allen.

I've already seen Moon and Still Walking. Anyone have any other strong recommendations? Unlike ND/NF, Tribeca has no sterling track record regarding fledgling filmmakers and its slate is way too big for me to see everything. If there's something in there that you consider unmissable, let me know (and tell me why).


Dan Sallitt said...

I'm excited about the Iranian film About Elly, because I really liked Ferhadi's previous film Fireworks Wednesday, which I took a chance on a few Tribecas ago. I also like to keep up with Amir Naderi, but you've probably had a chance to form an opinion on him.

Michael Casey said...

What's the point of submitting a snotty application if they're the only ones that get to see it? (Aside from your own entertainment, of course.) Cough it up! Or will that disqualify you or something?

md'a said...

I didn't hang onto it. Basically they want new applicants to put together a big .pdf file of writing samples and I wrote them a letter saying in effect "I'm too well-established a critic for this shit and I frankly don't care if you accredit me anyway so this is all you get and if that's not good enough then k thx bai." Then they sent me an e-mail saying my application was incomplete and I just ignored it and assumed that was that. Was actually quite surprised today when I got the thumbs-up.

Unknown said...

I guess "directed by José Padilha (Elite Squad)" didn't quite have the same ring to it, huh?

Arkaan said...

In the Loop is a spinoff/continuation of the British series The Thick of It, which is one of the funniest comedies of the decade.

msic said...

Hey bud. Maybe you should look into this doc Transcendent Man. It might be of interest in my opinion.

Hope you like Enemy.

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, but I'm not sure it's your kind of thing. You may object to that one guy's ponytail.